OET Test Regulations August 2016

OET Test Regulations

1           Introduction

1.1       Test Regulations and Preparation

  • These are the Test Regulations relating to Occupational English Test (OET). These regulations, policies and procedures are designed to ensure that all OET candidates are treated equitably and fairly, that the testing environment is secure and that all staff conform to high-quality performance standards.
  • OET is a high stakes test which measures the English language proficiency level of candidates to a high level. CBLA advises you to be fully prepared for the test. CBLA does not advise on particular textbooks or courses of study, or recommend teaching establishments. Links to Preparation Courses on our website are for convenience only. Where a venue is permitted to use OET branding, this only indicates that they are certified to administer OET. It does not indicate they are endorsed as a teaching establishment.

2           Definitions

Application: enrollment completed online for approved admittance to the selected OET venue on the scheduled test day

Business day: a business day for the purpose of this document is Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Melbourne, Australia. Business Days does not include local public holidays.

Candidate: someone who has registered to take OET

CBLA: Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment (owner of OET)

OET: Occupational English Test

Venue Manager: the main point of contact at a venue

Venue:  authorised OET Test Venues are independently run by institutions in agreement with CBLA and CBLA is not responsible for any actions or omissions by venues.

3           Pre-test information

3.1       General regulations and conditions

  • You will be asked to confirm, as part of the test application process, that you have read and understood the OET Terms and Conditions which incorporate these Test Regulations.
  • You must comply with the OET Terms and Conditions and Test Regulations and you may be ineligible to complete the test and/or receive your results if you do not comply.
  • You are responsible for checking the English language skills registration standard of the authority that regulates your profession for the minimum OET grade accepted by the institution to which you are applying, including:
  • If results must be obtained in one sitting or not
  • Results validity period
    • All four sub-tests must be taken the first time you sit OET.
    • CBLA determine test dates, test application closing dates and test fees. Please note that not all venues are available for applications on all OET tests dates, please check venue availability on the OET website.

3.2       Registering for OET

  • Register for OET at https://www.occupationalenglishtest.org/apply/
  • Application fees for OET are paid directly to CBLA.
  • A non-refundable booking fee of AU$7.00 applies.
  • You are responsible for confirming and accepting that your application is correct when you apply.
  • Your passport or National Identity Document (outside Australia) are the only forms of identification (ID) accepted when sitting OET. Please refer to Table 1 for details.
  • Your ID must be valid at the time of application and for the test date. To be valid the document must not have expired or have been cancelled or made invalid in any other way.
  • If you do not have a valid passport or National ID document, you will need to request an Authorisation Letter when you apply for OET. Requests for Authorisation Letters must be received no later than the application closing date for the test administration. A new request for an Authorisation Letter must be submitted each time you apply to sit OET. You will need to supply certified colour copies of three ID documents that can be used to verify your identity.

Table 1: Acceptable ID

Country Accepted ID Not Accepted
Australia In Australia:

·         You must provide your valid passport as proof of identity.

·         If you do not have a valid passport please complete this form when you register to take the test.

·         Driver’s license

·         Professional ID card

·         Voting card

Rest of World Outside Australia:

·         You must provide your valid passport or official National Identity Card for the country in which you are sitting the test.

·         If you do not have a valid passport or official National Identity Card please complete this form when you register to take the test.

·         Driver’s license

·         Professional ID card

·         Voting card

  • You will not be admitted to the test if the name on your ID documentation does not match the name you used when you registered.
  • You will receive confirmation of your application by email (please check your spam or junk mail if you do not receive the email). You are responsible for checking the accuracy of all details and immediately notifying CBLA of any discrepancies. Errors identified on or after test day will result in delays to the release of results as further checks will be required.
  • All changes and requests must be received no later than the application closing date for the test administration. Forwarding changes or requests later than this date may mean you may not be allowed to take the test or delay your results after the test.
  • Approximately two weeks prior to the test date, your test venue will send you an email with your test day timetable attached (please check your spam or junk mail if you do not receive the email). The email will tell you how to get to the venue, what to bring and what time you must arrive. If you do not receive this email contact CBLA via the Help section on our website.
  • If you do not arrive at the time specified by your venue, you may not be allowed to take the test.

