OSSLT Preparation (Reading Skills)

March 31st 2011 is the test date for the OSSLT (Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test). If your student is writing the test this year, they should consult the OSSLT Getting Ready Guide (available on the EQAO website) http://bit.ly/eLz2Ga. As with any test, students should familiarize themselves with the structure and format of the test – the Getting Ready Guide has test instructions and it outlines which reading and writing skills are being assessed. It also provides ‘tips’ and ‘strategies’ for reading and writing.

According to the Getting Ready Guide, the test has multiple-choice and open-response questions that focus on the reading skills required for school and daily life. Students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of explicitly (directly) stated ideas and information, and implicitly (indirectly) stated ideas and information. They are also asked to make connections between the information and ideas in a reading selection and their personal knowledge and experience.

The reading selections on the test will include an information paragraph, a news report, a dialogue, a real-life narrative, and a graphic text (i.e. map, schedule, etc). The reading selections vary in length from a single paragraph to two pages.

Some General Strategies for responding to the Reading Selections are as follows:


  • Manage your time so that you complete all sections of the test
  • Read the questions first. This will help you predict what the reading selection is going to be about
  • Skim the selection and then read it closely
  • Underline or highlight important information and ideas as you read
  • As you read, think about what you are reading and ask yourself questions about it


For more Tips and Strategies, consult the Getting Ready Guide. Stay tuned for more information about ‘writing skills’ and the writing components on the OSSLT.


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