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OET – Occupational English Test

OET is the English language test designed for the healthcare sector

OET is an international English language test that assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who seek to register and practise in an English-speaking environment.

Why OET?

Healthcare professionals choose OET because it helps them prove they have the right level of English for work or study, while also learning the kind of language they will need every day at work.

Healthcare organisations and regulators choose OET because it helps them to select healthcare professionals with the right level of English proficiency to deliver safe and high quality care.

Who Recognises OET

OET is trusted by regulators, hospitals & universities in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and Singapore as proof of ability to communicate effectively

Assessment Structure

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

The Listening sub-test consists of three parts, and a total of 42 question items. The topics are of generic healthcare interest and accessible to candidates across all professions. The total length of the Listening audio is about 40 minutes, including recorded speech and pauses to allow you time to write your answers. You will hear each recording once and are expected to write your answers while listening.

The Reading sub-test consists of three parts and a total of 42 question items. All three parts take a total of 60 minutes to complete. The topics are of generic healthcare interest and are therefore accessible to candidates across all professions.

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 Speaking sub-test is delivered individually and takes around 20 minutes. This part of OET uses materials specifically designed for your profession. In each role-play, you take your professional role (for example, as a nurse or as a pharmacist) while the interlocutor plays a patient, a client, or a patient’s relative or carer. For veterinary science, the interlocutor is the owner or carer of the animal.

Designed for Healthcare Professionals

OET has been developed specifically for 12 healthcare professions: Dentistry, Dietetics, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography, Speech Pathology and Veterinary Science. Tests simulate real workplace tasks and test relevant language skills for each profession.
 

How are OET results issued?

You can see an overview of your latest test scores via your online profile on the OET website, approximately 16 business days after each test day. Official copies of Statements of Results can be downloaded from your online profile. You can choose which test administration you wish to download a Statement of Results for and this will list the scores you obtained in that particular test administration.

The four sub-tests that make up the OET are reported on a scale from 0 to 500 in ten-point increments (e.g. 350, 360, 370 etc). The numerical score will be mapped to a separate letter grade for each sub-test ranging from A (highest) to E (lowest). There is no overall grade for OET.

For how long are the OET test results valid?

The length of time the results are recognised as valid is decided by the authorities that recognise OET (e.g. boards and councils, government departments). Always check your authority’s website for details to make sure you know their requirements.

Are OET tests “profession specific”?

The OET Writing and Speaking sub-tests are profession specific in the sense that a candidate’s profession determines which test materials they are given. The reason for this is that the communicative skills of writing and speaking provide opportunities for candidates to draw on their professional role in order to demonstrate their level of ability to communicate in common workplace situations.

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