What’s in the test?

Quick Read

  • Check the test information page our website for more information on OET 
  • Four subtests: listening, reading, writing and speaking. 

It's important to understand what to expect when you sit OET. Doing so can help you better understand why OET is perfect for healthcare professionals such as yourself. 

This FAQ will briefly outline the contents of OET. For a more in-depth look at OET, its benefits and why you should take it, make sure you read through the test information 

The test is divided into four subtests: listening, reading, writing and speaking.  

The Listening and Reading subtests are designed to assess a candidate’s ability to understand spoken and written English, based on health-related topics and tasks common to all professions.

The Writing and Speaking subtests are specific to the 12 individual healthcare professions and designed to reflect common tasks performed in the workplace.


Listening Reading Writing Speaking

Approx 40 minutes

 60 minutes

40 minutes plus 5 minutes reading time

Approx 20 minutes

Follow and understand a range of health-related spoken materials such as patient consultations and lectures

Read and understand different types of text on a health-related subject.

Write a letter, usually a referral letter, but could be a letter of transfer or discharge, or a letter to advise or inform a patient, carer, or group.


You will take part in two role-plays. You take your healthcare professional while the interlocutor plays a patient or client, or sometimes a relative or carer.



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