OET Test Format

OET provides a valid and reliable assessment of all four language skills – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking – with an emphasis on communication in medical and health professional settings.

OET comprises four sub-tests:

1) Listening (approximately 45 minutes)
2) Reading (60 minutes)
3) Writing (45 minutes)
4) Speaking (approximately 20 minutes)


Spoken material with regard to patient consultations and lectures will be provided. Candidates need to demonstrate their understanding of the same.


Part A - consultation extracts (about 5 minutes each)

Two recordings of doctor- patient consultations will be provided. Candidates need to complete the doctor’s notes based on the recording.


Part B – short workplace extracts (about 1 minute each).

Candidates are required to listen to six recorded extracts and answer one multiple-choice question for each extract.


Part C – presentation extracts (about 5 minutes each).

Candidates are required to listen to two different extracts and answer six multiple-choice questions for each extract.



Candidates are required to demonstrate that they can read and understand different types of text on health-related subjects.


Part A – expeditious reading task (15 minutes)

The Candidates need to answer 20 questions within the allotted time from four short texts which relate to a single healthcare topic.


Part B and Part C – careful reading tasks (45 minutes)

Part B : Candidates need to answer multiple choice questions from medical documents.
Part C : Candidates need to answer eight four-option multiple-choice questions.



The task is to write a letter, usually a referral letter. e.g. a letter of transfer or discharge, or a letter to advise or inform a patient, carer or group.


The Speaking sub-test is delivered individually and the candidate takes part in two role-plays.
The candidate takes his or her professional role (for example, as a nurse or as a pharmacist) while the interlocutor plays a patient, a client or a patient's relative or carer.