OET vs IELTS Academic

GMC and NMC have introduced OET as an alternative to IELTS, for health professionals’ registration purposes. While the level of difficulty is similar,  OET might be more motivating due to the medical terminology required. See below the comparison between the two exams and make the best decision for you!

IELTS Academic OET
About the Exam
  • the world’s most popular English test for higher education, migration and work. 
  • recognized in more than 130 countries
  • assesses the general English proficiency
  • it is accepted as proof of language by regulatory  healthcare boards and councils in a limited number of countries
  • assesses the language communication skills for healthcare professionals
Tests per year 48 times a year 10-12 times a year
Price around 184 euro around 390 euro
Time 2.45 h 3 h

 

EXAM STRUCTURE

IELTS OET
Listening
  • 30 minutes
  • 4 parts
  • 40 questions
  • 2 lectures/monologues
  • 2 conversations
  • general topics
  • questions: multiple choice, matching, completion, labelling
  • general English
  • 50 minutes
  • 2 parts
  • 20-28 question items
  • part A- medical consultation, note-taking task
  • part B- medical presentation, multiple choice
  • common for all healthcare professionals
Reading
  • 1 hour
  • 3 passages (1000 words each)
  • 40 questions
  • identifying claims or views, matching headings, sentence endings, completion of sentences, summaries, notes etc, multiple choice
  • it is designed for the Academic exam
  • 1 hour
  • 2 parts
  • part A – 3/4 texts on a single topic (a total of 650 words) – summary paragraph completion (25-35)
  • part B – 2 passages (600-800 words) multiple choice questions (16-20)
  • common for all healthcare professionals
Writing
  • 1 hour
  • 2 tasks
  • Task 1 – chart analyse and description
  • Task 2 – essay on a given topic of general interest
  • it is designed for the Academic exam
  • 45 minutes
  • 1 taska referral letter, based on medical case notes or related documentation
  • profession-specific task (medicine)
Speaking
  • 15 minutes
  • 3 parts (interview, cue-card and follow-up questions)
  • general speaking test

 

 

 

  • 20 minutes
  • 2 role-plays
  • the candidate takes the professional role as a health professional, while the interlocutor plays a patient, a relative or carer
  • profession-specific task (medicine)

 

SCORES IELTS OET
8-9 A
7-7.5 B
6-6.5 C-C+
5-5.5 D

*OET is introducing a C+ sub-score which is the equivalent of 6.5 in IELTS

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