OET 2.0 Listening Test Tips

OET got changed in Sept 2018. Reading and Listening sections got major changes.

OET 2.0 Listening test has been divided into three parts (earlier, there were two parts) 

Every part will have sections which will have a total of 10 recordings. Now, this change doesn’t mean that the time taken for the exam will be longer. It is going to be shorter with only 40 minutes allotted for the exam. Now as the time has been reduced, the test isn’t going to be easy. This change has been brought about to make the content more specific for healthcare professionals. Earlier only Australian voices were featured but now due to the change, other native-speaker accents from across the world are included. 

The notes below explain the test format and also some tips are suggested to help with the preparation of the particular listening section of the test. 

OET listening sub-test

The latest sub-test in listening will have 42 questions divided into three parts. You will be assessed in the following parameters-language and listening, prediction making, recognition of synonyms, paraphrasing, detail identification, and interpretation. The 12 professions will have a similar kind of listening sub-test but not necessarily the same specialist content.

Listening part A

The first sub-test part will be 15 minutes long and contain 24 questions (12 consultation dialogues each between patient and health professional). The question type is very specific- practitioner notes should be completed using short phrases or words from the voice recordings. 
Take a 30-second pause before each dialogue to go through the incomplete notes. Use structure and content technique to predict. Structure prediction technique involves grammar and helps in predicting the type of word that could fill the gap. Content prediction is about the meaning of the words before and after the gap that would indicate the possible fill. For example-“suffers from” would indicate that a disease or illness should follow up in the sentence. 

Now, you should know that the gaps are from within the dialogues and no new words are required to fill the gap. Focus on the language of the gaps. The before and after are not the same as the recordings. Imply your knowledge about synonyms and paraphrasing in this context. This will help you recognize what the speakers are talking about. Example- oral medication could indicate pills and tablets. 

Follow the notes closely as the order of the answers will be read in the same order as the questions. Notes will be more organized as sections with sub-headings and headings. Some sections called medical history could contain even more subheadings like surgical history and medication. Try to focus more on how the speaker uses intonations, where are the pauses and sign postings. These help to identify if the subject of talk has changed. For example- the doctor will take a pause before asking about previous surgeries. 

Do not bother about spellings. It is not part of the marks criteria in part A and more emphasis should be made towards making the meaning clear. 

Listening part B

Part B has 40 to 60 second long six recordings of medical professionals. There will be multiple choice questions for each conversation and three probable answers. 

Similar to Part A, use the pauses before every recording-15 seconds for part B to relate. Concentrate on identifying the keywords. For example when you hear “which technique does the surgeon recommend?” focus on the language of recommendation. Try to recognize the synonyms for the keywords. 

Part B is all about techniques that will allow succeeding here. Few questions will test your understanding of the overall conversation and its purpose. Some questions will ask for specific pieces of information. However the question, you will not hear the exact words of the conversation in the questions or answers. Be conscious of all the possible synonyms and paraphrases.  As a trick, the conversation will hold parts of all the three answers. Listen carefully and identify the best fit. Do not fall for recognizing words. 

Listening part C

The final part is part C which is 15 minutes long. Two recordings of presentations or interviews of healthcare professionals will be played. There will be 12 questions and three possible options. 

Make you of the pause between each recording. Before you start listening, a total of 90 minutes will be given to take a look at the questions in each section. Here you need to contrite on the connections between effect and cause. Try to understand the comparisons, emphasis, and opinions. Synonyms and paraphrasing are still essential.  Facts and figures are also important here. 

There will not be any pause once the dialogues start. Focus on parts where the speaker is moving towards a new topic. Pay heed to how the person is speaking and the words. Words like now, well, so, etc indicate that the conversation is moving towards a new subject. In the case of an interview, the questions will indicate the topic of discussion. 

Remember that a point 2b pencil is required to fill parts B and C. Get an extra pencil along for just in case. The computer will check your part b and c answers so clearly mark the answers by filling the circles completely and not partially. Completely erase answer in case you are not sure and do not fill partially. An answer is an answer-be it right or wrong.