Test overview

OET is the international English language test that assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who seek to register and practise in an English-speaking environment.

Healthcare Professions

OET has been developed specifically for 12 healthcare professions. Test simulate real workplace tasks and test relevant language skills for each profession.

  • Dentistry
  • Dietetics
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Radiography
  • Speech Pathology
  • Veterinary Science

Assessment structure

OET covers all four language skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking), with an emphasis on communication in a healthcare environment.

Find out more below.

About the OET Listening sub-test

  • The Listening sub-test is approximately 40 minutes long. 
  • There are three parts and a total of 42 question items. 
  • The topics are of generic healthcare interest and accessible to all candidates across all professions. 
  • You will hear each recording ONCE and are expected to write your answers while listening. 
Part A – consultation extracts (about 5 minutes each)

Part A assesses your ability to identify specific information during a consultation. You will listen to two recorded health professional-patient consultations and you will complete the health professional’s notes using the information you hear. Note: the health professionals may be any one of the 12 professions who can take OET.

Part B – short workplace extracts (about 1 minute each)

Part B assesses your ability to identify the detail, gist, opinion or purpose of short extracts from the healthcare workplace. You will listen to six recorded extracts (e.g. team briefings, handovers, or health professional-patient dialogues) and you will answer one multiple-choice question for each extract.

Part C – presentation extracts (about 5 minutes each)

Part C assesses your ability to follow a recorded presentation or interview on a range of accessible healthcare topics. You will listen to two different extracts and you will answer six multiple-choice questions for each extract. You may expect two presentations or two interviews, or one of each.

How is listening ability assessed in OET?

The OET Listening sub-test is designed to assess a range of listening skills, such as identifying specific information, detail, gist, opinion or the speaker’s purpose. These skills are assessed through note-completion tasks and multiple-choice questions. 

Your answers for OET Listening Part A are double-marked by qualified and highly trained OET assessors. Your responses are assessed against an established marking guide. During the marking session, problematic or unforeseen answers are referred to a sub-group of senior assessors for guidance and all papers are double-marked to ensure fairness and consistency. 

Your answers for Part B and Part C are computer scanned and automatically scored. 

Find out more about in “After the test” page.

OET - English language test for healthcare professionals

Who recognises OET?

OET is trusted by a list of organisations as proof of ability to communicate effectively.
OET - English language test for healthcare professionals

Preparing for your OET Test

Access study guides, tips, sample tests, and information on how to prepare.

OET - English language test for healthcare professionals

Test dates & locations

OET is available every month in over 40 countries.


Take the next step

Towards your international healthcare career.
OET - English language test for healthcare professionals