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Step 2: Skim the questions

Step 3: Now start answering the questions! Start with Questions 8-14, not Question 1!

Step 4: Keep going! Move on to the next section (Questions 15-20)

Step 5: Now do Questions 1-7

Step 6: Now check your answers

This is a free Master Class for OET Reading – with a step-by-step guide to help you practise and succeed in answering difficult questions in OET Reading Part A. This OET Reading free sample contains explanations on how the answers were extracted together with OET Reading tips. This article will teach you how to pass OET Reading Part A. Since the OET Reading test is the same across the different healthcare professions, this sample is suitable as an OET Reading sample for nurses, OET reading sample for doctors, as well as all the other healthcare professions under Occupational English Test exam.

Free OET Reading Sample Practice Test (Part A) . Download

So, imagine that you are now an OET candidate sitting in the exam hall and you have just received your OET Reading test paper (Part A). You only have 15 minutes to answer all 20 questions in this section, this includes the OET reading time. (Get more OET reading tips here). Time management is thus very important in OET Reading. Follow our tips in this article and learn to answer all the questions in OET Reading Part A within the time frame. This sample follows the OET 2.0 format. Click the thumbnails below to zoom.

Endometriosis is a long-term chronic condition where the womb lining (endometrium) grows in other places outside the womb.The endometrial tissue may also grow in places such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes, the vagina, cervix, bowel or bladder, and in rare cases,in other areas of the body, such as the lungs. The endometrial cells may grow and form patches or nodules and these cells follow the same menstruation cycle outside the uterus as inside the uterus. They may also bleed at the same time as the woman’s period in response to the hormones released during that time. This may lead to inflammation and scarring.

Superficial endometriosis refers to the type of endometriosis where the disease appears on the lining of the pelvis or abdomen and do not invade deeply into the tissues.

Deep-infiltrating endometriosis refers to the condition when endometriosis lesions invade more than 5mm into the tissues, leading to scarring and nodules. These may grow into neighbouring organs such as the bladder, bowel and ovary.

Ovarian disease may occur and are sometimes referred to as a separate form of the disease. This happens when lesions burrow on or under the ovaries and lead to the development of endometriomas (also known as ‘chocolate cysts’ because of their colour).

Other rarer forms of endometriosis happen when endometrial cells grow inside the muscle of the uterus (in a condition called ‘adenomyosis’), outside the pelvis, into the upper abdomen, in the liver, nose or eye, or in the abdominal wall. Most women are diagnosed between the ages of 25 to 40. It is not common among women who have gone through menopause.

Endometriosis is difficult to diagnose due to:

  • variation in symptoms
  • similarity of symptoms with many other conditions

Clinical assessment

  • Internal pelvic examinations
  • Ultrasound scan to locate cysts in the ovaries that may have been caused by the condition
  • Laparascopy – an operation that can confirm the condition

Treatment options

  • there is no known cure for endometriosis
  • treatment aims
    • relieve pain
    • slow endometrial tissue growth
    • improve fertility
    • prevent a recurrence
  • treatment of physical symptoms
    • prescribing painkillers (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and naproxen)
    • prescribing hormone medication
    • surgery (laparoscopy , laparotomy or hysterectomy)

Factors to consider when deciding treatment options

  • age – if a patient is nearing menopause, the symptoms may get better without treatment
  • severity of symptoms – treatment may not be necessary if symptoms are mild or the patient does not have fertility problems
  • pregnancy plans – if endometriosis is interfering with fertility, then treatment can be considered although it does not guarantee that the patient will be able to conceive, plus some treatments may cause infertility
  • personal feelings about surgery

prior treatment for the condition

Self-help strategies to manage endometriosis pain include:

  • applying heat to the lower abdomen to relieve a period pain such as taking a warm bath or placing a hot water bottle on the lower abdomen to relax muscle cramps
  • doing a pelvic massage of the pelvic and surrounding areas can help to reduce menstrual pain and make a difference
  • making changes to the diet by avoiding processed food, sugar, dairy and gluten. Generally eating healthy by avoiding red meat and consuming more vegetables and fruit can improve overall health and help a woman cope better
  • doing light exercises to release endorphins. Exercise also assists in lowering oestrogen levels
  • getting enough rest every day but especially during menstruation. It is suggested to relieve the pressure in the back by lying on the side with knees pulled up to the chest
  • taking omega-3 fatty acids from natural food sources (such as fatty fish) or from supplements) to help reduce inflammation
  • taking herbal supplements may assist with symptoms, although a doctor’s advice is needed before starting on this

getting support from help groups or other people help cope with the condition. It is useful to know that there are other who suffer from the condition as well and there are people who can give advice based on their experience

oet reading part A

STEP 1 – SKIM THE HEADINGS

FirstMany candidates are excited and straightaway jump to answering the questions. Don’t do this! Remember – it is much easier to locate the answers when you have a decent understanding of the text at hand and what type of information exists in each text. This would later work as a reference point to identify the right text when you try to find answers to the given questions., run your eyes through the headings and sub-headings. Do this in just a few seconds. You need practice to master this skill.

Watch this Short Video on Skimming & Scanning

  1. ZOOM in on the headings and sub-headings – they are made BOLD and placed in BIGGER fonts for you here. Imagine doing that mentally during the exam.
  2. Make a mental note of where these headings are! Remember them! This is an important skill for OET Reading Part A

Text AEach sub-heading looks like a different FORM of endometriosis, so this part must be explaining the TYPES of endometriosis

Endometriosis is a long-term chronic …

Superficial endometriosis refers to the …

Deep-infiltrating endometriosis refers to the …

Ovarian disease may occur and …

Other rarer forms of endometriosis happen …


Text B

CausesObviously this is about the CAUSES. of endometriosis The exact cause …

Variations‘Variations’ imply that the SYMPTOMS may differ in some way. Keep that in mind. in symptoms of endometriosis can vary …

General‘General’ must mean SYMPTOMS commonly associated with this illness symptoms of endometriosis painful or heavy …


Text C

Endometriosis is difficult to diagnoseThis is about DIAGNOSIS. due to: variation in …

Clinical assessment Internal pelvic …

TreatmentThis is where you find TREATMENT options options there is no known …

Factors to consider‘Consider’ implies suitability of treatment when deciding treatment options age – if a patient is …


Text D

Self-help‘Self-help’ implies something a person can do without relying on a doctor strategies to manage endometriosis pain include: applying heat to the …

STEP 2 – SKIM THE QUESTIONS

Run your eyes through the questions and pick out all key words quickly. Do this in a few seconds only. Do not worry about where you can find the answers yet. Let’s try one example here.

Questions 8-14 Answer each of the questions, 8-14, with a word or short phrase from one of the texts. Each answer may include words, numbers or both.

  1. What are the names of two painkillers that a doctor can prescribe to manage endometriosis?

In Question 8, the key words in the question are ‘two painkillers’ and ‘prescribe’. Think. The answer will most likely be nouns telling you the name of the medication. Since these are ‘prescribed’, they are most likely a form of treatment or management. Do you remember where you saw the words ‘treatment’ or ‘management’ when you skimmed through the headings in Step 1? Yes! They are in Text C! Do the same for all the Reading Part A questions very quickly and make a mental note of the key words. Underline them with a pencil quickly if you can. This strategy will help to not only save time but improve accuracy as well.

STEP 3 – NOW START ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS! START WITH QUESTIONS 8-14, NOT QUESTION 1! It would be unwise to try and answer Questions 1 to 7 because, in order to answer them, you will need a thorough understanding of all 4 texts. By starting from Question 8, you will not only be able to find your answers quickly, but also gain more exposure to the reading texts, which will help you later with Questions 1-7

Do not waste time. Now start getting your answers. We advise reasons for this are: Questions 1-7 are actually quite ‘objective’ because there are only 4 possible answers – A, B, C or D. You just need to identify which text contains the information in case you run out of time at the end, you can make a good calculated guess for Questions 1-7 and have a better chance of getting it right compared to the other questions. By the time you have done all the other questions, you would have a pretty good idea of where certain information elements are, so Questions 1-7 may be quite easy after you have done Questions 8-20. you not to do the first part (Questions 1-7) first. The rationale is that writing the answers for Questions 1 to 7 in the OET Reading Part A answer sheet does not require a lot of time and once you have finished Questions 8 to 20, you will have a reasonably better understanding of all 4 texts so locating the right text for Questions 1 to 7 won’t be that difficult. Let’s do this!

Questions

  1. What are the names of two painkillers that a doctor can prescribe to manage endometriosis?

READING SKILL

This should be in the part where it talks about treatments. That would be TEXT C. Are painkillers mentioned at all? Scan and look for it!

Yes, it is there! Read the part BEFORE and AFTER the keyword quickly. Two types of medication are mentioned: ibuprofen and naproxen That’s your answer. So, the keyword strategy does help, but don’t forget, having a large enough vocabulary is equally important.
oet reading training

Question 9

  1. What is the surgery used to confirm that a woman has endometriosis?

Be very careful with keywords. Sometimes a synonym may be used. The keyword here is ‘surgery’. Logically, this may come under ‘treatment’, BUT WAIT…..read the question again. It says ‘to confirm’. So it’s not a treatment. It’s a DIAGNOSIS! (You can practise a lot of such reading materials for nurses in our OET Reading Part A Course.) Let’s scan the texts. Diagnosis and treatment are both in Text C.

The word ‘surgery’ appears in TEXT C, but wait….it comes under the sub-heading ‘treatment of physical symptoms’. The question is NOT asking about treatment but about DIAGNOSIS to CONFIRM the illness. Scan the text again, and you will see that further up the text, there is a sub-heading ‘clinical assessment’, AND it says ‘…can CONFIRM the condition’. However, it does not have the word ‘surgery’. It does have the word ‘operation’, though, which is a SYNONYM for ‘surgery’, so this is it! So your answer should be: Laparascopy .

Question 10

  1. What is the term used to describe the situation where the menstrual blood goes into the body instead of leaving the body?

Here, you are looking for a term, or a name. You also need to know about the situation when the menstrual blood goes back into the bodyUse Your Medical Knowledge!
If menstrual blood goes back into the body, it will cause endometriosis. So look for ‘CAUSES’
instead of leaving the body. Think of all possible synonymsUse Your Medical Knowledge!
Use Your Medical Knowledge! Menstrual/Menses/Menstruation = period
or other forms of the word that could be related to this. Also, as a medical professional, you can GUESS that if menstrual blood goes back into the body, it is going to cause problems, which, in this case is endometriosis. So look for CAUSES. That’s in Text B.

So, under this heading ‘causes of endometriosis’ you find exactly what you need. Since the question is asking for the TERM, then your answer is: Retrograde menstruation

Question 11

  1. Where can you find lesions of ovarian disease?

Ok, first, understand the question. The question wants to know WHERE, so your answer must be a place or location. The keywords are ‘lesions’ and ‘ovarian disease’. Ovarian disease is only mentioned in ONE place and it is in bold, so this is a fairly simple question. Look at TEXT A.

Now that you have found the text, read it carefully. So where Grammar Tip!
When we identify a place, we usually use a preposition such as ‘at’, ‘in’, ‘on’, etc. Here, the prepositions ‘on’ and ‘under’ help give you the confidence that you have found the right answer!
are the lesions? Your answer should be: On or under the ovaries.

Question 12

  1. What can be affected by dioxin?

This is another easy question. There is only one place where dioxinUse Your Medical Knowledge!
If you know what ‘dioxin’ is, you probably know it is a toxin. In this context, a toxin is likely to be a CAUSE of the sickness, so zoom in on areas where causes are mentioned. This can save you time!
is mentioned. Scan the paper quickly and locate it. Remember, you are looking for the thing that is affected by dioxin. This is in TEXT B.

The answer is simply: The immune system and reproductive system Be careful!
Don’t just write ‘the immune system’ because your answer would be INCOMPLETE. Always read the parts BEFORE and AFTER the answer you have chosen. Look out for words like ‘AND’ and ‘OR’, because they signal a continuity of information.

Question 13

  1. How far do endometriosis lesions go into tissues in deep-infiltrating endometriosis?

Read and understand! The question is asking for ‘how far’Visualise Your Answer!
Imagine if someone were to ask you ‘How far is your house from the hospital?’ What possible answer could you give? Maybe you can say vaguely, ‘Not far’, or ‘Very far’. However, to be specific, you can say, ‘2 km’ or ‘5 miles’, which means you are giving a distance. This is usually going to involve a NUMBER. So keep that in mind and your answer could possibly involve a number too!
. What could a possible answer be? There is only one place in the paper which mentions ‘deep-infiltrating endometriosis’, which is a TYPE of endometriosis, and that is in TEXT A.

Be very careful with your answer here. Don’t just see the figure ‘5mm’ and immediately write that down. REMEMBER to read the parts BEFORE and AFTER your suspected answer. If you read carefully, you will realise that the answer is NOT just ‘5mm’, but: More than 5mm

Question 14

  1. What is another term for the endometrium?

There is only one place that mentions ‘endometrium’, so scan that word quickly. It is in TEXT A.

The word ‘endometrium’ is in brackets, so it must explain something which came directly BEFORE the brackets. Read the words before the bracket carefully and extract the entire noun phrase, not just one word. Here, the answer is: Womb lining .
oet reading part A

STEP 4 – KEEP GOING! MOVE ON TO THE NEXT SECTION (QUESTIONS 15-20)

For Questions 15-20, use the same strategies you used for Questions 8-14.

Question 15

  1. When endometrial cells ________________ during menstruation, they may cause inflammation and scarring.

This question is trickyVisualise Your Answer!
The sentence is endometrial cells causing inflammation and scarring. So, logically, either something happens to the endometrial cells or the cells are ‘doing’ something. Either way, your answer is most likely an ACTION word, or a VERB
because the word ‘endometrial’ is used many times in the text. If you find yourself getting stuck for too long here, LEAVE IT and move on. You can COME BACK TO IT later.

However, the way to tackle this question is this: scan the paper and try to find the part where it is used in relation to ‘inflammation and scarring’. There are actually 2 places that mentions ‘inflammation’. One is in Text A and the other is in Text D. However, the one in Text D only talks about inflammation and not scarring, so pay more attention to the part in TEXT A.

Here, the word ‘menstruation’ is not in this part of the text, but a synonym, ‘period’, is used. Read on and you will see the words ‘lead toinflammation and scarring’ which means the SAME thing as ‘cause inflammation and scarring’. So what happens to the endometrial cells that cause inflammation and scarring? The answer is: bleed

Question 16

  1. Some women with endometriosis may have an absence of __________________.

This question is tough because it is quite vague and the keyword ‘absence’ does not appear in any of the texts. So you will need to think about other ways this can be presented. Possibly ‘absence’ can be replaced by ‘not Grammar Tip!
Using the negative form to say something in a different way. Think about other ways something can be said. For instance, ‘absent’ can be said using the negative form ‘NOT present’. So you can look for the words ‘NOT’ or ‘NO’ as possible clues.
present’, or ‘no (something)’. You can also look at the keyword ‘women’ and use that as a guide to help you locate the information. Either look for the exact word ‘women’ or ‘woman’, or possibly, in this context, ‘patient’ or ‘people’. You will find this in TEXT B.

So, you have found the information and it says ‘may not have any symptoms’. You need to think and see which word will fit into the sentence. You need to say, ‘an absence of…’, so the correct answer is: symptoms

Question 17

  1. The common type of endometriosis where the lesions do not burrow into far into the tissues is called ________________.

Here is another tricky question. Let’s look at the key words, ‘common type’. It tells us that we are looking for a ‘type’ so this is most likely in TEXT A.

Since the word ‘rarer’Grammar Tip!
Use your knowledge of ANTONYMS here, which are words which mean the opposite of each other. For instance, ‘rare’ is the opposite of ‘common’.
is used in Text A, and the question wants a ‘common’ type of endometriosis, you can assume that the three types of endometriosis mentioned BEFORE the word ‘rarer’ appears are the common ones. So which of the three is the answer (superficial endometriosis, deep-infiltrating endometriosis or ovarian disease?). The other keyword in the question is ‘burrow’ and you can see this in the text, BUT WAIT!!! The question says, DO NOT BURROW, so you cannot just take the word ‘burrow’ and think that the answer is ‘ovarian disease’ because that would be WRONG! It’s a trick! Instead, ‘do not invade’ has the same meaning as ‘do not burrow’, so your answer should be: superficial endometriosis

Question 18

  1. A woman suffering from endometriosis is advised to stay away from processed food, sugar, dairy, gluten and _______________.

