OET Exam Pattern 2022
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- 1 Different modes of OET
- 2 Tasks in OET
- 2.1 OET Listening
- 2.2 OET Speaking
- 2.3 OET Reading
- 2.4 OET Writing
The OET is the most distinguished language assessment for medical professionals and is well recognized across various medical associations in different nations.
The OET has various patterns and examinees such as the OET on Paper and so on and so forth. As an aspirant, you can give this test as per your preference and comfort and this privilege should be yielded as much as you can. That said, it becomes even more important for you to know the details of these patterns and the options you have.
In this article we will learn about different modes of the OET.
Different modes of OET
The OET exam is available in three test formats. The first one is OET on a paper at a test venue, which is the oldest test format ever since the OET exam surfaced as an assessment for medical professionals, the second option is to attempt the test on a computer at a test venue, and the third test gives one a liberty to attempt the test in the comfort at one’s home on a computer. The aspirants may choose any one of the options and can sit for the exam as per one’s chosen format.
It is to be kept in mind that the availability of the medium depends upon the test centre one chooses to appear in the exam from.
Tasks in OET
When we talk about communication, all aspects of it are considered, be it one’s speaking prowess or writing communication skills, reading comprehension, or listening ability. However, since complete communication is not restricted to only one aspect, the OET pens its tasks, including the Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking tests that need to be qualified with the required grades or more.
The OET Listening subtest has three parts, i.e., Part A, Part B and Part C. Part A of the Listening test evaluates one on the basis of their identification of specific information in a health consultation and requires one to complete the notes.
Part B assesses one based on their ability to pick up and understand the detail, gist, opinion, or purpose of short extracts from the healthcare domain. Finally, part C assesses one on the basis of their ability to understand the recorded presentation or interview in a generic medical context or a workplace situation.
In Part A, aspirants are required to listen to two recordings of 5 minutes each pertaining to health professional-patient consultations. The aspirants have to fill in the notes of the healthcare professional. The profession may include any one of the following-
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Pathology
- Veterinary Science.
This part has 24 questions and the examinees have to complete the notes in the space provided in the test booklet. The notes are to be filled using the same words heard in the recording. The information should neither be paraphrased nor should it be transformed.
Abbreviations should not be used, especially for the typical and specific terms of a specialized medical profession. However, common abbreviations can be used. Marks would be deducted if the words used are either vague or repeated from the notes, thereby rendering the information unclear.
Marks are generally not deducted for spelling mistakes, provided that the examinees tried to reasonably spell the words/phrase/medical terms to the best of their attempt. Markings for spellings are quite lenient. In general, the terms that are quite typical to a medical specialisation are given with reference to a more generic and common name. Hence, examinees are not restrained by this.
The answers for Part A are double-marked by trained OET evaluators. To avoid any conflict, random answers sheets are assigned to different examiners and they use a detailed marking guide for assessing the test papers.
In Part B of the OET Listening, examinees will be made to listen to six recorded extracts that could be team briefings, handovers, or health professional-patient dialogues. Each extract is approximately a minute long. The questions that are asked for this section are Multiple-Choice questions. Each extract has one question with three options associated with it.
For answering the questions, the lozenge against the questions is to be filled. This part is 6 marks, with one mark for each right answer. Part B is computer-scanned and is automatically assessed and the marks are awarded for the correct answers.
Examinees are made to listen to two different extracts from a healthcare context/workplace setting. There are 12 questions in total in this part, with three options for each. Each extract is 5 minutes long and a set of six multiple-choice questions are asked for each of them. One mark is awarded for each correct answer and so, the entire section is of 12 marks. The evaluation process for Part C is the same as that of Part B, that is, computer-scanned.
One can hear the audios only once and therefore, examinees have to be alert and attentive. They are provided with two minutes to evaluate their answers and check for any discrepancies in their test papers for all three parts.
The Listening test can be mastered by managing time, using the right skills and concentration, picking the right information, understanding the right comprehension and deeper meaning, and most importantly, rigorous and diligent practice.
The entire OET speaking task is around 20 minutes long and is derived from a clinical arena. The major task that is covered under the OET exam is roleplay. There are two roleplays that the examinees have to perform and participate in and check for their dexterity in evincing their ideas out in a medical setting.
Each roleplay is specifically designed for the medical professionals in relevance to their professions. For instance, a Podiatrist would have to participate in the roleplays where the contextual conversation is of Podiatry and likewise across all the specializations.
What kind of roles do the examinees have to take part in the OET Speaking?
First of all, the interlocutor ensures the identity and specialization/profession of the examinees. For this, there is a quick introductory conversation between the interlocutor and the examiner regarding professional background. Post that, the roleplays are introduced and assigned to the examinees and three minutes are allocated to the examinees to prepare for each roleplay.
