There is a wide-ranging demand for professional healthcare workers around the world. The number of international health workers who are migrating to new countries is constantly growing. As a result, the healthcare systems of the destination countries can develop and benefit greatly from the well-managed migration of health professionals. To bridge the gap between the medical personnel trained in one country and having to work in a different country, they must first develop effective communication skills.
A testing system called the Occupational English Test, or OET, was created to assess the English language proficiency of healthcare professionals who want to relocate to and register in English-speaking nations.
Although it is obviously customised for applicants who work in the various professions of healthcare, the test evaluates candidates’ abilities in four fundamental language skills—speaking, writing, reading, and listening—to determine their overall English proficiency. It should be noted that it is not a test of medical knowledge. Therefore, to perform well on the OET, candidates must polish their language skills and prove their capabilities through a solid OET score in all four skill sets.
Introduction to Scoring in the OET
Each of the four OET subtests is evaluated in a different way. Your performance in each is then graded on a scale from 0 to 500 in 10-point increments, i.e. 330,340,350 etc. The results are declared 16 days after the day of the test and will remain valid for a two-year window period.
You can download your official Statements of Results documents from your online profile. After you submit your application, medical boards and councils can check your OET records via the OET website to confirm your test results. The majority of recognising boards and councils seek scores of at least 350 on each of the four sub-tests from applicants.
How is the OET Score assessed?
Reading and Listening Subtests
OET assessors, with formal training, will mark your Listening Part A and Reading Part A answer booklets. To prevent any conflicts of interest, these answer booklets are distributed to OET Assessors at random.
Reading and Listening assessors follow a thorough marking manual that specifies which responses are graded and how points are calculated. Assessors use this guide to determine if you have provided enough accurate information for each question so that you will receive the maximum number of attainable marks. Your Part A responses are graded by at least two different assessors, and their performance is checked for accuracy and consistency.
Your Reading and Listening Parts B and C answer booklets are computer-scanned and automatically graded, as these are objective question types.
Writing and Speaking Subtests
At least two qualified assessors will evaluate how well you did on the Writing and Speaking subtests. To prevent any conflicts of interest, audio recordings and scripts are randomly assigned to assessors.
Writing and Speaking assessors are checked for consistency and accuracy. Any excessive leniency or severity on part of the individual assessor is taken into account when calculating the results and adjusted accordingly.
Each assessor grades your performance on the Writing sub-test using the following six factors:
- Conciseness and Clarity
- Genre and Style
- Organisation and Layout
Except for Purpose, which has a band score of 0 to 3, every criterion has a band score ranging from 0 to 7. A strong grade of achievement on each of the six criteria is necessary to achieve a score of 350 or more in the Writing Subtest.
Similarly, each assessor rates your performance on the Speaking subtest using nine different criteria.
The four linguistically focused criteria – rated between 0 and 6, are:
- Appropriateness of Language
- Grammar and Expression
Clinical communication criteria – assessed on a scale from 0 to 3, include:
- Relationship Building
- Understanding & Incorporating the Patient’s Perspective
- Information Gathering
- Information Giving
A minimum score of 350 or more needs to be attained by the candidates. Therefore, performing well on each of the nine criteria is essential.
What level of proficiency does each OET Score band indicate?
A score of 450+ in all of the Subtests signifies that the candidate possesses excellent communication skills and the ability to use the proper register, tone, and lexicon when speaking with patients and medical professionals. demonstrates total comprehension of any spoken or written language.
A score of 350+ is absolutely essential and denotes that the candidate possesses good communication skills and the capacity to speak with patients and medical professionals while using the appropriate register, tone, and lexicon. shows complete understanding of any spoken or written language.
A score lower than the prerequisite might lead to occasional errors, misunderstandings and overuse of specialised medical language that might strain communication on occasion.
How to check OET Score?
Follow the steps given below to view and download your OET results and scorecard:
- To access your results on the dashboard, log into your myOET profile.
- View your results by selecting the ‘My Results’ tab.
- Your electronic statement of results is now available for viewing, downloading, and printing.
- Your test details will have an ACTION column on the left side.
- There are a few little black triangles underneath the ACTION column.
- Choose “download statement of results” after clicking on one of these triangles.
- Please turn on all pop-ups in your web browser if you are unable to download your statement of results.
The official government and healthcare organisations must be convinced that you have the necessary English language skills when you seek registration with a licence to practise in order for you to do so safely in English-speaking nations. To ensure that you do not endanger the safety of your patients, you must be able to communicate well in English.
In terms of language proficiency, OET is a reliable measure of workplace preparedness. 93% of health professionals were of the opinion that OET graduates who work in the healthcare industry utilise English effectively. OET test takers discovered that the test themes and content relevance to their professional contexts encouraged them to get more involved in the test preparation process and increased their confidence in their capacity to interact productively with patients, caregivers, and coworkers.
Therefore, a good OET Score will open the doors of opportunity for you.