The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test will be March 31st 2016.  Important information and helpful tips are shared on this site.

To all parents of Grade 10 students, and previously eligible Grade 11 and 12
students, the Ontario Secondary Schools Literacy Test (OSSLT) will be taking place
this year on March 31, 2016. It is imperative that your child is present for this test,
and if they will not be able to be present, that you inform your child’s respective
Vice Principal as soon as possible.

Here are some final tips for the OSSLT
✓ Write neatly! Use dark ink and write slowly. If you have messy handwriting, try
writing bigger or printing.
✓ Answer the question! Read the question carefully, then “give them what
they want”. Stay on topic and avoid irrelevant content.
✓ Attempt EVERY question! Don’t leave any blanks. Try every question.
✓ Proofread! Always, always, always re-read what you have written. Correct any
mistakes as you go.
✓ Make sense! This is not the time to try out new words or get fancy. Keep it simple.
✓ Make rough notes! Brainstorm and then plan out your answer before you
begin to write. Don’t waste space on the answer sheet. Organize your thoughts.
✓ Use your highlighter! Don’t be afraid to write on the test. Highlight key
words and phrases.
✓ Skim the reading sections for answers! None of the multiple
choice questions can be answered from memory. You must go back into the reading
sections to find the answers for the questions
✓ Look at the pictures! The pictures with the test help you to know what the
main idea of a section is.
✓ Remember the words, “for example…”! Use these words in every
written answer. Be specific. Use examples.

Writing a News Report
(an objective and factual report about an event)
• Study the headline and picture to get ideas about an event that you will make
up for your news report.
• Plan your news report. Think of some specific facts and information about the
event that answer: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Remember you
have to make up the facts and information.
• Consider making up quotations from participants or bystanders for your news
• Write enough to ensure that your readers would feel formed about the event.
• Divide your news report into short paragraphs.

Writing a Series of Paragraphs
(expressing an opinion on a topic)
• Determine your opinion on the topic and consider your reasons for thinking this
• Use the Rough Notes space to form a plan.
• Introductory paragraph: clearly present your opinion; this is your main idea.
• Body paragraph(s): include supporting details (proof, facts, examples, etc.) that
explain and give reasons for your opinion. A body paragraph requires several
• In the concluding paragraph, summarize your opinion.
• Write at least 3 paragraphs.
• Clearly show your paragraphs using indentations or an extra line between

Writing an Information Paragraph
(an objective presentation of facts and information)
• Read the list of information given. Choose at least four points that you think go
together. These will become the main idea of your information paragraph.
• In your topic sentence, clearly state your main idea.
• Include at least four supporting details from the list to develop the main idea in
your topic sentence.
• Provide a concluding sentence for your paragraph. This sentence summarizes
your main idea.
• Be sure your paragraph informs your reader about the topic you have chosen.

Writing a Short Opinion Piece
• The short writing tasks are based only on your life experience. For example,
“Name a person you admire and explain why you admire him or her. Use
specific details to explain your choice.”
• There are no correct or incorrect answers, but be specific when you explain
your answer.
• You will have six lines for your paragraph. Use all of the space.

Writing a Summary Question
This week’s literacy information focuses on writing a summary question.
• You must write in complete sentences in the lined space provided.
• Read the instructions carefully and do what is asked.
• Make changes to your writing as clearly as you can.
• Organize your ideas.
• Use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
• The audience for your writing is always an adult. The language in your writing
should be standard Canadian English and should be appropriate for an adult
Writing a Summary
(a concise version of an original text)
• Highlight, underline or circle important ideas when reading the text.
• Plan your summary. Find the main idea of the text and at least two important
details that support it.
• Underline, circle or use the Notes space provided to help plan.
• Reduce the number of words (use one general word instead of several specific
words, use fewer examples, leave out unnecessary words).
• Do not include your personal opinion.

Extra practice anyone?
Why not get some extra practice?  Visit this site to test your knowledge.

Strategies for answering multiple choice questions.
Before reading:
􀀀 Read the multiple‐choice questions before you read the passage so you
know what information you are looking for.
􀀀 Underline the information in the reading when you find the answers to
After reading:
􀀀 Circle words like “not” or “always” or “never”. These will trick you.
􀀀 Come up with the answer in your head before looking at the possible
answers. This way, the choices given on the test won't throw you off or
trick you.
􀀀 Eliminate answers you know aren't right.
􀀀 Read all the choices before choosing your answer.
􀀀 Don't change your answer unless you have found details in the reading to
support the change. Usually your first choice is the right one, unless you
misread the question.
􀀀 In a question with an "All of the above" choice, if you see that at least two
correct statements, then "All of the above" is probably the answer.
􀀀 Once you’ve made a choice, go back to the reading to see if you can find
supporting facts to justify your answer.

What is a graphic text?
􀀀 A graphic text uses words AND pictures to communicate information.
What are some examples of graphic texts?
􀀀 Posters, pamphlets, comic books, diagrams, instruction manuals, maps
Before reading:
􀀀 Look at the whole graphic text. Locate the title, headings, captions, legends
and pictures.
⬜ The title tells you what the graphic is about.
⬜ Headings organize the information into sub‐topics.
⬜ Captions provide extra information.
⬜ Legends help you to understand how to read the graphic text.
During reading:
􀀀 Read all the headings and examine how they are related to the graphic.
Each heading has a purpose. The most important headings may be in
capital letters, bold type, or a larger font.
􀀀 Follow the arrows and lines. They may be used to show movement or
direction, or connect to the things they name.
􀀀 Look for the use of symbols to emphasize important words and

Reading strategies
Before reading:
● Read the title. What might the selection be about?
● Look at any illustrations. What do they tell you about the story or subject?
● Read all questions first.
● Manage your time so that you complete all the sections.
During reading:
● Look for links between what you’re reading and experiences you’ve had.
● If you read a word you don’t understand, look for a root word that you
know inside the larger word. Look for prefixes and suffixes.
● If you still don’t understand the word, read to the end of the sentence and
look for clues to its meaning. Try reading the sentence before and after the
sentence to see if you can find the meaning from the context.
● As you read, ask questions about what is happening.
● Make predictions about what might happen next.
● Form opinions about what is going on. Do you like the characters? Why or why not?
● Picture the setting, events or images in your mind.