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What is OET

OET- (Occupational English Test) is the healthcare-specific English language test. It assesses the language proficiency of healthcare professionals looking to register and practice in an English- speaking environment.

OET for health practitioners from the follow professions:

  • Dentistry
  • Nursing
  • Medicine
  • Dietetics
  • Pharmacy
  • Podiatry
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech Pathology
  • Veterinarian
  • Occupational therapy
  • Optometry
  • Radiography

Why should I take OET?

OET is recognized as proof of English proficiency by health regulators in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Namibia and Singapore for registration.

OET is also accepted by the Australian Department of Immigration and Immigration New Zealand for all visa categories where an English language test result may be required, including Skilled Migrant Category.

OET helps develop language skills for success in healthcare courses, clinical placement, healthcare registration and the workplace.

It’s easy to prepare for the test using OET’s preparation resources, many of which are online and included in the cost of the test.

Recommended by the past test takers because OET preparation and test materials reflect real healthcare scenarios, so you will know what to expect and feel more confident on the test day.

Information on OET Test

  • Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Reading


TOTAL: 40 - 45MIN


Duration & Proforma:

Two separate shorter consultations between a healthcare professional and a patient. (24 total questions, 12 for each part. Approx 5 minutes each)

Task Target For Scoring Rubrics:

This task assesses your ability to identify specific information during a consultation, wherein you listen to a recording of a health professional conversing with a patient, generally, but another health professional about a patient occasionally and you will be expected to complete the health professional?s notes using this information that you have heard, processed, interpreted, accurately.


Duration & Proforma:

Six short dialogues or monologues in workplace settings. (Accents introduced in this new test are much more varied. May also include a consultation between 2 health professionals) (10 minutes)

Task Target For Scoring Rubrics:

This task assesses the ability to identify the detail, gist, opinion and/or purpose of the short monologue extracts being heard; these can include team briefings, handovers, or health professional-patient dialogues. Only one multiple choice question (MCQ) will be asked for every extract heard.


Duration & Proforma:

Two long presentations or interviews with health professionals. (15 minutes)

Task Target For Scoring Rubrics:

This task assesses the ability to follow a recorded presentation or interview and identify the several ranges of accessible healthcare topics of modern-day scenarios. Six multiple choice questions each for two such extracts will be given.




About the Writing sub-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 Writing sub-test structure

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.

How is writing ability assessed in OET?

Your performance on the Writing sub-test is marked independently by a minimum of two trained Assessors. Neither Assessor knows what scores the other has given you, or what scores you have achieved on any of the other sub-tests.

Your performance is scored against five criteria and receives a band score for each criterion:

  1. Overall Task Fulfillment
  2. Appropriateness of Language
  3. Comprehension of Stimulus
  4. Linguistic Features (grammar and cohesion)
  5. Presentation Features (spelling, punctuation, layout).




About the Speaking sub-test

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

The Speaking sub-test structure

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 three minutes to prepare for each. The role-plays take about five minutes each.


You receive information for each role-play on a card that you keep while you do the role-play. The card explains the situation and what you are required to do. You may write notes on the card if you want. If you have any questions about the content of the role-play or how a role-play works, you can ask them during the preparation time.

The role-plays are based on typical workplace situations and reflect the demands made on a health professional in those situations. The interlocutor follows a script so that the Speaking test structure is similar for each candidate. The interlocutor also has detailed information to use in each role-play. Different role-plays are used for different candidates at the same test administration.

Speaking test example video:

How is speaking assessed in OET?


The whole Speaking test is recorded and it is this audio recording that is assessed.

  1. The Speaking sub-test is marked independently by a minimum of two trained OET Assessors. Neither Assessor knows what scores the other has given you, or what scores you have achieved on any of the other sub-tests. Your test day interlocutor plays no role in the assessment of your performance.
  2. OET Assessors’ judgements are targeted and specific, not a general evaluation of candidates’ ability in spoken English.
  3. OET Assessors are trained to focus on how a candidate responds to the particular task on the day. They apply specific assessment criteria that reflect the demands of communication in the health professional workplace. Remember that OET is a test of English-language skills, not a test of professional knowledge.
  4. Candidates who are familiar with the assessment criteria and pay attention to the details of the specific role-play task have a better chance of demonstrating their ability in the key areas. Candidates who use memorized material or merely rely on techniques that worked in other circumstances tend not to perform to their full potential in the test.

Your performance on each of the two role-plays is scored against five criteria and receives a band score for each criterion:

  1. Intelligibility (including pronunciation, intonation, stress, rhythm, and accent)
  2. Fluency (including rate and flow of speech)
  3. Appropriateness of Language (including use of language, register, and tone that are suitable for the situation and the patient)
  4. Resources of Grammar and Expression (including range and accuracy of language, ability to paraphrase when required, and capacity to maintain cohesion in longer utterances)
  5. Relationship-building (including initiating the interaction appropriately, demonstrating an attentive and respectful attitude, adopting a non-judgmental approach, and showing empathy for the patient’s predicament)
  6. Understanding and incorporating the patient’s perspective (including eliciting and exploring the patient’s concerns, picking up cues from the patient about his/her needs, and relating explanations to the patient’s concerns and needs)
  7. Providing structure (including sequencing the interaction purposefully and logically, using techniques for organizing explanations, and signposting changes in topic)
  8. Information-gathering (including appropriate use of open or closed questions, avoiding compound or leading questions, supporting the patient’s narrative with active listening, clarifying statements that are vague or need amplification, and summarizing information to encourage correction or invite further information)
  9. Information-giving (including establishing what the patient already knows, giving information in appropriate-sized chunks, checking whether the patient has understood information, and discovering what further information the patient needs).





Duration & Proforma:

15 minutes - Summary Task, Quick reading task. Strictly timed. 4 short texts of approximately 650 words related to a single topic are given.

Task Target For Scoring Rubrics:

Assesses your ability to locate specific information from four short texts in a quick and efficient manner. The four short texts relate to a single healthcare topic, and you must answer 20 questions in the allocated time period. The 20 questions consist of matching, sentence completion and short answer questions..


Duration & Proforma:

*45 minutes (Combining Part B & C). *6 MCQ?s with 6 short and dense text relating to procedural and policy documents of (100-150 words each)

Task Target For Scoring Rubrics:

Your ability to identify the gist or main point or detailed meaning of six short texts sourced from the healthcare workplace. The texts might consist of extracts from policy documents, hospital guidelines, manuals or internal communications, such as emails or memos. 1 MCQ per short Text with 3 options. Answer may require some inference


Duration & Proforma:

MCQ?s. Careful reading tasks. Ability to identify details. Two long presentation passages of 800 words each will be given.

Task Target For Scoring Rubrics:

Your ability to read, comprehend, accurately understand and interpret the given comprehensive texts on health related topics, similar to those found in current academic or professional journals of national and international caliber is assessed. You are assessed on the basis of your answering the set of 16 multiple choice questions in total based on this text.

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