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OET Listening: your healthcare career and the Listening sub-test

If you're a healthcare professional aiming to work in an English-speaking country, you might feel nervous about meeting the language requirements. But fear not! OET is designed specifically for healthcare workers like you. In this blog, we'll explore the OET Listening sub-test in detail, explaining how it reflects your daily tasks in the healthcare workplace and how it can help you become a better healthcare worker. So, let's dive in!


OET Listening Part A

Patient conversations

In Part A of the OET Listening test, you'll listen to two conversations between healthcare professionals and patients. While listening, you'll answer 12 multiple-choice questions per audio based on what you heard.

Real-world relevance

Part A mimics the real interactions you'll have with patients in a healthcare setting. By practising with these recordings and answering the questions, you'll become more familiar with common situations you'll encounter every day. While improving your skill to identify and record detail accurately, you’ll also be getting to know patient-centred consultations, typical patient language as well as medical terminology. Preparing for Listening Part A will help you communicate effectively with your patients in future.


OET Listening Part B

Short workplace scenarios

Part B of the OET Listening sub-test includes six short recordings that portray different situations you might face in your healthcare workplace. These scenarios can include handovers, training sessions, briefings and other common workplace communications. In each audio, there is at least one healthcare professional and your task is to answer one multiple-choice question per audio.

Real-world relevance

In real healthcare workplaces, you often need to process information quickly and accurately. Part B of the OET Listening test trains you to understand common workplace interactions and identify important aspects such as specific details, overall meaning, and a speaker’s purpose or opinion. As a result, you’ll be better able to comprehend and participate in discussions with colleagues, patients and their carers.


OET Listening Part C:

Informative presentations/interviews

The final section of the OET Listening test, Part C, includes two audio extracts from healthcare professionals on health-related topics. You will hear two presentations, two interviews or one of each. Topics include workplace presentations, personal accounts of case studies or projects and discussions about research or trials.

Real-world relevance

As a healthcare professional, you'll often attend conferences, seminars, or lectures where experts share important medical information. You may also watch videos or listen to podcasts as part of your professional development. Part C of the OET Listening test simulates such scenarios, allowing you to practise your listening skills while engaging with informative content. By mastering this section, you'll improve your ability to understand and absorb complex medical information, keeping yourself up to date with the latest advancements in your field.


Test reflection: enhancing your healthcare practice

The OET Listening sub-test goes beyond evaluating your language proficiency; it helps you improve your healthcare practice. By closely resembling real-life healthcare scenarios, the test prepares you for the challenges you'll face in English-speaking workplaces. Here are a few ways the test can boost your healthcare career:

  1. Effective communication: Part A of the test helps you develop effective communication skills, enabling you to build a good relationship with your patients and provide quality care.
  2. Processing important information: Part B helps you become better at processing and remembering crucial information shared in your workplace. This skill is vital for making accurate clinical decisions and ensuring patient safety.
  3. Professional growth: Part C offers an opportunity to engage with presentations on medical topics, promoting continuous learning and professional development. By improving your listening skills, you'll stay updated with the latest advancements in your field.


The OET Listening sub-test not only evaluates your language skills, but also empowers you as a healthcare professional. By replicating real healthcare situations, this test prepares you for the demands of English-speaking workplaces. So, embrace OET Listening as a valuable tool to enhance your communication, critical thinking, and professional growth. With your improved skills, you'll ace OET, excel in your healthcare career and provide excellent care to your patients.

Take our free OET Listening sample tests and be sure to download the OET Study Guide to prepare effectively for test day.