This article is part two of our Ultimate Guide to OET Test Day series that explores all the key elements you need to be aware of before you take your OET. You can Ultimate Guide to OET Test Day: Part One on the OET Blog.
In part one, we walked through all steps up until the ID check. These included:
- Checking your venue details
- What you need to bring to the test
- When you should arrive
- The ID check process.
In part two, we will walk through the final steps of the OET Test Day process. You’ll find information about sitting each sub-test as well as when you can leave the venue.
Take a look at each step below and get prepared for Test Day.
1. What to do when you enter the test room
Following the ID check, you will be asked to enter the test room at the appropriate time. You will be allocated a desk, so quickly find it and take a seat.
Once everyone is sitting, the invigilator will then read out a set of instructions. Pay attention as it contains critical information that will help you on Test Day. It also contains test rules and regulations that you must follow.
For each sub-test, venue staff will hand out personalised test papers. You will need to make sure your personal information is printed on the papers, before reading and signing the Candidate Declaration on the front page of your paper, if everything is correct.
If your personal details are wrong, you have the wrong question paper or the question paper is incomplete or badly printed, you will need to tell the invigilator.
If you’re confused about any of the information that was read out to you, simply raise your hand and ask them for assistance. However, invigilators are not there to help you answer test questions.
What order will the sub-tests come in?
You will start with the Listening sub-test followed by Reading, Writing and Speaking, with a short break between the final two.
However, sometimes the schedule will be different. If you’re taking OET in the Americas, for instance, your timetable will look a little different.
So, it’s important to check the timetable in the email you received when you applied for OET.
2. Sitting the Listening sub-test
Once everyone signs the Candidate Declaration, the Venue staff will conduct a soundcheck. If you cannot hear the words in the soundcheck clearly, tell staff and they will increase the volume and try again.
The Listening sub-test will start following the completion of a successful soundcheck.
The OET Listening sub-test is comprised of three parts and a total of 42 question items based on general healthcare topics, which means they are accessible to all 12 professions.
Running for 50 minutes, it includes time to listen to the recorded conversations and answer the questions.
You can complete Listening Part A with either a pen or pencil. However, for Listening Part B and C, you will need to use the 2B pencil you brought with you.
If you make a mistake or are unsure how to undertake this part, there are instructions on the front of the booklet. It’s very important that you follow the instructions carefully, you may lose marks if you have not entered your answers correctly.
At the end of Part C, you have two minutes to check your answers to all parts of the sub-test including making changes to your answers.
Once the allocated time is over, you will be asked to put your pens and pencils down, while the invigilators collect all the papers.
3. Sitting the Reading sub-test
Before the start of the Reading sub-test, Venue staff will read out a new set of instructions. Once again, listen carefully as it contains key information about the sub-test.
You will have 60 minutes to complete the Reading sub-test, which consists of three parts and has a total of 42 question items. The 60 minutes is split into 15 minutes for Part A and 45 minutes for Parts B and C.
You will not be able to leave the room during Part A or in the first and last 10 minutes of Reading Parts B and C. If you need to go to the bathroom during Parts B and C, put up your hand and you will be escorted there and back by an invigilator.
The sub-test will begin when all the Reading Part A papers are handed out.
It’s important to remember that Reading Part A papers will be taken away before Part B and C are handed out. This means you won’t be able to go back to Part A once B and C begin.
Like the Listening sub-test before it, you can use either a pen or a pencil for Part A but for B and C, you will need to use your 2B pencil.
4. Sitting the Writing sub-test
The Writing sub-test takes 45 minutes and is specific to your profession. Each of the 12 professions will have a unique writing task based on a typical workplace situation.
The papers will be given out by profession, while invigilators remind you that you cannot write anything during the first five minutes of the test.
Once the Writing sub-test is underway, invigilators will also warn you when there are only 10 minutes left until the end and again when there are five minutes left.
When the Writing sub-test ends, you will leave the test room. If your Speaking timeslot is later in the day, you will be able to collect your bag from the cloakroom and leave the test venue.
This can be beneficial as it allows you to get a bite to eat, go to the toilet or just get some fresh air to clear your mind.
However, if you do this you will have to undertake the ID check again before you can enter the waiting room. So, make sure you leave enough time for this process.
5. Time to take the Speaking sub-test
When your Speaking timeslot arrives, you will be asked to enter the room. The interlocutor will greet you and start the recording device before they check your identity. You will be asked a few questions to help you relax, but don’t worry, these are not assessed.
The Speaking sub-test is delivered individually, takes around 20 minutes and consists of two role plays. Each profession will have specifically designed materials that draw on real healthcare scenarios.
At the start of each role play, you will be given a roleplayer card. You will also be given three minutes to read through the card, make notes and ask the interlocutor to clarify anything you don’t understand. This includes the definition or pronunciation about words on the card but not about how you should complete the task. Each role play is five minutes long.
It’s important to remember that the interlocutor does not assess you during the Speaking sub-test. Instead, a recording of your test is sent to an assessment team where it is assessed later.
6. All over!
When the Speaking sub-test comes to an end, you can collect your belongings from the cloakroom, and you may leave. You cannot take any of the papers out with you when you leave.
Make sure you don’t speak to any candidates who are still waiting to complete their speaking sub-test.
Well done, you’ve finished! Now that the hardest part is over, it’s time to relax before you receive your results.
If you would like more information about what to expect on Test Day, check out the OET Test Regulations on our website.