Everything You Need to Know About the OET Exam | Academically

Everything You Need to Know About the OET Exam

Apr 25, 2024 3 min read
OET Exam

Key Takeaways: 

  • The OET exam is specifically designed for healthcare professionals seeking to work in English-speaking environments.
  • It assesses language skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking, tailored to the healthcare sector.
  • Eligibility criteria include being at least 18 years old and having a minimum level of education equivalent to secondary education

When moving to a foreign country, one of the most important requirements to be met is English language proficiency. This applies for education, employment, and migration purposes. There are several English tests you can take to demonstrate your English proficiency. IELTS, PTE, and OET are some of the examples. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the OET exam.

OET Exam: An Overview 

The Occupational English Test (OET) is an English language proficiency test specifically designed for healthcare professionals. It assesses the language skills of healthcare professionals who seek to register and practice in an English-speaking environment. Recognised and trusted by healthcare organisations worldwide, the OET provides a reliable assessment of language proficiency tailored to the healthcare sector. This test is accepted in various countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, the UK, etc.

OET Exam Format 

The OET exam consists of four sub-tests: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

Each sub-test assesses specific language skills relevant to healthcare professionals.

The test is paper-based, except for the Speaking sub-test, which is conducted face-to-face with an interlocutor.

  • Listening Component - 50 minutes
  • Reading Component - 60 minutes
  • Writing Component - 45 minutes
  • Speaking Component - 20 minutes

OET Content 

Listening: Candidates listen to healthcare-related recordings and answer questions based on the information provided.

Reading: Candidates read various texts from healthcare contexts and answer multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, and summary completion tasks.

Writing: Candidates write a letter, usually a referral letter or a discharge letter, based on case notes provided.

Speaking: Candidates engage in role-plays with an interlocutor, simulating typical healthcare communication scenarios.

Scoring: Each sub-test is graded on a scale of A (highest) to E (lowest).

A minimum score of grade B in each sub-test is usually required by healthcare regulatory bodies and institutions. Or the candidate can score 350 out of 500.

Results: The results of the OET exam will be published in 12 business days after the exam date.

OET Exam Centres in India

There are multiple testing centres for OET across different regions in India. 

  • Calicut
  • Angamaly
  • Thrissur
  • Kochi
  • Kollam
  • Kottayam
  • Trivandrum
  • Mumbai
  • Coimbatore
  • Delhi
  • Gurgaon 
  • Haryana
  • Ghaziabad
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Bangalore
  • Punjab
  • Kolkata
  • Ahmedabad
  • Pune
  • Jaipur
  • Indore
  • Visakhapatnam

OET Exam Eligibility Criteria

  • Since this English proficiency test is exclusively for healthcare professionals, there are certain eligibility requirements to be met.
  • The candidate must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible to write the exam 
  • The candidate must have a minimum level of education that is equivalent to secondary education

Who Can Take the OET Exam?

There are 12 healthcare professions, including:

  1. Dentistry
  2. Dietetics
  3. Medicine
  4. Nursing
  5. Occupational therapy
  6. Optometry
  7. Pharmacy
  8. Physiotherapy
  9. Podiatry
  10. Radiography
  11. Speech therapy
  12. Veterinary science

Countries that Accept the OET Exam

Some of the countries that accept the OET exam include:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Malta
  • Ireland
  • Maldives
  • Namibia
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America

OET Exam Preparation

Understand the Exam Structure: Familiarise yourself with the format and content of each sub-test. Practise sample questions to get a sense of the exam's style and difficulty level.

Develop Language Skills: Enhance your vocabulary related to healthcare terminology.

Improve your listening and reading comprehension skills by engaging with healthcare-related materials such as articles, journals, and podcasts.

Practise Writing: Practise writing letters within the time constraints provided in the exam. Seek feedback from teachers or peers to improve your writing skills.

Practise Speaking: Engage in role-play scenarios with a study partner or tutor. Record yourself speaking and evaluate your performance in terms of fluency, pronunciation, and clarity.

Take Practice Tests: Take full-length practice tests to simulate the exam environment and assess your progress. Identify areas of weakness and focus on improving them through targeted practice.


The OET exam is an important step for healthcare professionals looking to work in an English-speaking environment. By understanding the exam format, content, and scoring criteria and by implementing effective preparation strategies, you can increase your chances of achieving a successful outcome. It is important to practise consistently, seek support when needed, and approach the exam with confidence. With dedication and effort, you can conquer the OET exam and build a rewarding career in healthcare.


Q: What is the OET exam?

Ans: The OET (Occupational English Test) is an English language proficiency test designed specifically for healthcare professionals.

Q: What does the OET exam assess?

Ans: The OET exam assesses the language skills relevant to healthcare professionals, including listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

Q: How is the OET exam structured?

Ans: The OET exam consists of four sub-tests: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, each focusing on specific language skills.

Nuha Mariyam
Nuha Mariyam
about the author

Nuha Mariyam has more than three years of experience in content writing. She strongly believes in the power of creativity and the impact that it makes. With a keen eye for detail and a love for words, Nuha specialises in creating engaging and informative content across various fields, including healthcare.