Occupational English Test (OET)

The Occupational English Test (also known as OET) is an international English language test for the healthcare sector. It assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to register and practise in an English - speaking environment.


OET tests international health practitioners in the following 12 professions:





OET
Dentistry
The Occupational English language test for dentistry.
OET test
Nursing
The Occupational English language test for nursing.


OET
Pharmacy
The Occupational English language test for pharmacists.
OET test
Radiography
The Occupational English language test for radiographers.


OET
Dietetics
The Occupational English language test for dietitians.
OET exam
Occupational Therapy
The English language test for occupational therapists.


OET
Physiotherapy
The Occupational English language test for physiotherapists.
OET exam
Medicine
The Occupational English language test for doctors.


OET
Speech Pathology
The Occupational English language test for speech pathologists.
OET test
Podiatry
The Occupational English language test for podiatrists.


OET
Optometry
The Occupational English language test for Optometrists.
OET exam
Veterinary Science
The Occupational English language test for veterinary science (Scientist).

Test Format

OET covers all four language skills with an emphasis on communication in a healthcare environment.



Paper Content
Listening
(approximately 50 minutes)
The listening test consists of two parts.

In Part A, candidates listen to a simulated consultation (dialogue) between a professional and a patient and are required to take notes under headings.

In Part B, candidates listen to a health professional giving a short talk on a health-related topic and are required to complete a range of short and multiple choice questions.
Reading
(60 minutes)
The reading test consists of two parts.

In Part A, lasting 15 minutes, candidates are asked to skim read 3 or 4 short health-related texts and complete a summary paragraph by filling in the missing words. It is designed to test the reader’s ability to scan texts within a time limit, source information from multiple texts, and synthesise information.

In Part B, lasting 45 minutes, candidates are asked to read two passages on a general healthcare topic and answer 8 – 10 multiple choice questions for each text. It is designed to test the reader’s ability to read and comprehend longer texts.
Writing
(45 minutes)
The writing paper asks candidates to write a letter, usually a letter of referral. For some professions a different type of letter is required, e.g. a letter of transfer or discharge, or a letter to advise a patient, carer or group. Candidates are given case notes which must be included in their letter.
Speaking
(approximately 20 minutes)
The speaking test is in the form of one-to-one conversations with an interlocutor. It starts with a short warm-up interview about the candidate’s professional background. This is followed by two role plays. Candidates have 2–3 minutes to prepare for each role play. Role plays last about five minutes and are based on typical interactions between a health professional and a patient. The candidate adopts their usual professional role (e.g. as a nurse) and the interviewer plays a patient or sometimes a relative or carer.