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The Occupational English Test a.k.a. OET is an International English language test that is specially meant for people related to medical or healthcare profession. The test is meant to assess the language skills of the candidate who has a desire of working in an English speaking country. This test is compulsory for all those candidates, who are seeking to work in a foreign country, as they will be studying and using the language to communicate on a routinely basis.

Benefits of OET
  1. .Candidates will be giving the exam based on real-life practice scenario, so, the experience will help them.
  2. .OET is a valid proof of your proficiency in the English language on the world level and is accepted by many countries
  3. .It will help you to get study and work visa in the healthcare sector of the recognized countries.
  4. .With the right guidance, it is very easy to prepare for the test.

There are 12 professions, which make you eligible to appear in the OET and fulfill your dreams of going abroad: Dentistry, Dietetics, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography, Speech Pathology, and Veterinary Science.

Why is OET needed?

This question arises in every candidate’s mind, who wants to go abroad for further education or for a better career opportunity. The answer is simple; it is mandatory because you will be treating patients, who will be communicating with you in the English language. So, the lack of understanding of language will be a major obstacle and will make you redundant. In order to avoid any such undesirable situations, the countries have tied up with the Cambridge English and the University of Melbourne and created such test.

This test is recognized in many developed countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Malaysia, the Philippines, the UK, and Ireland. UK and Ireland are the latest addition to its crown.

How OET assess your skills?

OET provides a fair and square judgment of your language skills with four modules. They are Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Each module consists of a time limit.

  • Listening (approximately 50 minutes)
  • Reading (60 minutes)
  • Writing (45 minutes)
  • Speaking (approximately 20 minutes)

This section consists of two parts: ‘Part A’ and ‘Part B’.

‘Part A’ consists of a consultation talk between a doctor and a patient. The students are required to take notes under headings. In ‘Part B’, students are required to complete a range of open-ended and fixed-choice questions by listening to the health professional giving a short talk on a health-related topic.


The section has two parts to evaluate the candidate’s reading and understanding of the topic.
‘Part A’ is of approximately 15 minutes; in this candidates need to skim 3 or 4 short texts and complete the missing words. It checks the ability to read and scan text within a limited time.

‘Part B’ is of 45 minutes; in this candidates have to read two passages on general health care and are required to answer 8-10 multiple choice questions on each paragraph. It is designed to review reader’s ability to comprehend longer texts.


In this module, candidates are asked to a letter mainly a referral letter. Candidates will be given case notes, which must be included in their letter. Some of the topics may include a letter of transfer or discharge or a letter to advise a patient, carer or group.


The speaking test is face-to-face conversation with the interlocutor. It begins with the introduction of the candidate to warm up and make the candidate comfortable. It is then followed by two role plays and the candidate is given 2-3 minutes to prepare for each play. They last for about 5 minutes and are the interaction between health professional and patient, with candidate adopting their usual professional role and the examiner takes the role of a patient or sometimes a relative or carer. For veterinary science, the interviewer is the owner or carer of the animal.

Scoring Criteria

The tests are graded from A to E, where A is the highest and E is the lowest.

OET Grade Description of ability
A Very high level of performance
B High level of performance, i.e. able to use English with fluency and accuracy adequate for professional needs
C Good level of performance; however, not acceptable to a range of health and medical councils
D Moderate level of performance; requires improvement
E Low level of performance; requires considerable improvement
Paper dates and results

OET conducts exam once every month i.e., it conducts 12 exams every year.

The results are available online usually 16 business days after the test. Official statements of results are sent out by the post after the release of online test results. There is no overall grade of the test; candidates receive separate grades for each module.

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