What is the OET?
The OET is a test that can be used to prove your level of English if you’re a medical professional and want to work in the UK. In fact, the OET is actually 12 different tests for 12 different medical professions. The OET is an alternative to IELTS, an exam which focuses on academic English but not, specifically, medical language. The OET tests only the ability to use medical English and real-life medical scenarios.
What’s the structure of the OET Exam?
The OET, like most official English exams, tests all four of your language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Everyone who takes the exam has to complete the same reading and listening test. The reading test deals with health-related topics. Part A is the “expeditious reading task” (that means quick). This tests your ability to locate specific information quickly. Part B and C of the reading test are the “careful reading tasks”. In Part B, you must identify the main point, general meaning, or detail in six short texts (about 100-150 words each). Part C, which is the longest (2 texts of 800 words each) tests your ability to understand detailed meaning and opinion. The listening section of the exam includes three parts which ask you to deal with real-life work scenarios for a medical professional.
The other two skills, writing and speaking, are different depending on your profession. So, for example, a nurse will take different writing and speaking tests than a dentist, because in this section of the exam you’ll be asked to talk and write only about things which pertain to your specific medical field. In all, there are 12 different OET tests for dentistry, dietetics, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, phar
What level of English do I need to pass the OET Exam?
The level needed to pass the OET is, approximately, C1 (advanced). This is the same level needed to pass IELTS (7.0), but the benefit for a medical professional is that all the vocabulary and language on the OET will probably be familiar.
When, where, and how much?
The OET can be taken twice a month in 5 different test centres in London. You can book your test online and it costs, at present, roughly £329.
For people searching for a better life in the UK, and who want to help others by practising medicine, the OET is another option to achieve your goal.