OSSLT 101: Key InfO

For info straight from EQAO, take a look at their Getting Ready Guide. It walks you through all of the key information you need to prepare for the OSSLT.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is a standardized assessment that all Ontario students have to successfully complete in order to graduate from high school.
  • The OSSLT is designed to test your reading skills, writing skills, and your ability to follow instructions.
  • It's main purpose is to assess if you've met the requirements for literacy (i.e. reading and writing) as they're set out in the Ontario curriculum.
  • You write the OSSLT in grade 10
  • The test takes place during two 75-minute sessions in one morning (with a short break in between sessions). Everybody in Ontario writes at the same time
  • The test is scored out of 400 points and you need at least 300/400 to pass
  • The OSSLT does not count towards any marks on your report card
  • There are three general types of questions: multiple choice, short answer, and long answer.

OSSLT Breakdown: At a Glance

Types of Texts you'll Read:

  • Informative texts
        • Information paragraph
        • News Report
  • Dialogue/Narrative texts
        • Dialogue
        • Real-life narrative
  • Graphic texts

Types of Questions You'll Answer:

  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Short answer questions
        • Reading-based questions (questions that are related to a text you just read)
        • Open-response questions
  • Long answer questions
        • News Report
        • Opinion Essay (Series of Paragraphs)

The chart below from EQAO's Planning and Preparation Guide shows exactly what kinds of things you'll have to read and write on the OSSLT:

Skills You'll Be Tested On

According to EQAO's Planning and Preparation Guide, these are the skills that the OSSLT is focusing on for reading and writing:


  • Understanding explicitly (directly) stated ideas and information
  • Understanding implicitly (indirectly) stated ideas and information
  • Making connections between information and ideas in a reading selection


  • Developing a main idea with specific supporting details
  • Organizing information and ideas in a coherent manner
  • Using conventions (syntax, spelling, grammar, punctuation) in a manner that does not distract from clear communication.