OET candidates are often unclear regarding the level of importance of spelling across the different sections of the OET. We have out together a simple guide to sort out your OET spelling worries once and for and all.
OET Writing Sub-test
Obviously, it is preferable to avoid spelling errors in the OET letter. However, it is important not to overestimate the proportion of marks allocated for spelling. In doing so, you may neglect other areas of the assessment such as grammatical issues which arguably carry more weight. Out of the 6 assessment criteria for OET writing, spelling is grouped with punctuation, vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure in the assessment category entitled: Language.
If you know that spelling is a problem for you then you will need to dedicate extra revision to it. If your spelling is generally quite good, just be sure to copy details from the case notes without any misspellings as this is a waste of marks, and also it is important that medications, procedures etc. are spelled correctly. It goes without saying that you should thoroughly proofread your letter as many spelling errors are picked up at this stage.
Be aware of the differences between some American and British English spelling. Both are equally acceptable but stick to one throughout. It is also worth making a note of spelling mistakes that you make frequently in practice materials so that you avoid them when it comes to the real thing.
OET Reading Sub-test
Candidates are often unsure how important spelling is when it comes to their answers in the reading test. Evidently, your answers in the reading sub-section of the OET are multiple choice when it comes to part B and C. However, in OET Reading Part A of the reading sub-test, in the questions where you are required to write your answers, it is imperative that your spelling is correct, and you will not gain the mark for the question if it is not.
OET Listening Sub-test
Unlike in the reading section, the spellings of answers in the listening sub-test are not as important. Finally, some good news – Yay! Your answer should be as close to the correct spelling as possible and the word that you are attempting to spell must be obvious to the assessor. As long as the assessor can understand the meaning of the word, it is likely to be marked as correct.
So, hopefully spelling in the OET is not quite as scary as you thought. As long as you follow the above-mentioned tips your spelling worries will be sorted before you know it!