The full meaning of OET is Occupational English Test and, as the name suggests, it is a test that assesses a candidate’s English language proficiency based on their profession.

OET (Occupational English Test) is designed to meet the specific English language needs of the healthcare sector. It assesses the language proficiency of healthcare professionals who wish to practise in an English-speaking environment. All four language skills are assessed, with Writing and Speaking tests available in 12 different areas of healthcare. All candidates sit the same Reading and Listening tests.

OET has been developed specifically for 12 healthcare professions: Dentistry, Dietetics, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Radiography, Speech Pathology and Veterinary Science.  

The test is accepted as proof of English proficiency in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Namibia and Singapore for registration in the 12 healthcare professions.

It is owned by Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Trust (CBLA). It is a venture between Cambridge English and Box Hill Institute.

The main advantage of OET over the other English language tests is the familiar context it has for candidates. For example, a nurse taking OET is required to use the lexicon/vocabulary relevant to healthcare provision and particularly to nursing, and so it is for doctors and pharmacists.

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