Breaking down the OET exam: A section-by-section guide

Tue 06, 2024
Home Breaking down the OET exam: A section-by-section guide

Heading for a healthcare career abroad?

English proficiency is a must, but there are test options! While many know about the IELTS, the OET is designed specifically for healthcare professionals. For medical professionals seeking to work or study in English-speaking countries, passing the Occupational English Test (OET) is a vital requirement. The test measures the language skills of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals, and assesses their ability to communicate effectively in English in a healthcare setting.

The OET is administered by Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment (CBLA) and is widely accepted in many countries, including major destinations for healthcare professionals such as Australia, Canada, the US, the UK, and Singapore.

Understanding the OET format

 The test is divided into four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each section is designed to simulate real-life communication scenarios in a healthcare setting, ensuring candidates can effectively interact in their professional environment.

  • Listening sub-test

The Listening sub-test is approximately 40 minutes long and consists of three parts, with a total of 42 question items. The topics covered are of general healthcare interest, making them accessible to all candidates, regardless of their specific profession. This section assesses your ability to understand spoken English in various healthcare settings.

  • Reading sub-Test

 The Reading sub-test consists of three parts, with a total of 42 questions and takes 60 minutes to complete. The topics are of general healthcare interest and this section evaluates your ability to comprehend and interpret written texts commonly encountered in healthcare environments.

  • 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 that profession. For instance, a doctor completes a task related to medical practice while a nurse completes a task relevant to nursing. This section ensures that candidates can effectively produce written communication relevant to their specific professional context.

  • Speaking sub-test

 The Speaking sub-test takes around 20 minutes and is profession-specific. It includes two role-play tasks based on typical workplace situations. In each role-play, the candidate acts as the professional (such as a doctor or nurse), while the interlocutor plays the role of a patient, client, or a patient’s relative or carer. For Veterinary Science, the interlocutor takes on the role of the animal’s owner or carer. This section evaluates your ability to communicate effectively in realistic professional interactions.

Scoring of OET

OET evaluates candidates across four sub-tests, each reported on a scale from 0 to 500 in ten-point increments (e.g., 350, 360, 370, etc.). These numerical scores are then mapped to letter grades ranging from A (highest) to E (lowest) for each sub-test. You will receive a Statement of Results detailing your scores in each sub-test, which are weighted equally. It is crucial to achieve consistent performance across all sections. Check with the particular registration body to see which grade or score they tend to accept.

At StudyMEDIC, we recognize the significance of the OET exam and proudly offer specialised courses through our sister concern, StudyOET. With our team of experts, we provide well-crafted long and short-term courses to aspirants, ensuring comprehensive preparation for the challenges ahead. Take assistance from our experts at StudyOET and improve your odds of clearing the exam.

By : rasheedaav

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