What is the OET Test Really About?

Understand all OET rules, marking strategies, and criteria. This guide breaks down all modules separately.

What is OET? Who needs it? Where is it accepted?

An international test of English language competency created especially for healthcare professionals is called the Occupational English Test (OET). It evaluates the language proficiency of medical professionals who want to work or study in a healthcare setting where English is the primary language.

Moreover, the OET evaluates a student’s proficiency in four language areas: speaking, reading, and writing. The exam focuses on situations and exercises that are pertinent to healthcare workers, including comprehending patient consultations, reading medical books, producing referral letters, and taking part in simulated healthcare interactions.

OET is recognized by several countries like Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Dubai, and Ireland. For healthcare professionals needing registration, employment, or educational opportunities in these nations (such as physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and other allied health professions), it is frequently necessary.

Since test dates are limited, you need to register for OET ASAP! The test is offered at various times throughout the year in different test centers all around the world. The OET is a paper-based test, and depending on the profession, the length varies. While the other sub-tests (Listening, Reading, and Writing) are taken on the same day, the Speaking sub-test is typically administered face-to-face with an interlocutor.

Each sub-test’s OET score, which ranges from A (highest) to E (lowest), is used to calculate a candidate’s overall performance. There is no total score since each category is marked separately. Depending on the institution or immigration authority, the precise score requirements may change. People must make sure they are aware of the requirements of the country or organization they want to apply to.

Overall, the OET is made to accurately evaluate the English language proficiency of healthcare workers and to award them with a credential that validates their capacity for successful communication in a medical environment.



Now, let’s take a look at Internet’s Top Resource in OET Training! Reviews Included:

15-hour All-Inclusive OET Course!



Now, Let’s look at the various OET sections.


Your capacity to understand and evaluate materials pertaining to healthcare is evaluated by the OET Reading subtest. It is specifically made to assess your reading abilities in the context of a career in healthcare. This subtest’s texts and tasks are pertinent to the real-world circumstances and scenarios that healthcare professionals could run into while at work.

The OET Reading sub-test has the following characteristics:
  1. Format: You have a total of 60 minutes to finish all of the assignments on the OET Reading sub-test, which is divided into three sections. Typically, the texts are taken from a variety of healthcare-related sources, including medical publications, books, patient information leaflets, and workplace regulations.2.
  2. Also, the reading test contains a variety of task types that evaluate your capacity to comprehend the main ideas of the text, extract specific details, and understand and interpret information. MCQs, brief answers, phrase completion, and information matching are just some examples of these task categories.3.
  3. You will need to work on:

Skimming: Quickly reading the text without much detail, just to understand the context.

Using a keyword or phrase search; you should be able to discover specific information inside the text.

Understanding Detail: Your capacity to recognize particular details, facts, or figures in the text will be examined.

Finding the Main Ideas: You should be able to identify the main ideas, points of contention, or themes that the author is trying to make in the work.

Make logical deductions using inference techniques.

Vocabulary and Context: You must comprehend a word’s or phrase’s meaning in the context of the healthcare industry. This means your vocab level should be top-notch!

4. Content Areas: You are tested on a variety of medical areas depending on your profession. This could be dentistry, family practice, nursing profession, etc.

5. Language Complexity: The texts included in the OET Reading sub-test are meant to reflect the range of linguistic sophistication that healthcare professionals might come across while practicing their profession. They could include complex vocabulary and industry-specific terminology, however, you do not need a medical degree or expertise to pass this test.


Your listening abilities in a healthcare setting are assessed by the OET Listening subtest. It evaluates your capacity to comprehend and glean knowledge from a variety of spoken healthcare sources. In order to simulate real-world listening circumstances that healthcare professionals can come across in the course of their work, this subtest was created.

The OET Listening sub-test’s salient characteristics are as follows:

  1. There are three sections to the OET Listening sub-test, and it usually takes 50 to 60 minutes to finish them all. There are many audio recordings of healthcare-related conversations, interviews, presentations, and patient contacts will be played for you to listen to.
  2. Tasks: The subtest comprises various task kinds that evaluate various listening abilities, including:

-Multiple-choice questions, you must select the best response from a list of alternatives.

-Fill in the blanks to complete missing words or phrases in sentences or notes.

-Short-answer questions: Based on what you hear, you must offer succinct responses.

-Summarizing based on the question

3. Furthermore, the OET Listening sub-test evaluates a range of listening abilities, including:

-Understanding Key Ideas: You must be able to recognize the main ideas or points made in the hearing material.

