About the OET Test


OET Premium Preparation Providers have demonstrated high levels of quality in material creation and curriculum planning. We have been endorsed by OET to provide preparation and language courses for specific professions.

Medical English Plus is delighted to be able to report that we are one of the first two training companies in the UK and Europe to be accredited by the Occupational English Test (OET) as a Premium Preparation Provider. Our OET preparation classes will help your candidates pass the test, enabling them to register with the GMC or NMC.

The OET is used in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, among others, to assess the Medical English skills of a wide range of international healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses. It is designed specifically to assess the English language skills of international healthcare professionals wanting to work in an English-speaking environment and reflects over 30 years of research and practice. All Test materials are underpinned by on going research to ensure the Test remains relevant.

OET Test Format

The OET consists of 4 Sub-Tests, and nurses and doctors wishing to work in the UK are required to score at least a grade B in each. A grade B indicates a high level of performance and an ability to use English with sufficient fluency and accuracy for healthcare registration, courses and workplaces.The Speaking and Writing target the specific areas required by 12 professions within healthcare. These are: Dentistry, Dietetics, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography, Speech Pathology, and Veterinary Science.

The Listening Sub-Test 

The listening test includes a wide range of different voices and accents and healthcare contexts, it is representative of the type of listening required in the workplace.

Part A – Two patient-led dialogues, each lasting between four and a half to five minutes. The topic and content are accessible to all healthcare professionals and candidates answer twelve questions for each dialogue. Questions take the form of structured note-completion.

Part B – Lasts approximately ten minutes and consists of six 40- 60 second monologues, and a 3-option multiple choice question for each one. They represent everyday communication in a healthcare setting and are either a monologue or an interaction between the healthcare professional and a patient, colleague, carer or other stakeholder.

Part C – Now consists of two presentations or interviews of between four and a half to five minutes each. Each text has six 3-option multiple choice questions and tests for gist, opinion and attitude

The Reading Sub-test

The reading test lasts for 60 minutes, is in three parts and contains 42 questions. Part A is 15 minutes and 45 minutes are given for parts B and C.

Part A – Requires candidates to read three, or in some cases four texts (including one numerical text. ie. a graph, table or similar) of the type typically found in the workplace. The first set of seven questions tests the ability to skim and scan for information and the following sets of questions require more careful reading and identifying specific information.

Part B – This section comprises six short texts, each with a 3-option multiple choice question. The texts will be extracts from procedural and policy documents and test candidates’ understanding of the overall purpose and message.

Part C – Candidates read two longer texts, each containing eight 4-option multiple choice questions. The texts are similar to those likely to be found in journals or on websites aimed at medical professionals. There are sixteen questions in total, eight for each text. This section requires a deeper understanding of the meaning of larger portions of the texts, as well as an understanding of opinions, rather than facts.

The Writing Sub-test 

The Writing sub-test takes 45 minutes and is profession-specific. There is one task set for each profession based on a typical workplace situation and the demands of the profession.

The task is to write a letter, usually a referral letter. Sometimes a different type of letter is required, e.g. a letter of transfer or discharge, or a letter to advise or inform a patient, carer or group.  As well as the task instructions, you will receive stimulus material (case notes and / or other related documentation) which includes information to use in your response.

The Speaking Sub-test 

The speaking test format consists of a warm-up, three minutes preparation time and two consultation role-plays of five minutes each. The candidate plays the role of the health care professional. The criteria assess both communication and linguistic skills.


Intelligibility                                                    Relationship Building

Fluency                                                          Understanding & Incorporating the patient’s perspective

Appropriateness of Language                     Providing structure

Resources of Grammar and Expression      Information gathering & Information giving

(6 marks for each and 24 marks in total)       (3 marks each and 15 marks in total)

OET Scores

AVery High Level of Performance
BHigh Level of Performance, able to use English with fluency and accuracy adequate for healthcare registration, appropriate visa categories, healthcare courses and workplaces
CGood Level of Performance, but not acceptable to a range of health and medical councils
C+Very good level of performance, adequate for appropriate visa categories, healthcare courses and workplaces
DModerate Level of Performance, requires improvement
ELow Level of Performance, requires considerable improvement

International medical candidates need to score a minimum of B in all 4 papers and nursing candidates need a B in Listening, Reading and Speaking, with a C+ acceptable in the Writing paper in order to achieve the standard required by those regulatory bodies that recognise the OET’s validity.

OET Recognition

The OET is recognised by over 20 regulatory healthcare bodies and councils in the UK and Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Dubai, Namibia, Ukraine and the USA. These include the Nursing and Midwifery Council (UK), the Nursing and Midwifery Board (Ireland), the General Medical Council (UK), the Medical Council (Ireland) the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the Nursing and Midwifery Councils of New Zealand, and the Singapore Medical Council. OET is also recognised by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection and many Australian universities and healthcare education bodies, including the Australian College of Nursing. There is a full list on the OET website.

OET is available in over 40 countries worldwide, including 18 locations in the UK, with test dates every month.

OET Test Fees

In 2019, the test fees are AUD $587, approximately £350.

Medical English Plus specialise in both IELTS and OET preparation. We work with hundreds of candidates every year and specialise in working with healthcare professionals. Clients include many large NHS Trusts, Care Home Groups and Private Healthcare Groups in the UK. We are one of the first two OET endorsed Premium Preparation Providers in the whole of the UK and Europe.

Want to know more about preparation for either test? 

Then please call 07713 250037 or email: brightonoet@medicalenglishplus.com or awhisken@medicalenglishplus.com

For more information visit: www.occupationalenglishtest.org