NHS OSSLT Resources
OSSLT 2020: Tuesday, March 31
I need to learn more about...
Taking the Test
- What's on the test
- How to write an essay
- How to write a news report
- How to write a summary paragraph
- How to answer the short answer questions
- What the difference is between a hand, head, and heart question
- Tips for answering multiple choice questions
Welcome to Nepean High School's online literacy resources!
What you'll find here:
- FAQ's about the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)
- Reading strategies to help you figure out exactly what the question is asking you to do, and tips on tackling the texts you'll see on the test
- Writing strategies to help you complete the various tasks on the OSSLT
- EQAO Resources
We gratefully acknowledge the various organizations and resources that influenced and were consulted in the creation of this site and the resources found here, including EQAO's Getting Ready Guide and Planning and Preparation Guide, Limestone District School Board's Spring Literacy Instruction Manuel, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board's Read. Write. Rock!, and the contributions from various staff members at Nepean High School.
How to Use This Site
If you know exactly what you're looking for, you can head straight to the page you need. We have tutorials and tips for how to decode the questions on the OSSLT, how to handle different kinds of tasks on the OSSLT, general information about the test, and practice materials (including past exams and the rubrics that EQAO uses to mark the OSSLT) and resources for English Language Learners.
If you're not sure where to start, here's a quick guide about how we recommend you use this site:
- Start by reviewing the basic information about the OSSLT (what it is, why you're writing it, etc.)
- Once you've got the basics, look at the kinds of questions that are going to be asked. It's a lot easier to get all the marks if you know exactly what they're looking for!
- You'll be doing a lot of reading on the OSSLT, so if you want you can also look at the Reading Strategies suggestions we have.
- Once you have the Reading down, move on to the Writing section.
- Take a look at the tutorials and tips we have on answering either multiple choice questions, short answer questions, writing the news report, or writing the series of paragraphs (a.k.a. the opinion essay). Just pick one to start.
- Practice writing the kind of answer you just reviewed. Use the practice materials we have to write an answer, and then mark it using the scoring guides and rubrics from EQAO.
- Once you've mastered that kind of question, go back to the Writing materials and try another until you've covered them all!
"The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) measures whether or not students are meeting the minimum standard for literacy across all subjects up to the end of Grade 9. Successful completion of the literacy test is one of the requirements to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma." - EQAO
The Facts at a Glance
- All grade 10 students in Ontario write the OSSLT on the same day (usually in late March)
- The test is designed to test your abilities in reading, writing, and following instructions
- The test is written all in one day, usually in two 75-minute blocks during the morning with a brief break in between blocks
- You need at least 75% (300 out of a possible 400) to pass the OSSLT
- You write the test in grade 10, but if you're unsuccessful then you can write it again
- Find more important information on the OSSLT 101 page