The Occupational English Test (also known as OET) is an English language test for healthcare professionals recognized by various regulatory healthcare bodies. It assesses the language and communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to start their career in an English-speaking environment.

This blog covers all the major points which you need to know about OET. 


  • OET Exam Requirements
  • OET Exam Parts and Format
  • OET Exam Dates
  • OET Passing Score Grid
  • OET Preparation
  • Location and Fee
  • OET Result Validity
  • FAQs

OET Exam Requirements

OET is available for the following 12 professions: dentistry, dietetics, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry, radiography, speech pathology, and veterinary science. Test takers include: nurses (47%), doctors (23%), dentists (20%), and pharmacists (6%).

The Requirements for the OET exam across the globe is that a candidate needs to be at least 16 years, there is no upper age limit fixed. Anybody aged 16 or above can take this examination, irrespective of their gender, nationality, or background. 

OET Exam Parts and Format

The test assesses all four language skills, using test materials that reflect typical communication scenarios from the healthcare industry.

Listening Test

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

In this section, the exam assesses ones ability to understand spoken language. It is divided into three parts: A, B, and C.

Listen to consultations between physicians and patients (part A), monologues (i.e. one person speaking) and/or dialogues (i.e. 2 people speaking) (parts B and C). With each encounter you will have to fill the answers based on information in the listening exercise.

Time: Approximately 50 minutes

Reading Test

Read and understand different types of text on healthcare-related subjects.

In this section one will be provided with texts talking about different healthcare related topics and will have to answer questions according to these texts. The reading is divided into three parts A, B and C.

Part A is done alone and it is 15 minutes. While parts B and C are taken in tandem, you have 45 minutes to complete both (so make sure you monitor the time carefully).

Part B consists of six short-texts of about 100-150 words from a healthcare workplace, where one will get one multiple-choice question with three options about each text.

Part C consists of two long-texts of up to 800 words in which each text covers a specific topic and is divided into paragraphs. In Part C one will get eight multiple-choice questions with four options. The good thing about part C questions is that it guides where to look in the text (i.e. specifying what paragraph in the text the question is about).

Time: 60 minutes

Writing Test

In this section, one will be provided a case note and a task and five minutes to read through them (during those five minutes no use of a pen or a pencil is allowed). After that, 40 minutes are provided to write a letter according to the task.

In the writing session, one will be assessed for the following measures: purpose, content, conciseness & clarity, genre & style, organization & layout, and language. The writing part is usually the most challenging, and it is advisable to practice before the actual exam.

Time: 45 minutes

Speaking Test

In the speaking section one participate in two role-playing exercises where one take the role of the professional ( i.e. physician) and the interlocutor (the person facilitating this portion of the exam) plays as a patient, a patient’s relative, or a caregiver. 

One starts by getting a card that states the setting, the patient’s information, and the task. Once one get the card, three minutes to prepare. Then, one have to perform the role-play for five minutes. Once finish the first role-play, a card for the second role-play is given, repeating the same steps as the first but in a different setting, with a different patient and task. 

Time: Approximately 25 minutes

OET Exam Dates

Nov 2022

Exam Dates

– 05 Nov 2022
– 19 Nov 2022

Booking From

 – Monday, 9 August 2021 – 12pm Wednesday, 12 October 2022

 – Monday, 9 August 2021 – 12pm Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Result Published

 – Tuesday, 22 November 2022

 – Tuesday, 6 December 2022

Professions Available

 – Nursing

 – Medicine

– Dentistry

 – Pharmacy

 – Radiography


Dec 2022 

Exam Dates

– 05 Nov 2022
– 19 Nov 2022

Booking Between

 – Monday, 9 August 2021 – 12pm Wednesday, 9 November 2022

 – Monday, 9 August 2021 – 12pm Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Result Published

– Tuesday, 3 January 2023 

– Wednesday, 18 January 2023

Professions Available

 – Nursing

 – Medicine

 – Dentistry

 – Pharmacy

 – Radiography

 – Physiotherapy

 – Dietetics

 – Podiatry

 – Vet Science

 – Occupational Therapy

 – Optometry

 – Speech Pathology

OET Passing Score Grid

 Scores   Grades  OET band descriptors
500to450ΑCan 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
440to400BCan 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 contexts.
340to300C+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 specialization.

Location and Fee

The British Council Pakistan offers OET on paper as well as computer-based (Medicine and nursing only) in 3 locations;

 – Islamabad

– Lahore

– Karachi

The Fee for OET exam is to be paid in AUD $587 / $455 USD (US pricing only for those sitting OET on computer in the USA).

Special requests such as late registrations and rescheduling come with an additional cost as is mentioned in the article above

OET Result Validity 

An OET Test Report Form (TRF) is valid for two (2) years.


Q: Countries recognize OET as proof of English Language Proficiency. 

OET is recognized as proof of English Language proficiency by health regulators across Australia, Canada, Ireland, Maldives, Malta, Namibia, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.

Q: Number of attempts for the OET Exam?

The OET test can be attempted as many times as the candidate wants to improve his score. The OET test is held twice in a given month.

Q: Application procedure for OET? 

Healthcare aspirants looking to appear for their OET are required to register for the exam via the online method only. Candidates need to visit the application page on the official OET website and create an OET Login and build a profile. Candidates would be required to upload their photos and documents as they move along the registration process.

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