OET Online Founder and Director Steve MacPhail shares the rich history of OET Online since its creation as well as their latest useful preparation products developed for each of the 12 test professions – the OET Taster Courses.
Read this interview to find out what is included in the Taster Courses and how they can be a useful addition to your study plan.
Tell us a bit about your involvement with OET preparation…
Hi, I’m Steve MacPhail, and I’m the director and founder of OET Online. I’m based in Brisbane, Australia and I’ve been personally helping health professionals prepare for and pass OET since 2002.
The OET Online website was first developed in 2008, which is when we started delivering preparation courses online. The initial focus was Medicine, and, in those days, there was only a very small amount of resources available, so from the very beginning we realised there was a need for good quality practice material to help our students prepare for the exam. Fast forward to 2022, and we now offer courses for all 12 professions tested by OET and have created exam quality practice tasks in Writing and Speaking for each of the 12 professions as well our own Reading and Listening content.
There are 14 members on our team, including support staff and teachers working remotely across the globe from various locations including the UK, Australia, Spain, Belgium, and India.
What does OET Online offer to OET candidates?
We offer a unique learning environment where students are part of a community of like-minded individuals with the same goal of passing OET. Our courses include twice daily LIVE Lectures on Zoom covering all aspects of OET preparation. Of course, these classes are recorded, so students have the option of attending LIVE or watching the recorded video.
We find most students do a combination of the two while preparing for the exam. These lectures are supported by private tutorials from our dedicated teaching team to focus on the individual needs of our students.
We also have a student forum so students can find study buddies to prepare with and we offer Mock tests to ensure students are exam ready.
What prompted you to write Taster Courses for all OET professions?
As the expression goes, it’s hard to judge a book by its cover. Certainly from a website’s front page, it can be hard to know what’s inside and whether it is the right learning environment for the student as an individual. We wanted to show potential students who we are and what we offer in terms of exam preparation.
What’s in each Taster Course?
There are exam strategy taster videos from our expert teaching team so you can get a feel for their teaching style, along with study guides to get students started on the right track. We offer profession specific practice tasks for writing and speaking as well as sample writing letters and speaking audios and transcripts. In addition, the Taster Course includes Sample Reading and Listening tasks and a placement test to help gauge your level and select an appropriate course. You can also attend a FREE LIVE Lecture, so it really is a taste of what we offer in our paid courses.
How did you find SMEs to help you create your Writing and Speaking materials?
We do this in a number of ways. We are in contact with a range of health professionals in our own community and we have been able to draw on their expertise to create realistic case-notes and role-play scenarios. We also keep in touch with our Alumni of successful students, many of whom are keen to contribute their expertise to help others pass OET just as they have. As I mentioned, it’s that community spirit which helps drive what we do and is a big part of who we are.
What has the uptake/response been so far?
It’s been a promising start. The Free Taster courses have been LIVE since May 2022, and they appear to have been well received by the community. We hope this translates to more students joining our study programme to help them pass OET and move forward with their career.