OET® Exam Information


  • Overview
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
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Overview

What is the OET?

The OET (Occupational English Test) assesses the English language communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to practice in an English-speaking environment. Currently the OET is accepted across the majority of regulators, hospitals and universities in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Singapore and Namibia.

What healthcare professions does the OET cover?

The OET has been developed specifically for 12 healthcare professions: Dentistry, Dietetics, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography, Speech Pathology and Veterinary Science.

Test Format

Listening Reading Writing Scoring
Test Length 45 mins 1 hour 45 mins 20 mins
Section Content Same content for all healthcare professions. Same content for all healthcare professions. Specific to profession, based on typical workplace situations. Specific to profession, based on typical workplace situations.
Task Type A. Two separate consultations between a healthcare professional and a patient
B. Six short dialogues or monologues in workplace settings
C. Two long presentations or interviews with health professionals.
A. Fast reading task
B. Six short workplace extracts
C. Two long presentation passages.
You will be required to write a letter (usually a referral letter), although purpose can vary by profession. Two role play scenarios involving a healthcare professional (You) and a patient/client (Examiner).

Test Dates & Locations

There are test dates available in over 110 locations across 40 countries every month. For a detailed look at the upcoming test dates in your area click here.

Test Registration & Fees

The test fee is $587 AUD and you can register for the next two dates available in your region at www.occupationalenglishtest.org

How is the OET scored?

  • A - Very high level of performance.

  • B - High level of performance. The student is able to use English with fluency and accuracy adequate for healthcare registration, appropriate visa categories, healthcare courses and workplaces.

  • C+ - Very good level of performance. The student is able to use English at a level that is adequate for appropriate visa categories, healthcare courses and workplaces.

  • C - Good level of performance. The student has an English level that is adequate for appropriate visa categories, some healthcare courses and workplaces.

  • D - Moderate level of performance. The student requires improvement.

  • E - Low level of performance. The student requires considerable improvement

As of September 2018, results for the four sub-tests that make up OET (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking) will be reported on a scale from 0 to 500, alongside the usual OET grades (A to E).

When are the OET results released?

You will find your results available in your online portal approximately 17 business days after the test date. Hard copies with then be posted to each candidate a further 10 days after this.

How long is my OET score valid for?

The institution that you are applying to can set their own criteria for the test validity period that they are willing to accept, so it is best to check with them directly.

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Listening

About the Listening Section

Timing: 45 minutes (approximately 10-15 minutes per section).

Section sub-tests: The listening section consists of three parts. Each consisting of about 10-15 minutes of recorded speech. You are expected to write your answers whilst listening to the recordings, however there will be sufficient pauses to allow you to do this.

  • Part A (15 minutes): You will hear two separate consultations between a health professional and patient. This area will assess your ability to follow facts throughout a consultation.
  • Part B (10 minutes): Six short dialogues or monologues in workplace settings. This area will test your ability to understand the talks and follow facts throughout dialogue, through the accompanying three-option multiple-choice question.
  • Part C (15 minutes): You will hear two long presentations or interviews with health professionals. This area will test your ability to understand the talk through multiple-choice questions

Task Types: The question types included are designed to test your full range of listening ability and understanding. These include:

  • multiple-choice
  • short answer responses
  • sentence completion
  • table completion

Scoring: Both sections are weighted equally. Even if there are more questions in one of the sections, each section is worth 50%. The assessors will have a detailed assessment guide, which sets out which answers receives marks and how the marks are counted.

*New for September 2018* You will hear a range of accents in all new administrations of the test from September 2018. The listening section will also include more professional to professional communication to better reflect the real life workplace.

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Reading

About the Reading Section

Timing: 60 minutes (15 minutes for Part A, 45 minutes for Part B and Part C).

Section sub-tests:

  • Part A: Tests your ability to skim over text quickly for information.
  • Part B: This section assesses your ability to understand the type of material you will encounter on a daily basis as a health professional.
  • Part C: This section tests your ability to read and understand more comprehensive texts, such as those found in an academic or professional journal.

Task Types: In Part A you are asked to read 3-4 short texts (approximately 650 words in total), all related to a particular topic. You are then asked to complete a series of matching, short answer and note completion questions.
In Part B you will need to read six workplace extracts (e.g. hospital policy documents, etc.), followed by one multiple-choice question on each. Part C contains two long texts containing several opinions on a topic, candidates will be expected to develop a deeper understanding than is expected in Part A. These are followed by 8 multiple-choice questions per text (16 questions total).

Scoring: Part A score counts for 1/3 of your total Reading score. Part B and C sample from a wider range of skills, and your combined Part B and C score counts for 2/3 of your total Reading score.

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Writing

About the Writing Section

Timing: 45 minutes (5 minutes reading time, 40 minutes' task time)

Task type: This section differs from the previous sections, as there is a different task set for each profession.
The task set will be to write a letter (often a referral letter), based on the stimulus material provided (case notes, etc.). The answer should typically be 180 - 200 words, although there is no penalty for going under or over this. However, there should be enough text written so that the assessor to see an adequate display of the marking criteria in order to award appropriate marks.

Scoring: Your task will be marked by a minimum of two assessors. There are five criteria that your work will be marked against:

  • Task Fulfillment
  • Appropriateness of Language
  • Understanding of the Stimulus
  • Grammar and Cohesion
  • Presentation Features (spelling, layout, etc.)

You will receive a band score for each of these criterion.

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Speaking

About the Speaking Section

Timing: Approximately 20 minutes.

Structure: This section of the test is taken individually and there will be a different task for each profession. Your examiner will double-check your profession before the test begins. All students will take part in two role play scenarios. Once you enter the room, you will go through a warm up exercise, which is usually a conversation about your professional background. Each role play scenario will then be introduced and you will have 2-3 minutes to prepare for each scenario, which will last around 5 minutes each. In each role play you will take the role of health professional (corresponding to your profession) and the examiner will be the patient/carer/owner (for veterinary scenarios).

Tack Type: Each role play will be presented to you on a card, which you can use to make notes on and keep with you throughout the task. Here it will explain the situation and what you are required to do. Along with note-taking during the 2-3 minutes' prep time, you can also ask the examiner to clarify anything that is unclear.
Each role play will be based on a typical workplace scenario and the tasks will reflect those typical of the particular profession in question.

Scoring: The whole session will be recorded and then marked by two separate assessors. They will apply scores to the following assessment criteria:

  • Fluency
  • Appropriateness
  • Use of grammar and expression.
  • *New for September 2018*: Clinical communication skills (e.g. building a rapport, understanding of how the patient might be feeling, etc.)