Are you a healthcare professional planning to attend the OET exam? Then you definitely need to know how they assess and rate your score in all the four modules of OET. Here we go with the details regarding the score calculation of listening, reading, writing and speaking subtests in OET.
As per the present scoring system of OET, which came into being in 2018, candidates will be awarded numerical scores ranging between 0 and 500 (in 10 points increment) and grades (E – A) for each sub-test. A is considered the highest grade, and E is the lowest.
According to the language requirements for getting employed in different countries, the minimum score required for each module may vary. Unlike IELTS, there is no overall score or grade for OET.
OET score and equivalent grades
|450 – 500||A||Fluent and effective communication with patients and healthcare professionals using appropriate registers, tones and lexis. Complete comprehension of spoken and written language.|
|350 – 440||B||Fluent and effective communication with patients and healthcare professionals using appropriate registers, tones and lexis. Occasional inaccuracies and hesitations were noticed. Good understanding in terms of clinical contexts|
|300 – 340||C+||Ability to maintain interaction in a relevant healthcare environment with errors and lapses. Can follow standard spoken language, especially in his or her own field of specialization.|
|200 – 290||C||Ability to maintain interaction in a relevant healthcare environment with errors and lapses. Can follow standard spoken language, especially in his or her own field of specialisation.|
|100 – 190||D||Can maintain some interaction, and understand straightforward factual information in his or her own field of specialization, but ask for clarification. Frequent errors, inaccuracies, mis-or overuse of technical language can cause strain in communication.|
|0 – 90||E||Can manage simple interaction on familiar topics, understand simple, short messages provided he or she may ask for clarification. The high density of errors, inaccuracies, and mis-or overuse of technical language can cause strain and breakdown in communication.|
What are the different modules for OET scoring?
The OET exam is mainly conducted to assess the proficiency of medical professionals in the English language. The test mainly consists of four modules or subtests namely:
- Listening – to evaluate the comprehension skill of the spoken language of the candidate. Recorded audios will be played based on which the candidate will have to write the answers for the question based on it.
- Reading – the candidate needs to give answers to the questions based on different texts related to medical topics.
- Writing – the candidate requires to write a letter – either a referral letter or any other letters related to medical context.
- Speaking – The candidate must perform a role play in which they need to present the idea given in the roleplay card.
How is the OET listening and reading score calculated?
Both the OET listening and reading sections consist of three parts – A, B, and C with a total of 42 questions and 42 marks. The score is distributed in a way that Part A accounts for 24 marks, Part B for 6 marks and Part C for 12 marks. These scores are reported in terms of numeric scores ranging from 0 to 500 and grades from E to A
Out of the three parts, the A part answers are evaluated by assessors with the aid of a detailed marking guide and the B and C parts are assessed by computers.
The minimum score required for the subtests of listening and reading may vary depending on the decision of various medical councils which are opted for, yet the test taker should obtain a score of 350 to get B grade. For scoring 350 out of 500, there should be a minimum of 30 correct answers.
How are the OET writing and speaking scores calculated?
The writing subtest is mainly evaluated by two different assessors who are completely unaware of the score given by the other person. The test taker is required to write a letter in a medical context, and it is analyzed on the basis of 6 parameters – purpose, content, clarity, style, organization and layout and language after which the final score (0 to 500) and grade ( A – E) will be awarded accordingly.
The OET speaking subtest is conducted individually, and the interlocutor would assess the speaking skills of the test taker based on nine different criteria which are again classified into two subdivisions mainly – linguistic criteria and clinical communication criteria. The whole speaking session would be recorded for making a precise evaluation for awarding the most appropriate grade between A and E and a score between the scale of 0 and 500 to the candidate.
OET RESULTS WITH IELTS AND CEFR EQUIVALENCE
|OET SCORE||IELTS BAND||CEFR BAND|
|450 – 500||8 – 9||C2|
|350 – 440||7 – 7.5||C1|
|300 – 340||6.5||B2|
|200 – 290||5 – 6||B2|
|100 – 190||4 – 5||–|
|0 – 90||0 – 4||–|
OET clubbing rules
Since February 2016 onwards the Nursing and Midwifery Council also known as NMC (UK) has started to accept the clubbing of the scores of a maximum of two OET administrations provided both the tests are being attended in six months periods. In addition, the candidate is required to attend all the four subtests in both attempts and needs to attain at least C+ in all the modules to become eligible for clubbing. The test taker should also be able to attain a minimum of B grades on all the subtests after clubbing the scores.
Tips to improve OET score
To achieve good results in the OET exam, the candidate must work hard and practice well. Here are some of the tips that help to improve your OET score
- Proper understanding of the structure and scoring of all four modules.
- Focus on the skills required for each module.
- Practice regularly with proper time management.
- Improve vocabulary and grammar
It has become the need of the hour for medical professionals to crack the OET exam to enrich their careers. Having a better understanding of the scoring and the structure is necessary for the test takers to attend the exam confidently. We hope this article will be helpful to them. I wish good luck to all the OET aspirants to clear the exam with a great score on their maiden attempt.