Letter to Parents regarding the 2021 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test

Letter to Parents regarding the 2021 Literacy Test

Grade 10 Literacy - Mackenzie Community School

the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test


The OSSLT measures whether students are meeting the minimum standard for literacy across all subjects up to the end of Grade 9. Successful completion of the literacy test is one of the requirements to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). All students across the province write this test.

EQAO will be field-testing the online OSSLT from March 2021 until May 2021. The online test will be written by students participating in in-person learning and working toward their OSSD. This will allow the opportunity for students in Grades 10 and 11, and non-graduating Grade 12 students, to attempt the test and, if successful, have it counted on their transcript.

Because the Ministry of Education has waived the literacy graduation requirement for all students who are graduating during the 2020–21 school year, graduating students do not need to take the online OSSLT test.

Students who are unsuccessful on the test can meet the graduation requirement by taking the grade 12 literacy course (OLC4O), which will improve students’ reading and writing skills, and which also counts as an English credit.  


The 2021 Online OSSLT

For 2021, the new OSSLT is a computer-based online assessment that comprises two sessions containing a total of 33 questions: 31 multiple-choice questions (including technologically-enhanced multiple-select questions, e.g. drag-and-drop, dropdown menu, checklist) and 2 constructed open-response questions.

Each session is designed to be completed in 60 minutes, and students must complete each session in one sitting. The sessions can be attempted one after the other, either back-to-back with a short break, or on two different dates and times. At the end of the two assessment sessions, students will be presented with a questionnaire that asks them about their attitudes and perceptions with respect to literacy.


Test Sections, Spring 2021


Question Grouping

Reading Tasks

Writing Tasks

Multiple-Choice Questions



60 minutes

19 questions

Real-life Narrative


read a

real-life narrative




answer 7 MC Qs

(based on the reading)

Information Paragraph


read an information paragraph


answer 6 MC Qs

(based on the reading)

News Report


read a

news report

write a

written response of 100 words

answer 5 MC Qs

(based on the reading)



60 minutes

14 questions



read a

written dialogue




answer 5 MC Qs

(based on the reading)

Written Multiple-Choice






answer 8 MC writing Qs

(editing skills)

Series of Paragraphs Expressing an Opinion



write an

opinion essay

of 500 words



We are currently finalizing the details regarding when specific classes at OSDSS will participate in the online OSSLT. In the meantime, students in grade 10, 11, and 12 (who are not graduating this school year) should visit to try out the practice test – just click on “Online OSSLT Practice Test.”

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