What is the Listening sub-test?
The Listening sub-test consists of two parts (Part A and Part B).
Click HERE for detailed information about the Listening sub-test.
How can I prepare for the Listening sub-test?
Try the Listening material from the sample test. To purchase further Listening practice materials go to the OET Bookshop. The Listening sub-test is the same for all OET professions.
Listening to health-related radio and television programs in English is great preparation for the OET. These are also often available on the Web as streamed or downloadable files. Some possible sources are:
ABC Australia Health
http://www.abc.net.au/health/ Health Matters - index with links to programs and features
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/allinthemind/ All in the Mind
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/healthreport/ Health Report
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lifematters/ Life Matters
http://www.abc.net.au/health/minutes/ Health Minutes
BBC World Service Health
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/health_check.shtml Health Check
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/science_in_action.shtml Science in Action
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/ index with links to programs and features
You could subscribe to these regular health-related newsletters:
The OET Centre is not responsible for the content of external websites.
Do’s and don’ts
- Do demonstrate that you have understood the recording (as well as heard it)
- Don’t try to write everything the speakers say – it is not dictation or a memory test
- Do take a sample test under test conditions beforehand so you know what it feels like
- Do practise writing clearly if you have poor handwriting
How can I help myself during the Listening sub-test?
Have a spare pen or pencil ready just in case
Stay relaxed and receptive – ready to listen
Focus on listening and understanding then recording your answer
Don’t be distracted by what is going on around you (e.g., sneezing, a nervous candidate at the next desk)
Fill in the cover page correctly
When the recording starts, use the time allowed to look through the questions carefully:
- Scan the headings and questions so you know what to listen out for
- Use prediction skills – e.g., what vocabulary is likely to come up given this topic
Don’t write full sentences; make notes and be sure they are clear and unambiguous
Use common abbreviations and symbols
Write clearly; don’t make it difficult for the assessor to read your responses as you may not get all the marks you could
Keep looking ahead at what is coming up (on the next page too)
Use the pauses in the recordings to finish writing, review, and prepare for the next section
Use the space provided for answers and the number of marks available for each question to guide you about how much information to include
Don’t lose your place during the test; remain focused on each question
Use the headings to guide you – give all relevant information under the correct heading
Give specific rather than general information from the recording
Don’t jump ahead or back: the headings follow the sequence of the recording
Note that longer pauses in the dialogue usually indicate the end of each numbered question
Read through each question carefully
Check the format of each question: e.g., sentence completion; note-taking or listing; table or diagram completion; true-false or multiple-choice questions
Predict what type of response is required: e.g., to complete ‘___%’ you will probably need a number
Checking at the end
Make sure your notes communicate what you intend
Look for any simple spelling errors that may accidentally change the meaning of your answer (‘message’ for ‘massage’, ‘bills’ for ‘pills’, etc.)
If a page is messy, use clear marks (e.g., arrows) to show which answer belongs to which question or heading
Think twice about going back to change something – it may be better to leave what you wrote the first time if you are not sure
Don’t leave any blanks; have a guess at the answer
How is the Listening sub-test assessed?
The Listening sub-test is marked by assessors who receive comprehensive training to work on the particular test being used.
Assessors follow a detailed marking guide prepared by the test designers. This sets out which answers are given marks and how the marks are counted. Assessors use the guide to decide for each question whether you have provided enough correct information to be given the mark(s) available.
> More information about OET assessment procedures