Students ready to excel in literacy test

Nathalie Donaldson is pouring over practice exams and sample questions preparing for her Grade 10 literacy test Thursday.
It’s the second time she’s gotten ready for the province-wide test, which was abruptly postponed last fall after portions of it was posted on the Internet. And now she just wants it to be over.
“With all the preparation, I feel really confident about it,” Donaldson said Tuesday.
More than 140,000 students across Ontario will be writing the literacy test this Thursday and Friday morning, including 200 at Fort Frances High School. Students must pass the test—which tests reading and writing skills—to receive their high school diploma.
When she heard the original test was postponed in October, Donaldson admitted she wasn’t too disappointed. “I didn’t get really mad about that. In fact, I was kind of glad,” she said.
Now Donaldson said waiting a couple of months actually could help some of her classmates perform better.
“A lot more kids are getting extra practice,” she noted. “I don’t know if I will but some other kids definitely will have higher marks.”
Heather Campbell, language co-ordinator at FFHS, said she originally was concerned the students would suffer with the initial test postponement.
“At first we were frustrated by the security breach. Then we were concerned about the students, worried how it would affect them mentally,” she said yesterday.
For the last few weeks, Campbell said teachers in all Grade 10 classes have been helping students prepare again by giving them practice questions, sample tests, and tips on how to approach the exam.
“I know they were feeling prepared and secure going into the fall test,” Campbell said. “I predict only strong performances now.”
Security measures surrounding the second test have been increased to prevent tampering this time around. The school has been reminded to keep the tests in a secure place, not to open the packages prior to the exam, and other security procedures.
“We’re not receiving the shipment until [today],” Campbell said, adding she wasn’t sure if that was due to security issues or not.
Overall, Campbell said she isn’t worried about the performance of local students. “Despite the security breach, they will still do very well,” she remarked.
While not excited to take the test, Donaldson agreed. “I don’t feel nervous at all,” she said. “I think I’ll be okay.”