3.3       Special Arrangements

  • CBLA is committed to providing suitable arrangements wherever possible to aid candidates with special This could be due to a medical condition or personal circumstance which affects the way you take the test. Some examples may include;
  • Hearing, visual or learning difficulty
  • Medical condition which requires you to go to the bathroom more frequently than the test regulations permit.
    • All requests for Special Arrangements must contain full details of your special requirements and be supported by appropriate documentation, such as a letter from your medical practitioner detailing the illness, severity, duration and medication or any other evidence required.
    • Special Arrangement requests should be made as early as possible and must be received no later than the application closing date for the test administration.
    • Depending upon the nature of the request, we cannot guarantee your request can be accommodated on the preferred test date or by your selected venue.
    • Special Arrangement requests received after the application closing date for the test administration cannot be considered and you will need to defer your application.
    • If your travel plans require that you arrive at or leave the test venue at a specific time we will endeavour to timetable your Speaking sub-test timeslot to suit. Please note that we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate these requests. 
    • Requests for Special Arrangements should be made by completing this form.
    • A new request for Special Arrangement, along with supporting documentation, must be submitted each time you apply to sit OET.

3.4       Withdrawal and Deferral

  • Withdrawal Policy 
  • If you are registered to sit OET but are not able to attend the test for any reason, you can withdraw and request a refund, subject to the conditions and fees listed below.
  • Conditions:
  1. You may withdraw up to 2 business days before the test.
  2. Refunds are only provided for withdrawals made up to 2 business days before the test.
  3. Refunds will not be provided for withdrawals made within 2 business days before the test and on test day.
  4. You must withdraw the whole application.
  5. A withdrawal cannot be reversed.
  6. The AUD $7 online booking fee paid will not be refunded.
  7. Please allow up to 20 business days to process your refund.
  8. Administration fees apply (see Table 2).

Table 2: Withdrawal fees 

Timeline Reason Fees Procedure
Up to the application closing date for the test administration. Any reason AUD $120 administration fee ·         Login to your online candidate profile and click ‘Withdraw’

·         For withdrawals, the administration fee will be deducted from your refund.

After the application closing date for the test administration and up to Wednesday 11.59pm AEST before the test Any reason AUD $200 administration fee ·         Login to your online candidate profile and click ‘Withdraw’

·         For withdrawals, the administration fee will be deducted from your refund.

From Thursday 12:00am AEST before the test ·         Refunds will not be provided for any withdrawals made within 2 business days before the test and on test day.
  • Deferral Policy
  • If you are registered to sit OET but are not able to attend the test for any reason, you can defer to the next available test date, subject to the conditions and fees listed below.
  • Conditions:
  1. You can only defer after the application closing date for the test administration.
  2. You must defer to a future open test administration date.
  3. On the day of the test providing you have NOT gone through the Test Day Registration process at the test venue.
  4. You must defer the whole application.
  5. A deferral cannot be reversed.
  6. Refunds are not provided for deferrals.
  7. Administration fees apply (see Table 3).

Table 3: Deferral fees 

Timeline Reason Fees Procedure
After the application closing date for the test administration and up to the day Any reason AUD $200 administration fee ·         Login to your online candidate profile and click ‘Defer’

·         For deferrals, pay the administration fee and your application will be deferred to the future test date you have selected.

 

Any reason AUD $200 administration fee ·         Complete the online Test Day Deferral form which must be submitted on Test Day.

·         CBLA will process your request to defer to the next available test once the administration fee has been paid.

