Q: What is the difference between OETS and IELTS?
 Overseas-qualified health professionals must pass either IELTS Academic - or the OET - in order  to become a registered health professional in Australia. Dentists must do the OET.  However, an IELTS Academic overall score of 7.5 (with Band 7 the lowest score in any of the four subtests) is accepted for registration by the New Zealand Dental Council.    Pharmacists can elect to sit the OET or the IELTS test,  however the Pharmacy Board requires Pharmacists to gain Band 7.5 in all 4 subtests if they elect to sit an IELTS Academic test. OET Candidates gain a pass by achieving  an A or B in each of the four subtests.

OET Tests in 2011 are being administered once every two months, all over the world. Results are known within 19 working days of the test date. The test involves:

  • OET Listening - Part A is a consultation between a patient and his/her doctor usually lasting around 8 to 10 minutes;  Part B Listening  is a 25 minute lecture. Being able to take notes while doing the listening test is essential.
  • OET Speaking involves the candidate to act the part of the professional and conduct a "consultation" with his or her speaking partner - an actor.  Both people follow a "profile".  In OET, candidates do two 5.5 to 6 minute consultations within his/her 20 minute Speaking Test. 
  • OET Writing requires the candidate to read a given case study  (discipline specific according to your profession) - and then write a Letter of Referral - (for nurses this might be a Letter of Discharge or a Letter of Advice to the patient's relatives).  Candidates are given 5 minutes to read the case study then 40 minutes to write the referral letter. 
  • OET Reading involves Part A:  4 short pieces of textual information - your task is to complete the gap-fill exercise (15 minutes to do this).  Part B comprises two shorter pieces of text (1000 to 1100 words long) with 8 to 10 questions on each piece of text (14 to 16 questions all up).  You are given 45 minutes to do the Part B reading

IELTS Tests are conducted all over the world every two weeks. Results are posted onto the web on the 13th day after the test date. The IELTS Academic test involves:

  • IELTS Listening - a test that takes one hour, has four sections, each one with gap fill exercises or multiple choice question/answers 
  • IELTS Speaking - the test takes about 11 to 14 minutes and involves the candidate in having a conversation with his/her examiner (speaking partner) as well as being required to talk, uninterrupted, for 2 minutes on a particular general topic
  • IELTS Writing - the test takes one hour and is in 2 parts: Part A requires the candidate to describe a graph/chart/table/flow chart in 150 words; Part B requires the candidate to write a 250word essay
  • IELTS Reading - the test takes one hour and usually consists of 3 passages each one with associated questions that need to be completed. 

Health professionals wanting to register in Australia using the IELTS test need to gain Band 7 in all four subtests. Pharmacists are required to achieve Band 7.5 in all four subtests.  You can register for an IELTS Test via the IELTS website.  

Q: How can I prepare and practice for the OET test?
OET Workshop provides a range of products to help you practice for your upcoming OET test. If you are in Victoria, we run a series of regular OET Courses Melbourne. If you are not in Victoria or Australia, we have many OET products available for you to purchase online and use at your leisure. We also have a huge range of free resources designed to assist you with OET preparation.

Q: What is the new OET deferral fee?
 Candidates for the OET need to pre-book in order to sit for the test by filling in an Application Form. You should also make yourself aware of the documentation you will need with you on the day of the test. If you have previously booked a test date and then find that you are unable to proceed, you will need to pay a Deferral Fee. This fee recently increased to $AUD80. Complete registration and deferral details can be found on the official OET website

Q: What are the OET Test dates?
You can have a look at here to see 2014 test dates.


Candidates should note: A driver's licence (photo ID) is NOT sufficient proof of your identity at the OET Test. You need your passport to prove identity. 


For official notifications / news - please go to www.occupationalenglishtest.org  or  www.ielts.org