-Understanding precise Information: You should be able to glean precise details from the spoken text.

-Understanding and Following Conversations: In a healthcare situation, you must be able to comprehend and follow conversations or discussions between healthcare professionals, patients, or other people.

-Identifying Opinions or Attitudes: Depending on the recording’s tone and substance, you may need to infer the speaker’s opinions, attitudes, or feelings.

-Making Inferences or Deductions Based on the information in the listening material, you may need to make inferences or deductions.

4. Listening sub-test includes a wide range of themes and scenarios connected to healthcare. Discussions between healthcare experts, patient consultations, lectures or presentations on healthcare subjects, handoffs, and interactions between the healthcare team may all be included in the materials.

5. Language Complexity: The spoken materials in the OET Listening sub-test represent the range of linguistic sophistication that healthcare professionals might come across while practicing their profession. They might have accents from various English-speaking regions, specialist medical vocabulary, and variances in speech tempo and tone.


Want to ensure you don’t fail your OET Test? Save tons of time and money by registering here: https://hzadeducation.com/product/15-hour-all-inclusive-oet-course/




Your ability to speak effectively in a healthcare setting is evaluated by the OET Speaking sub-test. It assesses both your spoken English proficiency and your interpersonal communication abilities with patients, coworkers, and other healthcare professionals. Realistic healthcare communication scenarios are presented in the Speaking section of the test.

The OET Speaking sub-test has the following characteristics:

  1. Here’s the format: An interlocutor (an examiner) is present for the OET Speaking sub-test, which is conducted in this manner. The sub-test has two sections, and it takes around 20 minutes to complete.
  2. Role-plays: The Speaking sub-test includes role-plays that represent common communication scenarios in the healthcare industry. The scenarios can have participants engaging with patients, loved ones, or other healthcare workers. Written instructions and details regarding your part in the scenario will be sent to you.
  3. Skills Evaluated:


-Information gathering: You must speak with the patient or the other role-playing participant and inquire about the pertinent matters.

-Giving information: You should be able to give clear, accurate information, such as describing a medical condition, offering treatment alternatives, or giving directions.

-Giving advise or counseling: Depending on the circumstances, you might need to provide patients or their families advice, ideas, or counseling.

-Listening: You must pay close attention to the patient’s worries, inquiries, or responses in order to effectively react.

-Establishing rapport with the patient or the other party requires demonstrating empathy and understanding.

-Language and Communication Skills: During the engagement, your overall language competency, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary will be evaluated.

4. Criteria for Scoring: The OET Speaking subtest is graded according to factors like comprehensibility, fluency, appropriateness of language and communication, and comprehension of and compliance with the demands of the role-play scenario. On a scale ranging from A (highest) to E (lowest), each criterion is assessed.

5. Topics and Case Studies: A variety of healthcare-related themes are covered in the role-play scenarios of the OET Speaking sub-test, including patient consultations, gathering medical histories, offering lifestyle advice, discharge planning, and interactions with the healthcare team.


OET writing marks your ability to coherently and effectively communicate your ideas. Here are some of its characteristics:

  1. Format: There is only one task in the OET Writing sub-test, and you get 45 minutes to finish it. You must compose a letter that is often associated with a healthcare professional’s job description, such as a recommendation letter, a letter of discharge, or a letter of counsel to a client or coworker.
  2. Task Types: The sub-test focuses on particular task types that healthcare professionals frequently deal with in written communication, such as:

-Writing a referral letter: You could be required to draft a letter referring a patient to a specialist while outlining the pertinent medical details and the justifications for the referral.

-When a patient is being discharged from a medical facility, you might need to write a letter to advise their primary care physician about their condition, course of treatment, and suggested next steps.

-Writing an advise letter: You could be required to write an advice letter giving advice or direction to a patient or a colleague on a particular healthcare-related issue.

3. The OET Writing subtest measures a variety of writing abilities, including:

-Content and task completion.

-Organization and Coherence.

-Complex Language and words.

-Grammar and Sentence Structure.

-Clarity & Concision.

4. Content and Scenarios: Healthcare settings and professional relationships are themes that appear in the OET Writing sub-test. The exercises are made to simulate writing-related scenarios that healthcare practitioners frequently deal with.

5. Criteria for Scoring: The OET Writing subtest is graded according to a number of factors, including task completion, appropriateness of language, coherence and organization, vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure, as well as overall effectiveness. On a scale ranging from A (highest) to E (lowest), each criterion is assessed.


For more tools, tips and tricks for your OET exam, remember to subscribe! Need any coaching on OET, contact us at [email protected]!