OET is a well-respected international English language test, which assesses the language proficiency of healthcare professionals seeking to register and work in an English-speaking environment. OET is accepted as proof of English proficiency by major health regulators in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore for registration, healthcare educators and the Australian Department of Immigration for all visa categories.
OET is owned by Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Trust (CBLA), a venture between Cambridge English and Box Hill Institute.
Cambridge English Language Assessment is a not-for-profit department of the University of Cambridge with over 100 years of experience in assessing the English language.
Box Hill Institute is a leading Australian vocational and higher education provider, active both in Australia and overseas
OET covers all four language skills with an emphasis on communication in a healthcare environment.
The Listening sub-test consists of two parts and takes 50 minutes to complete. The topics are of generic healthcare interest, accessible to candidates across all professions. Each part consists of about 15 minutes of recorded speech, containing pauses to allow you time to write your answers.
The Reading sub-test consists of two parts and takes 60 minutes to complete. The topics are of generic healthcare interest and are therefore accessible to candidates across all professions.
The Writing sub-test takes 45 minutes and is profession-specific. There is one task set for each profession based on a typical workplace situation and the demands of the profession
The Speaking sub-test is delivered individually and takes around 20 minutes. You take this part of OET using materials specifically for your profession.
You will receive a Statement of Results which shows your grade for each of the four sub-tests, from A (highest) to E (lowest). Each of the four sub-tests is assessed in a specific way.
|OET results to
|OET score from
|OET band descriptors||IELTS equivalent band score|
|Can communicate very fluently and effectively with
patients and health professionals using appropriate
register, tone and lexis. Shows complete understanding
of any kind of written or spoken language.
|8.0 - 9.0|
|Can communicate effectively with patients and health
professionals using appropriate register, tone and lexis,
with only occasional inaccuracies and hesitations.
Shows good understanding in a range of clinical
|7.0 - 7.5|
|Can maintain the interaction in a relevant healthcare
environment despite occasional errors and
lapses, and follow standard spoken language normally encountered
in his/her field of specialisation.
|5.5 — 6.0|
|Can maintain some interaction and understand
straightforward factual information in his/her field of
specialisation, but may ask for clarification. Frequent
errors, inaccuracies and mis-or overuse of technical
language can cause strain in communication.
|Less than 5.5|
|Can manage simple interaction on familiar topics
and understand the main point in short, simple messages,
provided he/she can ask for clarification. High density
of errors and mis- or overuse of technical language
can cause significant strain and breakdowns in