- Enrolled: 1000+ students
- Language: English
- Certificate: Yes
The Occupational English Test, or OET as it is more often known, is an evaluation tool for the English language proficiency of healthcare professionals. Boxhill Institute and Cambridge English Language Assessment jointly own the Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Trust (CBLA), which owns OET.
The health professionals from the following categories are assessed under OET:
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Listening sub-test: There are 42 questions on the new listening subtest, divided into three sections (Part A, B and C). The listening session lasts about 40 minutes in total. Your language and listening comprehension, as well as your understanding of other accents, will be examined. To determine the answers, a candidate can predict, identify, paraphrase, use synonyms, and provide precise information.
For all 12 occupations, the listening sub-test is the same and involves some multitasking. You must listen to the talk and write at the same time.
Listening Part A: This section lasts approximately 15 minutes. Part A has 24 questions in total, 12 for each of the two extracts (consultations between the doctor and a patient). Before each extract, you will have 30 seconds to read the content. The question type is a sentence completion question.
Listening Part B: Six recordings for six multiple-choice questions are included in Part B. Each audio lasts between 40 and 60 seconds. Each workplace extract contains one multiple-choice question with three alternative responses.
Listening Part C: You will hear two recordings of healthcare professionals throughout the final 15 minutes of the hearing subtest (health talk or presentations). Similar to Part B, there are 12 questions, and there are three alternative solutions. To learn the answers, the candidate must retain stronger focus and concentration.
Reading sub-test: The topics are relevant to the healthcare industry as a whole, making them accessible to applicants from all fields of expertise. There are a total of 42 questions in the three portions (A, B, and C) of the Reading subtest. The subtest lasts for a total of 60 minutes. Additionally, it is broken down into 15 minutes for part A and 45 minutes for parts B and C.
Reading the sub-test architecture
Part A: This section consists of 20 questions (worth 20 marks), with a variety of question types, including sentence completion, paragraph identification, and question-answer types. A candidate can utilise scanning and skimming to find the information they need.
Part B: Six questions make up this section (accounts for 6 marks). Each has a three-option multiple-choice question. You must choose the correct answer from each of the paragraphs that follow the question.
Part C: This section consists of two lengthy passages and 16 questions (for a total of 16 marks). Each of the questions in this section will have four possible answers.
At the end of the subtest, you won't get more time to review your responses. Therefore, efficient time management is essential. A candidate has about two minutes for each question in parts B and C. The test is set up so that you have ample time to read, select your responses, and double-check your work. Part A should be read quickly, whereas Part B requires in-depth reading.
Writing sub-test: The profession-specific Writing subtest takes 45 minutes. Based on a normal office environment and the requirements of the profession, one task is established for each one. A nurse completes the task for nursing, a dentist completes the assignment for dentistry, and so on.
The Writing sub-test architecture
The assignment is to compose a letter—typically a recommendation letter. A letter of transfer or discharge, a letter to notify or advise a patient, caretaker, or group, or another type of letter may be necessary from time to time. You will receive stimulus material (case notes and/or other associated documents), which includes information to use in your response, along with the task instructions.
Speaking sub-test overview
The speaking portion of the test lasts for roughly 20 minutes. Two role plays based on typical working scenarios must be completed as part of a profession-specific test. The candidates use resources created specifically for their line of work.
After a brief introduction about your professional background, you are assigned two roles, one after the other.
Each role play lasts for five minutes, with the candidate receiving three minutes to prepare. In Australia, the entire conversation is recorded and then evaluated by two different assessors. OET will evaluate a candidate's aptitude for handling events that arise in the workplace realistically.
Candidates' performance in the two role plays is evaluated according to language and clinical standards, which include: overall communication effectiveness, intelligibility, fluency, appropriateness, resources for grammar and expression, relationship-building, information-taking and -giving, as well as reestablishment.
All four sections of the OET are weighted evenly when it comes to grading in that no one section is worth more than another. You will receive a score ranging from A to E for each one.