 

3.5        Changing venue location

  • If you find you need to change your venue location, you can change to another OET venue provided you do so by the application closing date for the test administration.
  • Administration fees apply (see Table 4).

Table 4: Changing venue location

Timeline Reason Fee Procedure
Up to the application closing date for the test administration. Any reason AUD $120 administration fee Contact CBLA via the Help section on our website.

 

After the application closing date for the test administration. Any reason No venue change allowed

4           Test Day information

4.1       Notice to Candidates – Rules and Regulations

  • This Notice to Candidates details the rules and regulations of how you must behave during the test. You agree to follow these rules and regulations when you apply for OET. Anyone not following the instructions contained in the Notice to Candidates may be subject to CBLA Malpractice Procedures.

4.2       OET Venues

  • CBLA regularly audits its authorised venues to ensure that they are administering OET according to its strict regulations. Most audits are unannounced and can be carried out at any authorised OET venue.
  • Note that some venues may have video monitoring systems in use for security purposes.

4.3       What happens on test day?

  • You must arrive by the time specified by the venue. If you do not you may not be allowed to take the test.
  • Only you can attend the test venue. Only candidates are permitted in the test venue, no relatives (including children) or friends are allowed.
  • The Test Day Registration process involves:
  • Presenting the ID document you used when you applied for OET.
  • Having your photo taken.
  • Signing the Candidate Register.
  • Placing personal and unauthorised items in the cloakroom.
    • You may take the following items into the test room:
  • Non-mechanical pens or pencils; erasers; pencil sharpener; water in a small, clear bottle; your identification document.
  • Medication and snacks if approved prior to the test day.
    • The following items cannot be taken into the test room:
  • Watches; electronic devices; mobile phone; digital sound recorder; MP3 player; camera; etc.
  • Bags; notes; study material; dictionary; mechanical pens/pencils; correction fluid or tape; etc
    • Bathroom breaks and leaving the test room:
  • The Listening, Reading and Writing sub-tests are conducted consecutively with no scheduled breaks (including bathroom breaks) between these tests.
  • There are strict rules on when and how you are allowed to leave the test room to ensure other candidates are not distracted during the test.
  • No additional time allowance will be given if you choose to go to the bathroom.
  • You may only leave the test room to go to the bathroom during the Reading Part B and Writing sub-tests apart from in the first and last ten minutes of these sub-tests).
  • You must raise your hand and wait for an invigilator to come to escort you out of the room and escort you back to your seat.
  • If you feel unwell or decide to leave the test, you must raise your hand and wait for an invigilator to come to escort you out of the room.
    • If you know you may need to go to the bathroom more frequently (for example, if you are pregnant), you can request Special Arrangements be made. Requests must be received by the application closing date for the test administration.
    • ID Checks before and during sub-tests
  • You must make sure that your name and candidate number are accurate.
  • Invigilators will check that the name, number and signature on your candidate ID check form match your ID document, and that the name on your answer sheet matches your ID.
  • Invigilators will check your ID documentation throughout the test day.

4.4       Identification document discrepancy

  • The venue staff have the right to decide what will happen in the case of ID discrepancies.
  • You will not be admitted to the test if the name on your ID documentation does not match the name you used when you applied for OET.
  • You are responsible for bringing the correct ID documentation to the venue on test day. Incorrect or alternative ID documentation will not be accepted.
  • You may apply for a Test Day Deferral if you are not permitted to sit the test because of invalid or unacceptable ID.
  • You will be asked to show your ID documentation and/or sign a Candidate Identity Check form throughout the test day.
  • All reported cases of ID documentation discrepancies are subject to review and approval by CBLA after the test administration. CBLA reserves the right to withhold and/or cancel results in the event that the ID documentation requirements are not met. Refunds may be made on a case to case basis.
  • You may be admitted, but will need to provide supplemental ID documentation within 2 business days of the test if your primary ID document is otherwise acceptable but shows minor discrepancies when compared to the OET Candidate Register.
  • Your passport may be photocopied and sent to CBLA to assist us in processing discrepancies.

