Since the late 1980’s, the Occupational English Test (OET) has remained a popular test of English language proficiency among healthcare professionals. Over the past 30 years, the list of healthcare regulators, organisations and immigration authorities which recognise this test has grown. To date, OET is widely accepted in major countries such as the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Dubai, Singapore and Namibia, to name a few.
Designed specifically for the healthcare industry, the OET not only opens the door for OET candidates to work or study in the medical field, but also helps test takers learn the kind of language that they are expected to know in their work as a healthcare professional. This equipping function has proven valuable to many past OET candidates. In fact, a study by Cambridge English Language Assessment in 2013 found that 93% of healthcare professionals either agreed or strongly agreed that their co-workers or employees who have taken OET are able to use English effectively in their healthcare workplace (read more about this study here)
Naturally, the certificate is one which is very much coveted by those from the medical profession. Here, we answer your questions about the OET certificate.
How can I get the OET certificate?
You will need to book an OET test and sit for it at an authorised OET test centre. Currently, there are more than 140 OET test centres in 42 countries and the test is offered 14 times per year. However, OET candidates can only book for the next three test dates at a time. For a list of test dates and venues, click here.
How much does it cost to get the OET certificate?
The OET test costs AUD$587 but you can get discounts for subsequent bookings. For more detailed information about fees in your respective currencies, please inquire at the test centre which you plan to take the test at. You can find a complete list of test centres here.
Are there different types of the OET test?
Yes, the OET is specially tailored to 12 different healthcare professions, so you will need to make sure that you are sitting for the correct stream. These are:
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Pathology
- Veterinary Science
What is considered a pass in OET?
The OET tests your language ability in the four language areas of Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. For each of these four sub-tests, you will receive a score of between 0 to 500 – with 0 being the lowest and 500 being the highest. What score you need to ‘pass’ OET depends on the registration body or organisation which you intend to submit your results to. It is best to check with the specific body to be sure. However, as a general rule, a minimum score of 350 out of 500 is normally accepted. This 350 score is commonly referred to as the ‘B’ grade. Do take note that you will get a score for each of the language skills (Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing) but there will not be an overall score given.
When can I get my OET results?
OET test results are usually available within 16 working days after you sit for the test.
If I am not happy with my OET results, can I ask for a remark?
Yes, you can, but you need to make this request within 5 days of the release of the test results. Read the full details of this procedure here.
If I don’t get the desired score, can I retake the test and how soon can I retake the test?
You can retake the next available test and there is no grace period imposed to take the next test. However, you need to ensure that you have booked for the test because there is a closing date for each test registration.
If I retake the OET test, can I just retake those which I have failed to obtain the desired score in?
Unfortunately, you need to retake the whole test.
Can I combine the scores from different OET tests?
This depends on the regulatory body or organisation that you are submitting your test results to. Some of them do accept OET certificates from different sittings, but you will need to contact them to make sure.
How long is the OET certificate valid for?
Again, this depends on the regulatory body or organisation that you are submitting your test results to. Generally, OET results are valid for 2 years but there are some organisations that may accept OET test results that are more than 2 years old, subject to certain conditions.
Are there any security features of the OET certificate?
Yes. Successful candidates receiving their Occupational English Test (OET) results from 19 September 2019 onwards will get a prestigious digital badge. OET is the first English language test for healthcare professionals that awards these e-badges. Candidates who receive these badges will enjoy the convenience and security of sharing them online as they cannot be copied or tampered with. You can find out more about this here.
Who recognises the OET certificate?
Many organisations around the world recognise the OET certificate. For a full list, click here.
How does OET compare to other major English tests like IELTS?
The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) provides a universal scale of 6 levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2) to compare results of major language tests such as IELTS, PTE, TOEFL and OET. For more information, read this article.
Who can help me prepare for the OET test?
We offer Writing Correction Service, Reading Course, and Speaking Mock Test and have been training students to sit for the OET successfully for the past ten years. If you have further questions, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .