How much preparation?
Have you heard of the expression ‘how long is a piece of string’? It’s a popular British expression meaning the topic in question can’t be given an exact measurement. It’s a good response to the focus of today’s blog post as the time needed to prepare for OET will depend from candidate to candidate.
The length of preparation you need will depend on the following:
- Your current level of English
- How much time you have available for regular study
- Your previous test-taking experiences (and how long ago these were)
Your current level of English
If you have taken another English test within the last 2 years, your results will provide a good indicator of your current level of English. They will also identify your strengths and weaknesses in the 4 skills of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
If it’s more than 2 years since you took an English test or studied English, one of our Premium Preparation course providers will be able to give you a placement test to determine your current level of English and advise you on how much time you will need to improve your skills to achieve the grade you want.
If your recent test or placement test results show your current level of English is close to a B grade already, you may only need a few weeks to familiarise yourself with the OET format. On the other hand, if the results show you are a C+ or C grade at the moment, then you will need more time to improve. Like everything from learning to drive a car to passing a high stakes English test, there are no shortcuts. You have to put the time and effort in to get the result you want.
How much time you have available for regular study
As healthcare professionals, we know many OET candidates are already working within the healthcare field. In addition, many candidates have busy family lives. Finding time for regular study can be hard. You need to be realistic about how much time you have to prepare for OET. If you are only going to be able to allocate a few hours a week then you will need to prepare for longer. Alternatively, if you have the option to commit to a period of full-time intensive study, then the preparation time can be reduced.
Your previous test-taking experiences
A big part of success in OET on test day is confidence. Confidence that you have prepared to the best of your ability but also confidence that comes from success in previous test-taking experiences. If you have been unsuccessful in past test experiences, this will have an impact on how you feel on an OET test day. It may mean that you want to spend longer preparing for OET to build up your confidence again and make sure you feel ready for the test.
The reward of good preparation
Another English expression, admittedly not so frequently used as the first one, is ‘don’t put the cart before the horses’. It means don’t do things in the wrong order. Or in other words, don’t apply for or sit for the test until you have prepared thoroughly. If you do things in the proper order for as long as it takes you to be personally ready for the test, then the results you receive will reward you.