How do you know if you are ready for one of the most important tests in your high school career? The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is a test that all students must pass in order to receive a secondary school diploma, and it is usually written in Grade 10. The OSSLT consists of multiple choice questions varying from grammar-related questions to ones based off of a reading provided, short answer questions, one newspaper article and one five-paragraph essay. Most students at this point in their high school careers have never written a newspaper article so they require a little help with this part.
But how do you even start studying for a test this important?
At Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Bradford West Gwillimbury, teachers take their students to the library to learn tips and tricks that will help them pass the OSSLT. English teachers, Mrs Nagolo and Mrs Batt, take all of the Grade 10 classes and teach everyone how to successfully complete these major writing pieces. In the first lesson, students review the basics of writing a good essay containing five paragraphs. They practice coming up with three strong, supporting points and read a variety of examples of a good or bad essay.
In the second lesson, they start the newspaper article. Students sometimes struggle with this because it is something they do not do every day. Things they need to learn; to follow their imagination, the information needed to write an article, and lastly, to make it realistic. Most students tend to go for events that would be unrealistic for the picture they are provided. After an hour of practice, students already show major improvement in their writing skills.
For a student to pass this test with flying colours, they need to practice their grammar and writing skills. At the end of the three class training sessions, Grade 10 students should feel confident about doing well on the OSSLT and checking off another box towards graduation requirements.