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The Grade 10 Literacy Test


The successful completion of the OSSLT (or the OSSLC)
is a requirement for a high school diploma.


OSSLT Overview

The OSSLT is a provincial test of the reading and writing skills students have acquired by Grade 10. It is based on the reading and writing skills expected in The Ontario Curriculum across all subject areas, up to the end of Grade 9.


Test materials: two test booklets and one student answer sheet. The test will be 2-1/2 hours. There is a single result in literacy: pass or fail. Accommodations can be provided to students with Individual Education Plans and special provisions are available to students new to English.


Reading selections include:

  • Informational: 200-220 words: paragraph, news report
  • Narrative: dialogue (about 225 words), real-life narrative (about 600 words)
  • Graphic: 100-150 words

Types of Writing Tasks and Questions

  • Long Writing Tasks: news report (one page), series of paragraphs expressing an opinion (two pages)
  • Short Writing Tasks: 6 lines each
  • Multiple Choice Questions: organization of ideas, sentence and paragraph structure, language conventions - use of capitalization and punctuation
  • Questions are multiple choice, and open response (6 lines each).

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is a high school graduation requirement. All students take the test in Grade 10, to measure their competency in reading and writing. If a student is unsuccessful, they may retake the rest the following year. If they are still unable to pass the test, they can take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC), which is an OSSLT equivalent.


Literacy is a priority everywhere today, not only in our schools, but also in the information saturated workplace where our students hope to find a productive place in the next few years. A quick glance at any newspaper's employment notices proves that all employers are requiring high levels of information literacy and communication skills. This means that all students need to be comfortable readers, writers, and processors of increasingly sophisticated information in all subject areas.


The purpose of this site is twofold. First, it provides information for all interested parties on the role they can play in developing highly literate students and, second, it provides information on preparing for the Grade 10 Literacy Test.


More information about the test can be found at the the EQAO site. 


Also, check out the MyClass page: Student Success & OSSLT

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