Follow the instructions for OET success
Following the instructions can be the difference between success and failure in OET. It is absolutely vital that you answer the questions according to the instructions. Let's find out how.
OET Listening Part A
In Part A, you hear two audios and complete a set of healthcare professional’s notes. The instructions tell you to complete the notes with a word or short phrase that you hear.
You must follow these instructions exactly. That is, you should write ONLY what you hear in the audio. Do not change the word form or add extra words. Also, you should not repeat words that are already given in the notes. Human assessors score your Part A, so your writing must be easy to read. Don’t throw away points on sloppy handwriting!
For OET on computer, you should also take care not to make careless spelling errors. The same instructions apply; type a word or short phrase that you hear into the gap.
OET Reading Part A
In this part of the test, there are three different question types. For matching questions, you need to write a letter* (A, B, C, or D). For the sentence completion and short answer questions, you write a word or phrase from the texts. As in Listening, it’s essential that your writing is easy to read. You must spell everything correctly, which should be easy because your answers always come from the texts. Double check your spelling so that you don’t waste points.
*For OET on computer, you select A, B, C or D in the ‘matching’ section.
Find out more about common errors in Reading Part A and how to avoid them in this blog: How do I improve my score for Reading Part A?
Listening and Reading Parts B and C
OET on paper
These parts of OET are computer marked, so it is essential you follow the instructions exactly. For each question, you need to fill in the circle of the letter you believe is the correct answer in pencil. This is the only answer the computer will accept. The computer doesn't recognise lines, ticks, crosses or circling the answer. You will receive zero for any answers recorded like this.
When you’re preparing for the test, make sure you practise answering questions in this way.
OET on computer
In OET on computer, you select your answer by left clicking the mouse. You can also eliminate incorrect options if you wish by right clicking the mouse. However, you still need to select a correct option for your answer to be counted. See this in action in our videos on Reading and Listening on computer.
This image below shows an example question from OET on computer. In this example, option B has been selected as the correct option and option A has been eliminated with a right click. Remember that the important thing is to select the correct option with a left click. Eliminating options is purely optional.
Option A: the test taker has right clicked to eliminate this option. This is just optional.
Option B: the test taker has selected this as the correct answer by left clicking.
Option C: the test taker has not eliminated or selected that option.
In our official practice books and the sample tests available on the OET website, you will find similar instructions to complete your answers to these parts of the test. Unofficial materials may not have these instructions, but they are inaccurate and should not be trusted.
On test day
If you are unclear what to do before the test starts or during the test, put up your hand and an invigilator will help you. Check out our handy guides so that you know what to expect on test day.