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Why you need to take control of the conversation in the OET Speaking sub-test

Take control of during the Speaking sub-test

The OET Speaking sub-test simulates real-life patient-to-professional communication. This is a key difference between OET and other English tests.

In a general or academic English test, the examiner controls the test by asking questions for the candidate to answer. But OET is different.

Reflecting real-life interactions

As a healthcare professional, you control the conversations you have with your patients. You do this because you know which information needs to be provided or requested from your patient. It also helps you to ensure the consultation time is managed efficiently.

OET is designed to reflect real healthcare tasks in your workplace. Healthcare professionals are assessed in a language and format they can understand. As the OET Speaking sub-test replicates real professional-to-patient interactions, you should take control of the role-play as you would in real-life.

Whether you’re breaking bad news or following up with a patient following an initial consultation, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are expected to take the lead. However, you are still required to listen and respond appropriately to the patient.

Taking control during OET

You need to start the role-play and move the conversation forward to cover as many of the tasks as you can in the 5 minutes.

Listening and responding appropriately to the patient is part of managing the conversation. You should balance the amount of time you talk and the amount of time you listen.

Knowing that OET is like real-life patient-professional communication is one of the reasons many candidates pick OET. It tests you in ways that are familiar to you and prepares you for work.

Find out more reasons why you should take OET on our Test Information page.