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What is Occupational English Test (OET)?

OET (Occupational English Test) is a special test developed to assess the language proficiency of healthcare professionals needing to work in an English speaking country. The OET exam scores are accepted by 15+ international healthcare councils including Australia, the UK, and New Zealand.

Some of the notable councils accepting OET scores are:

  • UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • the Nursing and Midwifery Councils of New Zealand

The OET exam is also accepted by many top Australian universities, healthcare bodies, and the Australian Border and Immigration Protection.

OET Specification for Health Professionals

Since its inception in the late 1980s, OET has been key eligibility for the healthcare professions such as:

  • Dentistry
  • Dietetics
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Veterinary Science
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Radiography 
  • Speech Pathology

OET Delivery Modes

OET exams are delivered by two modes:

  1. OET on Paper at a Test Venue
  2. OET on Computer at a Test Venue

Candidates who opt for OET on computer at a test venue can only take up Reading, Listening, and Writing at the test venue. Whereas the speaking test can be taken at home via Zoom on a tablet or computer.

Requirements for the OET Exam

  • A valid email id to register for the OET Exam.
  • A valid identification (ID) at the time of booking and this id must be shown on the test day for the verification process.
  • For On-Paper OET test venues, candidates will be asked to upload a photo that matches the OET requirements.
  • For Computer OET test venues, candidates will be asked to upload a photo for their identification.
  • Candidates can pay the OET fees at the time of booking online.
  • Users registering for OET can book all 4 tests such as Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing at the same time.

How to apply for OET Exam?

Step 1 - Click on the Book button on the official OET Website.

Step 2 - Choose the exam delivery mode, (i.e) OET on computer or OET on computer.

Step 3 - Submit email id, preferred name and country location.

Step 4 - On the "About You Section", candidates are asked to fill in the gender, date of birth, first language and legal name (Legal name should match the name on the ID submitted on test day).

IDs accepted by OET are:

Passport: Displaying candidates' date of birth, full name, expiry date and photograph.

National Government Issued ID: Any identification issued by the government. ID must include their photograph, full name, and date of birth (DoB).

Step 5 - Specify the OET on computer, specify the month and select the test option (medicine or nursing).

Step 6 - Choose a location and find the test centres.

Step 7 - Upload id proof and process the payment (The OET Centre accepts Visa and MasterCard).

Step 8 - Candidates will receive a confirmation email with all the relevant information about the OET Exam.

IDs accepted by OET

Passport: a valid passport displaying your full name, photograph, date of birth, and expiry date.

National Government Issued ID: Any single form of identification issued by the national government in the country you are sitting the OET (this excludes driving license). ID must include their photograph, full name, and date of birth (DoB) - all these features must be recorded on one form of national ID.

OET Exam Schedule or OET Test Types

People who take up the OTE exam must pass all 4 sections such as:

  • OET Reading
  • OET Writing
  • OET Listening 
  • OET Speaking

OET Reading

The OET Reading exam comprises three parts (OET Reading Part A, OET Reading Part  B, and OET Reading Part C) with 42 questions to answer. The time allocated to complete all parts of the reading exam is 60 minutes.
OET Reading Parts
OET Reading Syllabus and Tips
OET Reading Part A

OET Reading Part A Tips and Syllabus

  • OET Reading Part A exam assesses the test taker’s ability to locate a piece of information from 4 mini texts efficiently. 
  • The four mini texts can be of a single healthcare topic, and candidates must complete all the 20 questions in the specified period. The other questions of part A including, sentence completion, matching, and short answer questions.
  • Constantly reading a healthcare magazine can help quickly complete the OTE reading part on the stipulated time.
OET Reading Part B

OET Reading Part B Tips and Syllabus

  • OET Reading Part B exam assesses the test takers’ ability to identify the core message or gist of 6 short texts, preferably from the healthcare workplace of 100 to 150 words each. 
  • The texts might have extracts from hospital guidelines, manuals, policy documents, or internal communications such as memos and emails. 

OET Reading Part C

OET Reading Part C Tips and Syllabus

  • OET Reading Part C assesses the test takers’ ability to examine the detailed concept of 2 long texts on healthcare topics (800 words each).
  • The texts might have extracts from hospital guidelines, reports and manuals.