This question provides a list Vocabulary Alert!
Since the items in the list are food items, possible words you should look for are ‘food’, ‘eat’, ‘consume’, or even ‘diet’.
. Some items in the list are already given – processed food, sugar, dairy, gluten. You just need to find the next item. This is in TEXT D.

Here, you find the word ‘avoiding’, which is synonymous with ‘stay away from’. However, you find that the list ends with the 3 items already mentioned – processed food, sugar, dairy, gluten. There are NO MORE ITEMS ON THE LIST! Don’t panic. Remember to read the parts BEFORE and AFTER this section. If you read on, you will see the words ‘eating’ and ‘avoiding’ again. And this time, it says, ‘avoiding red meat’. Aha! So ‘red meat’ is another food item and can fit into the list. So you answer should be: red meat

Question 19

  1. Physical activity can help to reduce _________________ in the body.

The key words ‘physical activity’ should guide you. The word ‘physical’ actually appears in TEXT B, as shown here.

However, if you look closer, even though it contains the same word ‘physical’, it does not fit what you are looking for. So you need to search again. This time, look for something that has the same meaning as ‘physical activity’, such as ‘exercise’, ‘jogging’, ‘swimming’, etc. You will find it in TEXT D.

Now consider the next keyword in the question, ‘reduce’. This word does not appear in this section, but there is a synonym here, ‘lowering’, so yes, this is likely the correct section. Read that again. What is reduced? Yes, your answer should be: oestrogen levels Spelling Alert!
When you come across a word which may be hard to spell, make sure you check your spelling TWICE!

Question 20

  1. Treatment for endometriosis cannot guarantee that a woman who has been infertile Grammar Tip!
    The word ‘infertile’ has a prefix, ‘in-‘. This prefix means the ‘opposite’ of something. In this case, ‘infertile’ means ‘NOT fertile’.
    will be able to __________________.

The keyword here is ‘treatment’ and you know by now that treatments are mentioned in Text C. So look for TEXT C. Then look for parts where it talks about fertility. What are other words associated with fertility? Have babies? Get pregnant? Use other keywords to guide you too – ‘cannot guarantee’ – and you will find the section.

Now that you have found the correct section, think about the best word from here. It is obviously: conceive
oet reading part A

STEP 5 – NOW DO QUESTIONS 1-7

By now you would have a better idea of all the texts, so you can go back to Questions 1-7. For this section, you just need to indicate which text (A, B, C or D) contains the information.

Question 1

  1. the possibility that endometriosis is a hereditary condition? ____________________

The keyword here is ‘hereditary’. Since this word does not appear at all in the texts, you will need to think of synonyms. If you can’t think of any synonyms, then think about which category this information may fall under. Hereditary means ‘inherited from’, so it is likely about ‘how’ a person can get endometriosis, which will fall under ‘CAUSES’, which is in TEXT B.

Is there anything here that talks about the sickness being inherited? Yes! The word that tells you that is ‘genetics’, so you answer is: B

Question 2

  1. finding endometrial tissue in locations far from the womb? ____________________

The keywords here are ‘locations’ and ‘far from the womb’. Think about locationsVocabulary Alert!
Since the context here is about locations of the body, possible words you should look for are body parts or organs such as ‘bladder’, ‘stomach’, ‘lungs’, ‘eyes’, etc.
far from the womb. Where could those be? Stomach? No, that’s near the womb. What about ears? Neck? Possibly, yes. Those are far from the womb. Now scan the paper and you will find that TEXT A talks about locations where endometriosis is found.

If you scan Text A, you will easily find that the information element is there, so your answer is: A

Question 3

  1. exhaustion caused by endometriosis? ____________________

Again, the keyword ‘exhaustion’ is not found in any of the texts, so you will need to look for a synonymous expression. To guide you, think about the role of exhaustion in this context. Is it a cause, a symptom, a treatment, or something else? Logically, exhaustion is normally a result of a disease, or a symptom. Do you remember which text talks about symptoms? That’s right. It’s in Text B, so now check TEXT B quickly and see if you can find something that is similar to ‘exhaustion’.

