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Everything you need to know about OET

Discussion in 'PLAB' started by Shrouk Khedre, Apr 24, 2021.

  1. Shrouk Khedre

    Shrouk Khedre Young Member

    Apr 13, 2021
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    Practicing medicine in:

    If you have decided on taking OET as your English proficiency evidence for your PLAB journey, this is what you need to know.


    What is the main advantage of choosing OET over any other test?

    In my opinion it is the fact that OET uses real healthcare scenarios so you will feel more confident on test day. When all sub-tests are centred around medicine there will be a familiarity with what you are being tested on. Instead of being asked to speak about global warming or listening to a monologue about Amazonian forests, you will be speaking to a patient which will be similar to what you have done a million times since being a medical student.

    What is the criteria for the GMC to accept it?

    For the GMC to accept your Occupational English Test (OET) certificate it must show:

    • you took the medicine version of the test
    • you got at least a grade ‘B’ in each testing area (speaking, listening, reading and writing)
    • you got those grades in the same test
    • your candidate number
    • you obtained the grades in your most recent sitting of the test.
    Please note that OET certificates are valid for two years. If you are taking the PLAB test, your certificate must be valid on the day you sit PLAB part 1. If you are applying for registration with a licence to practise, it must be valid when the GMC approves your application.

    How to prepare?

    Like any other English test, practice makes perfect. Please don’t let anyone convince you that it is much easier than IELTS, so you don’t have to work as hard. Starting the PLAB journey is consuming financially, and we should always aim to not repeat any tests. If you do not practice enough, strategize, and work on your time management, there is a very good possibility you will not get the passing grade in all sub-tests.

    The best way to start is to gather all the material you need. You can do so by joining the countless available Facebook and Telegram groups. The OET is a relatively new test so there aren’t that many practice tests available anyway.

    There are 3 full official sample tests available on their website:

    This Google drive link also has all the available Reading and Listening tests:

    Reading & Listening:

    Regarding these two subtests, your main aim should be how to approach each section in the most strategic way to make the most of your time. This is best explained on a Youtube channel called E2 which I will link below. They have broken down every section for each subtest into a different video. So, if you are just starting, watch every video then solve the section accordingly. It is not a time-consuming process, yet it is highly informative and will put you on the right track to practice.



    Writing & Speaking:

    Practice, practice, practice, and guess what? Practice! There really is not much to it. You will not know what you are defective in or improve your flaws unless you continue to write and speak every day. There are a few online services that offer to check your letters like Benchmark, OET Writing Mastery, and E2 Language. If you feel like you need to have your letters reviewed by professionals at the beginning to set the tone to your next letters you could check these out. However, reading written letters that have already been checked can also be helpful. As for speaking, watch a lot of videos and have different practice partners because by practicing with only one person you could easily fall into a routine or comfort zone and not be challenged enough.

    Another very helpful tip is that the official OET page on Facebook have a very interactive messaging service. You could literally ask them about anything and everything! From sentences you’re unsure of or what is considered formal or not in your letters to what is considered appropriate in phrases you use in speaking. They’re very quick to respond and have guided me a lot throughout preparation, do not hesitate to contact them regarding absolutely anything.

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2021

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