The information about each roleplay is provided to the examinees on a card that includes everything about the role, including the context of the conversation, situation, requirements, and so forth. Both the roleplays are derived from a typical workplace situation.
Examinees may write the cues and information on the cards to help with their conversation in the roleplay. The interlocutor follows a uniform script and has a detailed gist and information about each roleplay to maintain uniformity. The examinees have to ensure that they can maintain the conversation as per the situational demand that emerges in a medical scenario.
Each roleplay is marked for 5 minutes and if the examinees couldn’t wrap the conversation in the allocated bracket of time, they are signalled by the interlocutor to conclude the conversation. It may not cover all the pointers given on the card. However, one has to conclude the discussion upon the signal.
The OET Reading section consists of 42 questions and gauges one’s reading mastery and how well the aspirants can comprehend the texts. This section is 60 minutes long and consists of three parts, i.e., Part A, Part B and Part C.
Part A comprises short texts set in a medical context and expects the examinees to skim and scan through the texts. It is also called an expeditious reading task. This part is 15 minutes long and the timing is strictly limited to 15 minutes only. It has four short texts, all of which are related to each other and are relevant to a medical context and the total number of questions asked is 20.
The total marks assigned to this task are 20, where one mark is awarded for each right answer. Candidates are expected to write the answers in the spaces provided on the test paper. Examinees have no extra time to assess and double-check their answers and are advised to go through their answers while attempting Part A of the OET Reading task.
Spelling mistakes are not taken leniently and one has to be adept in spelling the words. In addition, candidates should stick to the information provided in the texts and shouldn’t paraphrase them. Moreover, abbreviations are not allowed in the answers unless they are mentioned in the texts.
Part B and Part C time limit
The combined duration of Part B and Part C of the OET is 45 minutes and has to be completed in the assigned time frame.
Part B comprises six short texts of around 100-150 words, relevant to a medical profession set in a generic context. This part has 6 questions that are of multiple choice type. Examinees are expected to fill the circle provided against each of the three options per question.
Part B of OET Reading tests the candidate’s proficiency to go through the texts and find out the gist and essence of the texts. One who succeeds in doing so is able to provide the correct answer. Each short text has a question related to its content and each correct answer has a mark for it. This makes this part of 6 marks in total.
Part C consists of two long texts of around 800 words each. The texts are set in a clinical pertinence. This part has 16 questions in total, with each part having 8 questions each. The total marks for this part are 16, with each correct answer consisting of a mark.
This part of OET Reading testifies the candidates based on their intelligence, wisdom, and ability to draw inferences from the texts given. Candidates are expected to have a point of view upon reading the texts. The questions asked are multiple-choice types of questions. Examinees are expected to fill the circle provided against the options for each question.
This subtest is 45 minutes long and requires the aspirants to write a letter relevant to a medical scenario. This test is specifically designed for different professions like dentistry, Dietetics, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography, Speech Pathology and Veterinary Science.
Type(s) of letter aspirants need to write
The most common type of letter in the OET Writing subtest is a referral letter. However, other types of letters that are anticipated are a letter of transfer and a letter of discharge. In addition to that, a letter to advise or inform a patient, carer, or group is, at times, used in Pharmacy, Veterinary Science and Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy. Moreover, other letter types might include writing an answer to a complaint or grievance, which is generally seen in Radiology.
Word limit and Format
In the OET Writing task, the letter is generally expected to be around 180-200 words and normally, the words anticipated for the letter-writing task wrap up around this word range. However, there is no stringent set of rules around the word limit. Nevertheless, candidates are penalized for redundancy, superfluous terms, unrelated ideas and divergence from the context. Generally, exceeding the word limit insinuates the lack of relevance, which is certainly a red flag for the examinees.
Various formats are accepted in the format part in the OET Writing sub-test, as there are different types of layouts across different medical professionals. Owing to that, medical professionals need not ligate and limit to one specific format and can freely use the ones that they are comfortable with in relevance to their specialization. However, the prime focus should be on the correctness and construction of the letter written. Moreover, special attention should be on sticking to the addressee and the address or other details mentioned in the notes.
So, this was all about the OET exam pattern and the gist of the tasks of the OET.
Hope your preparation for the OET is going all smooth and efficacious and the result would add the feather to your dream to move to your favorite nation for your medical studies or employment in the healthcare domain.
All the best!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different modes of the OET that I can appear for?
How many questions are there in each part of the OET Listening?
What is the overview of OET Speaking?
What is the overview of OET Writing?
What is the overview of OET Reading?