Shajahan Jan 25, 2024
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All You Need To Know About OET Exam Pattern & Structure

Are you a healthcare professional looking to work or study in the UK, USA, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand? Then, the OET Test is your first milestone. You may know that OET is an internationally accepted language test that assesses your proficiency in the English language. The scores that you receive on your OET tests will make your dream come true to fly to your favourite country. There are 15 OET-accepted countries where, OET scores are regarded as evidence of English language proficiency.

Check Out: OET Preparation Tips 

Effective communication is important to survive in any place, so your calibre in your profession is measured through this test. This blog will help you understand:

  • The OET Exam pattern
  • 4 OET Subtests
  • OET Reading Exam Pattern
  • OET Writing Exam Pattern
  • OET Listening Exam Pattern
  • OET Speaking Exam Pattern

Read Also: OET Exam Dates 2024

OET Exam Pattern

The Healthcare professionals who are looking to work in the healthcare sectors of 15 OET Accepted Countries are required to appear for the OET exam in order to establish their proficiency in the English Language in a healthcare environment. 

The OET exam pattern includes four subtests such as Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. These subtests contain questions concerning tasks and settings from the healthcare environment. The following table shows the OET Exam Subtests, Duration, and Test Description.

OET Exam Subtests OET Exam Duration OET Test Description
Reading 60 minutes The reading subtest is divided into three parts, where it will test your skills in various formats.
Writing 45 minutes The writing subsection of the OET exam is profession-specific, where the candidate is required to write a letter.
Speaking 20 minutes The speaking subsection is designed in the form of a role-play that is profession-specific.
Listening 45 minutes The listening subsection of the OET exam is divided into three parts that deal with real-life healthcare workplace situations.

If you are a nurse or a doctor, you might be confused about the OET EXAM Pattern for Nurses and the OET EXAM Pattern for Doctors. The above OET Paper pattern shows that the OET Test format is the same for all 12 healthcare professions.

OET Reading Test: Exam Pattern 

OET Reading Test will take approximately 60 minutes and the topics will be related to general healthcare interests. OET Reading Task is divided into 3 parts. OET Reading Test Exam Pattern comprises ‌42 question types that need to be solved in 60 minutes. The three parts of the OET Reading Test are:

Exam Format For OET Reading Test OET Reading Task OET Test Duration
Part A
  • Expeditious reading task
  • Assesses your ability to identify specific information from four short texts quickly
  • Texts are related to a single healthcare topic
  • Evaluates your scanning & skimming skills
  • 20 questions
  • 15 minutes
Part B
  • Assesses your ability to identify the detail or main point of six short texts
  • Texts are taken from the healthcare workplace
  • The texts might comprise policy documents, hospital guidelines, manuals, or internal communications
  • For each text, there is a three-option multiple-choice question.
  • 6 questions
  • 45 minutes

 (The timing for Reading Parts B and C is combined. You will have 45 minutes to complete both parts.)

Part C
  • Evaluates your ability to identify detailed meaning and opinion in two texts
  • Topics of interest to healthcare professionals
  • You must answer four multiple-choice questions
  • 16 question

How to improve your OET Reading Score?

If you’re wondering how to improve your OET Reading score, here are a few ways to boost your score in the OET Reading Test:

  • Read regularly and widely
  • Focus on paragraphs and short sections
  • Look for names of people, countries, dates, or numbers in the text 
  • Spellings are important. Do not make spelling errors.
  • Be prepared to skip a question
  • Practise reading every article and text you find
  • Get help from a qualified OET Trainer

OET Writing Test: Exam Pattern 

The OET Writing test is one of the four sub-tests which takes approximately 45 minutes. The task is profession-specific and based on a typical workplace situation. 

The task is to write a letter. This letter is usually a referral letter, and it can be:

  • It can be a  letter to advise a patient or inform a patient. 
  • It can also be informing or advising a carer or group in Pharmacy, Veterinary Science, Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy. 
  • Another task can be writing a response to a complaint (for Radiography).

This writing task will assess your English skills and your competency. The following skills will be assessed by the OET Writing test:

  • The purpose is clear & understood 
  • Content has the necessary information
  • Conciseness & Clarity 
  • Genre & Style- tone and use of abbreviations
  • Organisation & Layout
  • Language- Grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation 

Several different formats are accepted by health professionals according to different contexts. You don't have to follow a single format in your OET Writing sub-test. Ensure that your letter is clear and precise for the particular task regardless of the template you follow. You can complete your higher secondary education with NIOS Classes.

OET Listening Test: Exam Format

The OET Listening test has three parts. There are several guidelines that you have to keep in mind before attending the test. 

