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OET course details

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OET course




STOP!
BEFORE YOU BOOK YOUR OET DATE




Cover image - OET Student course book

How is the OET formatted?
The Cambridge-Boxhill Occupational English Test assesses listening, reading, writing and speaking abilities in four separate sub-tests featuring realistic medical and healthcare settings. It is a language skills test, NOT a test of medical knowledge. And it does not just test your vocabulary, grammar and idiom. It tests how fluently, appropriately and extensively you use your English in realistic healthcare situations without causing strain, confusion and misunderstanding between yourself and patients or colleagues. To pass your OET, you must pass all four tests individually.  For these reasons, begin early to practice and develop well-rounded language skills and do not simply try to learn a list of vocabulary or common phrases just before the test and then expect to do well.

What exactly is tested? Skills include, among others:
  • Listening - listening and making notes simultaneously, recording points from patient history, lifestyle, treatment and complications, opinion or attitude, understanding purpose of communication.
  • Reading - understanding purpose of clinical and non-clinical texts, point of view, and main as well as detailed points
  • Writing - understanding important information in case notes relevant to a specific reader, range of language, tone and formatting of a professional letter
  • Speaking - pronunciation, range of language, fluency, the ability to lead an interview, show understanding and use the appropriate tone and language

NOTE: The OET format changed format as of 9 September, 2018.   The format for the new test can be found here.


Grading and equivalents
IELTS equivalent
Statement descriptor
Cambridge English Scale (CES)
A
500-450
Can communicate very fluently and effectively with patietns and health professionals using appropriate register, tone and lexis. Shows complete understanding of any kind of written or spoken language.
8.0 – 9.0
C2
PROFICIENT USER
 
- Mastery or proficiency
200-230
B
440-350
Can communicate effectively with patients and health professionals using appropriate register, tone and lexis, with only occasional inaccuracies and hesitations. Shows good understanding in a range of clinical contexts.
7.0 – 7.5
C1 to C1+
PROFICIENT USER
  
- Effective operational proficiency or advanced
        

185 - 199
C+
340-300
Can maintain the interaction in a relevant healthcare environment despite occasional errors and lapses, and follow standard spoken language normally encountered in his/her field of specialisation.
6.5
B2++ to C1-
PROFICIENT USER
 
- Vantage or upper intermediate
 
Effective operational proficiency or advanced
176 - 184
C
290-200

5.5 – 6.0
B2- to B2+
INDEPENDENT USER
- Vantage or upper intermediate
163 - 175
D
190-100
Can maintain some interaction and understand straightforward factual interaction in his/her field of specialisation, but may ask for clarification. Frequent errors, inaccuracies and mis- or overuse of technical language can cause strain in communicaiton.
less than 5.5
B1- to B2-
INDEPENDENT USER
- Threshold or intermediate
142 - 162
E
90-0
Can manage simple interaction on familiar topics and understand the main point in short, simple messages, provided he/she can ask for clarification. High density of errors and mis- or overuse of technical language can cause significant strain and breakdowns in communication.
-
A1 to B1-
BASIC USER
 
- Beginner or breakthrough
 
- Waystage or elementary
 
Early threshold or very low intermediate
80 - 141


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