Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) – Fall 2021


For the 2021-22 school year, grade 10, 11 and non-graduating grade 12 students will be provided with the opportunity to fulfill their literacy graduation requirement. The common way students earn this literacy requirement is by writing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).  


The past two years our students have not been able to write this test due to the pandemic and as a result the graduation requirement was waived.  For this year, all grade 12 students that are graduating remain exempt from the requirement, however the Ministry of Education has reinstated the requirement for all other students.


What is the OSSLT?

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test is a single event that allows a student to pass their literacy requirement.  


The test consists of two parts;

Part 1 focuses on reading, and has three reading passages. Students complete a series of multiple choice questions and open-response questions about the content they have read. 


Part  2 focuses on reading comprehension, and writing skills.  Students read 2 passages and complete a series of multiple choice questions. Students will also write a series of paragraphs supporting their opinion on a topic that the test has them read about. 


How will the test be administered?

The test is online this year. Students MUST use their board provided chromebooks to write the OSSLT. The test has many features to support students including: 

  • A help menu  
  • A text-speech function that reads the text on the screen out loud  
  • Zoom in and zoom out  
  • A line reader that helps students focus on one line of text at a time 
  • A high-contrast view
  • Annotation tools 
  • A tool for rough notes


All students will also have access to virtual breathing exercises, reminders of test taking strategies and other minds-on activities to help them as they take the modernized OSSLT.


When & where will my student write the OSSLT?

Grade 11 and non-graduating Grade 12 students will complete the OSSLT during their C block (morning) class over two days:

  • Tuesday November 23 – Part 1
  • Wednesday November 24 – Part 2


There will be another test opportunity in the spring for grade 10, 11 and 12’s. 

My student is not writing the OSSLT?

In the past the whole school day would have been dedicated to those writing the test. Since the test is now online and our 150 minute classes provided plenty of time for the test, ALL of our students will attend regular classes on test days.


Students who are not required or who are not writing the OSSLT for other reasons will have regular classes. Their day and timetable will not be impacted. This is a regular school day for this group of students. 


How can I help my student prepare for the OSSLT?

Before the Test


The Day of the Test

  • Remind the student to be on time
  • Remind the student to eat before the test
  • Encourage your student to do their best, knowing other ways of earning the requirement will be provided if the test doesn’t go well


What other ways can the literacy requirement be met besides the test?

Students can enroll in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OLC4OI), or they may seek an adjudication process. Please connect with your assigned Guidance Counsellor if you have any questions or if you are in Grade 11 and 12 and wish to seek an alternative to the test. 


If I am graduating what do I do?

Graduating Grade 12’s have been exempted from the literacy requirement this year, and do not have to do the test, course or adjudication. 


If I am a remote learning student what do I do?

Students enrolled in SRLP will not be writing the OSSLT this year.  Grade 11 and non-graduating 12’s will either take the course or go through the adjudication process. Remote learning grade 10’s will be given these options next year. The remote learning students will receive direct information from their teachers, guidance counselors or remote learning administrators in the next few weeks.  Please connect with these staff if you have questions or a unique concern about your student. 


If you have any further questions about the OSSLT please email VP Stephen Gray at stephen_gray@wrdsb.ca.

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