4.5       Non-attendance on test day

  • Failure to attend on test day – If you do not attend on the test day for any reason you will be marked as ‘No Show’ in the candidate register.
  • To request a deferral for non-attendance you must complete the online form for Test Day Deferral on the test date. An Administration fee of $200 will apply.

4.6       Test Day Deferral

  • Test Day Deferral allows you to defer from the test on the test day as long as you have NOT gone through the Test Day Registration process at the test venue.
  • You must report any problems to the Venue Manager on the test day before you register for the test at the venue and must complete the online Test Day Deferral form.
  • Procedure to apply for Test Day Deferral on test day
  1. To defer on Test Day you must not register for the test at the venue and must complete the online Test Day Deferral form.

Below is the link to the online Test Day Deferral form.

Test Day Deferral form

  1. Alternatively you may click on the Help and Information page on the OET website and search for the OET Deferral request.
  2. The online form must be submitted on Test Day.
  3. CBLA will process your request to defer to the next available test. Please note an administration fee of $200 will apply. For deferrals, upon receipt of the administration fee your application will be deferred to a future test date which is open for applications.

4.7       Malpractice

  • Malpractice is any action which gives or aims to give unfair advantage to a candidate or causes disadvantage to other candidates.
  • Malpractice includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • obtaining unauthorised access to test material
  • using or trying to use unauthorised material, e.g. notes, study guides, mobile phones, other electronic equipment, smart watches, highlighters, mechanical pens or pencils etc.
  • copying/collusion or attempted copying/collusion
  • disruptive behaviour
  • not following the instructions of venue staff
  • marking the test paper during reading time
  • continuing to write after being instructed to stop
  • impersonation (pretending to be someone else)
  • altering results on any document.
    • Cases of suspected malpractice may be identified by:
  • the venue, e.g. a report from an invigilator
  • assessors, e.g. unusual answers shared by candidates who were sitting next to each other
  • routine statistical analysis of candidates’ answer sheets
  • other means
  • If there is any indication that you or a venue staff member may have been involved in malpractice, or conduct that potentially compromises the results of an OET, CBLA may in its absolute discretion withhold or decide not to release your OET results. Whenever there is evidence that results of an OET may be compromised or be invalid or unreliable, CBLA may be required to report to, and work with, regulatory authorities and agencies and to take appropriate remedial action. Any OET candidate found to have been involved in conduct or malpractice which potentially compromises the results of an OET will not receive the result of their OET.
  • The CBLA Malpractice Procedure deals with cases of suspected irregular conduct deemed to be malpractice. This procedure is designed to ensure that all decisions are consistent, fair and based on the fullest information available. We aim to complete the investigation of malpractice cases within eight weeks.

CBLA reserves all rights provided to it under law. CBLA has the right to withhold results while the investigation and malpractice procedures are underway. CBLA may share investigation details, including your personal information, with relevant regulatory authorities and law enforcement agencies.

Stage One: Malpractice Committee meeting

  • The Malpractice Committee looks at all available evidence in relation to the case (e.g. seating plans, question papers and answer sheets, Malpractice Warning reports).
  • If the Committee feels that there is no case to answer, it recommends that the results be released.
  • If the Committee decides that further investigation is needed, it recommends that the results be withheld. No result or certificate is issued at this stage.
  • If results are to be withheld, the candidate is asked to give a statement. This statement is returned to CBLA, together with any other information requested.

