What is the OET?
The OET has been designed specifically for overseas healthcare professionals, such as Nurses and Midwives. The tests are based on day to day scenarios that a healthcare professional may encounter. As of the 1st November 2017, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will recognise the OET as a form of certification to work within the UK.
What Countries currently recognise the OET?
At the moment, the OET exams are recognised in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Dubai, and now the United Kingdom.
3.What does the OET entail?
Just like the IELTS, there are 4 sections of the exam:
Listening Sub Test
The listening section consists of two parts, Part A, and Part B. Both sections are 20-25 minutes long. Part A assesses your ability to follow facts during a consultation. You will listen to a recorded health professional-patient consultation and complete a note taking task, guided by relevant headings. Part B assesses your ability to understand a short talk on a health-related topic that might realistically occur in the workplace. You’ll listen to a recorded talk or lecture (monologue) by a healthcare professional and complete a range of open-ended and fixed choice tasks.
Reading Sub Test
The reading section also consists of two parts, Part A, and Part B. Part A is 15 minutes and is a summary task, and Part B is a multiple-choice questions task which takes 45 minutes.
Part A assesses your ability to source information from multiple texts, to synthesise information in a meaningful way and to ‘skim’ and ‘scan’ material to retrieve information quickly. You are required to read 3-4 short texts (a total of approximately 650 words) related to a single topic, and complete a summary paragraph by filling in the missing words (25-35 gaps in total).
Part B assesses your ability to read and understand comprehensive texts on health-related topics similar to those in academic or professional journals. You are required to read two passages (600-800 words each) and answer a set of multiple-choice questions (16-20 in total)
Writing Sub Test
The Writing sub-test takes 45 minutes and is profession-specific. There is one task set for each profession based on a typical workplace situation and the demands of the profession – a nurse does the task for nursing, a dentist does the task for dentistry, and so on.
The Writing sub-test structure:
- The task is to write a letter, usually a referral letter. Sometimes 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.
- Along with the task instructions, you will receive stimulus material (case notes and/or other related documentation) which includes information to use in your response.
Speaking Sub Test
The Speaking sub-test is delivered individually and takes around 20 minutes. You take this part of OET using materials specifically for your profession. In each role-play, you take your professional role (e.g. as a nurse) while the interlocutor plays a patient/client or sometimes a patient’s relative or carer. For veterinary science the interlocutor is the owner or carer for the animal.
The Speaking sub-test structure
- In each Speaking test, your identity and profession are checked by the interlocutor and there is a short warm-up conversation about your professional background. Then the role-plays are introduced, one by one, and you have 2-3 minutes to prepare for each. The two role-plays take about five minutes each.
- You receive information for each role-play on a card, which you keep while you do the role-play. 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 role-play or how a role-play works, you can ask them during the preparation time.
- The role-plays are based on typical workplace situations and reflect the demands made on the professional in those situations. Different role-plays are used for different candidates at the same test administration. The interlocutor follows a script so that the Speaking test structure is similar for each candidate. The interlocutor also has detailed information to use in each role-play.
What healthcare professions has the OET been designed for
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Pathology
- Veterinary Science
Test Dates and Locations
OET test venues are reputable universities, English language schools and exam centres. Note, there are test dates every month – however, registration is only open for the next two test dates at a time. Ensure you choose the correct date when you apply. Please follow this link to see the various locations in different countries: www.occupationalenglishtest.org
OET Results and Assessment
You will receive a Statement of Results which shows your grade for each of the four sub-tests, from A (highest) to E (lowest). Each of the four sub-tests is assessed in a specific way. The NMC requires a pass grade of at least Grade B in all four sub-tests of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
How much does OET cost?
The test costs $587 AUD globally in total (£335.64 / 23,892.95 PHP).
To find out more
Visit the OET website: www.occupationalenglishtest.org