What is OET Medicine?

What is OET Medicine?

- By Kasharn (11 articles)

Are you an aspiring UK doctor that is confused about the OET? If so then this is the perfect blog post for you!

The Occupational English Test for medicine is designed for healthcare professionals, the exam will test you in reading, writing, speaking and listening. The test is used to prove that overseas doctors can communicate effectively in English, the OET also supports a doctor’s application to practise medicine in the UK. The exam is recognised by the General Medical Council.


The OET exam tests your ability in four areas of English Language communication:

Reading (45 minutes)

Writing (60 minutes)

Speaking (45 minutes)

Listening (20 minutes)



The listening section of the exam consists of three parts that will test a candidate’s ability to understand a range of materials.

Part A – consultation extracts (5 minutes per extract)

In this component, you will listen to consultations between physicians and patients. You will be assessed on identify specific information. You will also need to complete the healthcare professional’s notes using the information that you have heard during the consultation.

Part B – short extract of workplace discussion (1 minute per extract)

In this part of the exam, you will need will listen to consultations between monologues and/or dialogues. Here you are tested on your ability to identify details and understand the conversation. You will need to listen to six short extracts, then answer the multiple-choice questions

Part C – presentation extracts (5 minutes each)

Part C will test your ability to follow a recorded healthcare-related presentation or interview.



In the reading section, you are expected to showcase your ability to read and understand texts related to healthcare.

Part A – expeditious reading task

You will be tested on your ability to quickly and efficiently locate specific information from short texts. The texts will all be based on the same topics and you will answer twenty questions in total and you will be allocated 15 minutes to answer all of the questions.

Part B

In part B you will have to read six short extracts from a healthcare workplace. You will be assessed on your ability to identify detail and understand the context of the text.

Part C

Part C of the exam consists of two long texts of up to 800 words in which each text covers a specific topic and is divided into paragraphs. For this part of the exam, you will get eight multiple-choice questions with four options. For part C you will be given be a guide for where to look in the text.



This section will test how effectively you can communicate via role-play during a healthcare scenario. Each of the role plays will roughly be five minutes.

The speaking is assessed by:

·         Pronunciation

·         Appropriate use of language

·         Relationship building

·         Understanding and incorporating patient language 

·         Providing structure

·         Information gathering

·         Information giving



This tests your ability to communicate effectively in a healthcare context, such as writing a referral letter. The task is to write a referral letter, you will be provided with some materials that will provide you with some information and context to use in your writing.

The writing is assessed on:

·         Overall execution and completion

·         Use of correct language

·         Use of the materials provided

·         Grammar, punctuation and spelling

·         Cohesion, presentation, structure and layout


I hope this blog post gave you some clarity about the OET exam for medicine. Just to summarise, the exam is based on four skills which are your; reading, writing, listening and speaking. In addition, the exam is used to support your application to practise medicine within the UK.

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