top of page
News Reading

Occupational English Test (OET)

The Occupational English Test or OET as it is popularly called is an English language assessment test created for healthcare professionals. OET can be taken up by 12 different healthcare categories: nursing, dentistry, dietetics, medicine, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, radiography, speech pathology optometry, pharmacy, and veterinary science. OET is owned by Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Trust (CBLA) which is co-owned by Boxhill Institute and Cambridge English Language Assessment.

OET is accepted as proof of English proficiency in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Namibia, and Singapore for registration in 12 healthcare professions.

OET is owned by Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Trust (CBLA). It is a venture between Cambridge English and Box Hill Institute.

The aim of the test is to make sure that the candidate has the ability to communicate with patients, colleagues, doctors, etc., and thereby ensures the smooth functioning of the healthcare facility. The health professionals from the following categories are assessed under OET:

  • Medicine

  • Dentistry

  • Nursing

  • Pharmacy

  • Veterinary Science

  • Dietetics

  • Optometry

  • Radiography

  • Physiotherapy

  • Occupational Therapy

  • Speech Pathology

  • Podiatry

The listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills of the candidate are analyzed in the test. A minimum of grade B is needed in each skill to be accepted by various professional boards. There is a sub-test for each skill area. The Listening and Reading sub-texts are common to all professions and are intended to evaluate the candidate on his/her ability to understand spoken and written English in circumstances connected to general health and medicine.

OET Computer Based Test

How is the Occupational English Test (OET) delivered

The OET is delivered over two modes- OET Test on Paper and OET Test on Computer.The most popularly used mode of examination is the OET paper based test, which is a pen and paper test conducted at a test venue. There are over 45 countries that deliver the OET on Paper at a Test Venue. The OET Test on Computer at a Test Venue or what is popularly called as the OET Computer based test is conducted in over 32 countries.

The most recent OET Computer based test venue was opened in Kuwait (2021) and incidentally, this is the first and only OET test center in Kuwait.

The OET Test on Computer has the same format as that of the OET Paper based test. The major difference is only in the mode of delivery, which is on a computer at a test venue. The modules of OET- OET Listening, OET Reading and OET Writing- are to be taken on a computer. The fourth module- OET Speaking- is conducted over the Zoom app as a video call.

The OET Computer based test is remotely proctored.

In India, the OET computer based test a a test venue is available in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata.



What is the OET test format?

OET like any other language test, evaluates the performance of the candidate under four sub-skills which are listening, reading, writing and speaking. The listening is a 45-minute test, followed by a 60-minute reading test. The writing tests last for 45 minutes and is the last test taken in this order. The speaking test, which lasts for 20 minutes, is to be taken in the second half of the day, post 1 pm.

Format of the test

  • The listening test includes 3-parts which tests different skills. Part A of listening requires you to answer 24 questions, which has note completion as the task. Part B and Part C of listening include multiple-choice questions.

  • The reading is a 60 minutes test which has matching and sentence completion as the tasks in Part A, followed by multiple-choice questions in Part B and Part C of reading.

  • The writing test involves the candidate in a letter-writing based on the case notes given of a patient. This is the only task and the candidate can take only 40 minutes to complete the letter with the first 5 minutes to read and go through the case notes.

  • The speaking test is to enact two role cards, each lasting 5 minutes. The candidate will take up the role of the health professional whereas the interlocutor (the person who will help you enact the role play) will take up the role of the patient or the bystander. In this test, you need to re-create the scenario of your everyday workplace.

What makes OET different from other language tests?

Most other language assessment tests are for a general audience. This simply means that anyone irrespective of their professional background can attend the same test. But in the case of OET, the test is designed for medical professionals. This ensures that a medical or healthcare professional can easily identify the test scenario from his/ her everyday work experience. This factor makes OET highly favorable among healthcare practitioners.

bottom of page