tips for OET

Preparing for the OET exam

tips for OET

Top tips to set you on the right track when preparing for the OET exam.


1.Understand the test format

Doing well in OET requires test 3 things

  • Test-taking skills
  • English language knowledge
  • An ability to use that knowledge in a healthcare context

In order to have good test-taking skills, you will need to, first of all, to be familiar with the test format for all four language skills

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking

2.Understand what the examiners are looking for

This is another part of having good test-taking skills. Knowing the scoring criteria for each part of the test will allow you to give the examiners exactly what they are looking for. This knowledge will mean that you can avoid guessing what to do to get a good score. Instead, you will have a clear plan to get the highest score possible.

3. Know your strengths and weaknesses

If you have already taken an OET but not gained the score you need, you can use this as valuable information to prepare you for the next test. Try to determine what exactly is causing you difficulty. Is it your test-taking skills that need to be improved or are there areas of weakness in your language skills? Identifying exactly what the problem is, will give you the information you need to really focus your study time on areas that will bring about the biggest improvements in your score.

4. Know the score you’re aiming for.

The score that you need will vary depending on the reason you need to take the OET.

For example, for doctors from non-English speaking countries wishing to work in the UK and register with the GMC (General Medical Council), the minimum required score is 350.

The score you need will vary between healthcare organisations, governments and universities in English speaking countries.

To check who recognises OET and to look for further information on requirements please see here.

You should also speak directly with the establishment you are applying to check the scores they need from you.

5. Create an effective study plan and follow it.

Making an effective study plan is important to maximise the chances of a successful outcome in the OET. Often we make plans with the best intentions but life can be busy and at times unpredictable. It can mean that our plans do not result in actions and because of this, time passes by without achieving our goals. So, when planning your study schedule in preparation for OET, it’s important to ensure that you have a plan that gives you a realistic amount of time to study with a little time spare to relieve the pressure.

Then, once you have made your plan it’s time to take action!

6. Perfect your test-taking skills

Even with good language skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking, a lack of test-taking skills could leave you disappointed with your performance. Without good test-taking skills, the score you receive may not be a true reflection of your true language ability.

Luckily, this is something that can be easily addressed. Familiarising yourself with the format of each part of the test and completing practise papers is the solution. It will give you the skills you need to demonstrate just how good your English really is.

7. Improve your general English skills

The OET is a test of your ability to use English in a healthcare setting so, first of all, a good level of general English is needed.

As a guide, if your English level is B2 (CEFR) you should be in a good position to begin preparing for the OET. If your level of English is not quite there yet it is no problem at all, all that is required are lessons in general English first to improve your language skills before moving on to OET preparation lessons.

Feeling confident having everyday conversations in English will mean that as you go into the test you can focus on performing your best.

8. Get some help to reach your goals

When looking for someone to help you get a high score in OET, look for a tutor who specialises in OET exam preparation and is listed on the OET website as an OET preparation provider. As an OET preliminary preparation provider myself, I have studied how best to help candidates like you get the results you are looking for.

If you have any questions about OET or are looking for advice on how to prepare for OET, Please contact me. It would be great to hear from you.

What is OET?

What is OET? – The English Test for Healthcare Professionals

It’s the Occupational English Test (OET) is a test of English proficiency, specifically designed for healthcare professionals.

OET assesses all four language skills:

  • reading
  • writing
  • listening
  • speaking

It’s taken by a range of healthcare professionals including, doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists to name but a few.

It helps to ensure that English language skills are at the right level for workers qualified in non-English speaking countries to work in countries such as:

  • UK
  • USA
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

There are 107 OET test venues in 40 different countries worldwide, including those in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and Singapore.

It is highly regarded and co-owned by the Cambridge English Language Assessment, world-renowned for its English exams.

Calling all doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, opticians…

When deciding on a test to take to prove your level of English, you may find the range of options a little difficult to choose from.

Proof of your English language skills to work or study in an English speaking country, or for immigration purposes can be life-changing, therefore, choosing the right test is important.

The important options for healthcare professionals to consider are IELTS and OET.

Here, I focus on OET as it has unique benefits for healthcare professionals which make it a very interesting option.

4 Great Reasons to Choose OET


1. It is specific to work in healthcare

OET is a test specifically designed for professionals working in healthcare because it focuses on communication in English as used in a healthcare environment. All parts of the test are created with this in mind so the English you learn in preparation for the test will also prepare you for work.

Doctor with patient

2. It is widely recognised

OET is over 30 years old. It has gained worldwide recognition by government departments, healthcare bodies and councils and qualification authorities. For example, if you are a doctor or a nurse looking to work in the UK, the great news is that the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council both recognise OET. So it could be just the ticket you need!

Click here to see who recognises OET.

3 It will help improve your patient communication skills

OET preparation improves your English language skills, and it also gives healthcare professionals an opportunity to revisit some of the crucial patient communication skills training that you will have received in the past.

For example, in the speaking part of the test, the ability to show empathy, be attentive and respectful and adopt a non-judgemental approach forms part of the contributes to the final mark.

On successful completion of this test, you will feel confident of your language skills, and additionally, you will be ready to start work with the skills you need to provide your patients with the best consultation possible.

4 Preparation planning is simple!

The official OET preparation books are specific to each of the 12 healthcare professions that OET caters for. These are great to help you understand the structure of the test, how it is marked and to practice test questions. In addition to this, there is also learning material available through the OET website.

For knowledgeable guidance and the tuition you need to gain a good score, most candidates appreciate help from an OET preparation provider.

If you would like to have tuition designed specifically for you and get the best score possible, I’d be delighted to help.

I am certified to teach English as a foreign language, and I am an OET preparation provider and former medical doctor.

Book a free trial lesson now to see how I can help you succeed in this test.

So in summary, if you are a healthcare professional who has qualified in a non-English speaking country you have the opportunity to work and study abroad. OET could be just what you’re looking for to make your dreams a reality.

If you have any questions or would like to start preparing for OET, book a free trial lesson with me today. I would love to be part of your journey and help you reach your goals.

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