The Occupational English Test (also known as OET) is an international English language test for the healthcare sector. It assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to register and practice 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.

Why choose OET?

OET is the English language test designed for the healthcare sector

Patient safety and quality care

Limited language proficiency is an obstacle to effective communication affecting quality of care.  OET is designed to replicate the critical tasks of healthcare workplace settings and measure abilities across the skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Valid and reliable

Underpinned by Cambridge Assessment English and the University of Melbourne, OET has featured prominently in research literature relating to language testing in specific-purpose contexts.

Highly secure and trustworthy

Delivered in 40 countries through secure facilities with highly-trained staff.  Robust identity and malpractice checks, test material assessed centrally, and secure results verification service for recognizing organizations.

Test dates and locations

Result & Assessment

OET is an international English language test that assesses the language proficiency of healthcare professionals who seek to register and practise in an English-speaking environment. It provides a valid and reliable assessment of all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking – with an emphasis on communication in healthcare professional settings.

How is the test scored?

You will receive a Statement of Results which shows your score for each of the four sub-tests, on a scale from 0 to 500. Each of the four sub-tests is assessed in a specific way.

Listening and Reading
Your answer booklets for Listening Part A and for Reading Part A are marked by trained OET Assessors. These answer booklets are assigned to OET Assessors at random to avoid any conflict of interest. Your answer booklets for Reading and Listening Parts B and C are computer scanned and automatically scored.

Listening and Reading Assessors use a detailed marking guide which sets out which answers receive marks and how the marks are counted. Assessors use this guide to decide for each question whether you have provided enough correct information to be given the mark or marks available. Assessors are monitored for accuracy and consistency, and your Part A answers are marked by at least two different assessors.

Writing and Speaking
Your performances on the Writing and Speaking sub-tests are each rated by at least two trained Assessors. Audio files and scripts are assigned to Assessors at random to avoid any conflict of interest. Your test-day Interlocutor is not involved in the assessment process.

Writing and Speaking Assessors are monitored for accuracy and consistency, and the scores they award are adjusted to take into account any leniency or severity. If two Assessors award different scores to your performance, your script and/or audio file will be referred to at least one other senior Assessor not previously involved in your assessment.

For the Writing sub-test, each Assessor scores your performance according to five criteria: Overall Task Fulfilment, Appropriateness of Language, Comprehension of Stimulus, Linguistic Features (Grammar and Cohesion), and Presentation Features (Spelling, Punctuation, and Layout). The five criteria are assessed on a scale from 0 to 6 and are equally weighted. A score of 350 (previously grade B) for Writing requires a high level of performance on all five criteria.

For the Speaking sub-test, each Assessor scores your performance according to nine criteria. The four linguistically-oriented criteria are Intelligibility, Fluency, Appropriateness of Language, and Resources of Grammar and Expression. They are assessed on a scale from 0 to 6. Clinical communication criteria include Indicators of Relationship Building, Indicators of Understanding & Incorporating the Patient’s Perspective, Indicators of Providing Structure, Indicators for Information Gathering and Indicators for Information Giving. They are assessed on a scale from 0 to 3. A high level of performance on all nine criteria is required in order to achieve a score of 350 (previously grade B) on the speaking test.

For how long are OET results valid?

The length of time the results are recognised as valid is decided by the authorities that recognise OET (e.g. boards and councils, government departments). Always check your authority’s website for details to make sure you know their requirements. The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) also publicises their requirements on their website