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OET Tips & Tricks

OET Test Preparation Specialists

Reading & Listening

  • In the listening section, try to simplify the multiple choice options as much as possible. They are frequently written in a way that paraphrases the actual content heard – if you simplify the options in your head, you will find it much easier to decide on what’s correct.
  • Remember that spelling is not important in this section. So when writing words out in Part A, just try to spell them phonetically if you’re unsure on what the exact spelling is; you will still likely receive the marks if you have understood the context.
  • Prepare for the listening section by switching your consumption of media to English – that means English TV and films, and English music. The more you’re able to listen to a range of English accents, the more confident you will feel.
OET Medicine Online Course & Question Bank

Our OET Medicine Question bank features questions from UK doctors, as well as tutorials and techniques.

OET Nursing Online Course & Question Bank

Our OET Nursing Question bank features questions from doctors and admissions specialists, with a range of tutorials.

OET Pharmacy Online Course & Question Bank

Our OET Pharmacy Question bank features questions from UK doctors and pharmacists, with tutorials and tips.

Speaking

  • Try to ‘flag’ distressing content or bad news. Remember that English speakers have a tendency to be less direct than speakers of many other languages. Saying something like ‘Unfortunately, the results weren’t as we hoped. I’m afraid that this means that we’ll have to restart the steroids’ is much better than saying ‘Your results showed no improvement, so we’ll have to restart the steroids.’
  • Focus on learning words and phrases that allow you to express empathy and understanding. Often this can be done by aligning yourself with the patient ‘ ‘I am here if you need to talk about this more at any point’ or ‘I completely understand that this must be a shock.’
  • Try to remain professional but avoid being overly formal or using technical jargon.

Reading

  • You should be able to skim-read content quickly in Part A. You will need to be able to quickly pick out key words or phrases that suit a particular idea or theme. This is reliant both on your vocabulary and on extensive practice in reading English, so that you’re used to sentence structure.
  • In parts B and C you have more time, so you will need to alter your attitude as you move from Part A (where you are focused on speed and efficiency) to Part B, where you need to focus on computing information more.
  • In Part C, you will need to understand opinion. That means you need to be able to read the entire passage and digest it as a whole, in order to understand the author’s position. Looking for keywords is unlikely to yield much success.
  • Be confident on your timings for the reading section. You might allow yourself around 10 minutes to complete part B, and 35 minutes to complete Part C.
OET Test Resources & Tutoring

Find our 1-1 tutoring for OET Medicine and Nursing here. We also offer 1-1 tutoring for Pharmacy.

Writing

  • Be prepared to make the best possible use of the five minutes’ reading time. You should not write, underline, or note anything in this time. However, you should read through the case notes thoroughly, and make sure that you understand the situation. Consider which content should be kept in the letter that you are writing, and which content may be discarded as it is extraneous.
  • Know how to start and end your letter. Be aware of conventions on using someone’s name versus a title (e.g. ‘Dear Dr Jones’ leads to ending the letter with ‘Yours sincerely,’ whereas ‘Dear Senior Consultant’ leads to ‘Yours faithfully.’)

Preparing

  • Try to access as many past papers and dedicated OET questions banks as possible. Repetition of the types of questions that you will be posed will lead to a more efficient and confident performance.
  • Focus on keeping your preparation continuous, and going back over content covered in the preparation session before. If you jump from topic to topic without keeping a thread linking them together, you are unlikely to remember them as well.
  • Ensure that you focus on your weakest areas rather than allowing yourself to focus naturally more on your stronger areas. This is a common temptation as it allows you to feel happy in your performances in practice, without having to learn new content.
  • Ensure that you begin preparation early and that you have a clear plan on how you will improve. Try to set a timescale that allows for you to prepare and includes a likely test date. If your preparation is going according to plan, then book the test. Try not to book the test before you have begun any form of preparation, as this could lead to you feeling rushed.
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