OET Speaking Samples – How to Practice OET Speaking
The OET exam contains a section on speaking, which has been devised to assess your skill in effectively communicating through role plays. It is based on real-life situations that might arise in a healthcare setting, giving you exposure to the actual work scenario that you might experience in your job as a healthcare professional.
As a qualified healthcare professional, the language used by you is supposed to reflect your training and experience. Your communication is expected to be mutually intelligible with others in the healthcare profession. Your grasp of medical jargon and the way you use them would enable you to communicate cogently with others in your profession.
However, as healthcare personnel, you are also required to communicate with patients and their families to quite an extent. When communicating with those from different backgrounds, you should be able to adapt the way you speak in order for your speech to be comprehensible to those from non-medical backgrounds. So, this article will provide you with an OET speaking sample and useful tips to assist you in your preparations for the OET examination. It will help you gain insight into what you are expected to do and what to avoid when appearing for the speaking subtest of the OET exam.
Before we proceed to the speaking sample, however, a few convenient tips to help you ace your OET Speaking test have been provided below.
Format of the OET Speaking test
The format of the test will most probably involve a role play where you, as a healthcare professional, will have to communicate with a patient or their relative who is NOT from a healthcare background. A role play card will be provided with a situation and your task and you will be provided three minutes to prepare. During the role-play, you will have to act out the situation for a minimum of five minutes.
Tips for OET Speaking test
- Avoid using blanket statements and openers when speaking. Adapt your opening phrase to the SETTING given, and use language that is befitting of the scenario.
- Pay attention to what the interlocutor says instead of simply looking at the roleplay card. This can be helpful in finding out the chief complaints of the patient and subsequently focusing on them during your speaking time.
- Having previous knowledge regarding the medical conditions addressed would definitely be advantageous, so make sure that you read up on general topics that are brought up in OET speaking tests. Do not become overly reliant on task cards which only contain sparse information.
- Lastly, put the PATIENT FIRST. The OET exam wants healthcare professionals to be patient-centred. Having regard for the patient’s needs and concerns and genuinely caring about them will enable you to speak more consistently and fluently and ask better questions when required.
- You should make a conscious effort to use positive language instead of negative language since it is your duty as a medical professional to comfort the patient rather than discomfiting them in any way. When speaking to the interlocutor who is playing the role of a patient, pay attention to the words you select when speaking. You must avoid inadvertently terrifying or offending the patient or seeming impatient around them in any way
- Choose your words carefully and learn how to offer advice. You should not come across as overbearing or forceful when advising the patient at any point. The general idea is to seem like you are trying to compel your patient into doing something. Pay attention to your language to make sure it is gentle and reassuring. Here are some ways you could start to advise a patient:
- I highly recommend that…
- It would be a good idea to…
- My advice for you would be…
- End by summarising and reviewing the highlights of what has been covered thus far. Ensure that the conversation has been reviewed with the patient and the central ideas have been reiterated to make sure that the patient has comprehended everything fully. You can then end the conversation with a genial goodbye or a similar phrase.
OET Speaking sample
Candidate cue card
Setting: Community Health Centre
Nurse: You are talking to John Williams, a 35-year-old computer engineer who has been referred by his GP for advice on weight loss. He has been experiencing breathlessness on exertion and has been advised by his GP to lose weight in order for his health to improve. He is overweight and has a BMI of 25.
- Discuss the importance of losing weight.
- Ask questions about his lifestyle, including drinking and eating habits.
- Provide advice on getting a suitable diet and physical activity (increase physical activity, reduce alcohol intake, eat fruits and vegetables).
- Advise the patient to come back for a review in four weeks.
Interlocutor cue card
Setting: Community Health Clinic
Patient: Your name is John Williams. You are 35-year-old and you work as a computer engineer. You drive half a mile to work and spend your evenings in front of the TV or the local pub with friends. You usually miss breakfast because of your busy schedule and tend to eat snacks or fast food during the day. Recently, you have noticed a marked decrease in your energy levels, particularly in the afternoons.
On weekends, you take care of your six-year-old nephew. You lead a busy life and do not get any exercise or physical activity. You do not have any significant health problems, but lately, you have been getting breathless while playing with your nephew on the weekends. You do not believe that you need to lose weight, as being overweight is quite common these days.
- Respond to the nurse’s questions.
- Express concern that it will be hard to make changes to your lifestyle.
- Reluctantly agree to comply with the advice and return in a month for a review.
Nurse: Good Morning, I am the Community Health Nurse, and my name is Gurleen. How are you doing today?
Patient: Hello Gurleen, I am doing well.
Nurse: That’s good to hear. Is it okay if I address you as Mr Williams?
Patient: Yes, that’s fine.
Nurse: Ok. So, Mr Williams, You have been referred by your
doctor so that we can have a little chat. The doctor is concerned about your weight.
