Making a transition from one country to another can be challenging due to various reasons. But, when the others can be handled or adjusted, one that can create a real issue is communicating in the native tongue. Therefore, whenever one applies for migration, proving your language proficiency is of utmost importance.
Irrespective of a profession, communication is a key skill. However, it becomes crucial when you interact with others on a daily basis and lives are dependent on these interactions. Yes, you got it right! Communication in the medical profession is quite different from regular ones and is extremely vital. As a result, any healthcare worker interested in moving to an English-speaking country should be aware of the details of the Occupational Eligibility Test, or OET, like the format, the OET score calculator, assessment criteria, etc.
But, other than this, most people are inquisitive about how to crack the OET in the first attempt. So, in this article, we are going to revise the basic details on OET and share some tips you can employ to crack the OET nut in one go.
Information of OET
Just like other language evaluation examinations, the OET format is also based on the four major language skills that encompass major communication – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
Listening Task of OET
- The first subtest of OET, Listening, is the same for all the twelve professions that OET evaluates.
- It comprises three parts with 42 questions in total.
- All topics are taken from different healthcare situations.
- The duration of this task is approximately 50 minutes, including the time allotted to note down the answers.
- Each of the three recordings is played only once and the candidate has to be very attentive.
Reading Task of OET
- Just like the first section, the Reading subtest also consists of 42 questions that are divided into three parts.
- The duration for this subtest is a bit longer, which is 60 minutes.
- The texts are based on general healthcare settings.
- The format and question types are also common for all 12 medical professionals.
- In part A, there are four interrelated short texts; in part B, there are six short texts, and in part C, there are two around 800-word texts.
Writing Task of OET
- This section is 45 minutes long.
- The task you have to complete in this section is to construct a letter relevant to a healthcare scenario.
- The three main types of letters given here are for referral, transfer or discharge.
- Unlike the Listening and Reading subtests, this test is profession-specific. For example, radiography letters are different from the ones for nursing, the ones meant for pathology are different from dietetics, etc.
Speaking test in OET
- Finally, this test is approximately 20 minutes long.
- Similar to the Writing subtest, it is specifically set across various professions.
- The task involves two role plays that every candidate has to participate in with an interlocutor, who will be either a patient or a patient’s relative/pet’s owner or caretaker.
- Note that the interlocutor is not the examiner and your interactions will be assessed by two qualified OET evaluators.
Some tips to help you crack OET in first go
Let us get going with some valuable advice or tips that will help you to make your preparation the most efficient and, thereby, make you capable of fulfilling your desire of successfully scoring the best in the first attempt.
Time Management plays an important role in every test.
No matter what exam you take in life, time management is the most consequential part of planning and preparation. For this, you need to focus on organizing the vital information you want to communicate. Then, you have to present them in the most effective way, which is both understandable and informative to the other people.
Acquainting yourself with the pattern through OET test papers.
It is highly recommended to familiarize yourself with the pattern of the test before actually taking the test, as it will give an insight into the types of questions, help you plan your preparation or way to answer and enable you to manage the short period of time effectively. Moreover, if you are already aware of the type of questions or details about them, you will not get a shock as you sit for the exam. You can use the available material on the internet for OET training, be it self-study or through an organization. But make sure to use authentic and updated versions of those test papers or materials.
Following the instructions and matching up with time.
Instructions are provided at the beginning of each set of questions for each subtest to inform you of the task, the word limit and sometimes information like case notes or identity of the patient, etc. So, you need to pay attention to those details in order to satisfy the purpose of the test and avoid penalties. Also, you need to learn to time your answers. In case you are stuck on finding an answer to the question, it is best to skip it and move on to the next.
Updating your knowledge of medical terminologies is vital.
Although the OET is not an evaluation based on your medical knowledge, it is best to keep it updated or at least know the most common terminologies and conditions of the twelve professions, as the Listening and the Reading subtests are the same for all the professions. So, if you keep yourself up to date, you will not be shocked or lose time wondering what those terms mean.
Memorizing can become a bane for you.
While preparing for the exam, never try to memorize the material or answers. It is mainly because it is not a test of your medical knowledge that you will learn facts and figures. When language proficiency is evaluated, you can never be sure about the type of questions that will be given. Moreover, if you forget a point or two from your memorized data, it will disturb the whole flow of the test.
Regular and planned practice is the key.
If you are really dedicated to achieving a good score in your first OET attempt, then make sure to practise enough. But, while doing so, keep in mind that whatever you do should be planned properly. Irregular and inefficient undertakings are most likely to end in failure. After familiarizing yourself with the details of the exam, make a timetable, self-analyze your shortcomings and work to improve them.
If you inculcate these habits while preparing for the OET exam, you will surely have the results you desire for.