Occupational English Test (OET)
The Occupational English Test (also known as OET) is the English Language test which is exclusively designed for healthcare professionals. It assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to register and practise in an English-speaking environment.
OET is available for the following 12 professions: dentistry, dietetics, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry, radiography, speech pathology, and veterinary science.
OET is recognised by regulatory healthcare boards and councils in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Singapore, Namibia and Ukraine. Many organisations, including hospitals, universities and colleges, are using OET as proof of a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in a demanding healthcare environment. In addition, OET is recognised by the Australian Department of Home Affairs and Immigration New Zealand for all visa categories where an English test may be required.
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:
- Listening (approximately 45 minutes)
- Reading (60 minutes)
- Writing (45 minutes)
- Speaking (approximately 20 minutes).
Timing and results
OET is available 14 times per year and can be taken at test venues around the world.
Results are published online approximately 16 business days after the test. Official statements of results are sent out in the post following the release of online results. There is no overall grade – candidates receive separate grades for each sub-test.
Most recognising organisations require candidates to have at least a B grade in each of the four sub-tests and recognise results as valid for up to two years. Most recognising organisations also require that candidates achieve the requisite grades for each sub-test in one sitting. However, candidates should check with the organisation that regulates their profession to confirm current requirements.
OET is underpinned by over 30 years of research and the test is regularly updated to keep pace with changes in language testing in a healthcare context. There is strong emphasis on the ongoing validity and reliability of the test. Leading language testing academics contribute to the continued development of the test, and subject matter experts are consulted to ensure that tasks are based on a typical workplace situations and the demands of the profession.