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FAQ Secondary

All you Need to Know About High School Provincial Testing

What is Provincial Testing?

All high school students across Ontario are required to complete a Grade 9 assessment of math and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). These tests are based on what your child is expected to learn in the Ontario Curriculum

What is being tested?

The assessments are designed to test what your child has learned in the Grade 9 applied and academic math programs, as well as to ensure students have acquired the essential reading and writing skills that apply to all subject areas up to the end of Grade 9.

Why is it important?

The results from these tests provide important information about the individual and collective achievements of students. They give your child an opportunity to demonstrate his or her skills and knowledge of reading, writing and math. The results are reviewed and used to enhance our teaching approaches, improve student learning and identify areas where your child could benefit from additional help.

What is the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)?

EQAO is an independent agency that gathers information about student achievement through yearly province-wide assessments of students. The information from the assessments is reported publicly by EQAO and by our Board for our schools.

Who administers the tests?

The tests are administered through the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) and are developed by Ontario teachers and assessment experts.

What do the tests look like?

The questions will be familiar to your child because they are based on the work students have been doing throughout the year and previous school years. Take a look at some sample questions from the EQAO web site.

Does my child need to study for these tests?

There is no special preparation needed. Your child's teachers may provide sample questions to complete ahead of time so that they know what to expect.

What can I do to help my child prepare for the tests?

Parents can remind their child that the test is an opportunity for them to "show what they know" and it is a normal part of the learning process. Also reminding your child that the OSSLT is part of the requirements for graduation is important. Working with your child and their teachers throughout the school year is the best way to make sure they are prepared. Your child's school will provide materials that should be reviewed at home.

Will I receive my child's results?

Yes, you will receive an Individual Student Report in the early fall of the following school year. The results of the Grade 9 assessment of math will not appear on your child's report card. However, the results from the OSSLT will appear on your child's transcript.

What if my child doesn't pass the OSSLT?

Students who do not complete the test successfully will receive additional help to prepare them for retesting the following year. Students who have been eligible to write the OSSLT at least twice and have been unsuccessful at least once, are eligible to fulfill the requirement through the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course offered at our schools. Our principals have the discretion to allow students to enroll in the course before they have a second opportunity to take the test, if the principal determines it is in the best educational interest of the student. The literacy test can not be retaken once it has been successfully completed.

Are all students required to take the OSSLT and the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics?

All high school students who intend to graduate with an OSSD are required to participate in both assessments, but unlike the OSSLT, passing the Grade 9 assessment of math is not a requirement for high school graduation.