I would like to start by saying that in life, anything is achievable. It all depends on how badly you want it.
After getting a 6 and 6.5 consecutively in IELTS Writing, I was able to get 4 Bs in OET, allowing me to pursue my dream of going to the UK. I found the OET is better than IELTS in quite a few ways and I’m not saying this simply because I passed in the first go but because it also groomed me a lot.
In my opinion, there are four main things you need to understand to really maximize your chances at for acing OET:
To improve your writing I suggest watching Jay on YouTube, he has a channel called ‘E2 OET’ and his videos on writings are invaluable. Best of all they are free of cost. Be sure to carefully study his lessons on writing referral and discharge letters.
Another online resource that I found very helpful during my time preparing for the OET was ‘swoosh’, it improved my understanding of writing skills significantly and they checked around 7 practice letters I wrote which was very beneficial. However it was an expensive service.
I also subscribed to Benchmark, which I believe is the most affordable writing correction service that also guarantees quality. For 80$ (13000 Rs.) they checked 12 letters for me which was more than enough to polish my writing skills.
In the days leading up to the OET I spoke only in English with some friends who were also giving the test, this proved to be a wonderful practice. I kept all the relevant material that I needed to work on for my spoken English in a pdf file to help guide me. With the aid of about 80 cue cards, my friends and I role-played many different Dr. and patient scenarios which of course also helped develop my professional skills. Communication skills with patients are taken into account during the test. There is a simulated patient present who you have to interact with. A point worth mentioning is that he is not an examiner, everything you say is recorded and sent to be evaluated, so don’t fear him and be confident in your interactions with him.
The practice sessions Swoosh conducted for speaking were disappointing and I didn’t really feel a need to get evaluated for speaking. However that was not a good idea, since I ended up barely passing the speaking portion.
3. LISTENING AND READING
It is important to be careful that you practice only the material which is available from reputable sources like E2, Swoosh English, OET online, and OET official. Don’t waste time with substandard academies. In addition to that, listen to podcasts, Abc radio, and Ted talks. For reading, medical journals are a great help.
4. UNDERSTAND WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU
Don’t waste your time and money on local academies, they are not OET specialists. You can buy an E2 or Swoosh package, maybe an OET Online course, or get help from any of the premium partners mentioned on the OET website. However you must understand this stuff can only be used as an adjunctive tool, the bulk of your preparation should be done by yourself with appropriate benchmarks and your friends only.
Lastly, I would like to say that OET 2.0 is a standardized exam, all questions carry the same marks in both the reading and listening portions. There is no bias, and it’s more about real healthcare scenarios rather than articles and listening extracts related to general scientific concepts, which was the case in OET 1.0.
I wish you the best of luck.
Written by: Anas Rafiq
About the Author: The author is MBBS doctor who has completed OET with 4 B’s, currently in the process of GMC registration and working in Punjab Institute of Mental Health & The Park Lane Clinic, Lahore, Pakistan.
He has been working as a helping hand at many national & international forums for personal development.
You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org