OET Speaking Test

OET i.e. Occupational English Test is a language oriented test to determine the language abilities of a healthcare professional, be it a doctor or nurse, who wish to work and practice in an English majority country.  This test assesses the candidate by its communication and English based skills. 

OET uses the four important skills of the English language – Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading to assess its candidate's performance. This test is more relevant to healthcare professionals as it uses medical vocabulary and terms in its Speaking and Writing sub-test which targets a specific profession, making it easy for the candidate to ace this test.  

Speaking in English for a non-native amateur is a very hard task, and it is important that OET candidates are fully prepared to tackle the Speaking sub-test. So let’s talk about the OET Speaking Test:

What is the Speaking Test?

The speaking test is taken individually. The approximate time will be 20 minutes, in which the examiner and the candidate enter into a role play that is tailored according to your profession. The candidate i.e you assume your professional role (examples are nurse or doctor or pharmacist) and the examiner assumes the role of a patient or a loved one of the patient or merely a client.  This sub-test has all the materials designed especially for your profession, thus making it easy for your test taking. 


Now that you are aware of the basics of the speaking test, let’s jump onto the structure of the speaking test. 

The speaking will take only 20 minutes. At the initial stage the examiner asks the candidate questions about their profession and background as a warm-up exercise. The role-play then starts, giving the candidate three minutes to get prepared and five minutes to role-play.

The role-plays are assumed from the typical hospital situations wherein a healthcare professional is required by the patient. The examiner has a specific script which they follow for all candidates and the script is extremely detailed to provide the candidate with as much information as possible. All the candidates get different role-plays even if they are taken for the same test.

The candidate get the information required for the role-play on a card that they can keep while the role-play. The card contains all the information about the situation and what the candidate should do in the situation. In case of any doubts and questions, the candidate can ask the examiner during the preparation time given.


The Speaking tests are recorded during the role-play and these role-play recordings are later assessed. Bear in mind that the examiner plays no role in the judgment of your performance. 

The assessment is carried out independently by two trained OET Assessors who are not aware of the scores you have achieved in your other sub-tests. They judge your speaking test by specific and targeted criteria. They focus on your response to the task given on that day and judge your response by following specific criteria that tests your English speaking skills and not your knowledge of the medical profession. 

Assessment Criteria 

  • Coherence- The assessor judges the candidate's intelligibility, their pronunciation and how coherent their speech is for the listener to hear and understand.
  • Eloquence- The assessor judges the candidate's fluency and how smooth their speech is.
  • Appropriate – The assessors judge how appropriate the candidate's speech is, by their use of formal words and tone.
  • Grammar – The assessors judge the candidate's grammar and vocabulary he inculcates in his speech.

Want to enroll for the OET Training online? Enroll for the OET training online at OETPractice.net. 

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