The OET, which stands for Occupational English Test, is an English language test for healthcare professionals. It evaluates the language and communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to register and practise in an English-speaking environment. Various regulatory healthcare bodies in several countries recognise it.
The OET test is accepted in Canada as of July 2021, as it was not accepted before. All delivery modes, including paper-based, computer, and OET at-home exams, are allowed.
The OET has a set of four language modules, each with its examination paper. The tests measure a person’s ability to use and understand spoken and written English to work in occupations where communication skills are essential. It was developed by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).
What is the Passing Grade for OET in Canada?
The passing grade for OET in Canada is a B, meaning a minimum of 350 points out of 500 in all four sections. Achieving this grade proves one’s ability to communicate efficiently in the Canadian medical world.
However, each recognising organisation can specify which grade results mean candidates meet the language competency standards to function in their profession.
The grading system is divided into the four modules that comprise the OET. The score for each module is on 0-500 scales in 10-point increments. The score is then mapped to a letter grade, ranging from A to E. The OET has no overall grade.
The OET is recognised by all healthcare boards and councils in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Maldives, Malta, Namibia, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.
These countries use the OET to prove a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in a demanding healthcare environment.
The OET has spread to many organisations, including hospitals, universities and colleges. In addition, OET is recognised by the Australian Department of Home Affairs and Immigration New Zealand for all visa categories where an English test may be required.
Are there any Eligibility Conditions for Taking the OET?
There are no known conditions denying candidates from taking the OET test; if the student is looking to work or study in the health care sector in one of the countries mentioned above, they are eligible to apply for the OET exam.
When it comes to most language evaluation tests, country of residence, age, and education level are determining factors for eligibility for taking the test. The rule does not stand in the case of the OET exam.
No age criteria exist for candidates wanting to take the OET exam. The conducting body of the OET exam, CBLA, has no mention of any age restriction for the OET exam. The same goes for the educational background, as no qualifications are required to sit for the exam.
The OET test is valid for two years of applications in Canadian health institutes. This might differ between each establishment as they determine the validity.
The OET validity is not determined by the conducting body of the OET test (CBLA) but by the regulatory authorities that will require your OET scores.
For medical students and healthcare workers, taking the OET is a better option than the IELTS because the OET tests your ability to communicate in English in a healthcare setting. In contrast, the IELTS tests your overall ability to communicate in English.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and OET are the two most used exams to test the English language of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals worldwide.
Both of these tests are picked by regulatory bodies to determine that their healthcare workers have the appropriate language skills to communicate effectively with patients and colleagues and deliver proper medical care.
Despite a few rumours claiming that OET is more manageable than IELTS, they are not valid. The required level from each exam by appropriate Regulatory Authorities is more or less the same.
These rumours seem to take root in many healthcare professionals who sat OET passed the first time. This was not because the test was more manageable. It was because it assessed the skills that they were more familiar with.
The OET is a preferred test for doctors, medical students, and all healthcare professionals as it is the one that focuses the most on testing the medical side of the participant’s language knowledge rather than testing their general English skills.
Furthermore, OET is specifically designed for medical professions, including medicine, nursing and dentistry. Therefore, OET test materials aim to assess the participant’s listening, reading, speaking and writing skills in a language a healthcare professional will understand.
Knowing that the test is more tailormade to your field of expertise can give you a boost of confidence and more courage to perform to your best in the test, leading to better grades and a greater chance of passing the exam.
The OET test being accepted in Canada benefits those wanting to work or study there and to Canada’s healthcare system. The OET test will help organisations identify healthcare professionals with the English language skills needed for safe and effective practice. This is because the OET test has real-life workplace tasks and relevant language skills that doctors in English-speaking workplaces highly require.