Patient: But I don’t think my weight is that serious an issue. You see tons of overweight people these days. That’s what I tried to tell the doctor as well; half of the country has a weight problem if you read the papers.
Nurse: That may well be the case, Mr Williams, but I think we must consider the long-term effects of being overweight. Moreover, I have been informed that you have been experiencing breathlessness with exertion. Is that right?
Patient: Oh yes, I get out of breath while playing with my nephew. I look after him on the weekends; and over the last two months, I have been getting breathless while having a bit of a kick around him.
Nurse: Hmm. This is probably not something that you were hoping to hear, but being overweight is one of the causes of your shortness of breath. Moreover, carrying extra weight predisposes you to health problems. Therefore, we must discuss some ways to stabilise your weight to avoid future complications. Is that ok?
Patient: Ok. Well, Yes.
Nurse: Good. Now, I just have a few questions before I can advise you, if I may?
Patient: Ask away.
Nurse: Thank you. Could you tell me if you get any physical activity daily? For instance, exercising or walking or playing some sport?
Patient: I have a hectic schedule; honestly, I do not get the time. I go to work in the morning, and I get so exhausted during the day that I either crash in front of the TV or spend time with my mates in the local pub.
Nurse: Ok. Would you mind telling me about your eating habits?
Patient: Oh, I normally skip breakfast because I have to rush to work. During the day, I eat snacks from the cafeteria or get fast food during the lunch hour.
Nurse: All right. And could you tell if you drink?
Patient: Yes, I have a few beers with my mates in the evenings; but, it’s only a form of recreation.
Nurse: Ok. And do you have any ongoing medical conditions, for example, hypertension or diabetes?
Patient: Thankfully, no! But my problem’s the afternoon. My energy level declines by three o clock.
Nurse: Ok. Thank you for answering my questions. It helped me
to understand the situation much better. Let’s look at some practical things that we can do together to help you now. Does that sound good?
Nurse: Great. Well, Mr Williams, firstly I want you to consider including some physical activity in your routine. There are different ways to do this. Do you like exercising?
Patient: Um, I don’t mind it but like I said earlier, I have a busy life and it’s difficult to take time out to exercise.
Nurse: That’s fine. How far is your workplace from your house?
Patient: Oh, not far. It’s about half a mile from where I live.
Nurse: Ok, So how do you get to work?
Patient: I take my car. If I didn’t, I would be late.
Nurse: Ok. I understand Mr Williams, but I suggest that you try and incorporate some activity into your daily routine. You could consider walking to work or taking a bicycle to work. It is an efficient and effective way to improve your health and fitness. The good thing is that your workplace isn’t far off and the distance between your work and home allows for it. How does this sound?
Patient: I am not sure. I already struggle to get to work in time.
Nurse: Hmm, I understand your concern, but it will not take as long as you think it will. You might need to wake up 30-45 minutes earlier than usual, but this way you will be able to incorporate a much-needed cardio activity into your lifestyle. If you are getting late, take the bus and walk back home. How do you feel about what I am proposing so far?
Patient: Well, I suppose it’s not that bad.
Nurse: I am glad to hear that. Apart from this, you might want to rethink your diet. A nutritious and well-balanced diet with physical activity is the cornerstone of maintaining good health. At the moment, you are barely getting one nutritious meal. You must start with a healthy breakfast so that you do not need to snack up till lunchtime. How does this sound?
Patient: Well, if I am getting up early, I might as well try.
Nurse: That’s good. Eating a healthy breakfast will keep your energy levels up during the day. Moreover, you need to include fruits and vegetables in your diet. Would you be able to do this?
Patient: Well, my sister is a veggie and Mum prepares salad and stuff in the evening, so I have no excuse. I am not that keen on it…
Nurse: Hmm, I can understand. But eating a healthy diet is paramount to your general well-being. I can sense you are worried about changing habits all at once so you can make gradual changes by including one or two portions of fruits and vegetables in your diet each day. They are healthier substitutes for snacking too.
Patient: Ok, I can try…
Nurse: That would be nice. And as for your alcohol consumption, can I suggest you limit your intake to one or two pints at a time?
Patient: One or two pints? That’s hard. This is the only form of relaxation I have.
Nurse: I know, I appreciate that, but it is of vital importance that you reduce your intake. I am not advising you to give it up altogether, but only suggesting that you can limit your intake.
Patient: I will think about it.
Nurse: I understand it’s going to be difficult at first, but it is indispensable that you lose weight to avoid any adverse effects on your health. Eventually, this will have a bearing on all aspects of your life.
Patient: Hmm, I suppose I can give it a try.
Nurse: I am glad to hear that. You can start with the little changes at first, and I recommend that you visit me in 4 weeks to assess your progress. If you have any questions in the meantime, you can contact me here at the centre. Does that sound Ok?
Patient: Yes, it sounds all right. I will see you after a month.