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What is the OET test

OET test – Occupational English Test

Frequently asked questions about the OET test.
Are there different types of OET test?
What skills are tested?
What’s the structure of the test
Where can I take the test?
What’s the scoring system?
What’s the website to find out more or to book a test?
Who takes OET?
How much does it cost?
How long are results valid for?

Are there different types of OET test?
The OET test focusses on specific professions and the test is designed around the specific profession. Currently the OET test tests the following professions

  1. Dentistry
  2. Pharmacy
  3. Dietetics
  4. Podiatry
  5. Medicine
  6. Physiotherapy
  7. Nursing
  8. Radiography
  9. Occupational Therapy
  10. Speech Pathology
  11. Optometry
  12. Veterinary Science

What skills are tested?
The OET tests the four skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. However, you do not have to sit all four sections of the test. This is useful because some countries or accepting institutions may not require all four skills to be tests, plus if you need to re-sit a section of the course, you only need to pay for that particular section – you do not need to take the complete test again.

What’s the structure of the test?
NB: all information in the table below is from http://www.occupationalenglishtest.org

OET Listening The Listening sub-test takes around 50 minutes. The exact length depends on the length of the audio recording. It has two parts and is the same for all OET candidates.In Part A you listen to a recording of a consultation between a health professional and a patient (dialogue). You take notes under the headings provided while you listen. This part of the test usually lasts around 20 minutes.In Part B you listen to a recording of a talk or lecture on a health-related issue (monologue). There is a variety of tasks for you to complete while you listen. This part of the test usually lasts around 30 minutes.You hear the recordings for the two parts once only, just as you would in real life. However, there are pauses during the recordings to allow you time to write your answers and to read the next heading or question. At the start of each part, there is some time for you to look through the headings and questions; at the end of the test, there is time for you to check your answers.
OET Reading The Reading sub-test takes 60 minutes. It is made up of two texts with accompanying multiple-choice questions. The content is suitable for all the medical and health professions using the OET.The two texts are on health-related topics and are similar to texts found in academic or professional journals. After each of the texts you will find 10-14 questions or unfinished statements about the text, each with four suggested answers or ways of finishing (multiple-choice questions). You must choose the one response which you think fits best.You are given a printed booklet with the text and questions and a separate answer sheet to complete. You must indicate your chosen response (A, B, C or D) to each question by shading the appropriate oval on the answer sheet. You must do this with a soft (2B) pencil.You should answer all questions. You don’t lose marks for incorrect answers.You must complete the answer sheet within the 60 minutes allowed for the test. If your responses are not on the answer sheet, you will receive a score of zero.
OET Writing The Writing sub-test takes 45 minutes. It is profession specific. You take this part of the OET using materials specifically for your profession – a nurse does the task for nursing, a dentist does the task for dentistry, and so on. In each test, there is one task set for each profession based on a typical workplace situation and the demands of the profession.The task is to write a letter, usually a letter of referral. Sometimes, and particularly for some professions, a different type of letter is required: e.g., a letter of transfer or discharge, or a letter to advise or inform a patient, carer, or group.With the task instructions, you receive stimulus material (case notes and/or other related documentation) which includes information to use in your response.The first five minutes of the test is reading time. During this time, you may study the task and notes but may not write, underline or make any notes.For the remaining 40 minutes you may write your response to the task. You receive a printed answer booklet in which you must write your response. This also has space for rough work. You may write in pen or pencil.
OET Speaking The Speaking sub-test is an individual interview that takes around 20 minutes. It is profession specific. You take this part of the OET using materials specifically for your profession – a nurse does roleplays for nursing, a dentist does roleplays for dentistry, and so on.In each interview, your identity and profession are checked by the interviewer and there is a short warm-up conversation about your professional background. Then the roleplays are introduced, one by one, and you have 2-3 minutes to prepare for each. The two roleplays take about five minutes each.You receive information for each roleplay on a card, which you keep while you do the roleplay. You may write notes on the card if you want. The card explains the situation and what you are required to do. If you have any questions about the content of the roleplay or how a roleplay works, you may ask for clarification before starting.You are assessed on your performance in the two roleplays only. The whole interview is recorded and it is this audio recording that is assessed; the interviewer is not assessing you (apart from in some interviews done in Melbourne and Sydney).The interviewer follows a script so that the interview structure is similar for each candidate. He/she also has detailed information to use in each roleplay.The roleplays are based on typical workplace situations and reflect the demands made on the professional in those situations. Different roleplays are used for different candidates at the same test administration.
In each roleplay, you take your professional role (e.g., as a nurse) while the interviewer plays a patient/client or sometimes a patient’s relative or carer. For veterinary science the interviewer is the owner or carer for the animal.
Remember that the OET is a test of English-language skills not a test of professional knowledge.


Where can I take the test?
You can currently take the test in:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

What’s the scoring system?
You receive results for the four sub-tests that make up the OET as one of five grades – A to E. A is the highest grade, E is the lowest. There is no overall score.

What’s the website to find out more or to book a test?

Who takes OET?
Health professionals who are seeking registration and the ability to practise in an English-speaking context

How much does it cost?

To take the Test in Australia,
the fees are
To take the Test outside Australia, the fees are
Full sit (4 sub-tests) A$ 528 Full sit (4 sub-tests) A$ 775
3 sub-tests A$ 418 3 sub-tests A$ 600
2 sub-tests A$ 297 2 sub-tests A$ 425
1 sub-test A$ 176 1 sub-test A$ 225


How long are results valid for?

2 years


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What is the OET test

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What is the OET test