OET Speaking Tips: Tips to Improve your OET Speaking
- 1 About OET Speaking
- 2 OET Speaking tips
- 3 How is OET Speaking assessed?
- 3.1 Linguistic Criteria
- 3.2 Clinical Communication Criteria
People nowadays leave no stone unturned and no paper unfurled when it comes to availing the best opportunities across the world.
Now, when it comes to medical professionals, one would not want to avert the best optimum value from the innumerable bankable opportunities available across the world. That said, the language becomes the deciding factor in many cases as you may be an accomplished professional, however, without having a finessed English communication, you may not be able to practice in an English speaking nation. The OET speaking is all about gauging your oratory and verbal skills.
The OET speaking subtest is one of the four sections of the OET and you are assigned various tasks through which your clutch over the English language is probed. You may get worried about the preparation strategy for the OET Speaking, however, if you practise daily and tenaciously, success is bound to come.
Here, in this article, we shall learn about some essential tips on preparing for the Speaking subtest of the OET.
About OET Speaking
The OET Speaking subtest is one of the four sections of the OET and focuses on assessing a candidate’s ability to communicate with the patients effectively and clear all doubts about every detail possible.
- It is administered individually and takes about 20 minutes to complete.
- This subtest is specifically designed to suit the profession of the candidate.
- This subtest includes role-plays where candidates take their professional role while an interlocutor takes the role of a patient, patient’s relative, client, etc.
- At the beginning of the OET Speaking test, there is a short warm-up conversation about the candidate’s professional background between the candidate and the interlocutor.
- Subsequently, the role-plays are introduced one by one and each lasts for five minutes. Candidates are given three minutes to prepare for each role-play.
- Information regarding the role-plays is given on a card which the candidate keeps throughout the dialogue. The cards contain details on what the candidate is required to do in the role-play. Candidates are allowed to use the cards to take notes.
- Typically, the role-plays mainly consist of workplace situations where the assistance of a healthcare professional is needed.
You may get worried about the preparation strategy for the OET Speaking; however, if you practise daily and tenaciously using the tips given below, success is bound to come.
OET Speaking tips
Speaking can be a tough skill to master if one is not up to speed with the lingo the present generation is accustomed to using regularly. An individual must practice their speaking skills once a day so as not to lose touch with the basics. Similarly, the best approach to preparing for OET Speaking is to practice on a daily basis. However, if you are second-guessing your preparation for the test, use the basic tips given below:
Play your role confidently:
In the Speaking test, the interlocutor will be playing the role of a patient or a relative. Therefore, the candidate will have to play the role of the medical professional. Thus, it is important to play the role assigned confidently to maintain the flow of the dialogue.
It is beneficial to break the ice:
It is important to remember that the candidate should be the one to begin the conversation. Since the candidate plays the role of a healthcare professional, they are expected to start the dialogue with remarks, advice, or simply asking questions and carrying the conversation’s flow.
Try to understand the patient’s case:
It is important to speak with authenticity during the discussion with the interlocutor. Therefore, candidates must listen carefully to whatever the patient is saying and make a mental note of the significant details. This will help them formulate the responses much quicker. The focus should be on the results as well as the interaction between the candidate and interlocutor.
Follow the cue given on the roleplay card:
As mentioned earlier, some clues will be provided as tasks on a piece of paper. If the candidate discussed each point in the conversation, he/she would not have to think of extra points to keep the conversation going.
Maintain the structure and formality of your roleplay:
Candidates must maintain the role they are playing and the structure of their dialogue. Introduction, Body and Conclusion, these three stages must be maintained by the candidate. In the Introduction, candidates can introduce themselves and begin the conversation. The body should comprise the primary gist of the communication and should have a linear flow. Finally, candidates should conclude by prescribing some medicine or giving some advice.
How is OET Speaking assessed?
Understanding the assessment process is also a crucial part of preparation.
The Speaking test of a candidate for OET is recorded and this audio recording is marked independently by at least two trained OET assessors. Candidates who have a thorough understanding of the marking criteria of the OET Speaking test can effectively use their skills to give an outstanding performance. If a candidate analyzes and identifies the key areas which need to be focused on, they are bound to receive a higher grade.
On the other hand, if a candidate’s only approach to preparation is memorizing study material and rote-learning previously used techniques without upgrading to current norms, their performance also tends to be sub-standard.
A candidate’s performance on each five-minute speaking role-play is scored against nine criteria and a band score is provided for each. The nine criteria are divided into two broad categories, which are Linguistics and Clinical Communicative.
This criterion judges a candidate’s pronunciation, intonation and the ability to communicate every aspect of their dialogue to the listener clearly.
The speed and smoothness of the conversation, especially on the healthcare professional’s part creates a good impression and leads to a higher score.
The use of relevant vocabulary and maintaining proper tone and professionalism while speaking also have an impact on the listener’s understanding.
Advanced vocabulary and grammatical accuracy can significantly improve the quality of communication.
Clinical Communication Criteria
Elements like empathy, understanding and respecting the listener’s comfort should be present while conversing with the interlocutor.
Paying attention to the patient’s perspective:
It is of utmost importance to incorporate the details provided by the patient in the responses and solutions.
One of the best ways to make the role-play better is to provide the information to the listener in a systematic manner. Thus, providing proper structure for the listener’s better understanding is important.
The kind of questions asked by the candidate and the attentiveness with which they listen to the patient can significantly determine their performance.
The intent of the role-play is to understand the patient’s plight and provide effective and efficient solutions. Thus, the information provided by the medical professional and how it is provided is a primary determinant in OET speaking. The responses and solutions provided in the role-play should indicate that the candidate has understood the patient and their comfort level.
Some other important points candidates should remember about OET speaking test are:
- Neither assessor has any knowledge of the score awarded by another assessor to a candidate on their OET Speaking test.
- The test day interlocutor has no role in the assessment of the candidate’s performance.
- The OET Speaking assessments are targeted and specific and are not a general evaluation of a candidate’s English speaking skills.
- The manner in which a candidate responds to the task on a specific day determines how they are marked by OET Assessors. Specific assessment criteria are applied, which mark the candidate based on their performance compared to real-life health professional workplace situations.
OET Speaking can be demanding if a candidate’s speaking skills are not up to requisite standards. However, if a candidate has sufficient knowledge of the areas they need to improve their skills, this subtest can also be tackled easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an overview of the OET Speaking task?
What are some of the most prominent determiners as per the OET Speaking criteria?
Is there any preparatory time allotted?
How is using a range of expressions for my communication important?
Should I make notes while organising the ideas for the Speaking part of the OET?