OSSLT: Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test

  • All secondary students working towards an Ontario Secondary School Diploma complete the Ministry of Education's literacy requirement to graduate.~
  • This literacy requirement can be met by passing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), or by attempting the OSSLT once and then taking the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course(OSSLC, with course code OLC4O).

  • Next test dates:

    • Wednesday, March 27, 2019
    • Tuesday, March 31, 2020
    • Please do NOT plan a vacation or appointment on test day!
    • These are the only dates on which the test will occur in the province of Ontario in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.

  • Students will be given an opportunity to write the OSSLT when they're ready: some students will write it when they're in grade 10, and some students will write it when they're in grade 11
  • Students who are unsuccessful on the test can meet the graduation requirement by taking OLC4O - the grade 12 literacy course, which will improve students' reading and writing skills (and also counts as an English credit)

OSSLT Prep Course

  • OSDSS is offering a free lunchtime literacy test prep course to prepare students for the test.
  • This is not a secondary credit course, but rather a chance to brush up on required skills before the test.
  • Students who take this literacy prep course are better prepared for the test and have a greater chance of success.
  • Please note that this non-credit course is intended to prepare students for the OSSLT, but it does not take the place of the OSSLT or OLC4O as a graduation requirement.
  • There is no fee for this course, and snacks will be provided.
  • This prep course will occur at lunch 2 days each week for 4 weeks (not including March Break).
  • Course Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:40 am to 12:40 pm

    • February 19, 21, 26, 28
    • March 5, 7, 19, 21

  • To register your son or daughter for this free lunchtime course, please fill out the registration form and return it to the guidance office. (If you can't print this form from the internet, paper copies are available in the guidance office.
  • For more information, please contact the OSDSS guidance office at (519) 376-6050, ext 237.

Please see the downloadable forms section on the OSDSS home page to download and print the OSSLT Prep Course flyer and form.

About the OSSLT

  • Students must achieve 300 out of 400 (i.e. 75%) to pass the OSSLT
  • Test sections:

  • Reading: (read & answer multiple-choice Qs or paragraph-answer Qs)

    • information paragraph (225-250 words)
    • news report (225-250 words)
    • dialogue (225-250 words)
    • real-life narrative (550-600 words)
    • graphic text (fewer than 150 words)

  • Writing:
    • news report (one page)
    • opinion essay (one page)
    • 2 short writing tasks (each is one paragraph of 6 lines)
    • multiple choice Qs
      • developing a main idea with supporting details
      • organization of ideas
      • language conventions
  • The test takes all morning to write - 2 x 75-minute periods, but all students can have more time if needed
  • The timetable on test day will be adjusted for the whole school. This timetable is tentative, and is subject to change.

  • Period A
  • 9:00 to 10:20 Instructions & Booklet 1
  • Break
  • 10:20 to 10:35
  • Period B
  • 10:35 to 12:00 Booklet 2 & Survey
  • Lunch
  • 12:00 to 1:00
  • Period C
  • 1:00 to 2:05
  • Break
  • 2:05 to 2:10
  • Period D
  • 2:10 to 3:15

  • Students writing the test will be placed in classrooms on the second floor, while students not taking the test will be relocated to other classrooms. Afternoon classes will be held in the usual rooms.
  • For sample assessments, including released questions from previous years' tests, please visit (or start at our school website and follow the links).
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