OET Test Prep

I have been training students for the OET exam consistently and it has always been my endeavor to ensure that you achieve your desired result in the first attempt. The OET exam tests your listening, reading, writing and speaking (LRWS) skills and is graded on a scale of 0 to 500 points in 10-point increments for each skill. There is no overall score for the OET. Candidates need to score at least 350 (Grade B) in all four sections to qualify for applications to top-tier universities across the world and also for immigration and vocational purposes.

My students are consistently among the top scorers and it gives me immense joy to know that I have played a part in writing their success story. There are various aspects about the OET exam that you should be aware of and I will try my best to give comprehensive answers to all your questions. So let us have a detailed discussion about the OET examination:

What is the OET exam?

OET stands for Occupational English Test and is a sought-after exam by medical professionals. Candidates all over the world attempt this test in order to prove their English proficiency either for pursuing higher studies abroad or for immigrating to another country. The examination consists of sub-sections which are customized to your profession. This means that you will get different questions depending on whether you register for the examination for dentistry, dietetics, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry, radiography, speech pathology or veterinary science.

Which organization conducts the OET exam?

The OET was designed by Professor Tim McNamara in the 1980s under the Australian National Office for Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR) and since March, 2013 the test has been owned and administered by Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Trust (CBLA), a venture between Cambridge Assessment English and Box Hill Institute.

What is the format of the OET exam?

The OET exam is divided into four sections, i.e. listening, reading, writing and speaking. Following is the format for each section:

  1. Listening:

The listening section of the OET lasts for 40 to 45 minutes and has a total of 42 questions. The topics are based on generic healthcare which are accessible to candidates of all professions. The test is divided into the following three parts:

Part A – Consultation Extracts (about 5 minutes each):

You will be required to identify specific information during a consultation. You will listen to two recorded consultations between a health professional and a patient and you will have to complete the health professional’s notes based on the information in the audio.

Part B – Short Workplace Extracts (about 1 minute each):

You will be required to identify the detail, maid idea, opinion or purpose of short extracts from the healthcare workplace. You will listen to six recordings, which may either be team briefings, handovers, or health professional-patient dialogues and you will have to answer one multiple-choice question for each recording.

Part C – Presentation Extracts (about 5 minutes each):

You will be required to listen to a recorded presentation or interview on a range of accessible healthcare topics. You will listen to two different recordings and you will have to answer six multiple-choice questions for each recording.

  1. Reading:

The reading section of the OET lasts for 60 minutes and has a total of 42 questions. The topics are based on generic healthcare which are accessible to candidates of all professions. The test is divided into the following three parts:

Part A – Expeditious Reading Task (15 minutes):

You will be required to locate specific information from four short passages and answer 20 questions based on the same. The 20 questions consist of matching, sentence completion and short answer questions, the instructions for which are given clearly before every set of questions.

Parts B & C – Careful Reading Tasks (45 minutes):

In Part B, you will have to read six short passages of 100-150 words each and answer a total of 6 questions testing your ability to identify the details or main point of these passages. The passages may consist of extracts from policy documents, hospital guidelines, manuals or internal communications, such as emails or memorandums. For each passage, there is one multiple-choice question with three options each.

In Part C, you will have to read two long passages of around 800 words each and answer a total of 16 questions testing your ability to identify the details or main point of these passages. For each text, you must answer eight multiple choice questions with four options each. 

  1. Writing:

The writing section of the OET is profession specific and lasts for 45 minutes. You will be given the stimulus material and you are usually asked to write a referral letter. Though sometimes, the prompt may differ. For example, you may have to write a response to a complaint (for radiology candidates) or you may have to write a letter to advise or inform a patient, carer or group (for pharmacy, veterinary science and occasionally for speech pathology and occupational therapy candidates).

  1. Speaking:

The speaking section of the OET examination, just like the writing section, is profession specific and lasts for 20 minutes. It consists of two role-plays in which the you will play your professional role, whereas the interlocutor will play the role of a patient, a client, or a patient’s relative or carer. For veterinary science candidates, the interlocutor is the owner or carer of the animal.

