What is the OSSLT?

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is a provincial test of the literacy (reading and writing) skills students have acquired by Grade 10. It is based on the literacy skills expected in the Ontario Curriculum across all subject areas up to the end of Grade 9.  (www.eqao.com)

The OSSLT is a mandatory requirement for students pursuing an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. If students are unsuccessful on the test they may attempt the test again and/or take the OSSLC (Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course). In order to earn their diplomas, students must pass either the literacy test or the literacy course.


Tasks on the Literacy Test

Reading Writing
Reading Selections:

  • Information paragraph (225 to 250 words)
  • News report (225 to 250 words)
  • Dialogue (225 to 250 words)
  • Real-life narrative (550 to 600 words)
  • Graphic text (fewer than 150 words)

Types of Questions:

  • Multiple-choice
  • Open-response (six lines each)


Long Writing Tasks:

  • Newspaper report (one page)
  • Series of paragraphs expressing an opinion (two pages)

Short Writing Tasks:

  • Two short writing tasks (six lines each)

Multiple Choice Questions

  • Developing a main idea and supporting with details
  • Organization of Writing
  • Language Conventions


 Resources and Further Information

For Students and Parents:

Getting Ready Guide 2015

Link to previous years’ tests and scoring guides

For Teachers:

OSSLT support materials AMDSB

Link to previous years’ tests and scoring guides

Summary of Results and Strategies for Teachers

Curriculum connections to OSSLT


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