OET: An obvious choice for health professionals!

Why do an general exam like IELTS when you can do OET which is an exam designed specifically for health professionals? Furthermore, it will look good on your resume as it is becoming increasingly recognised by hospitals and health care providers as a more relevant qualification to work as a health professional. It is also accepted by many universities for post-graduate studies.


OET: A test which assesses language skill in a specific to your profession as a health professional.
IELTS: A test which assesses language skill in an academic or general context (A large number of IELTS test takers intend on studying at university).

Which is easier/ harder? 
If you have experience as a health professional either in your country or in Australia, New Zealand or an English speaking country or if you are currently studying for a health related diploma or degree, then there are many advantages in doing OET as it will be specific to your profession and you can use your medical knowledge and vocabulary.


IELTS: 4 parts on General topics which get progressively harder.
OET: 2 parts. Part A is a medical interview which is a note-taking exam. Part B is a lecture on a health topic. Question types include gap fill, short answer, MCQ, table completion style.

The important skill to learn here is note taking as the OET recording is often faster than the IELTS recording however with less complex language. The key skill tested here is note-taking and once you master that, OET is not as hard as it seems at first.
IELTS: 3 readings MCQ, Gap Fill, True/False or Not Given questions on general topics.
OET: Part A: Summary Gap Fill; Part B MCQ on health topics.

Neither test is easy, but at least with OET you know the topics will be health related so that is an advantage.

IELTS: 15 minute structured interview on a general topic .
OET: 14~18 minute profession specific interview where you must complete 2 Health Professional-Patient role-play tasks.

OET speaking is the clear winner here as not only is the OET exam more predictable in the type of question you are asked, it also is very similar to a real-life healthcare situation. If you have already worked in the industry before this means you will likely have already had very similar conversations with patients.

IELTS: 2 tasks, describing a graph or process & and an essay on a general topic. Not easy or much fun to prepare for!
OET:1 profession specific task, usually a referral letter based on medical case notes.

As in the other skills, you can use your medical knowledge in this section, and as it is only one task it is definitely easier to prepare for and succeed in than IELTS.

Here is an approximate guide to OET and IELTS scores.


It is clear to see that OET is an easier option in almost all areas of the exam. Many students and international nurses have been put off by the difficulty of the IELTS exam however the changes announced by the Medical Councils mean that 2018 is a fantastic time to pass the OET exam and achieve your goals.

Would you like to pass your OET exam quickly with expert tutoring and online lessons? Arrange a free consultation with our OET teacher today and pass with confidence.

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