OET Reading – A complete Guide

OET Reading is in fact an interesting sub-test in the Occupational English test, in which the candidate can make use of their abrupt decision-making skills to find out the correct answers to the questions. Reading sub-test questions can be easily tackled by candidates who have taken enough practice. 

The duration of the OET Reading subtest is 60 minutes and you can expect 42 questions, with one mark each. The total score of the reading module is calculated in 500.

oet reading

The intention of conducting the OET Reading subtest is to measure the test takers’ accuracy to find out specific pieces of information from a couple of texts based on various subjects in the health care or medical sector. The candidate can rely on skimming or scanning methods in accordance with the nature of the question asked.


In the OET Reading subtest, there are a total of three tasks namely Pat A, B and C. Each part consists of different forms of questions and the number of questions and the time period allocated for each task is different. 

  • Part A mainly consists of 20 questions which are supposed to be completed in 15 minutes. In this section, four short texts based on a particular health care topic will be given. The candidate is assigned the tasks such as summary completion, matching and short answer in Part A. In this part, understanding the meaning of the text and familiarizing the title of the text given is very much necessary for finding out the right answers.
  • Part B of the OET Reading subtest is also known as the careful reading task. Memos, policy documents and other communications within the healthcare field are mostly chosen for this section. Multiple choice questions along with three options are generally included in this part. Hence, there is no chance for the candidate to make spelling or grammatical errors. You will be getting six short texts with a maximum of words ranging from 100 to 150 in each text. It is better to start with the questions and related options than directly looking into the text. The candidate should be accurate at finding out the keywords in each question, which will make the task easier.
  • Part C is also structured in a way that the candidate is expected to give an answer to a set of 8 multiple-choice questions(with four options). There are two long texts with 800 words each. A total of 45 minutes will be allowed for completing Part B and C. 

What is the passing score of OET Reading?

The total score of the OET Reading subtest is 500. According to the requirements of the medical board or council which the candidate wishes to get registered with, the score required for passing the reading module varies. Generally, the candidate needs to get 350 marks for gaining a B grade for clearing the OET Reading sub test. 

In the case of NMBI, a candidate can take a C plus grade which means a minimum of 300 marks in the OET Reading subtest provided he or she has attained a passing score in all the other three modules in the test.

The total scores of Part A, B and C are 20, 6 and 16 respectively. The candidate will have to give 30 right answers for getting a B grade as per the norms of OET. 

The candidate must bear in mind that, in the reading subtest you are not allowed to make spelling mistakes, as you will definitely lose points for the same. Either British or American variation should be used while writing down the spelling of a certain word. 

To check your OET Reading score, click here


Different techniques and tips are there for the OET aspirants to improve their reading skills. Let’s see the different ways for enhancing reading ability.

  • First and foremost, understand the different tasks and question patterns by analyzing the exam models. Practice the sample questions in order to get a better understanding of the exam.
  • Constant practice will obviously help to increase the reading speed.
  • Learn to complete the tasks within the given time.
  • After completing each session, try to check the answers for grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Do not leave any questions unanswered. Yet, do not waste time on answers about which you are not sure. First, give answers to all the questions which do not require too much time for deciding the answer.
  • Try to read texts related to medical topics, apart from oet reading materials. 
  • Learn to identify the key terms in the questions and figure out the main idea in each paragraph of the text.
  • Learn the skill suitable for each task in the reading module for tracing the answers efficiently in a lesser amount of time.
  • Follow online classes on OET reading conducted by expert trainers or watch videos available on various social media platforms in order to understand the recent trends in the reading test and also to get an idea about various techniques for finding out the answers.

Why do people fail in OET Reading?

It is very common among OET test takers to fail the OET exam as they cannot gain the desired score for the OET Reading subtest. The lack of constant practice is one of the major reasons why most candidates lose their scores during the reading test. Not only that, there are a couple of other reasons that lead to the failure. Let’s see what they are-

As mentioned earlier, practice is an essential factor which decides the passing probability of the candidate. Even if you are not an advanced user of the English language, you are able to crack the test through willpower and hard work.

  • Taking too much time for answering questions which are too complicated. This will result in leaving the remaining questions unattended due to a lack of time. Time management is the key to success as far as the reading test is considered.
  • Failing to understand the context or gist of the given text, ends up in choosing the wrong answers.
  • Spelling mistakes can also be a reason for you to lose marks even if you have given the right answer. Most of the candidates do not give importance to this aspect of the reading subtest.
  • Not understanding the particular skill required for each task in the test. One cannot follow the same method of reading for getting answers in all three sections of the test. 
  • Not checking answers after providing answers to each part. This will help you to understand if you have made any careless mistakes which can cause you to lose the score.
  • Less or no understanding of the question patterns and scoring of the test. This is mainly because the candidate has not found enough time to practice with sample materials.


It is highly important to have a good reading habit for getting your dream score. As OET reading focuses more on health and medical-related subjects, the candidate must have a good knowledge of various medical terminologies and ideas so that the test would not be difficult for them to tackle. Hope the article has helped you to understand what oet reading is and the points one needs to focus on for elevating the reading skills and score.

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