Stage Two: If additional information is required

  • The Malpractice Committee looks at the case again, taking into account the additional information, including the candidate’s statement. After carefully considering all the evidence, the Committee recommends whether the result should be released or permanently withheld.
  • If it is decided that a candidate’s results can be released, the results will be issued.
  • If it is decided that the results should be permanently withheld, the candidate will not receive a result. In some cases, such as intentional fraud, the candidate may not be allowed to sit OET in the future. The candidate will be notified in writing if their results are withheld and told whether they are eligible to apply for OET in the future

4.8       Malpractice Warning procedure

  • Once the test has commenced, if you do not follow the OET Test Rules and Regulations, you will immediately be given a verbal First-and-final Warning and a First-and-final Warning notice will be placed on your desk. The notice is placed on your desk to ensure it is clear to you that you have been given a warning. The venue staff will record details that the First-and-final Warning has been given.
  • If further misconduct is noticed by the venue staff, you will immediately be given a verbal Malpractice Warning and a Malpractice Warning notice will be placed on your desk. The notice is placed on your desk to ensure it is clear to you that you have been given a warning. The venue staff will record details that the Malpractice Warning has been given.
  • In cases of gross misconduct the Malpractice Warning will be issued immediately.
  • When a Malpractice Warning is given, the venue staff will also complete a Malpractice Warning letter (see example) which will be given to you at the end of all written papers.
  • If you have an unauthorised item in your possession the venue staff will remove it from your possession for the remainder of the test day. If any of your items have been confiscated venue staff will return them to you at the end of the test day.
  • You may continue with the remainder of the sub-tests
  • At the end of all written papers you will be given the Malpractice Warning letter stating that your behaviour has come to the attention of test venue staff and that you were issued with a Malpractice Warning notice during the test. The letter will advise you to contact CBLA and provide a statement regarding what occurred from your perspective.
  • Test venue staff will submit an Incident Report of these events to be investigated by CBLA.
  • CBLA will use your statement to investigate the Malpractice Warning, following the procedure outlined in 4.7. Our investigation will include, as appropriate: statements from other candidates, the Venue Manager, Invigilators and other Venue staff; seating plans and details of candidate identity checks; statistical analysis of responses and scoring patterns.
  • Once the CBLA Malpractice investigation is complete you will receive an email that details the outcome of our investigation, which may include your results being withheld. This may take up to 8 weeks.

4.9       Rescheduled tests

  • If circumstances beyond our control cause the rescheduling or cancellation of a test, CBLA will reschedule your test to a mutually agreed future scheduled test date and test venue (at no charge) or refund your test application fee. Refer to Table 5.
  • If circumstances beyond our control result in CBLA being unable to publish your results after you take the test (for example if technical issues prevent us from being able to complete assessment activities), you can select from a future scheduled test date with no test administration fee or application fee charged.
  • Please note that CBLA will not refund travel, accommodation or any other costs.

Table 5: Rescheduled test

When What happens?
Test is rescheduled before the test date CBLA will reschedule your test to a mutually agreed future scheduled test date and test venue

OR

Refund your test application fee

Test cannot be administered due to government restrictions or force majeure
Test is cancelled on the test day
Test happens on the test day but CBLA is unable to publish your results You can select from a future scheduled test date with no test administration fee or application fee charged.
Test happens on the test day but there are problems which were not caused by you and the test needs to be repeated

5           Post-test information

 

