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Tips for OET Speaking

OET- Occupational English Test is the English language test designed particularly for healthcare professionals who want to practice in an English-speaking land. It is recognized by various regulatory healthcare bodies and is developed specifically for 12 healthcare professions. The test reflects real workplace tasks and assesses the relevant language skills. 

The test structure consists of three sections: Listening, Reading, and Writing which is designed differently for each kind of profession.

Here are a few tips that you might find helpful in scoring high in OET.

  • Take the first step and keep it going: 

Remember, you do not have to consider it as an exam. It is a role play setting wherein your interlocutor is to be considered your patient or client and you have to talk accordingly. If at all, the conversation halts, it’s your responsibility to keep it going. 

  • Use positive language: 

As a healthcare professional, you will always deal with lots of broken people, gloomy conversations, and lots of negativity. But it is your responsibility to infuse positivity around, to make your patient feel comfortable and relaxed. For that, your language should always be in a positive tone. Sound confident in the medical procedure that the patient is going to undergo, talk positive about the attending doctor, talk about people who have recovered and doing good in life. 

  • Listen carefully to the patient, in this case, the interlocutor: 

Though it is your speaking test, listening is as much important. Focus on what the patient has to say and then talk accordingly.

  • Explain the procedures in detail: 

Remember that the person you are talking to is a patient who does not understand your medical terminology or why you are following a certain procedure. But as we all know, they have a right to know completely about every process that is being carried out on them. Hence, use positive language and explain clearly whatever procedure is to be performed on the patient. 

  • Be Flexible: 

Adjust your language and tone accordingly if you are talking to a young or old patient, a calm person or an aggressive one, a gloomy patient, or a lively one. Also, be ready to face unexpected questions. Just the way patients interrupt while you are explaining them some procedure. 

  • Learn to offer advice:

No, it is not as simple as it sounds. You need to be very careful with your choice of words because you are dealing with a patient who is already disturbed with some ailment. Your choice of words does matter a lot. If you say, “you should do this” or “you need to get this”, it does sound forceful. Instead try saying, “I would recommend”, “I strongly suggest”. Does that sound better? Get that into a habit. 

  • Finish by summarising: 

In the end, give a little time to review the discussion, the ailment, the course of treatment, suggested timelines, and then the decision. 

Following the above tips can be quite useful in your OET speaking test. It is not just the test of your English proficiency but also many other skills that you need to hone. 

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Vaishali Pandey

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