How much preparation do I need?
Have you heard of the expression, ‘how long is a piece of string’? It’s a popular British expression meaning the topic in question can’t be given an exact measurement.
Deciding how much preparation you need before you're ready for OET is not an exact measurement. However, there are three key elements that will roughly determine how long you will need to study to reach the OET score you want.
The length of preparation you need will depend on the following:
- Your current level of English
- How much time you have available for regular study
- Your previous test-taking experiences (and how long ago these were).
Let's take a look at each one of these elements and how you can determine the length of time you will need to prepare.
1. Your current level of English
If you have taken another English test within the last 2 years, your results will provide a good indicator of your current level of English. They will also identify your strengths and weaknesses in the 4 skills of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
If it’s been more than 2 years since you took an English test or studied English, you can take a placement test like OET Pulse or through one of our Premium Preparation course providers. This will help to determine your current level of English and how much time you will need to improve your skills to achieve the grade you want.
If your recent test or placement test results show your current level of English is close to an OET B grade already, you may only need a few weeks to familiarise yourself with the test format. On the other hand, if the results show you are a C+ or C grade at the moment, then you will need more time to improve.
There are no shortcuts to passing a high-stakes English test. You have to put the time and effort in to get the result you want.
2. How much time you have available for regular study
We know many OET candidates are already busy working within the healthcare field. In addition, many candidates have busy family lives. Finding time for regular study can be hard.
While you are no doubt enthusiastic about getting stuck into your preparation, you need to be realistic about how much time you have to prepare for OET. If you are only going to be able to allocate a few hours a week, then you will need to prepare for longer.
Alternatively, if you have the option to commit to a period of full-time intensive study, then the preparation time can be reduced.
3. Your previous test-taking experiences
A big part of success on test day is confidence. Confidence that you have prepared to the best of your ability but also confidence that comes from success in previous test-taking experiences.
If you have been unsuccessful in past test experiences, this will have an impact on how you feel on an OET test day. It may mean that you want to spend longer preparing for OET to build up your confidence again and make sure you feel ready for the test.
The reward of good preparation
Another English expression, admittedly not so frequently used as the first one, is ‘don’t put the cart before the horses’. It means don’t do things in the wrong order. In other words, don’t apply for or sit for the test until you have prepared thoroughly.
If you do things in the proper order for as long as it takes you to be personally ready for the test, then the results you receive will reward you.
For more information about getting ready for OET, make sure you check out the OET Preparation Information page.