Introduction to oet

The Occupational English Test (also known as OET) is the English language test for healthcare professionals. It assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to register and practise in an English-speaking environment.

OET was designed in the late 1980s by Professor Tim McNamara, under the guidance of the Australian National Office for Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR), which administered the test at that time. The test has been researched and developed continuously since then to ensure that it has kept up with current theory and practice in language assessment. This work has been done by the University of Melbourne’s Language Testing Research Centre and by Cambridge Assessment English.Since March 2013 the test has been owned by Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Trust (CBLA), a venture between Cambridge Assessment English and Box Hill Institute.
OET is recognised by regulatory healthcare boards and councils in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, 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.Each recognising organisation determines which grade results mean that candidates meet the language competency standards to function in their profession. A full list of regulatory organisations that accept OET can be seen on the official website
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).
candidate’s receive a numerical score from 0-500, which can be mapped into grades. In OET there is no overall grade system.

Letter GradeNumeric ScoreDescription
A450-500fluent in communication with patients as well as professionals
B350-440Effective in communication with patients as well as professionals
C+300-340Can maintain the communication environment with pateints and professionals.
C200-290can maintain communication with patients as well as professionals despite occational errors
D100-190can maintain some interactions and communication, but may ask for clarification, frequent erros, mis-use of technical language
E0-90Can handle basic interactions and talk over familier topics, high errors
Occupational English Test(OET) is applicable for the following professions:
  • Dentistry
  • Dietetics
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Radiography
  • Speech Pathology
  • Veterinary Science