The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)


In Grade 10, students take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, which measures whether or not they are meeting the minimum standard for literacy across all subjects up to the end of Grade 9.

The test is administered through the Education Quality and Accountability Office in Ontario once each year, usually in the spring. Students write the Literacy Test at their local school. Successful completion of the literacy test is one of the requirements students must meet to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

Students who do not successfully complete the OSSLT will have opportunities to retake the test in subsequent years on dates scheduled by the EQAO. Once students have successfully completed the literacy test, they may not retake it.

Students who have been eligible to write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) at least twice, and have been unsuccessful at least once, are eligible to take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy course (OSSLC) to achieve both a Grade 12 credit and their literacy credential for graduation.

A student will take the OSSLT in the language of instruction of the school in which he or she is enrolled at the time of test administration. A student who has successfully completed the OSSLT in either English or French is considered to have met the literacy graduation requirement.

Students whose Individual Education Plan (IEP) indicates that the student is not working towards the attainment of the OSSD may, with parental consent and the approval of the principal, be exempted from writing the OSSLT or taking the OSSLC. OS, K-12, 6.1.3

Accommodations For Students With Special Education Needs

Accommodations are permitted in order to give students with special needs the best possible opportunity to successfully complete the OSSLT. In each case, the accommodation used must normally be specified in the student’s IEP.

Accommodations that are permitted include the following:

  • adjustments to the environment in which the test is administered
  • adjustments in the time allowed for the test
  • changes/adjustments to the format of the test (e.g., alternative forms of print)
  • changes/adjustments to the format of responses

Accommodations other than those listed in the EQAO Guide for Accommodations, Special Provisions, Deferrals, and Exemptions will be given consideration by the EQAO upon receipt of a request, as outlined in Policy/Program Memorandum No. 127.

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