OET(Occupational English Test) is a well-respected international English language test for the healthcare sector. OET is recognised and trusted by healthcare boards and councils in the UK, Australia, NZ, Ireland and Singapore. Many organisations, including hospitals, universities and colleges, are using OET as proof of a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in a demanding healthcare environment. OET Test dates are available every month in 30 countries.

EXAM STRUCTURE

LISTENING
(50 Minutes)

READING
(60 Minutes)

WRITING
(45 Minutes)

SPEAKING
(20 Minutes)

THE LISTENING TEST

Listening sub-test consists of two parts, with approximately 20-28 question items. The topics are of generic healthcare interest, accessible to candidates across all professions. Each part consists of about 15 minutes of recorded speech, containing pauses to allow you time to write your answers. You will hear each recording once and are expected to write your answers while listening.

PART A - Consultation (20 - 25 Minutes)

Part A assesses your ability to follow facts during a consultation. You will listen to a recorded health professional-patient consultation and complete a note taking task, guided by relevant headings.

Part B – Presentation (20-25 minutes)

Part B  assesses your ability to understand a short talk on a health-related topic that might realistically occur in the workplace. You’ll listen to a recorded talk or lecture (monologue) by a healthcare professional and complete a range of open-ended and fixed choice tasks.

THE READING TEST

The Reading sub-test consists of two parts and takes 60 minutes to complete. The topics are of generic healthcare interest and are therefore accessible to candidates across all professions.

Part A – Summary Task (15 minutes)

Part A assesses your ability to source information from multiple texts, to synthesise information in a meaningful way and to ‘skim’ and ‘scan’ material to retrieve information quickly. You are required to read 3-4 short texts (a total of approximately 650 words) related to a single topic, and complete a summary paragraph by filling in the missing words (25-35 gaps in total).

Part B – Multiple-Choice Questions
(45 minutes)

Part B assesses your ability to read and understand comprehensive texts on health-related topics similar to those in academic or professional journals. You are required to read two passages (600-800 words each) and answer a set of multiple-choice questions (16-20 in total).

THE WRITING TEST

The Writing sub-test takes 45 minutes and is profession-specific.  There is one task set for each profession based on a typical workplace situation and the demands of the profession – a nurse does the task for nursing, a dentist does the task for dentistry, and so on.

The task is to write a letter, usually a referral letter. Sometimes a different type of letter is required: e.g. a letter of transfer or discharge, or a letter to advise or inform a patient, carer, or group. Along with the task instructions, you will receive stimulus material (case notes and/or other related documentation) which includes information to use in your response.

THE SPEAKING TEST

The Speaking sub-test is delivered individually and takes around 20 minutes. You take this part of OET using materials specifically for your profession. In each role-play, you take your professional role (e.g. as a nurse) while the interlocutor plays a patient/client or sometimes a patient’s relative or carer. For veterinary science the interlocutor is the owner or carer for the animal.

In each Speaking test, your identity and profession are checked by the interlocutor and there is a short warm-up conversation about your professional background. Then the role-plays are introduced, one by one, and you have 2-3 minutes to prepare for each. The two role-plays take about five minutes each.