Graduates’ and Fifth Years’ Literacy Test Requirement Waived for 2020-21 School Year

Senior students who were not able to write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test in March 2020 have only one more opportunity. Photo contributed by Jonathon Irvine

Graduates and fifth year students this year, who may have failed previous test attempts at the OSSLT have had their list of graduation requirements shortened. 

The Ontario Government has decided to waive the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) requirement for graduating students in the 2020-2021 school year. This is due to the missed opportunity to write this past March when the test was cancelled because of school closures. 

An announcement shared with graduating students at WCI reads, 

“This announcement means that students graduating in 2020-2021:

  • do NOT need to have passed the OSSLT (OSS Literacy Test),
  • do NOT need to have taken the OSSLC (Literacy Course), and,
  • if students haven’t passed the OSSLT, do NOT need an adjudication process started, if they haven’t passed the OSSLT nor taken the OSSLC.”

The next time the OSSLT will be run is in the spring of 2021, where students not graduating this year, who have not taken it yet or are in grade 10 this year, will still have to take it. 

How well the test will work remains to be seen as details are still forthcoming. Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) has offered this information on their website: “EQAO plans to administer the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) online in spring 2021. Additional details will follow at a later date.”

The OSSLT is described by EQAO as a test that “measures whether students are meeting the minimum standards for literacy across all subjects up to Grade 9.” 

Students who have gone through Grade 10 are familiar with the test, whether they passed or failed. The first time anyone takes this test in Grade 10, there is no need to worry, because even though you are not allowed to graduate if you do not pass the test, you have another three chances before your planned graduation. 

However thanks to the pandemic, the only students who have to worry are those not graduating this school year. The pressure is still on for these students to, and with the safety procedures surrounding standardized testing, and being online, it’s yet to be seen how smoothly that’ll run.