  • These three parts deal with real-life healthcare situations and workplace conversations 
  • You have to answer a total of 42 questions
  • The total length of the Listening audio is 40 minutes, including pauses to allow you time to write your answers
  • Each recording can be heard only once
  • Question types can be note-completion tasks and multiple-choice questions

The Following Table shows OET Listening Test Tasks and Duration;

OET Listening Test Parts 

OET Listening Tasks

OET Test Duration

Part A

  • Consultation extracts 
  • Assesses your ability to identify specific information during a consultation. 
  • You will listen to two professional-patient consultations and answer questions regarding the conversation you heard

5 minutes each

Part B

  • Short workplace extracts 
  • Assesses your ability to identify the detail, gist or purpose of short extracts concerning the healthcare workplace
  •  You will have to listen to six recorded extracts 
  •  Answer one multiple-choice question for each extract.

1 minute each

Part C

  • Presentation extracts 
  • Assesses your ability to follow a recorded presentation or interview 
  • Recordings are based on accessible healthcare topics
  • You will listen to two different extracts
  • You have to answer six multiple-choice questions for each extract

5 minutes each

OET Speaking Test: Exam Format

OET Speaking test is one part of the OET test structure that uses materials specifically designed for your profession. OET Speaking test is designed in the form of a role-play. Whether you are a  professional nurse or pharmacist, the speaking test is conducted according to real-life situations. You will have to speak as a healthcare professional to the patients or the carers who accompany the patient. 

The speaking test assesses two main criteria of your speaking skills.

OET Speaking Test  Criteria

OET Test Description

Linguistic Criteria

  • Intelligibility
  • Fluency
  • Appropriateness of language
  • Resources of Grammar and Expression

Clinical Communication Criteria

  • Relationship building with patients
  • Understanding & incorporating the patient’s perspective
  • Gathering accurate data from patients
  • Giving proper information to the patient

Want to score high in OET Speaking? Read the Best OET Speaking Tips to help you with the test. 

The right level of English proficiency enables candidates to deliver safe and high-quality care. Before you apply for your test, know about OET Exam delivery modes in 2024 and the OET exam dates in 2024.


1. How is the OET exam conducted?

OET exam is conducted in three modes of test delivery‌:

  1. OET on paper at a test venue
  2. OET on Computer at a test venue
  3. OET@Home.

2. How many hours of Exam is the OET?

The Occupational English Test (OET) is an International English Language Test for the healthcare sector. OET exam will take approximately 3 hours. OET test includes 4 sub-tests that are divided into the following. 

  • Reading - 60 minutes
  • Writing - 45 minutes
  • Speaking - 20 minutes approx
  • Listening - 50 minutes approx

3. Who Recognises OET?

OET is recognized by regulatory healthcare bodies and councils of 15 countries which includes Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, UK, USA, Ireland, Canada, Maldives, Malta, Namibia, Qatar, Spain, Ukraine, and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Many organizations, including hospitals, Universities and Colleges are using OET as a proof of a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in a demanding healthcare environment.

4. How Much Does It Cost to Reschedule My OET Test?

Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking reschedule fees

  • Up to 10 days before the test-AED 307 & AED 348
  • Less than 10 days before the test-AED 500 & AED 569
  • Speaking test reschedule fees:
  • Up to 10 days before the test-AED 77 & AED 92

NOTE: The above price displayed in AED applies to candidates taking their OET test in Dubai.

5. How to Apply for OET Remarking in 2024?

To apply for OET on Paper candidates, you must log in to myOET and click the “Request Re-marking” link for the sub-test or tests you want to get remarked. For OET on Computer candidates, you need to complete an online form which you can get it from the official OET website. 

6. When can I Request an OET Remark on My Sub-test?

You can request for re-marking within 72 hours from when your results are released. Requests received after this period will not be accepted.

7. What is the Cost of OET Re-marking?

To have your OET subtest(s) remarked, you must pay a fee of AED 307 (OET on Paper) AED 348 (OET on Computer) per sub-test to complete your re-marking request.

8. When will get the outcome of my OET remarking request?

You will receive the outcome of your OET remarking request three weeks from the day you submit the request. If there is a grade change, the remarking fee will be reimbursed. However, if the outcome of your remarking does not change your grade, you will not be refunded this fee.

OET Training Course Offered by Edoxi in the Middle East

Explore the OET Training Course Offered By Edoxi Training Institute in various countries and locations in the Middle East.

Country UAE Oman Qatar
Course Location Dubai, Sharjah, Al Ain Muscat Doha

English Trainer

Shajahan is a graduate in English language and literature, who is passionate about teaching and making his students successful by efficient teaching methods in all components of language. As a trainer, he is responsible for developing linguistic ability and enhancing English competency level for professionals especially those who are in the healthcare domain who undertake English proficiency tests such as OET and IELTS for working or studying in native English-speaking countries.