To get their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), students in Grades 10 to 12 must meet the literacy graduation requirement.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

In Ontario, the OSSLT is the standard method used to test students’ literacy skills. Its purpose is to support students to meet the provincial literacy requirement to graduate.

Students typically take the literacy test in Grade 10. Students in Grade 11 and 12 who have yet to participate in the OSSLT will have the opportunity this year. The test is based on Ontario curriculum expectations for language and communication. Particularly, it focuses on reading and writing, up to and including Grade 9. Based on the assessment outcomes, students may receive additional learning supports and resources.

Grade 10, 11 and 12 Students

The Ministry of Education resumed the OSSLT and literacy requirements for graduation two years ago. Students in the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) will have two chances each year to meet this requirement. The opportunities will happen during the school day in the fall and spring.. Grade 10, 11, and 12 students who haven’t met the literacy requirement can complete the OSSLT this year.

Each school will tell students the dates and times for the OSSLT.

For Online Students

The Ministry of Education requires students writing the OSSLT to do so in-person. Secondary students who only take online courses will be invited to write the OSSLT with their home school.

Supporting Students to Successfully Meet the Literacy Graduation Requirement

Students who do not successfully complete the OSSLT have other opportunities to meet the literacy graduation requirement such as the:

  • Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC)
  • Adjudication Process

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC)

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) has been developed to provide students with:

  • Intensive support in achieving the required reading and writing competencies
  • An alternative means of demonstrating their literacy skills

The Ministry of Education has indicated that students do not need to attempt the OSSLT in order to enroll in OSSLC during the 2023-2024 school year. Students who did not pass the OSSLT can also take the OSSLC. The course takes a more in depth approach to literacy and skills are developed by students over the course of a semester.

To enroll in OSSLC students must contact their guidance counsellor.

Adjudication Process

Adjudication is a process to achieve the literacy requirement. It is available under provincial policy only if the literacy test or course could not be taken by a graduating student. In the 2023-24 school year, eligible students will go through a central WRDSB adjudication process. More information will be provided by the home school guidance counselor if this is a needed support for a graduating student.


Please contact your child’s Guidance Counsellor or Vice-Principal.

WRDSB Secondary schools are tracking students’ progress and choices carefully. We are committed to ensuring all WRDSB students achieve their literacy requirement for graduation.

Families or caregivers worried about the literacy requirement can reach out to their child’s counselor or vice-principal.