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Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)


All Grade 10 students who are working towards an Ontario Secondary School Diploma will be expected to write the test. (Deferrals and Exemptions must be discussed with your school principal.


There are two components of the OSSLT Ė reading and writing.


Take advantage of the opportunities within your school for preparation for the O.S.S.L.T. Practice materials and tips for students and parents can be found on the EQAO website at www.eqao.com.



  • Reading selections reflect the types of reading materials students should encounter every day including the following: information materials, such as explanations and instructions, graphic materials such as schedules, graphs, and tables and literary materials, such as stories descriptions and dialogues.
  • The questions on the selections include short-answer questions, multiple-choice questions, and questions that require a brief explanation.
  • Skim through the reading selection and then reread for meaning.
  • Look for links between what you are reading and any experiences you had in your own life.
  • As you read, think about what you are reading; ask yourself questions about what you are reading.
  • Underline or highlight important phrases, words, and ideas as you read.
  • If you are having trouble understanding an idea, either read on until the meaning becomes more clear or stop and reread.
  • If you read a word you donít understand, look for a root word that you might know inside the larger word; look for prefixes and suffixes.
  • If you read a word you donít understand, read to the end of the sentence looking for clues to its meaning.
  • If a very long sentence has you confused, reread the sentence and try to put it in your own words.
  • Look at titles, pictures, charts, and graphs to help you understand what the reading selection is all about.
  • Read the title and the opening sentence to help you understand what the selection is about.
  • In Literary selections, as you read, try to predict what will happen. Think about the characters, setting, plot, and main idea of the reading selection.


  • The kinds of writing include the following: a summary, a series of paragraphs expressing an opinion, a news report, and an information paragraph.
  • All writing task responses must be written in complete sentences.
  • The language in your writing should be standard Canadian English. Offensive or inappropriate responses are not acceptable.
  • Each writing task is different. It is important to follow the instructions for each writing task. For example, if you are asked for a minimum of three paragraphs, you are required to write at least three paragraphs.
  • Paragraph divisions must be clear. You may choose to use indentations or to leave an extra space between paragraphs.
  • Writing that is off-topic or not in the required form cannot be marked.
  • The space given for your written work will give you an idea of how long your answer should be.
  • Make sure handwriting is clear.
  • Use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation so that your ideas are clear.

Page last updated:February 24, 2017