Taking OET can be stressful, and you might not know where or how to start. Fortunately, the nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals who have taken OET before can provide you with an insight into what you can expect.
While it’s important to only get English advice from registered preparation providers, you can get plenty of other tips from previous test takers.
We asked our OET Hero from the Philippines, Nurse Edwin, for his five of his top preparation tips. He scored all Bs after taking OET on computer and signing up for an OET course from the experts at SET English, a premium preparation provider.
So here are Edwin’s top five study tips for OET success:
Tip 1: Get to know what OET is about
“Firstly, you need to get to know the exam – what it’s all about,” Edwin said.
One of the first actions you should take is to familiarise yourself with the structure and overview of the test. It’s important to learn about the layout and other information before you book OET.
Do you know how the test is structured or how much time it takes to complete each sub-test? Find out through the test information page on the OET website.
Tip 2: Learn how you’re assessed
“You need to understand the assessment criteria in each sub-test,” said Edwin.
“It is important to know what you are graded on. Be aware of the dos and don’ts for each sub-test. For example, in the writing sub-test, there are things that might not be important to include in your letter.”
Knowing the assessment criteria can make a big difference to your final score. Learn about the different bands and criteria for each sub-test on OET’s results and assessment page to give you an idea of what to aim for.
Tip 3: Create and use a study plan
“You need to create a concrete study plan and you should make sure you stick to it,” Edwin said.
Your study plan should be something that suits your preferences and schedule.
“Your study timetable is important. When I started studying with SET English, they asked me what I am comfortable with.”
Edwin’s study plan involved focusing on one sub-test per day, then practicing all sub-tests on the final day before the weekend when he rested.
“Saturday and Sunday were rest days for me. Rest is very important. I make sure I have time to watch Grey’s Anatomy each day because stress is high.”
Tip 4: Don’t be afraid to seek study help
“Ask for help. If you think you need a more focused guide on your OET journey, get yourself enrolled with an OET premium provider,” Edwin said.
“There are battles you can do by yourself and there are battles where you need some help.”
“Even if English is your mother tongue, you don’t just pass OET so easily. There’s a specific structure. You need to review. You need to really invest your time into it. SET English had some excellent tips and skills they gave me. They have their own techniques that make it seem easy.”
OET offers many endorsed preparation providers to help you study and practice your skills, including premium providers for that extra help from expert teachers.
Bonus Tip: Don’t lose focus
Throughout your OET journey, you might discover that your performance in one sub-test is lacking and requires more attention. It’s important to still allocate study time to all sub-tests, even if you’re only weak in one sub-test.
“Listening was my weakness and that’s what SET English told me, too,” Edwin said.
“They told me to focus on my weakness but don’t ever forget the other sub-tests. If you do, all your hard work will mean nothing.”
Tip 5: Practice!
Like many things, you need to practice your English skills to be successful.
“You need to manage your time, you need to widen your vocabulary, read a lot of articles,” Edwin said.
“Before I slept, I always listened to podcasts – OET podcasts or English vocabulary podcasts.”
Additionally, taking mock tests under testing conditions like OET can be a great way to practice and understand how well you’re doing.
“Mock test courses are very important for knowing if you’re ready.”
Bonus Tip: Practice specifically for your test type
Be sure to practice and revise specifically for your test type. Edwin used to always rely on writing his study notes with pen or pencil and practicing on paper but not anymore.
“If I’m taking OET on computer, I think I really need to make use of my computer. From then, I never wrote, I only typed,” said Edwin.
So those were OET Hero Edwin’s top five tips for achieving OET success. Hopefully, you find them useful in your own preparation journey.
After achieving his desired scores, OET Hero Edwin now works in the United Kingdom as a registered nurse.