How is the OET exam scored?

The OET exam is scored on a scale of 500 points. You will receive a score on a scale of 500 on all the four scoring parameters, viz. listening, reading, writing and speaking. There is no overall score for the OET examination. Following is the grading system for the OET:

Score Grade
450 – 500 A
350 – 440 B
300 – 340

200 – 290

C+

C-

100 – 190 D
0 – 90 E

Following is the scoring chart for the reading and listening sub-sections:

OET
Reading Listening
Questions Score Questions Score
42 500 42 500
41 480 41 480
40 470 40 470
39 450 39 450
38 440 38 440
37 430 37 430
36 420 36 420
35 410 35 410
34 400 34 400
33 380 33 380
32 370 32 370
31 360 31 360
30 350 30 350

 

You can check the details of the scoring parameters for the writing and speaking modules here.

How much do I need to score on the OET exam?

You are advised to aim for a score of 350+ across all modules to maximize your chances of successful application for education, vocation and immigration purposes.

For how long is the OET score valid?

Your OET score will remain valid for a period of 2 years.

How many re-attempts are allowed for the OET exam?

There is no limit on the number of times you can appear for the OET exam and you are also allowed to re-attempt the test for particular sections.

What are the documents that I need to carry with me for the exam?

The only document that you need to carry to the examination hall is your passport and an e-mail confirmation of your exam slot. You must carry your ORIGINAL passport with you. This is very important because if you do not carry the original passport, the invigilators will not allow you to take the test and you will not be given any refund of the examination fee either.

Is the OET a computer-delivered test or a paper-delivered test?

The OET is primarily paper-delivered, but the computer-delivered version is also available.

How often is the OET exam conducted?

The OET is conducted 14 times a year.

How can I book the OET exam?

You can book the OET exam by vising the official website of the OET examination.

Where can I take the OET exam?

You can take the OET exam at an examination centre in any major city near you. Several small cities have OET test centres as well, though may not have the option of the computer-delivered test, which is available mostly in metropolitan areas.

What is the exam fee?

The global examination fee for the OET is AUD 587, which translates to approximately INR 30,000.

In how many days will I get the result?

The results of the OET are declared online about 16 business days after the test and the official Statement of Marks is mailed to your registered postal address within 5 days of the online declaration of results.

For how long do I need to prepare for the OET exam?

It will take you 1-2 months to prepare for the OET exam if you follow a proper study plan dedicating around 2 hours every day. However, if your English is weak, it may take you 2-4 months as you will have to improve your language skills before you start preparing for the OET exam.

How do you train for the OET exam?

I take classes 2-3 times a week depending on how well you are following the study plan that we will prepare. Each class is 2 hours in duration and I only make small batches of upto 4 students. This ensures that you learn from your peers and get personal attention at the same time. We will start with concept classes and subsequently, I will ask you to attempt mock-tests on a weekly basis. Once you are scoring well on the mock-tests and I am satisfied with your progress, I will ask you to book your exam slot.

Where do you conduct classes for the OET exam?

I conduct online classes for OET using platforms such as Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc. and I also conduct in-person classes at my home office in Karapakkam, Chennai.

What preparation material should I buy to study for the OET exam?

Though there is a lot of preparation material available in the market, I would advise you to stick to official OET preparation material which you can easily buy online through the official OET website. Many of the books have free Kindle versions available on Amazon through links given on the official website itself. I have included links to a few books as well. The official website has high-quality mock tests as well, which you can use to familiarize yourself with the exam format and test conditions. Moreover, if you enrol in my classes for OET, I will also provide you with preparation material that I have compiled.

Where can I get more details about your classes?

You can read the FAQs I have posted here and you can also reach out to me via e-mail or phone for further details. If you are in Chennai, you are most welcome to visit me at my home office in Karapakkam, for which I have provided the address and Google Maps link in the Contact Me section.

I hope that I have answered most of your questions regarding IELTS test prep and that you have a good amount of clarity about the structure of the exam, how to prepare for it and where your score is applicable. Please click here to find out more about me and you can read my other articles below: