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Course Description

The Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) is a diploma granted to high school graduates in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is part of the publicly funded province-wide school system. It is awarded to all students who complete the Ontario education curriculum, including students in Special Education, the TOPS program, MaCS program, IB Program, and other focused secondary school programs.

Requirements For Earning The OSSD

The OSSD is the secondary school graduation diploma required to enter universities in Canada. It is also accepted world wide a university entry requirement.

In order to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), a student must earn a minimum of 30 credits, including 18 compulsory credits and 12 optional credits. Students must also complete 40 hours of community involvement activities and must pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), or successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC).

About The OSSLT

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is a compulsory standardized test for secondary school students or leavers who wish to obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

The OSSLT is written every year in March or April. It is used to assess students' reading and writing skills.

The OSSLT consists of two booklets that must be completed by students in two and a half hours. The first booklet includes multiple-choice and short answer questions, as well as a question asking the student to compose a newspaper article based on the headline and picture provided.

The second booklet also includes multiple-choice and short answer questions, as well as a question asking the student to write an opinion piece on a given topic (series of paragraph). The test is out of 400 marks.

Compulsory Credits* (Total of 18) Subjects
  • 4 English (1 credit per grade)
  • 1 French-as-a-second language
  • 3 Mathematics (at least 1 in grade 11 or 12)
  • 2 science
  • 1 Canadian history
  • 1 Canadian geography
  • 1 The arts
  • 1 Health and physical education
  • 0.5 Civics
  • 0.5 Career studies
  • 1 Additional English or a third language or social sciences and the humanities or Canadian and world studies or guidance and career education or cooperative education
  • 1 Additional credit in health and physical education or the arts or business studies or cooperative education
  • 1 Additional credit in science (grade 11 or 12) or technological education (grades 9 – 12) or cooperative education
  • A credit is granted when a course of at least 110 hours is completed with a pass
  • All courses listed have a 1.0 credit value unless otherwise indicated (e.g. 0.5 credit)
  • A maximum of 3 ESL credits may be counted towards the 4 required English credits
Optional Credits (Total of 12)

In addition to the 18 compulsory credits, students must earn 12 optional credits. Students may earn these credits by successfully completing courses that they have selected from the courses listed by grade in the Academic Program.


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