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Research Projects | Data Portal for Researchers

As part of EQAO's commitment to providing objective, reliable and useful data about student achievement, the agency has an active research program that undertakes a number of original projects each year. EQAO research projects examine the factors that influence student achievement and education quality, and the statistical and psychometric processes that result in high-quality assessment data. For ease of reference, EQAO research projects have been classified according to the following three categories:

-Research into Student Achievement
-Research into School Effectiveness
-Research into Best Assessment Practices

Research into Student Achievement


  • Preparing Students for the World Beyond the Classroom: Linking EQAO Assessments to 21st-Century Skills
    January 2011

    This bulletin summarizes the findings in the "21st-Century Skills" section of EQAO's Provincial Secondary School Report on the Results of the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, 2009-2010. The purpose of the section was to examine and report the links between students' performances on the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) and the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics and the 21st-century skills that young people need to develop during their school years in order to participate effectively and successfully in the world and workplace of the 21st century.

    Bulletin [PDF] | Posted 02.01.11


  • Tracking Student Achievement in Mathematics Over Time in English-Language Schools: Grade 3 (2006) to Grade 6 (2009) to Grade 9 (2012) Cohort
    May 2014

    This report examines mathematics achievement for a cohort of students from Grade 3 to Grade 9 (academic and applied courses) and the relationship between achievement, contextual and attitudinal data.

    View this research report [PDF] | Posted 05.06.14
  • Tracking Student Achievement in Literacy over Time in English-Language Schools Grade 3 (2005) to Grade 6 (2008) to OSSLT (2012) Cohort
    May 2014

    This report examines literacy achievement for a cohort of students from Grade 3 to Grade 10, including an analysis of how reading behaviours relate to achievement.

    View this research report [PDF] | Posted 05.06.14
  • Longitudinal Results of Province-Wide Assessments in English-Language Schools: Trends in Student Achievement and Implications for Improvement Planning in Mathematics and Literacy
    February 2014

    This research tracks students as they advanced through Ontario’s four provincial tests from 2004 to 2012. This cohort tracking shows that the majority of students are developing solid reading, writing and math skills by the time they are in high school. However, the majority of those who aren’t have a trait in common: they also struggled in elementary school.

    View this research report [PDF] | Posted 02.19.14


  • In the Know with EQAO: The Unnecessary Lag in Boys’ Achievement
    November 2010

    The urgency of the need to attend to boys’ academic achievement, right from the earliest years, has never been more apparent. In this article, EQAO helps to inform discussions about gender and literacy and numeracy.

    Article [PDF] | Article [HTML] | Posted 11.26.10

  • Towards an Understanding of Gender Differences in Literacy Achievement
    May 2010

    This research project examines the literacy achievement gap observed between boys and girls in English-language schools. The focus of the qualitative data collection, which involves interviews and observations, is to identify factors that could account for the presence of a high or low gap in literacy achievement in the selected schools.

    Research Report [PDF] Posted 05.12.10
    Literature Review [PDF] Posted 05.12.10
    Bulletin [PDF] Posted 05.12.10

  • Relating Attitudes, Gender and Student Achievement in Grade 3 and Grade 6
    April 1999
    Research Paper [PDF]


  • Comparative Examination of the Influence of Selected Factors on Achievement in Grade 9 Academic and Applied Mathematics Courses in English-language Schools in Ontario
    June 2013

    This report presents the results of a research project designed to examine the relationships between student achievement on the EQAO Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics and a number of student and teacher factors.

    View this research report [PDF] Posted 07.02.13
  • The Impact of School Structure on the Achievement of Grade 6 Students on EQAO Assessments
    September 2012

    This bulletin summarizes the results of a research project on the achievement results of students on the EQAO Assessment of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, Junior Division (Grades 4–6) relative to school structure or grade-level configuration as defined by the grades in the school.

    Read this bulletin [PDF] Posted 09.26.12
  • An Analysis of Questionnaire and Contextual Data for Grade 9 Students in the Academic and Applied Mathematics Courses
    May 2012

    This report presents the results of an analysis of the use of the EQAO results as part of the final course mark for English- and French-language academic and applied mathematics courses, a summary of student demographic characteristics and questionnaire responses and cohort analyses.

    View this research report [PDF] Posted 05.31.12
  • Learning and Assessment of Mathematics Among Ontario Francophone Students in the Early and Formative Years Final Report
    October 2002
    Research Report [PDF]


  • Starting Early: Teaching, Learning and Assessment—Linking Early-Childhood Development with Academic Outcomes—A Detailed Look
    June 2013

    This research focuses on the progress of students from their Early Development Instrument (EDI) assessment in kindergarten to the provincial reading, writing and mathematics test in Grade 3.

    Research Report [PDF] | Posted 06.04.13
  • Comparison of the Performance of Ontario Students on the OSSLT/TPCL and the PISA 2009 Reading Assessment
    July 2012

    The purpose of this study is to explore the possibility of linking the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test/Test provincial de compétences linguistiques (OSSLT/TPCL) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 reading assessment.

