TOP 10 OET FAQS:
Healthcare professionals seeking to work/study in an English speaking environment can take the OET or Occupational English test.
The OET is taken up by healthcare professionals wanting to migrate or study in Australia and New Zealand. Healthcare boards of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Dubai and Namibia recognize OET scores as proof of English proficiency for employability in the healthcare sector. Recently UK has started accepting OET scores for nurses and midwives seeking work in their country.
OET is many times chosen over IELTS or TOEFLiBt because the OET test content is familiar for healthcare professionals and related to their work atmosphere .The Reading test has texts from medical journals, the listening test has lectures about a medical issue and discussions between a doctor and a patient, discussing symptoms. The writing and speaking tests are pertaining to your profession—that is nurses get nursing related content, physiotherapists get content matching their profession and so on.
English Language proficiency is a must for all professionals migrating to an English speaking country. This is because all forms of communication is done in English. Every healthcare professional board will need to assess an employee’s English proficiency so that they are able to communicateconfidently and comfortably with their clients.
- Which countries recognize the OET?
Australia—immigration authorities and healthcare boards
New Zealand—immigration authorities and healthcare boards
UK—for nurses and midwives
- What are the fees for registering for the OET?
It depends on where you sit for the test.
Outside Australia AUD $775 or INR 38,300/- for all 4 subtests
Or AUD $225 or INR 11,117/- for 1 subtest
To take the test in Australia the cost would be AUD$ 580.80 for all 4 tests or AUD $ 193.60 for 1 test
- Which health care professionals can take the OET?
The OET has been developed for :Dentistry,Dietetics,Medicine,Nursing,Occupational Therapy,Optometry,Pharmacy,Physiotherapy, Podiatry,Radiography,Speech Pathology and Veterinary Science
- What are the acceptable scores for passing the OET?
For work and study requirements, you need to score a B in all the 4 sub-tests.
For immigration purposes, if you are the principal applicant then you need to score a B in all 4 sub-tests.
If you are a partner or child (above 16 yrs of age) of a principal applicant then you need to score C in all sub-tests
- Can 2 test scores be clubbed?
Yes, most countries accept 2 test scores combined if you have done all 4 subtests in 1 sitting both times and if all sub tests scores are B and above. Both full tests need to be done within a period of 6 months. A gap of more than 6 months between 2 tests will not be accepted.
Please check appropriate immigration and university/education/registration board’s websites for current news.
- Is the OET the same for all professions?
No, for each profession, the writing test and speaking tests are different. The writing test will ask you to write a referral letter for your patient and therefore will be profession specific. Similarly, for the speaking test you will play the part of the professional and will interact with the examiner who will enact the role of a patient. Hereagain, you will need to advice and counsel the patient according to your profession.
For example, if you are a nurse, the writing test and speaking test will pertain to your nursing profession; if you are a dentist then the letter writing and role-plays (speaking test) will be reflecting your profession.
One of the main attractions to the OET is that you, as a professional will be using English to communicate in a familiar scenario—how you would normally interact with a patient/refer a patient to another doctor/surgeon/nurse etc.
The Reading and Listening sub-tests are the same for all professions.
- Is it necessary to take a tutorial or prepare for the OET before the test date?
Yes, most certainly. It is important to understand the format of the test, the scoring pattern and the time requirement of the OET test.It is also important to assess your own English Language proficiency before the test, so that you can practice for the test and make sure you pass the first time itself.
The writing and speaking tests cannot be assessed by you,yourself. You need an English teacher to give you feedback on your performance and score you. The speaking test especially needs a lot of practice. You will be presented with a scenario of interacting with a difficult patient and you will need to spend considerable amount of time explaining your diagnosis/advice to your patient.
- How much time is required to prepare for the test?
If you are an average user of the English language, that is, you do not speak, read or write English in your everyday life then you need a month of preparation with at least 2-3 hours of preparation every day.Take at least a month to prepare.Then,do a mock-test/practice test—all 4 sub-tests in one sitting—assess your scores.If you are still getting below B,then practice more.
For this,you should ideally join a tutorial where you will get regular practice along with feedback and scores.You can keep track of your improvement.Moreover if you are currently working or studying somewhere, it is unlikely that you will put away time for OET preparation. A coaching class or tutorial will make sure you practice adequately for the OET.
- If I fail a sub-test how many times can I re-sit it?
You can re-sit it any number of times. However, scores from 2 tests can be clubbed only if taken within 6 months of time.
When you re-sit a test make sure you have assessed the reasons about why you failed to get the required score in the earlier test.If you fail multiple times you could get frustrated and depressed.
- How many years are my test scores valid?
Your test scores are valid for 2 years.