What will be updated?

Quick Read

  • From 9 September, several slight changes will be made to OET
  • A new numerical scoring scale will be introduced
  • Listening, Reading and Speaking will be updated, while Writing will stay the same
  • Many of OET's tasks will stay the same as will each subtest focus
  • It will be neither harder nor easier than before
  • For more information check our information page.

While you might be slightly worried about the update to OET, it's important to remember that we'll only be making slight changes to three of OET's subtests (Listening, Reading and Speaking). 

Much of OET will stay the same.

In fact, one of our biggest changes is the addition of a new numerical scoring scale. It's mapped to your letter grade and will help you better understand your OET results.

To make sure you're aware of what is being updated, we've put together an easy to follow list that highlights what's been updated. Take a look: 


The Listening subtest will:

  • Be shorter
  • Feature more accents
  • Focus more on professional-to-professional interaction. 

Just like the old test, you will still be tested on your ability to follow facts during a consultation and understand a short conversation.

The new Listening subtest will take about 45 minutes and include three brief sections:

Section Duration Task
Part A 15 minutes Two separate consultations between a healthcare professional and a patient
Part B 10 minutes Six short dialogues or monologues in workplace settings
Part C 15 minutes Two long presentations or interviews with health professionals
TOTAL 40-45 minutes  


The Reading subtest will feature:

  • New tasks, like matching and short-answer questions
  • A broader range of documents, such as policy or procedure documents.

It will still be relevant for all professions and test your ability to understand and source information from multiple texts (‘skim and scan’).

The updated Reading subtest will take 60 minutes and include three parts:

Section Duration Task
Part A 15 minutes Expeditious (fast) reading task
Part B 45 minutes Six short workplace extracts
Part C Two long presentation passages
TOTAL 60 minutes



There will be no major changes to the speaking subtest

However, the test will now assess clinical communication skills as these are essential to your success in the healthcare industry. These skills include: 

  • Building relationships
  • Understanding the patient’s perspective
  • Providing structure to the conversation
  • Gathering information from the patient
  • Establishing what the patient already knows.

If you would like to know more about OET 2.0, make sure you visit the update page on our website. 

Note: Many OET tasks, the format of the test and the focus in each subtest will remain the same. The OET will be neither more difficult nor easier than it currently is.

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