    Research Report [PDF] | Posted 01.23.13
  • In the Know with EQAO: Reading into Reading Enjoyment
    February 2012

    EQAO survey data have informed discussions about the levels of reading enjoyment among Ontario students. In these discussions, some have suggested that the focus on literacy in schools might be negatively affecting students’ enjoyment of reading. A closer look at EQAO data provides a different perspective and insights that can help educators and parents foster reading enjoyment in our children and youth.

    Article [PDF] | Article [HTML] | Posted 02.14.12
  • Keeping an Eye on Literacy: Tracking the Progress of Students Who Were Unsuccessful on or Did Not Participate in the 2006 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test
    July 2010

    The purpose of this research project was to track the results of first-time eligible students who were unsuccessful on or did not participate in the 2006 OSSLT in order to monitor their progress toward satisfying the literacy graduation requirement.

    Research Report [PDF] | Posted 07.28.10
    Bulletin [PDF] | Posted 07.28.10
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Research into School Effectiveness


  • Characteristics of High- and Low-Achieving English-Language Schools
    February 2012

    This bulletin summarizes results that are part of a larger, comprehensive study being conducted by EQAO to better understand school and teacher practices that contribute to higher levels of student achievement on the Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics in the primary and junior divisions.

    Bulletin [PDF] | Posted 02.22.12
  • Exploring the Underlying Traits of High-Performing Schools
    September 2010

    This article presents an overview of the research that has identified key aspects of effective schools and provided educators with important ideas for enhancing school improvement efforts.

    Research Report [PDF] | Posted 09.24.10
  • Strategies That Work For Schools: Thinking Globally in the Postmodern World
    October 2010

    This article uses a global context as an analogy to explore successful educational practices. The themes that appear have been demonstrated in countless schools across Ontario.

    This research was undertaken by Rhona Shulman, for EQAO and based on school stories compiled by the EQAO School Support and Outreach Team.

    Research Report [PDF] | Posted 11.17.10


  • Parents’ Perspectives: The Importance of Provincial Testing and the Information it Provides About Children’s Learning
    February 2010

    The parent research findings indicate that Ontario parents believe that the provincial testing program is important and that they value the information it provides about their children, their children’s schools and the education system.

    Research Report [PDF] | Posted 02.16.10
  • Parental Involvement in Education
    June 2001
    Research Report [PDF]
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Research into Best Assessment Practices



  • What Is the Quality of EQAO Assessments? Excellent!
    June 2013

    This research project was conducted by W. Todd Rogers from the University of Alberta, a leading academic, an expert in the measurement and evaluation of student achievement and one of EQAO’s scholars in residence. The report provides detailed information about how the tests are developed and what makes them of such high quality.

    Research Report [PDF] | Posted 06.27.13
    Executive Summary [PDF] | Posted 06.27.13
  • In the Know: Student Testing: Why Ontario’s on the Right Track
    April 2011

    Brian L. Desbiens, Chair of EQAO’s Board of Directors, responds to Toronto Star columnist, Rick Salutin’s article on large-scale testing.

    Article [PDF] | Article [HTML] | Posted 04.12.11
  • A Comparison of Four Test-Equating Methods
    January 2010

    Are there differences in the consistency with which four commonly used equating methods, including the one used by EQAO, capture true changes in student achievement from year to year?

    This research project examines four approaches to equating assessment results to ensure comparability from one year to the next. This research was undertaken by Xiao Pang, Ebby Madera, Nizam Radwan and Su Zhang, psychometricians with EQAO.

    Research Report [PDF] | Posted 08.06.10
    Bulletin summarizing the results of the research project [PDF] | Posted 02.01.10
  • Maintaining Comparability: The Move to a Single Literacy Score for the OSSLT
    August 2010

    In response to recommendations from a comprehensive external review of all EQAO assessment programs, the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) was shortened in 2006. Concurrently, the decision to report a single literacy score rather than two separate scores for reading and writing was also taken. This research study describes the model that EQAO followed to ensure that the results for the 2006 OSSLT would be comparable to those for the 2004 version. This was crucial to guarantee the validity of student-performance comparisons between the two administrations.

    Research Report [PDF] | Posted 08.06.10
  • Model Selection for the Analysis of EQAO Assessment Data
    December 2007

    Are the current Item Response Theory models used by EQAO to analyze student responses and to compute student scores appropriate?

    This research project examines the appropriateness of the current psychometric practices EQAO uses to analyze student responses to test questions and to obtain student scores on its tests. This research has been undertaken by Yiyu Xie, psychometrician with EQAO.

    Bulletin summarizing the results of the research project [PDF] | Posted Posted 06.17.08
  • Psychometric Perspectives for EQAO: Generalizability Theory and Applications
    August 1999
    Research Paper [PDF]
  • Varieties of Assessment: Issues of Validity and Reliability
    June 1999
    Research Paper [PDF]
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