OET Listening Test – Pattern, Structure and Quick Tips
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- 1 Assessment of Listening ability in OET
- 2 Quick tips that will help to score higher in OET Listening
OET Listening task evaluates the examinees on the basis of their concentration, discernment and understanding of the English language set in a medical context. The topics are of generic healthcare interest and the task is alike and uniform for all the medical professions covered under the OET exam.
OET Listening- subtest pattern and structure
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.
- 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 are assigned to different examiners and they use a detailed marking guide for assessing the test papers.
Example of Part A
Below, you can find a sample of the Part A format. Know that you should only write what you think is the most specific and important information in the notes and avoid writing anything general or vague.
The remaining 12 questions of Part A are similar to this pattern and so is not shown here.
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 of a minute. 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.
Example of Part B
Here is the sample of the question format you’ll have to work on in Part B. In this scenario, you will be listening to six short lectures on various healthcare topics and should pick out the correct answers to each of the questions as you listen. Keep in mind that every question could be formatted differently. Thus, it is essential that you look through the answer booklet before you start the task to know what should be anticipated.
The remaining three questions are of the same type with separate audio extracts for each.
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, by rigorous and diligent practice.
Example of Part C
Here is the sample of the question format you’ll have to work on in Part C. It is similar to Part B questions, the only difference being that here, there are two audio extracts with 6 questions each. So, you will be listening to two lectures regarding healthcare topics and choose the correct answers to each of the questions as you listen.
Assessment of Listening ability in OET
The OET Listening sub-test has been curated to evaluate a gamut of listening skills, like the ability to comprehend certain details, information, gist or perception, or the speaker’s objective. These skills are evaluated through questions like multiple-choice and note-completion.
Generally, those who get the liability to mark the Listening sub-test are experienced and competent. The responses are evaluated by keeping a comprehensive marking guide in mind. During this session, if any of the answers come unanticipated or complicated, they get referred to a sub-group of senior evaluators for undeviated suggestions and after that, the papers, especially Part A, get double-marked to make sure there is consistency and fairness.
The scoring of the listening sub-test
As mentioned before, the answers for OET Listening Part A are marked twice by ingenious OET assessors. Generally, the answers get randomly assigned to assessors to neglect any conflict of interest. For this part, assessors refer to a detailed marking guide that predetermines the answers that receive marks. The guide helps assessors in comprehending if you’ve given enough information to get marks or not. This part is evaluated with consistency and accuracy. In terms of Part B and Part C answers, they are computer scanned and scored automatically.
Quick tips that will help to score higher in OET Listening
Here are some tips to follow to ensure higher marks in the OET listening test:
Read questions before hearing the audio
Before you begin listening to the audio, make sure you thoroughly navigate through all of the questions. It will assist you in finding keywords and phrases that will further help you form answers.
Listening cautiously is the key to scoring higher on the listening test. Thus, it is essential you pay rapt attention to the audio. Also, make sure you are concentrating on the keywords when listening attentively.
Speak up if you couldn’t hear the audio
Technical glitches can come everywhere. There could be times when you might not be able to hear the audio properly. If that happens, you must inform the invigilator to get the issue fixed.
Pay attention to the order of the audio
One thing to keep in mind is that the audio of this test goes in a sequence. It is structured in the same manner and order as the questions. Thus, it would be best if you didn’t face any confusion while finding answers to a specific question.
There are a variety of fields that will have plenty of abbreviations, such as the healthcare sector. Hence, you must familiarize yourself with the abbreviations and know where and when they should be used. As part of the test, you will have to take notes on the patient. Using abbreviations will help you save time and write faster in such a scenario.
Avoid getting distracted
When listening to the audio, it is easy to get distracted. However, any intrusion can lead to missed answers, keywords or phrases. So, make sure you listen to the audio with complete concentration.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the OET Listening task all about?
What is the total time for the OET Listening task?
How many questions are there in each part of the OET Listening?
What are the types of questions asked in the OET Listening?
Is there any time allotted to go through the responses I have provided?