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MTI-UKPreparation of Medical Exams

IELTS or OET - Reviews - Personal Experience - Which to Choose - IETLS vs OET

OET and IELTS both are used to assess the knowledge of English Language.

The basic difference between the above two is this, IETLS is a more generalized English language assessment test, on the other hand, OET is profession specific. For example, if you are a doctor, the content of the test will be related to your occupation. Because of this, the OET is being chosen by many healthcare professional instead of IELTS.
IETLS vs OET-reviews-personal-experience-which-to-choose-which-one-is-better

Both tests have the same sub-categories, that is listening, speaking, writing and reading.
Lets us discuss the differences one by one.

OET Compared to IELTS is ……….
(Author’s opinion)
You will need to do two role plays. You will be given a situation and asked to counsel the patient about a disease and treatment or break the bad news.
It has 3 parts, first is an introduction and general question, In the second part you will be provided with a topic to speak for 2 minutes. In the 3rd part, you will be asked various question about a different topic.
Compared to IELTS, OET Speaking is easier. Healthcare professionals are familiar with such a situation as dealing with their patients, they handle the task usually well. I got 390/500 (grade B) in speaking.

I had got 7 band in IELTS speaking.

Consist of 3 parts.

Part A: you will need to answer 20 questions in 15 minutes.

Part B and C: you will be given 45 minutes to answer 22 questions.

Although part A seems difficult, it is the easiest task of reading, you just need to pay attention and practice. You need 30 correct answers to get a grade B.

Consist of 3 paragraphs and you need to answer 40 questions in 60 minutes. Unlike, OET there is no time limit on the individual part. You need 30 correct answers to get a band 7.
Compared to IELTS, OET reading is much more difficult. Every question is paraphrased. You need to pay attention and learn the tricks. When I gave OET, I was very worried about the reading but surprisingly I got 500/500 (Grade A) in reading. It means reading is difficult but doable. I got 8.5 in IETLS reading as well, so probably my reading is strong. But many I know, failed in reading.
You need to answer 42 questions.

Part A: Consists of 2 subparts. You will hear the doctor and patient conversation and answer the question.

Part B: you will hear a short extract and answer a single question, there are six such questions.

Part C: You will hear two lectures and answer 12 questions.

In IELTS listening you will need to answer 40 questions. 1st part is usually a conversation. The 2nd part is related to a figure or a MAP and the 3rd part is usually based on a lecture.
 IELTS listening and OET listening, I will give them same difficulty level. I scored 450/500 (Grade A) in OET listening and I had got 7.5 in IELTS listening.
In OET writing you need to write a referral letter to another doctor or a therapist (physiotherapist, speech therapist etc). You need to write 180 – 200 words in 45 minutes.
IELTS writing consists of two parts. In part A you need to write a short essay of 150 words about a figure or a graph and in Part B, you need to write a 250-word essay on a general topic.
I would grade IELTS writing “very difficult” compared to OET writing. In OET health care professionals have this benefit that they are already familiar with the vocabulary and do the related tasks on a daily basis. On the other hand, IELTS writing is very difficult, you can get a topic from anywhere. OET writing is more practical and makes more sense because you have the information and you need to arrange it. On the other hand, in IELTS, you should have prior knowledge about the topic as well. Therefore, IELTS writing is not just writing test, It also assesses your knowledge about the topic as well. They say that they only assess writing, but it seems it is not true. OET writing seems like a test of your writing skills as the information you need to write is already provided to you.

I got 350/500 (grade B) in OET writing.

And I had got band 6 in IELTS writing.

I hope this information will help you to choose between the two exams.

If you have any queries, please feel free to comment below.


Dr. Adil Ramzan

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