5.1       Feedback and complaints

  • Full details of OET’s Complaints Policy and Appeals Policy are available on our website.
  • If you wish to make a complaint regarding your test day experience to be considered by the OET Complaints Committee, you must follow the OET Complaints procedure and complete the compliant form within two business days of the test. Complaints about test day must be submitted in writing using the complaint form and must be received within two business days of the test day.
  • Complaints need to be lodged by you, the candidate. CBLA will only respond to complaints from others about a candidate’s test if authorisation to do so is first received from the candidate concerned.
  • CBLA values candidate feedback and always investigates thoroughly when a formal complaint is made. We will use your statement to investigate incidents relating to the delivery of the test. Our investigation will include, as appropriate, statements from other candidates, the Venue Manager, Invigilators and other Venue staff; seating plans and details of candidate identity checks; statistical analysis of responses and scoring patterns, etc.
  • After you submit your statement you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your complaint from our Customer Service team (please check your spam or junk mail if you do not receive the email). We may be in touch with you during the investigation period with requests for further information. Once the investigation is complete you will receive an email that details the outcome of our investigation. This may take up to 20 business days.
  • Any appeal against the outcome of the complaints process will follow the procedure set out in the Appeals policy and process:
  • You can appeal the outcome of the complaints process if you believe the decision was not arrived at properly and fairly.
  • You cannot appeal unless the complaints process has taken place first.
  • Appeal fees will be refunded in full if your complaint is upheld as a result of your appeal.
  • There is a $120 fee for the submission of each stage of an appeal: Stage 1 and Stage 2. For more information please see OET Appeals Policy and Process.
  • If you wish to contact us regarding matters other than test day, you are welcome to contact us via our website at any time.

5.2       Assessment materials and results

  • CBLA cannot be held responsible for the loss of test scripts or materials while in transit from the venue and/or its venues to CBLA.
  • Results are issued online approximately 16 business days after the test. A grade ranging from A–E is issued for each sub-test. An overall grade for OET is not issued.
  • From time to time CBLA is unable to release results in the timeframe stated.
  • CBLA may withhold results in some instances relating to rescheduled tests, malpractice, ID documentation discrepancies, and technical issues.

5.3       Statement of Results

  • The CBLA Statements of Results is an important document containing a number of security features in order to make it difficult for them to be forged or copied.
  • Your Statement of Results lists the test results you have obtained in the OET in the previous three-year period, with the most recent first (up to ten results sets are shown). Results that are carried forward from a previous administration are identified with an asterisk. We cannot print results from just one sitting.
  • Statements of Results are mailed to you approximately 7 business days after the results are published online. Please allow up to 3 weeks delivery time for international post. You can also log into your personal profile and order additional copies to be sent to professional authorities or other locations.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that address details provided to CBLA are correct and able to accept postal delivery. CBLA is not responsible for lost or missing mail.
  • Statement of Results can only be replaced if the original was issued less than three years before the request date. The replacement Statement of Results will contain the original test date.
  • Statements of Results are issued in your name at the time OET was taken. Replacement Statements of Results will not be provided to accommodate a subsequent change of name.

5.4       Re-marking

  • Full details of OET’s Re-marking Policy are available on our website.
  • Requests for re-marking must be made within 5 days of results being published using the Re-marking Request form available on our website.
  • A fee of $120 per sub-test applies.
  • Re-marking is conducted by two assessors who did not complete the first marking of the test paper.

CBLA does not provide feedback on your test day performance (e.g. “Where did I go wrong?”). Information about performance in sub-tests is limited to what is contained in the Statement of Results. No further information will be given to you or to venues. Under no circumstances will CBLA return work done by candidates

6         Copyright, Privacy, Terms and Conditions

6.1       Copyright

  • CBLA holds the copyright on all question papers and test material. Question papers and test material must not be taken from the test room or reproduced in whole or in part without permission in writing from CBLA.
  • CBLA does not allow you or venue staff to view answers or any other work done as part of OET. CBLA will not return any work produced by you in the test to you or to venues.

6.2       Privacy

  • Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Pty Ltd respects the privacy of OET candidate and recognises the importance of protecting the information that you provide to us. Our Privacy Policy contains details about how we handle personal information and matters such as access, correction-and-complaint procedures and website privacy. Our Privacy Policy is accessible via https://www.occupationalenglishtest.org/privacy-policy/ and on request.

6.3       Accept Terms and Conditions and Test Regulations

  • CBLA reserves the right to modify the OET Terms and Conditions and Test Regulations as required.
  • CBLA will ensure current OET Terms and Conditions and Test Regulations are available to candidates at all times.
  • By registering to take OET, you acknowledge that you have read, understood and accept to be bound by the OET Terms and Conditions and Test Regulations.