Reach your goals with OET

In your course you will focus on the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing in the context of your specific healthcare profession and we will help you to use the correct style of language for your work context, which is why employers prefer their health care staff to have completed the OET. With our expert teachers, you will work on exam strategies to help you achieve success in the OET. You will also complete practice tests during your course.

Get ready for OET

You will focus on the skills of speaking, writing, listening and reading, all in a health care context, and you will work on exam strategies specifically tailored to your needs and to your profession. We will help you to achieve the result you need to work successfully in English in your health care field. 

Minimum level: B1

Start date: Anytime

Course length: To be discussed with your tutor in your first session

Maximum class size: 1

Minimum age: 21

Schedule: Flexible according to your convenience

Why do health care professionals choose OET?


OET is accepted by healthcare boards and councils in Ireland, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Dubai, Namibia and Ukraine, as well as leading healthcare educators. OET is also recognised by Australia and New Zealand for visa purposes.

Validity and reliability

OET is consistent and proven to have test validity and reliability.


The test is delivered in secure facilities, such as International House Galway. Robust security checks and secure results verifications are carried out.

Patient safety and quality care

OET helps candidates develop the essential language skills to communicate effectively with both peers and patients in their workplace.

Results and grading

Candidates receive results 16 days after the test. There is a separate grade for each test and no overall grade. Organisations such as governments, healthcare regulators and educators decide what level needs to obtained in each subtest to gain registration, apply for a visa, or to apply for admission to a course.

The alternative to IELTS for health care professionals

The OET is recognised by the UK and Irish Medical, Nursing and Pharmacy Councils, among others. The OET is a skills focused test which also helps you to develop the language skills you need to work successfully in your specific health care profession

What does OET test?

OET tests real communication scenarios typically found in a healthcare setting. For example, for writing, most healthcare professionals have to prepare letters as part of their regular practice, so this is one task that is tested in OET. Regulators and employers know that if a healthcare professional has passed OET to their required standard, they’ll be able to write a referral letter at work.

Why do employers and regulators like and trust OET?

Each profession has different test materials based on the type of consultations that would occur in the workplace. The candidate plays the healthcare professional in each role play and the interlocutor plays the role of the patient, relative or carer. Candidates need to show how well they can communicate with a patient, for example, in a difficult situation, so they must show effective listening skills and empathy.

Regulators and employers can feel confident that healthcare professionals who pass OET have the English language skills needed for a variety of communication challenges in their professional workplace. The English skills needed for the workplace are often very different than in general interactions.



Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Reach out to our team for support.

OET is an English language test that has been designed specifically for the healthcare sector. The OET is delivered in more than 40 countries. OET tests all four language skills – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The test draws on the latest academic and industry research to ensure that the test methodology is valid and reliable.

OET was developed in the 1980s by Dr Tim McNamara’s team at the Language Testing Research Centre (LTRC) at the University of Melbourne, one of the top universities in Australia, which also developed the IELTS Test. OET was designed to test English language skills used in a healthcare setting. OET has been constantly updated and developed since it was first designed 30 years ago.

The content is developed by expert test writers in conjunction with subject-matter experts in each of the twelve professions tested, to reflect communication that health professionals can expect to take part in in their workplace.

Cambridge Assessment English (part of the University of Cambridge) and Box Hill Institute co-own OET and this is jointly called Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment.

Cambridge Assessment English is the world’s leading provider of language assessment for learners and teachers of English. Over 4 million people take Cambridge Assessment English exams each year in more than 130 countries. Around the world over 13,500 organisations rely on its exams and qualifications as proof of their English language ability. It is a part of the world-renowned University of Cambridge.

Box Hill Institute is based in Melbourne, Australia, is a leading vocational and higher education provider. It is known for its collaborative and creative approach to education in Australia and overseas. The Institute has a rich history, and over the years has been the recipient of many awards demonstrating recognition for its achievements.

OET assesses the English language skills of healthcare professionals seeking to register and practise in an English speaking environment. The test replicates English language skills required for effective communication in a healthcare environment. It provides a valid and fair assessment of all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Dentists
  • Dieticians
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Opticians/Optometrists
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Podriatists
  • Radiographers
  • Speech Pathologists
  • Vets


OET is accepted by healthcare boards and councils in Ireland, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Dubai, Namibia and Ukraine, as well as leading healthcare educators. OET is also recognised by Australian and New Zealand for visa purposes.

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