Top 3 Expert Tips On How To Pass OSSLT Exams In 2024

Filed in Article, Education by on October 12, 2023 0 Comments

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is a standardized test that must be completed by all secondary pupils in Ontario. The test assesses reading and writing skills in the English language. These are abilities that correspond to the Ontario English curriculum for Grades 1 through 9.

In order to graduate from high school in Ontario, students must pass the OSSLT; however, there are numerous supports in place for students who do not pass. These resources can assist them in meeting the literacy standards of the province.

Who Is Eligible To Take The OSSLT?

In most cases, the OSSLT is given to students in Grade 10. This is because the OSSLT assesses abilities taught in the Ontario English curriculum from kindergarten to grade nine.

The OSSLT can also be taken by students who have already finished the test but did not receive a passing mark. Your students have an unlimited number of attempts at the OSSLT; however, if they do not pass, there are other possibilities accessible to them.

What Can Students Do To Improve Their Chances Of Passing The OSSLT?

In general, students have been studying for the OSSLT throughout their academic careers. Because the OSSLT is intended to assess skills taught in the Ontario English curriculum from primary school through ninth grade, it is a good fit.

In reality, not all students may possess the required abilities to succeed. This is particularly true for English Language Learners who have not attended Ontario schools for a significant period of time.

For ELL students to succeed on the OSSLT, they may need additional expertise with the Ontario curriculum. Your ELL kids, fortunately, can take advantage of specific accommodations.

Native English-speaking students frequently benefit from additional OSSLT preparation. Teachers can begin preparing for the OSSLT in Grade 10, well before the exam date; this preparation is particularly intense in the 9th and 10th grades. Teachers can assist students in preparing to interact with this standardized assessment by “teaching to the test.”

Students can also prepare for the OSSLT on their own or with the help of a tutor or an extracurricular activity. Students should “[work] on the practice exercises in the OSSLT part of the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) website” or “go over the ‘Getting Ready Guide”

How To Prepare For The OSSLT Exam And Pass In One Sitting

1. Go over the skills on the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test that was assessed.

Examining previous EQAO tests is one approach to brushing up on literacy skills. Several Ontario school boards have assembled archives of prior OSSLT tests. The TDSB’s Northview Heights Secondary School, for example, offers a portal dedicated to OSSLT preparation.

Typically, students should concentrate on the following areas to improve the mandatory skills needed to pass the OSSLT;

  • Putting together a succession of paragraphs
  • Developing and expressing a viewpoint
  • To support an opinion, use main points and proof.
  • Within a text, identifying important ideas and supporting evidence
  • Introductions and conclusions to be written
  • Identifying news report characteristics
  • Narrative text interpretation (i.e. news reports, magazine stories, short fiction)
  • Interpreting textual information (i.e. opinion pieces, textbooks)
  • Reading pictorial texts (i.e. line graphs, flow charts, diagrams)
  • Explicitly expressed thoughts and information are summarized.
  • Understanding implicitly stated thoughts and information
  • Writing for a variety of audiences.
2. Multiple-Choice Questions: Teaching to the Test

The OSSLT’s multiple-choice part is designed to evaluate a variety of literacy skills. The questions range from determining a text’s aim to evaluating the context of a phrase in order to choose an acceptable synonym. Multiple-choice questions are impossible to foresee. This means that you can’t ensure that your students will pass this section of the test.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can take to prepare for the OSSLT’s multiple-choice part. Using previous OSSLT tests as practice is the most basic option. The OSSLT will employ the same sentence stems even if it will never use the same set of multiple-choice questions.

Students can recognize these sentence stems by practicing on prior OSSLT multiple-choice problems, which will help them remember them when it comes time to write their test.

Another technique is to add multiple-choice drills into your regular sessions. When reading a work as a class, try pausing to ask questions that are comparable to those on the OSSLT:

Students should be asked to explain how they perceive new vocabulary so that their peers can learn from them.

Pose questions to pupils that encourage them to summarize the reading.

Encourage pupils to make inferences from the text by going over it paragraph by paragraph and determining the purpose of specific sections or sentences.

Encourage them to evaluate the content as a whole by writing a title for it or offering a single-sentence summary.

3. Practice for the OSSLT with literacy activities and lesson plans

You can prepare for the OSSLT by using a variety of project-based exams and interesting tutorials. To scaffold the abilities needed to be successful, I usually start with a mandated assignment and work backward from there.

Reading and writing news stories is one of the OSSLT’s key assessments. The Reading and Writing News Articles Bundle from Mondays Made Easy includes graphic organizers, slideshow lessons, worksheets, and tests to assist students in developing core reading skills.

The Community Interview Project, a project-based assessment inspired by the iconic Humans of New York, will allow students to demonstrate these skills.

Writing a multi-paragraph essay that communicates an opinion and uses various types of evidence to support the primary topic of each body is another important OSSLT evaluation.

What If You Don’t Pass The OSSLT?

There are a few solutions available if a student fails the OSSLT. For one thing, students can take the OSSLT again. If the student has an IEP, they are also entitled to the accommodations mentioned in their file; review this to ensure that accommodations are satisfied for their second try.

Completing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course, often known as the OSSLC or OLC4O, is another alternative. Because this course measures the same skills as the EQAO exam, students who pass it will have met the requirements to graduate from high school.

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