Get Ready for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test

March 31, 2022 | Teresa L

Comments (0)

Studying at the library
The library can help you prepare for the OSSLT, or Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test

Are you about to take your OSSLT? If you have already gone through the online practice tests from EQAO but are still feeling worried about it, you are not alone. The good news is that there are many resources to help you prepare.

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test is a standardized test in Ontario that assesses the literacy – reading and writing – skills of students in Grade 10. All students take similar tests in Grades 3, 6 and 9, but this test is different because students must pass the OSSLT to graduate high school.

We’ve compiled and highlighted three online tools and ideas below to help you study and feel confident.

Tip! You will need a Toronto Public Library card to use these resources, so if you don't have one here's how to get it: Your Library Card. Some of the online sites we list may also require the creation of an account.


1. Review OSSLT topics and practice tests on Brainfuse

Brainfuse is most known for their online homework help and live tutoring service. They also have summarized lessons and practice tests that can help you work on reading and writing skills to prepare for the OSSLT.

When you log in, check out the Skill Surfer tab on the main page, under the Expert Help column. There you’ll find a menu of options for different lessons, tips and practice tests. Under the Standardized Test Practice – Ontario heading, there are practice tests and bite-sized lessons and quizzes on reading and writing skills, such as how to read for details or write a thesis.

Screenshot of Standardized Test Practice Section in Brainfuse
This is what the screen shows once you enter the Standardized Test Practice - Ontario section on Brainfuse.

What’s great about the practice tests is that the format is the same as the OSSLT, with multiple-choice questions and some long answer questions.

There isn't a mark generated for the practice writing part, but I recommend getting input on your writing through the Writing Lab or Live Tutoring section of Brainfuse. Tutors on Brainfuse usually need at least one business day to respond, so don’t leave this step until the night before!

Tip! When going through the quizzes and practice tests, try creating an environment similar to that of the actual test and time yourself. After you’re done, check how you did under the My Tests section of your account.

Screen shot of Brainfuse main page showing menu options
The practice tests are in the SkillSurfer section of Brainfuse. The Writing Lab and Live Tutoring sections are also a great way to get feedback on your writing.

Try Brainfuse


2. Take general literacy practice tests

These two resources offer practice tests that can help improve your reading and writing skills, even if they aren't specifically for OSSLT prep.


Learning Express Library

Once logged in, select High School Students and then English Language Arts Skills Improvement. Depending on what you want to focus on, there are practice tests and tutorials covering topics such as reading comprehension, writing and grammar, or vocabulary and spelling.

Try Learning Express Library


Road to IELTS – Academic Training

Whether you are an ESL student or not, the Road to IELTS – Academic Training offers great reading and writing tutorials and practice quizzes. The IELTS Academic test is a standard language test designed for foreign students who wish to pursue studies in an English speaking college or university, and so they assess for very similar literacy skills as the OSSLT.

Try Road to IELTS – Academic Training


3. Read widely and write intentionally

Finally, reading widely and writing intentionally can help with your reading and literacy skills. The OSSLT assesses reading skills across a variety of formats, from informational texts to text with graphics. The library offers reading materials in a variety of formats – novels in both physical and ebook formats, informational magazine and newspaper articles, and even graphic novels. You have more than a couple to choose from! 😉

After you’re done reading, try writing about what you just read. Try the following writing prompts:

  • Can you summarize what you’ve just read?
  • Was there a common theme and, if so, can you provide support for your answer?
  • Create an outline for an opinion essay based on what you’ve read.

Feel free to read and write with a friend or a family member to compare your answers, or access the Writing Lab feature in Brainfuse to get feedback on this writing.


We hope this provides some helpful tips in preparing for the OSSLT. Remember to take a deep breath. You got this! 💪