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Did you know the OET Speaking test gives you three preparation minutes?

Speaking OET Healthcare Professional

Use the 3 minutes at the start of the OET Speaking sub-test wisely

Before each role play in the OET Speaking test, you have three minutes to prepare with the role card. Unfortunately, not many test-takers are aware of this, yet it is an important period to prepare before the OET Speaking sub-test.

We’ve got a handy checklist to work through in the first three minutes of a sample Speaking test. You can then build on this and use it in a real test environment.

How to use these three minutes

During this time, you should quickly read through the role card a couple of times to check details about the patient and the situation as well as what you are going to discuss during the five speaking minutes.

In addition, there is a handy checklist of things which will help you get the most out of the role card in your preparation time. Ask yourself these five questions:

1. How does the patient / family member feel about this situation?

Look for adjectives in the background information or put yourself in the patient’s shoes to understand how they might be feeling.

2. What are they thinking will be discussed in the conversation?

Again, try to put yourself in the patient or family member’s shoes. Think about what they expect to hear and consider this when speaking to them.

3. Is this what you plan to discuss or is there a difference?

An example of a difference: A patient experiencing insomnia wants a prescription for some sleeping pills. Your role card shows that you are going to promote lifestyle changes before thinking about medication. The patient is not going to expect this, so you need to think about the best way to present different information.

4. Is there any medical language on the role card I need to avoid because they won’t understand it?

This could be symptoms, treatment options, conditions. If the health situation is new to the patient, they are likely to be unfamiliar with the words related to it and you will either need to explain these if you choose to use the terms or change them into lay language.

5. Which tasks do I need to spend the most time on?

Give each task a rough amount of time needed to complete it, with the aim of completing all tasks in 5 minutes. It might not be possible, based on what the patient or family member wants to discuss, to cover all of the tasks but will help you avoid spending more time than needed on the tasks which are quicker to complete and time you need to cover the tasks which require a bit more discussion.

Check out the OET Study Guide for more Speaking resources.