OET Listening Strategies(With Examples)!

The best OET listening tips, strategies and tricks are available on this site, which will help you score higher on all modules.

OET Listening Tips & Tricks for Success


Preparing for the OET listening subtests can be challenging, but with the right strategies, you can improve your performance. In this guide, we will provide you with an overview of the OET listening subtests and share tips on how to approach each one effectively. Additionally, we will discuss the relationship between listening and reading in the OET, and finally, we’ll provide insights on improving your overall listening skills.

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Overview of OET Listening Subtests


The OET listening subtests consist of three parts: Listening Part A, Listening Part B, and Listening Part C. Each part assesses different listening skills and requires a specific approach:


Listening Part A


  • Format: You will hear a consultation between a health professional and a patient.
  • Task: Fill in the gaps in a set of case notes with single words or short phrases.
  • Strategy: Listen for synonyms and paraphrases in the conversation to complete the case notes. For example, if the patient mentions “discomfort,” you may need to fill in the gap with “stiffness.”
  • Example: The neurologist asks about the “background to your condition,” and the patient talks about “discomfort,” so you should fill in the gap with “stiffness.”


Listening Part B


  • Format: You will listen to a short audio text with multiple-choice questions.
  • Task: Choose the correct answer from three options for each question.
  • Strategy: Also, read the context statement before the audio begins and spend 15 seconds reading the answer options. While listening, focus on understanding the audio without being distracted by the text. Afterward, quickly select the answer.
  • Example: The audio discusses a new health initiative’s purpose. By concentrating on listening, you can accurately answer the question.


Listening Part C


  • Format: You will listen to a longer monologue or dialogue between two people.
  • Task: Answer multiple-choice questions based on the audio.
  • Strategy: Use a “flicking” technique, alternating between reading and listening. Quickly read a sentence or phrase, then listen for relevant information. This method helps you manage the continuous flow of information in Part C.
  • Example: In the audio, a doctor discusses the importance of prostate cancer awareness. While listening, you need to understand Harry’s initial reluctance to attend a health check and his reasons for doing so.


OET Listening Strategies:

Relationship Between Listening and Reading in OET


Understanding the interplay between listening and reading is crucial for success in OET. You cannot effectively read and listen simultaneously, so you must adopt different strategies for each subtest:


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Listening Part A: Integrated Reading and Listening


  • Approach: This subtest requires you to integrate your reading and listening skills. You must identify synonyms and paraphrases in the conversation to complete the case notes.
  • Example: The patient’s description of “discomfort” should lead you to the word “stiffness” in the case notes.


Try out this free OET listening practice test (HARD VERSION): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbIJr-J1i2U



Listening Part B: Focused Listening


  • Approach: Focus on listening during the audio playback. Quickly read the context statement and answer options beforehand to familiarize yourself with the question. Then, concentrate on understanding the audio without distraction.
  • Example: By actively listening to the audio about a health initiative, you can select the correct answer.


Listening Part C: Flicking Technique


  • Approach: Use the “flicking” technique, alternating between reading and listening, to manage the continuous flow of information. Quickly read a sentence or phrase, then listen for relevant details to answer the questions.
  • Example: By flicking between reading and listening, you can grasp the key information about Harry’s health check and why he attended.


How to Improve Your Listening Skills


To enhance your listening skills for the OET and beyond, consider the following tips:


Understand Features of Spoken English

  • Phonemes: Familiarize yourself with the 44 sounds of English.
  • Connected Speech: Recognize how words are connected or contracted in spoken language.
  • Intonation: Understand the ups and downs in intonation patterns.
  • Hesitations and Fillers: Be aware of pauses and filler words in speech.
  • Grammatical Errors: Acknowledge that native speakers make grammatical errors in conversation.
  • Word and Sentence Stress: Learn how stress is placed on certain syllables or words in spoken English.
  • Accent Variations: Be prepared for different English accents you might encounter.


Practice Listening with Authentic Materials


  • Listen to podcasts, news broadcasts, and radio programs in English to expose yourself to various accents, speech patterns, and real-life conversations.
  • Use language learning apps that provide listening exercises and opportunities for pronunciation practice.
  • Moreover, engage in conversations with native English speakers or language exchange partners to improve your listening comprehension and adapt to real-life speech.


Enroll in Language Course


In conclusion, success in the OET listening subtests requires a combination of effective strategies, practice, and a solid understanding of spoken English. By mastering the techniques for each subtest, recognizing the relationship between listening and reading, and actively working on improving your listening skills, you can confidently approach the OET and achieve your desired results.