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.

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