You’ll quickly find the word ‘fatigue’, so your answer is: B

Question 4

  1. the possibility of not getting treatment for endometriosis?____________________

This question is about treatment, but there’s a slight twist. It is talking about NOT getting treatment. However, you can start by looking at the text where treatment is mentioned, and that is TEXT C.

By now, you should be able to identify that ‘without treatment’ is the same as ‘not getting treatment’, so your answer is: C

Question 5

  1. recommended sleeping position during a period?____________________

As you read this, think about the role of sleeping position during a period. Why do you think this is relevant to endometriosis? Is it a cause of the illness? Maybe. Can it also be a way to reduce pain? Likely. So, which text is more likely to contain this information? If you remember your headings and sub-headings, you will probably recall the heading ‘Self-help strategies to manage endometriosis’ which is in TEXT D, so scan Text D first.

The words ‘sleeping’, ‘position’ or ‘period’ are not found in this section, but they can be SUMMARISED or INFERRED from what you CAN see in this excerpt from Text D, which are ‘rest’, ‘lying on the side’ and ‘with knees pulled up to the chest’. So your answer is: D

Question 6

  1. endometriosis commonly affecting women in their child-bearing years Use Your Medical Knowledge!
    What ages are considered ‘child-bearing years’? 6 years old? Too young. 70 years old? Too old. 18 years old? Possibly. 24 years old? Likely. 35 years old? Likely. Look out for these LIKELY numbers or a RANGE.
    ? ____________________

This is another summary or inference question. Look at the question carefully. It is talking about ‘child-bearing years’ which means they years or age a woman is able to get pregnant. So you should be looking for a NUMBER which signifies AGE. Now, scan the paper for numbers (either spelt out or in numerical form), and you will find it in TEXT A.

Yes, you have found it. So your answer is: A

Question 7

  1. the level of pain being inversely related to the size of the endometrial tissue? ____________________

This question talks about a relationship between pain and size. It says ‘inversely’Grammar Tip!
‘Inversely’ means in opposite manner. So if one goes up, the other goes down. If one increases, the other decreases, etc.
, which means ‘in opposite manner’, so look for words that are OPPOSITES of each other. This is tricky, so search the paper for this. It’s your last question in this paper!

You will see this in TEXT B. DON’T FORGET TO CHECK that it refers to the 2 variables in the question (‘pain’ and ‘endometrial tissue’). So, yes, your answer is: B

STEP 6 – NOW CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

If you have some questions which you skipped, go back to them quickly now and fill in a possible answer even if you are not sure.Exam Tip!
Do not leave any questions unanswered. There is no negative marking here, so if your answer is wrong, it is a zero. It is also a zero if you leave it blank. No marks will be deducted for wrong answers (we call this negative marking). So, you have nothing to lose by filling in a possible answer, even if you are not sure about it. There is still a possibility that it could be right!

You have finished the test! If you have time left, check your answers! You need to understand that OET Reading Part A scoring is based on one mark per correct answer.

Check:

  • Spelling. If your spelling is wrong, it is half correct. No marks are given if it is half correct. ACCURACY is important.
  • Correct form of the word as it appears in the text. You must use the word from the texts in its correct form. Do not change the word form, but it must still fit the sentence given in the question. ACCURACY is important.
  • Handwriting!! Make an effort to write legibly in the exam.
  • Read all the sentences in Questions 15-20 and make sure that the sentences make sense with your answer written in them.

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE COMPLETED PART A

After you have submitted the OET Reading Part A paper, put it out of your mind. Don’t think about it anymore because you still have to do Part B and Part C next.

Altogether, there are 20 questions in OET Reading Part A, 6 questions in OET Reading Part B and 16 questions in OET Reading Part C. That is a total of 42 questions.

So how many marks do you need to pass OET Reading? In order to get at least a B grade (or 350 out of 500 marks, which is the usual standard for a required pass for most registration purposes) you will need to get at least 30 out of the 42 total questions correct. If you can get ALL the 20 questions in Part A correct, then you only need to get another 10 questions right from Part B and Part C (which are usually much more challenging than Part A).

Stay tuned for OET Reading tips for OET Reading Part B and
OET Reading Part C.

Need more practice? Get more OET Reading materials here

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