There are no changes to the format of the Speaking sub-test. However, new assessment criteria are being introduced from September 2018 which has been discussed in detail below.

Speaking Sub-Test Overview

The speaking sub-test takes about 20 minutes. It is a profession-specific test in which the candidates are required to complete two role plays based on typical workplace situation. The candidates take this part of OET using materials specially produced for their profession. In other words, you would be enacting the role of a nurse and will be expected to demonstrate the ability to deal with situations that occur realistically in the workplace. For instance,

  • Asking questions to the patient.
  • Answering the patient's questions
  • Engaging with a variety of patient types, e.g., different ages, various health problems, different concerns.
  • Explain medical conditions and treatments in a clear and accessible way.
  • Rephrase ideas in a variety of ways to help or persuade a patient.
  • Reassure a worried or angry patient.
The interlocutor will take on the role of a patient or in some cases, a patient's caregiver or family member.

Structure of the test

Initially, there is a short warm-up talk about your professional background following which you are given two role-plays, one by one, and you have 3 minutes to prepare yourself for each role play. The interview is recorded, and two different assessors in Australia then assess the recording. The interlocutor is not assessing you. Each role play is 5 minutes long.

Updated Assessment Criteria-Speaking sub-test

Linguistic criteria (6 marks each)  Communication criteria (3 marks each)
Intelligibility Relationship building
Fluency Understanding and incorporating the patient’s perspective
Appropriateness of language Providing structure
Resources of grammar and expression Information gathering
Information giving