Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)


At the end of Grade 9 of students following the Canadian Education System, students are expected to reach the requirements as outlined in the Ontario curriculum policy. OSSLT is developed by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) and focuses on English reading and writing skills.

The OSSLT must be taken by students following the Canadian Education System and must obtain a pass in order to receive the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). If students fail to achieve the passing mark, they can resit the test the following year.

The test consists of 2 booklets each will take 75 minutes to complete. The test is divided based on the time required to complete the test rather than reading and writing. You may be required to complete one long answer in one booklet and a newspaper article in the other booklet.

Our OSSLT programme starts 4 months before students sit for their OSSLT exams. This is to ensure students have enough time to build up on their vocabulary and grammar; both essentials tools to pass the OSSLT exam. Students will be guided on self-study method as well as techniques to answer the questions.

OSSLT Exam Format

There are two components to the OSSLT – reading and writing.


For the reading component, students are asked to read a variety of selections and answer questions about each selection. The reading questions are designed to measure student achievement in these areas:

  • understanding of ideas and information that are stated directly in the reading selection
  • understanding of ideas and information that are stated indirectly and that require the reader to make inferences
  • making of connections between personal knowledge and experience and the ideas and information in the reading selections (e.g., interpretation of meaning)

The reading selections reflect the types of reading materials students should encounter every day, including the following:

  • informational materials, such as explanations and instructions
  • graphic materials, such as schedules, graphs, and tables
  • literary materials, such as stories, descriptions, and dialogue

The questions on the selections include short-answer questions, multiple-choice questions, and questions that require a brief explanation.


For the writing component, students are asked to produce four pieces of writing. The writing tasks are designed to measure student achievement in these areas:

  • development of a main idea
  • provision of supporting details
  • organization and linking of ideas and information
  • use of an appropriate tone for the purpose and the intended reader
  • use of correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

The kinds of writing include the following:

  • a summary
  • a series of paragraphs expressing an opinion
  • a news report
  • an information paragraph.

Adapted from Ontario MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

Contact us to arrange your OSSLT Preparatory Class with us.