OET Reading Test – Subtest Pattern and Structure
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- 1 OET Reading Task
- 2 How can I improve my performance on the Reading sub-test?
OET Reading 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. In this article, we shall learn about the OET Reading sub-test and all the métiers that we should keep in mind before getting on the preparation spree.
So, let’s begin!
OET Reading Task
One who understands the comprehension well is the one who understands the context of the communication well. The OET Reading subtest evaluates the examinees based on their reading comprehension and contextual understanding. Medical professionals are expected to be well-versed with case studies, reports, and surveys. Hence, the OET Reading task assesses the examinees’ reading prowess and discernment skills.
The OET Reading task is uniform and equal for all medical specializations. The content of the questions are alike across Dentistry, Dietetics, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography, Speech Pathology and Veterinary Science.
Subtest pattern and Structure
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 evaluates the examinees on the basis of their ability to quickly and aptly go through the short texts and find the relevant information solicited in the questions. Part B judges the ability to get through the gist and specifications of the texts in a detailed manner. Part C, which consists of two long texts, assesses the ability to identify the essence of the passages and derive an opinion and viewpoint out of them.
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 a 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 have 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 proficiency of the candidate 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.
How can I improve my performance on the Reading sub-test?
Are you trying to improve your performance on the Reading sub-test? If yes, here are some tips to follow:
Sharpen Your Comprehensive Skills
One of the best things to do is to improve your overall reading skills. This can be done by reading regularly. Moreover, experts recommend getting familiarized with a range of text and language types and not merely the ones used in the test preparation material.
You can effortlessly widen your reading skills by following your interest areas. Try to practice with texts aimed at current affairs, factual content, paragraphs, short sections, and more.
Use Correct Skills for Every Part of the Sub-Test
The Reading sub-test is generally designed to test the correct use of reading skills at the right time. Part A is all about accumulating information from varying texts. Thus, you must be prepared to jump from one text to another. The quicker you can discover the text sections, the more time you’ll get to ensure that you understand everything correctly.
Moving on, Part B is about comprehending the main idea of a workplace text. You’ll have to select the best option that represents the text content. Here, it is essential that you check which option covers the idea completely.
In Part C, you’ll have to understand the development of meaning into a line of information or argument in longer texts. Here, you’ll have to use inference skills to understand the opinion or attitude of the writer at varying points throughout the text.
Keep a Check on Your Work
Sure, it’s crucial that you answer every question as quickly as possible. It is even more important that you take out a few minutes to recheck your answers. While in Part A, you must make sure that the spellings of the answer word(s) are correct, in Part B and Part C, you must discover evidence in the texts that prove the correctness of your answers and the incorrectness of other options.
Complete the Booklet Correctly
In Part A, you’ll have to write answers directly on the line provided for every question. The given length is sufficient to write the correct answer. On the other hand, Parts B and C are checked through the computer; thus, you must follow the given instructions on the front page when entering your answers.
A general piece of advice
Candidates should go through the questions quickly before reading the texts. It not only helps them to cut through the texts and locate the pointers that are asked in the question but also helps them to complete the test ahead of time.
A common adage says, “ Practice makes the man perfect”, and so is the case herewith. An ample number of mocks, good practice sessions, solving questions on a real-time basis form a firm foundation for the aspirants and help them ace this test. Sticking to the parameters, marking criteria, and filling in the answers are extremely vital to this test. Of course, time management is another quintessential factor. This comes with choosing the right approach, apt direction and blissful guidance of an experienced mentor. Rest all depends on your determination, zeal, and integrity, which creates a successful record.
All the best!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the OET Reading task all about?
What is the total time for the OET Reading task?
Is there any extra time allotted to check my answers?
Am I allowed to write abbreviations or misspelt words?
How can I finish part A on time as it involves reading and writing too in just 15 minutes?