OET or Occupational English Test
Is a test taken by healthcare professionals worldwide in order to be able to practice in certain English speaking countries namely New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Namibia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Philippines, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United States, Malta and Maldives. Many healthcare boards in these countries accept OET as a proof of candidate’s English Language proficiency. In fact, in many of these organizations, OET is a prerequisite followed by other tests for a healthcare workers’ recruitment into them.
Who can take the test?
The test is specially designed for healthcare professionals. To be specific, there are 12 professions, listed on OET’s official website, for which the test is conducted in various cities of the world. These professions are
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Pathology
- Veterinary Science
Why take OET?
OET is a test that professionals choose because it helps them prove their proficiency in all four skills of the English Language namely Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading. All professionals need these skills every day at work. Additionally, this test is closer to real-life practice as compared to other English tests. The reason for this is the design of the test being specific to the everyday needs of healthcare workers. The texts and contexts used in all the four subtests are those used in a healthcare setting. Because of this, it becomes easy for healthcare workers to prepare for it and get the desired score.
Like any other subtest, OET assesses the test taker’s ability to be efficient at all four skills of language.
- Reading- OET Reading sub-test tests the skills reading texts pertaining to medical conditions, workplace documents and medical articles . Reading test is for 60 minutes and has three parts. Part A is for 15 minutes, in which candidates use the skills of skimming and scanning to answer 20 questions. Part B &C are for 45 minutes. In this duration, test takers answer 6 questions of Part B, by reading for gist and detail, and 16 questions of Part C, with skills of inference and identifying opinions.
- Listening- OET Listening sub-test assesses candidates being able to listen and comprehend texts related to consultation, workplace and presentation. The test is about 40 minutes long and comprises of three parts. Part has two consultation extracts of around 5 minutes each and has 24 questions. Part B has 6 questions with 6 audio notes and Part C has 12 questions with two audio extracts.
- Speaking- OET Speaking test is a profession specific test and lasts for about 20 minutes. There is a short warm-up session with the interlocutor about candidate’s profession. There are two role plays performed by each candidate. After the warm-up, candidates receive their first card and 3 minutes of time to prepare. Subsequently, test takers perform the role play for 5 minutes, where the interlocutor plays the part of patient. First role play is followed by the second one in the same process. Recording of the session is then sent to two different assessors in Australia, who assess it independently against two major criteria and their sub- criteria.
- Writing- OET Writing is another profession specific test which takes around 45 minutes. In the first 5 minutes, which is the reading time, candidates get the time to read the given case notes. Following the reading time, begins the writing time of 40 minutes. Writing task accompanies the case notes and has details about the recipient and reason of writing. Candidate is to write a formal letter of discharge, transfer or referral. The letter is then sent to two different assessors in Australia, who assess the letter based on 6 criteria.