An overview of the OET test.

OET Listening Test

  1. The listening test has three parts and a total of 42 questions.
  2. You will only hear the recordings once
  3. You must write your answers as your hear them, you will not get any extra time to write down your answers at the end.
  4. The test lasts for 45 minutes.

The structure of the test is:

PART A Consultation extracts

  1. This part tests your ability to identify specific information during a consultation.
  2. You will listen to two 5 minute consultations between a health professional and a patient.
  3. Your job is to complete the health professional’s notes using the information you hear.

PART B Short workplace extracts

  1. This section tests your ability to identify the detail, gist, opinion or purpose of short listening extracts from the healthcare setting.
  2. You will listen to 6 one minute extracts set in different situations in the workplace like team briefings, handover or dialogue between health professional and the patient.
  3. You will be given one multiple choice question for each extract you hear.
  4. Your job is to listen to each extract carefully and choose the correct answer in the multiple choice question.

PART C Presentation extract

  1. This part of the tests your ability to follow a recorded presentation or interview
  2. The topics will be on a range of familiar healthcare topics.
  3. You will listen to 2 different 5 minute extracts.
  4. Your job is to answer 6 multiple choice questions for each extract.


  1. The reading test has three parts with a total of 42 questions
  2. The test lasts 60 minutes
  3. You have 15 minutes to answer Part A and 45 minutes to answer Part B and C.

The structure of the test is:

PART A Speed reading task

  1. This section assess your ability to find specific information from 4 short extracts as quickly as possible
  2. The 4 short extracts are all related to one health topic
  3. You job is to answer 20 questions related to the extracts
  4. There are 3 types of questions that will be asked. They are matching, sentence completion and short answer questions.

PART B and C Reading in more detail tasks

  1. PART B assess your ability to identify the detail. Gist or the purpose of 6 short texts
  2. The texts are from healthcare workplace
  3. The texts might be from policy documents, hospital guidelines, manuals or internal communications such as emails or memos
  4. Your job is to answer is to answer one multiple choice question (3 options) for each text.
  1. PART C assess your ability to identify the detail meaning and opinion in 2 longer texts
  2. You job is to answer 8 multiple choice questions (four options) for each text


  1. This test consists of one writing task that is specific to your profession
  2. The task will be based on a typical workplace situation
  3. The test is 45 minutes long. You have 5 minutes reading time and 40 minutes writing time
  4. You are usually asked to write a referral letter, transfer letter, discharge letter or a letter to advise /inform a patient, carer or group.
  5. You will be given case notes from which you will have to extract the most relevant points to include in your letter, based on who and why you are writing to.


  1. This test consists of 2 role plays that are specific to your profession
  2. The test is 20 minutes long
  3. In each role play you will take the role of the healthcare professional

Structure of the speaking test:

  1. the examiner checks your identity and you both have a warm up conversation about your professional background.
  2. The role plays are then introduced one by one
  3. You are given role play cards which explain the situation and what you are required to do
  4. You may write notes on the card
  5. You can also ask any questions during this preparation time
  6. You will be given three minutes to prepare for each
  7. The role plays last for about 5 minutes
Find out more about the IELTS course
Find out more about the OET course