10 OET Speaking Tips

10 Essential OET Speaking Tips: From Weak to Strong Communication

As a healthcare professional aiming to excel in the OET Speaking test, effective communication is crucial. In this blog, we’ll explore 10 invaluable tips to enhance your spoken English skills, along with weak sample responses, explanations of their weaknesses, and improved sample speaking to help you master the OET Speaking test with confidence.

  • Tip 1: Active Listening and Clarification

Weak Sample: “So, you’re feeling pain in the stomach. Can you tell me more?”

Explanation: This response lacks clarity and doesn’t demonstrate active listening, making it difficult for the patient to provide detailed information.

Strong Sample: “I understand that you’re experiencing stomach pain. Could you please describe the location and intensity of the pain? This will help us identify the best course of action.”

  • Tip 2: Empathy and Encouragement

Weak Sample: “Your treatment can be tough, but it’s necessary.”

Explanation: This response lacks empathy and encouragement, potentially leaving the patient feeling unsupported and disheartened.

Strong Sample: “I understand that treatment can be challenging, but please know that we are here to support you throughout your journey. Your commitment to your recovery is commendable.”

  • Tip 3: Structured Responses

Weak Sample: “The treatment options are… uh… many. I’ll talk about them.”

Explanation: This response lacks structure, which may confuse the listener and diminish the credibility of the information provided.

Strong Sample: “Let’s explore the available treatment options together. Firstly, we have medication-based therapies, followed by non-invasive procedures, and lastly, surgical interventions.”

  • Tip 4: Seeking Patient Preferences

Weak Sample: “Do you have any idea about how you want to proceed with the treatment?”

Explanation: This response is vague and lacks specificity, making it difficult for the patient to provide informed preferences.

Strong Sample: “We have a few treatment options available. Are there any specific preferences or concerns you’d like to discuss to ensure we choose the most suitable treatment for you?”


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  • Tip 5: Explaining Medical Procedures

Weak Sample: “You’ll get an injection, and then we’ll do the procedure.”

Explanation: This response is too brief and does not provide the patient with a clear understanding of the upcoming medical procedure.

Strong Sample: “To begin the procedure, we’ll administer a local anesthetic to numb the area. This will ensure you experience minimal discomfort during the process. After that, we’ll proceed with the surgical intervention.”

  • Tip 6: Active Engagement with Role-Plays

Weak Sample: “Hello, I’m the nurse. How can I help you?”

Explanation: This response is too basic and lacks engagement, failing to create a realistic scenario for the role-play.

Strong Sample: “Good morning. I’m Nurse Smith. It’s nice to meet you. How can I assist you today?” (Role-play: Nurse addressing a patient upon entering the room)

  • Tip 7: Summarizing Patient Information

Weak Sample: “So, you’re saying you can’t breathe properly when you move?”

Explanation: This response is an inaccurate and incomplete summary, suggesting a lack of attention to detail.

Strong Sample: “To summarize, you’ve been experiencing occasional shortness of breath, particularly when you’re physically active. Is that correct?”

  • Tip 8: Handling Language Barriers

Weak Sample: “I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

Explanation: This response is dismissive and may leave the patient feeling frustrated or hesitant to communicate further.

Strong Sample: “I apologize if I’m not fully understanding. Let’s work together to overcome any language barriers. Can you please repeat or rephrase your concerns?”

  • Tip 9: Providing Reassurance

Weak Sample: “It’s a serious condition, but don’t worry.”

Explanation: This response lacks empathy and may not effectively alleviate the patient’s concerns.

Strong Sample: “I understand that receiving this diagnosis is concerning, but please remember that early detection allows us to implement the most effective treatment plan and increase the chances of a full recovery.”

  • Tip 10: Closing with


Weak Sample: “Okay, that’s it. Goodbye.”

Explanation: This closing lacks professionalism and leaves the conversation abruptly.

Strong Sample: “Thank you for sharing your concerns with me today. I’ll take all the information into account to develop a personalized care plan for you. If you have any further questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Goodbye.”



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Mastering the OET Speaking test requires a keen focus on communication skills and patient-centered language. By understanding the weak samples and their flaws, you can identify areas for improvement. Apply the strong samples’ principles, such as active listening, empathy, structured responses, and professionalism, to elevate your spoken English and excel in the OET Speaking sub-test. With dedicated practice and these essential tips, you’ll be well-equipped to communicate confidently and effectively in any healthcare scenario. Good luck on your OET journey!