OET Pharmacy Reading Test: Top Strategies & Tips

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OET Pharmacy Reading: Overview

The OET Pharmacy Reading sub-test is an important component of the OET exam that assesses a candidate’s ability to read and comprehend different types of text within a healthcare setting. This test is divided into three parts, with a total duration of 60 minutes.

Part A, known as the ‘expedited reading’, involves finding specific information in healthcare-related texts within a tight timeframe of 15 minutes. You will need to read four short texts and answer 20 questions based on these texts.

Part B and C of the test are the ‘careful reading’ parts. In Part B, you’ll read six short workplace extracts and answer multiple-choice questions. Part C requires you to read two extended passages of general healthcare interest and answer more in-depth multiple-choice questions.

The OET Reading test focuses not only on the literal understanding of texts but also on the implicit meanings, opinions, and attitudes presented in the text.

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OET Pharmacy Reading: Strategies for Preparation

The best way to approach your preparation for the OET Pharmacy Reading sub-test is by having a systematic plan in place. Here are some strategies to help you prepare effectively.

Firstly, familiarise yourself with the format and expectations of the test. You should understand what each part of the test entails and the types of questions to expect. This can be done by reviewing the official OET materials and sample tests.

Next, practise your skimming and scanning skills. These are essential for Part A of the test, where you need to quickly locate specific information in the texts. Skimming involves getting the overall gist of a text, while scanning is used to find particular details.

Improve your reading speed. The more you read, especially medical and healthcare-related texts, the more quickly and accurately you can comprehend information. This will help you manage your time better during the test.

Lastly, expand your vocabulary. You should regularly review common terms, phrases, and abbreviations used in the pharmacy field. A good grasp of medical vocabulary will significantly enhance your comprehension during the test.

Remember, preparation is key to scoring well in the OET Pharmacy Reading sub-test.

OET Pharmacy Reading: Strategies on Test Day

On the day of your OET Pharmacy Reading sub-test, having effective strategies can greatly aid your performance.

Firstly, manage your time wisely. Each section of the Reading test has a different time limit. Ensure you keep to the set time for each part – 15 minutes for Part A, and the remaining 45 minutes for Parts B and C. This allows for a fair allocation of time and prevents any part from being rushed.

Next, read each question carefully before attempting to answer it. Understand what is being asked, and then scan the text for the specific information needed to answer the question. Do not make assumptions or infer answers without clear evidence from the text.

Remember to focus on your skimming and scanning skills, especially in Part A. Skim the text for a general understanding, then scan for specific information. In Parts B and C, read the questions before you read the passage, to know what information to look for.

Lastly, be aware of distractors. These are options in multiple-choice questions that appear correct but aren’t. Always base your answers on information directly provided in the texts.

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OET Pharmacy Reading: 5 Key Tips

Here are five key tips to help you succeed in the OET Pharmacy Reading sub-test:

  • 1) Practise Regularly: Regular practice helps familiarise you with the format of the test, improves speed and comprehension, and builds confidence.
  • 2) Understand Question Types: Each part of the reading test uses different question types. Understanding these will help you know what to expect and how to answer effectively.
  • 3) Expand Your Vocabulary: Regularly review common medical and pharmaceutical terms, abbreviations, and phrases to enhance comprehension during the test.
  • 4) Read Widely: Regularly read medical journals, research papers, and other healthcare-related texts. This helps improve reading speed, comprehension, and knowledge of the healthcare field.
  • 5) Stay Calm and Focused: Stress can impair performance. On the test day, stay calm, read each question carefully, and focus on answering to the best of your ability. Remember, preparation is the key to success.


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