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OET September 2018 Updates

Posted on December 12, 2018 by Admin


To accurately reflect the changing healthcare landscape, the Occupational English Test (OET) is also regularly updated. OET believes in being responsive to the healthcare sector, and in ensuring the test remains relevant in today’s global context. The updates ensure that you will work with the types of real communication scenarios you will most likely face in a contemporary work environment.

The way the results are reported will also change. They will now include a score out of 500 for each sub-test as well as a grade from A to E. This will give a greater insight into a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in each skill, benefiting employers, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders – including, of course, the candidates themselves.



Part A – consultation extracts (about 5 minutes each)

There will be two recorded health professional-patient consultations and the candidate need to complete the health professional’s notes using the information you hear.

Part B – short workplace extracts (about 1 minute each)

The audio consists of six recorded extracts (e.g. team briefings, handovers, or health professional-patient dialogues) and the candidate need to answer one multiple-choice question for each extract.

Part C – presentation extracts (about 5 minutes each)

It has two different extracts and the candidate will answer six multiple-choice questions for each extract.


The updated Reading sub-test will take 60 minutes to complete and includes three parts as follows:

Part A – expeditious reading task (15 minutes)

Part A assesses your ability to locate specific information from four short texts in a quick and efficient manner. The four short texts relate to a single healthcare topic, and the candidate must answer 20 questions in the allocated time. The 20 questions consist of matching, sentence completion and short answer questions.

Part B and Part C – careful reading tasks (45 minutes)

Part B consist of extracts from policy documents, hospital guidelines, manuals or internal communications, such as emails or memos. For each text, there is one three-option multiple-choice question.

Part C consists of two texts on topics of interest to healthcare professionals (800 words each). For each text, the candidate must answer multiple choice questions.


There will be no updates to the Writing sub-test.


There will be no updates to the Speaking sub-test format.

However, the test will assess clinical communication skills because these are skills that need to be successful at work, such as: 

  • relationship building
  • understanding the patient’s perspective
  • providing structure to the conversation
  • gathering information from the patient
  • establishing what the patient already knows.

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