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How to take an OET sample test

In this article, we have put together six key steps you need to take when taking a sample test. They outline how to take a sample test effectively and can help you score higher on the real OET.


Taking a sample test is not as simple as printing it out and starting to write. You need to take a few other steps first to maximise what you get out of taking an OET sample test.

Why am I taking an OET sample test?

Before you start, you need to answer this question: Is my goal familiarisation with the test format or test practice?

If you’re new to OET, you will want to take an official sample test to see what it’s like. By doing this, you will get a sense of question and task types and how well you understand the English used in the texts and audios.

On the other hand, if you’re already familiar with the format you can take an official sample test to see how you are progressing towards the level required for the grade you want.

By checking where you are on your OET journey, you can then make sure you get the most out of your effort, we’ve put together the top 3 suggestions for each type of test-taker.

Getting used to the test format

1. Look at the test structure

Carefully read through the instructions and explanations included in each part of the sample test. Pay attention to how long you are given for each section, how you mark your answers on the question booklet and how many questions are included for each part.

2. Don’t focus on time

Work your way through each section slowly and carefully and try to notice what strategies you are using to complete each section. If there are any questions or sections you find more difficult than others, mark or circle these in some way to come back to after you’ve finished.

3. Keep your goal in mind as you work

You can’t expect to ace a test the first time you see the format. It will feel unfamiliar but that’s OK. Hopefully what will feel less unfamiliar is that all the topics are healthcare-based. You might even enjoy this aspect even if you find some of the questions tricky.

Practising for the test

1. Complete the test under test conditions

This means only having on your workspace those things which you can take into the test room: pens, pencils, eraser, sharpener and a bottle of water. Don’t be tempted to have a dictionary or highlighters to hand as these are not tools you can use in your test and you need to train yourself to work without them.

2. Stay completely focussed

Turn off your phone and any other devices which are likely to distract you during this time. Focus on performing your best by putting yourself in your test-day mindset and concentrating only on the paper in front of you.

3. Time yourself and obey the time

Ideally, you will use a wall clock or similar to keep track of time to avoid the problem above with devices. If the time allowed for this section is 40 minutes. Make a note of the time you should stop and stop at this time. In the test, you are not given any extra time.

Bonus tip for both test-takers

Whichever your goal, because OET is a paper-based test, it’s best to print the paper from our website to fill in your answers. If you don’t have access to a printer, the next best thing would be to write your answers in a notebook.

By printing the sample test, you’re replicating how you would experience OET in the real world. This will help you get used to OET and do better when your Test Day arrives.

For more information on taking sample tests or OET resources in general, head over to the OET Blog.

Preparation OET