OET Listening:A complete Guide

The OET Listening test focuses on assessing your ability to understand your proficiency in English in a healthcare context. This blog will guide you through a comprehensive understanding of OET Listening listing out the structure, tips, mistakes to avoid, and scoring criteria along with an overview of the OET Listening practice questions.

What is OET Listening?

The Occupational English Test (OET) Listening section is determined to evaluate the test taker’s language proficiency in an English-speaking environment with an OET Listening sample, which actually is a real-time depiction of authentic/real scenarios in any healthcare setting. Listening subtests assess the candidates’ ability to comprehend spoken English effectively with OET Listening material.

What is the Structure of OET Listening?

The OET Listening sample is divided into three sections narrating different healthcare contexts such as patient consultations, discussions between healthcare professionals along delving into other healthcare scenarios :

  • Part A comprises consultation extracts which are short excerpts followed by multiple-choice questions or fill-in-the-blank questions.
  • Part B represents short workplace extracts like recordings, handovers, or interviews, with corresponding questions.
  • Part C is more of a presentation or interview scenario handling longer recordings like presentations or interviews with a set of questions attached to it.

Part A helps the test taker grasp and identify the relevant information provided by the patient and act accordingly. Part B helps to comprehend the workplace scenarios in terms of communication, and Part C unravels the ability of the test taker to extend their communication in spoken discourses of the medical sector.

OET Listening Tips  to Score Higher

To get a good score in the Listening subtest is a requirement to improve your overall score. In order to achieve the same, let’s look at some of the OET Listening tips:

Know the format of the Listening Material: Understanding the test structure is a bonus when it comes to your Listening Subtest. Engage yourself in consistent practice with varied audio materials.

Grasp the main points and key information: Try to understand what has been asked in the OET Listening sample. Grasp the main points and key information so as to have a good knowledge of the OET Listening Test.Make use of effective note-taking.

Time is a Key Factor: Allocate your time wisely for each question on the go. Effectively managing your time can help you relieve stress during the exam time.

Accents Variation: Help yourself to know the diverse accents to enhance comprehension. Sticking to a single accent will cause you to be confused.

Expanding the Vocabulary: Strengthen your vocabulary by effectively building on healthcare-related terminologies. The more you grasp, the more you are familiar with the contexts.

Active Listening: Pay close attention to the tone and context for getting precise answers.

All these test tips can help you get a better score on the OET Listening test. So try to follow these tips efficiently.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in OET Listening Test

Errors do happen, but it’s a big No when it comes to your OET Listening Test. So let’s look at some of the common mistakes every test taker makes while attempting the OET Listening sample.

Ignoring Instructions: Carefully read and follow instructions to avoid any kind of oversights occurring.

Passively Paying Attention: Stay attentive throughout passages to capture crucial details, a minute distraction can make you lose your marks.

Misreading the Context: Look for broader context so as to answer questions accurately rather than limiting your interpretation within a narrow context.

Skipping Vital Information: Make yourself capable of identifying and retaining crucial details rather than submerging yourself in unwanted or irrelevant details. Ensure accuracy to avoid providing irrelevant or incorrect answers.

Rightly acknowledging the above-mentioned mistakes and thereby rectifying them would help you gain a better score on the OET Listening Test.

Most Commonly Used OET Listening Practice Questions

Let’s have a brief look at the most commonly used OET Listening Practice Questions with examples that will help you understand what an OET Listening sample or material looks like when it comes to the real examination.

Part A: Consultation Extracts

This section is a consultation between a patient and a doctor. The doctor responds to the patient’s complaint about a persistent cough. Pay attention to the recording of the doctor’s response and consider what information they are seeking.

Question 1:

Patient: “I’ve been having this cough for two weeks now, doctor.”

Doctor: “Any other symptoms accompanying the cough?”

What is the doctor’s response most likely aimed at?

  1. A) Asking about the patient’s general health.
  2. B) Inquiring about additional symptoms related to the cough.
  3. C) Advising on treatment options.
  4. D) Requesting medical history.

Answer: B


In this example, the doctor’s response is quite focused on understanding whether there are any additional symptoms present alongside the cough. This helps the doctor assess the situation comprehensively.

The doctor’s inquiry about additional symptoms illustrates the importance of gathering comprehensive information during patient consultations to provide effective medical care.

Part B: Short Workplace Extracts

In this section, you will listen to a short conversation between a nurse and a patient. The patient mentions experiencing chest pain, and the nurse responds accordingly. Listen carefully to the nurse’s response and consider how they handle the patient’s concern.

Question 2:

Nurse: “Good morning, Mrs. Smith. How are you feeling today?”

Patient: “Hello, Nurse. I’m feeling okay, but I’ve been having some chest pain.”

Nurse: “I see. Can you tell me more about the chest pain? How long have you been experiencing it, and does it radiate to any other areas?”


In this scenario, the nurse responds to the patient’s mention of chest pain by asking follow-up questions to gather more or any specific information. This is important for understanding the nature and severity of the symptoms.

The nurse’s prompt follow-up questions demonstrate effective communication and the importance of gathering detailed information to assess patient symptoms accurately.

Part C: Presentation or Interview

In Part C, you will listen to a presentation about diabetes management. The speaker discusses key lifestyle changes recommended for diabetic patients. Pay attention to the main points emphasized by the speaker.

Question 3:

Speaker: “Today, we’ll discuss lifestyle management for diabetic patients. One key aspect is maintaining a balanced diet, ensuring you’re consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Exercise is also crucial, with recommendations for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week.

Lastly, it’s essential to maintain a healthy weight, as excess weight can exacerbate diabetes symptoms and complications.”


In this presentation excerpt, the speaker highlights three key lifestyle changes recommended for diabetic patients: a balanced diet, regular exercise, and weight management which are fundamental for effective diabetes management.

The speaker’s emphasis on these lifestyle changes underscores their significance in managing diabetes effectively and improving overall health outcomes for patients.

What are the scoring criteria for the OET listening test?

As mentioned the task types consist of multiple-choice questions and complete the sentence. For each correct answer, a specific weightage is contributed to the total score ranging from 0 to 500, mapped to grades A to E.

Language Accuracy: Language accuracy denotes the precision of using the right spelling and grammar for the responses.

Accent Variation: Make yourself familiar with diverse accents as it prepares professionals for real-world communication diversity encountered in healthcare settings.

Spelling Mistakes: Accurate spelling and grammar are a must-have to enhance response credibility, positively influencing scores.

Relevant Answers/Responses: Make sure you provide only the relevant details required. Any irrelevant detailing can make you lose marks.

Preview the Questions: With effective previewing of the questions learn to eliminate obvious incorrect options.

Active Listening: Listen attentively to predict the missing words, do not stick to the strategy of selective listening as it can confuse you with the OET Listening sample.

Look for Contextual Clues: Stay aware of grammar and sentence structuring as it can provide you with enough additional/specific details about the background.


Published On: March 12th, 2024 / Categories: OET /

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