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Tips For OET Preparation for 2024

Updated on 29 January, 2024

Kanika Pruthi

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Communication is a critical skill in any walk of life, including professionally. Consequently, it is a must for professionals today to be proficient in the English language. OET, or Occupational English Test, is the English language test for all professionals and students looking for a healthcare career. The OET exam proves that you have the right English education and proficiency in understanding, communicating and dealing with English-speaking patients and hospital staff. 

The OET exam has been created to cover 12 different healthcare professions and assesses the individual on all four language skills. The skills covered in the OET exams are listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Each language skill exam will have its set time duration, and approximately all written tests take around 3 hours and speaking tests around 20 minutes to complete.

After clearing the OET exam, students can communicate with patients and other healthcare staff. The OET exam is recognized in countries such as Australia, Canada, Egypt, Ireland, Maldives, Malta, Namibia, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America.

OET Exam Preparation Strategy

Clearing the OET exam will be the first step towards reaching your dream of entering the healthcare industry. So, preparing to pass it through with a good score becomes equally important. The following are some things to bear in mind as you study for your OET exam:

  1. Check the OET portal regularly for any latest updates or information.
  2. Take the help of free and paid resources available on the OET portal.
  3. Try and clear as many sample OET exams before the final day for practice.
  4. Watch the online OET masterclass to get tips from experts.
  5. Use the live Q&A section on the OET portal to ask questions twice from OET experts.

Tips for Listening Section of the OET Exam

  1. Get familiar with different areas of medicine and healthcare.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the format of the exam.
  3. Before listening to the audio, read the questions carefully.
  4. Speak up in case you are not able to hear properly.
  5. Remember, the audio of the OET test goes in the order of its questions.
  6. You should know the common abbreviations of the healthcare industry.
  7. Decide on the format of the OET in advance - paper-based, computer-based, or at home. It will help in the preparation.
  8. Practice listening to health podcasts or videos for practice.

Tips for Reading Section of the OET Exam

  1. Developing reading skills outside the exam and syllabus content is important.
  2. Use the right skill for the different sub-parts. For instance, Part A collects information, so you may be required to jump from one piece of information to another. Part B would need you to read and understand the content carefully, and Part C will understand the opinions or attitudes by reading comprehensively.
  3. Always recheck and read all the answers mentioned before moving further.

Tips for Writing Section of the OET Exam

  1. Use the reading time at the beginning of the writing test effectively.
  2. Carefully organize the case notes in a structured format.
  3. Include the main medical issue, request, or purpose in the introductory sentence.
  4. Try and distinguish between primary and secondary points.
  5. Re-read the given tasks and instructions before starting to attempt.
  6. Create a separate paragraph for any additional detail.
  7. Describe the referral positively in the last section.
  8. The letter should be more of storytelling than an essay for the readers.

Tips for Speaking Section of the OET Exam

  1. Always try and start the conversation.
  2. Try and keep the conversation moving forward with no blanks in the middle.
  3. Ask more questions to let the patient open up and talk.
  4. Listen carefully to the patient.
  5. Adjust your language according to the patient.
  6. Be prepared for unexpected conversations.
  7. Organize the role play carefully in stages such as introduction, body, and conclusion.

Best OET books and resources for OET Exam Preparation

The official guide to PET (2nd Edition)The health foundation podcast
OET writing for nursesLecturio
Official OET Practice Book 1Free mini-mock exams
OET reading and listening skill builderOfficial OET sample tests


In conclusion, preparing for the OET in 2024 demands a strategic and focused approach, tailored to the unique format and requirements of this healthcare-specific English language test. Successful preparation involves a thorough understanding of the test format, regular practice of each section (listening, reading, writing, and speaking), and an emphasis on developing medical English skills. Utilizing official OET materials, participating in simulation exercises, and seeking feedback can significantly enhance performance. Additionally, staying updated with any changes in the test format or content for 2024 is crucial. For healthcare professionals, the OET is not just a test of language proficiency, but a step towards realizing their career goals in an English-speaking healthcare environment. With diligent preparation and a deep understanding of both the language and the healthcare context, candidates can approach the OET with confidence and competence.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prepare for the OET exam?

The best way to prepare for the OET exam is by regular and continuous preparation months before the exam date. During those days, you should aim to improve your English through a 6-week challenge, practice the free sample test papers, watch masterclass videos explaining each OET sub-test, and follow the OET official website for the latest updates.

Can I prepare for the OET from home?

If you are looking to do self-preparation from your home, you can easily find an online course or preparation book that provides exercises, test papers, and key points for correctly answering all four sub-tests of the OET. You can also practice speaking English and making it a part of your daily routine.

Is the OET exam difficult?

People often compare OET with other language tests, but it is different from them. The OET exam is considered to be an easier test. It is also because it is specific to the healthcare industry, and only those from that field will be taking this exam. They can use their knowledge and vocabulary much easier.

How long should I prepare for the OET exam?

It would be ideal to start preparing at least four-six weeks in advance. Additionally, it also depends on how strong your command of the English language is. 

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Kanika has 5+ years of experience as a writer and content developer. She has written for a wide range of industry verticals, including hospitality, restaurants, non-profits, finance, IT, HR, technology, payroll, and education. She has worked as a creator for a few leading companies and has also helped brands grow through her creative writing.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.