EQAO Testing

What is the EQAO and why are students tested?

The EQAO is the provincial Education Quality and Accountability Office . It is an independent government body that develops and oversees reading, writing and mathematics tests that Ontario students must take in Grades 3, 6, 9, and 10.

The tests give parents, teachers, principals and school boards information about how well students have learned what the province expects them to learn in reading, writing and mathematics.

What do the results mean?

The report tells you if your child’s skills are at:

  • Level 1 - approximately 50% to 59% or “D”
  • Level 2 - 60% to 69% or “C”
  • Level 3 - 70% to 79% or “B”
  • Level 4 - 80% to 100% or “A”

Students writing the grade 10 literacy test will receive a pass/fail grade.

Do the results count on students' report cards?

The grades 3 and 6 tests do not count as part of a student’s mark and do not affect their progress or future opportunities in school. The grade 9 math test can count for up to 10% of the student’s math mark. However, students must pass the Grade 10 Literacy Test or Literacy course in order to graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

How can I help my child prepare?

There is no special preparation for the tests. Some teachers provide sample questions to help students understand what the tests will be like. The best way to help your child is to make sure they are rested and at school on time.

Do ESL students write the tests?

Yes, although some ESL students may be exempt if they have recently arrived in Canada. Others may have “accommodations” such as more time to write the test, a quiet setting or having someone read instructions and questions. The principal must consult with parents about making accommodations or exempting a student from the test.

Do students with special needs write the tests?

All students are encouraged to write the test but some students with special needs may be exempt. These students usually have Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that outline “accommodations” or “supports” that help them succeed in school. The “accommodations” also help students write the EQAO tests. They may include more time to write, a quiet setting or having someone read instructions or questions to them.

The principal must consult with parents about making accommodations or exempting a student from the test.

Do French Immersion students write the test?

In grade 3, schools may choose to have French Immersion students write only the French version of the mathematics test and receive results only for mathematics, or they may ask that French Immersion students write both the French math test and the English reading and writing tests.

In Grade 6, French Immersion students are expected to write all the tests in English, though they may use a bilingual glossary of mathematical terms.

How are test results used?

Teachers and principals get a report that shows how students performed in reading, writing and mathematics. If many students did poorly on a particular skill, then teachers try to find better teaching strategies or resources to help students be more successful. If students in many schools have similar difficulties, then school boards know that all schools need to improve their teaching strategies or find better resources. Parents receive test results in the fall. Results are sent to the school where the students wrote the test, and the school forwards them to any students who have left the school.

How can I get more information?

The EQAO website has answers to frequently asked questions, sample tests, and test results.

Produced by People for Education. People for Education is a parent-led organization working to support public education in Ontario's English, French and Catholic schools.

Last updated: June 6, 2016 1004054