OET Writing

The OET writing test is customised and profession specific. For instance, the writing task will be based on a typical workspace situation and will vary from profession to profession. For instance, a nurse does the writing task based on her workplace situation and vice versa. The overall duration to complete the OET writing exam is 45 minutes.

OET Writing Exam Structure

  • The OET writing task involves writing a variety of letters. Some different letter formats in the writing task including, a letter of discharge, a letter of transfer, a letter to inform or advise a patient, or a group.
  • The writing task varies from profession to profession. For instance, radiography professionals are tasked to respond to a written complaint.

The standard process involves 2 independent trainers assessing the OET writing performance, and the performance is measured by a band score against the following 6 criteria:

  • Purpose
  • Content
  • Conciseness & Clarity
  • Genre & Style
  • Organisation & Layout
  • Language 

OET Listening

The OET Listening test comprises 3 parts with 42 questions to answer. All questions are derived from general healthcare topics. The total duration of the Listening test is about 40 minutes which includes, recorded speeches and pause to permit adequate time to complete writing the answers. 

Note: Recordings will be played once, and candidates are expected to fill in their answers while listening to the recording.

How is the OET Listening Score calculated?

  • Trained OET faculties verify candidates' answers for OET listening Part A. These accessors are provided with a detailed scoring guide to maintain consistency in the scoring method for all candidates.
  • Candidates' answers for OET listening Part B and Part C are entirely computer scanned, and scores are updated automatically.

 

OET Listening Parts
OET Listening Tips and Syllabus
OET Listening Part A

Extracts from Consultation- 5 minutes each

  • OET listening part A assesses candidates’ ability to curate a specific piece of information during a consultation between a healthcare professional and a patient.
  • In this part, candidates will listen to two recorded consultations, and they shall complete the notes with the aid of the information they hear.
OET Listening Part B

Healthcare workplace extracts-  1 min each

  • OET listening part B assesses candidates’ ability to extract the gist, purpose, or opinion from workplace conversations. 
  • Candidates will listen to 6 recordings and answer a question (multi-choice) for each recording.

OET Listening Part C

A presentation extract - 5 minutes each

  • OET listening part C assesses candidates’ ability to understand a recorded presentation or interviews of healthcare topics. 
  • Candidates will listen to 2 extracts and answer 6 questions (multiple-choice) for each presentation.

OET Speaking

The OET speaking test uses customised materials for each profession (nurse, pharmacist, and veterinary). Here, candidates will take up the professional role, and the interlocutor plays the role of either a client, patient, or relative. For veterinary science professionals, the interlocutor might play the role of a pet owner.

OET Speaking Test structure

In the OET speaking test, a candidate’s profession is verified by the interlocutor, followed by a warm-up conversation about their professional experience. Post which, the interlocular explains the role of both and gives a 3-minute duration to prepare for the OET speaking test. The speaking test will be of typical workplace conversation that reflects the situations faced by healthcare professions every day. The entire discussion of this role-play happens for about five minutes.

How is the OET Speaking Score Calculated?

The following are the criteria for calculating the OET speaking scores:

  • Intelligibility
  • Fluency
  • Appropriateness of Language
  • Resources of Grammar and Expression
  • Relationship-building
  • Understanding and incorporating the patient’s perspective
  • Providing structure
  • Information-gathering
  • Information-giving

OET Exam Fee


For taking up individual OET tests such as OET Reading or OET Listening on paper, the following are the exam fee:
OET exam fee for all 4 tests
AU $587.00
OET exam fee for any 3 tests
AU $477.50
OET exam fee for any 2 tests
AU $339.00
OET exam fee for 1 test
AU $200.50

OET Scoring Guide

For each OET exam (writing, reading, speaking, and listening), the scores are calculated out of 500 and converted to grades. Given below is the OET score chart:
OET SCORE
OET GRADE
450-500
A
350-440
B
350-440
B
300-340
C+
200-290
C
100-190
D
0-90
E

OET Results

Steps to check your OET results:

  1. Click on myOET profile to log in.
  2. Select the result button on your dashboard to access the results.
  3. View/download/print your OET results.
  4. You can view your section-wise results under the tab “MY TEST HISTORY”.

Note: Enable pop-ups on your browser if you are unable to download your results.

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