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OET Reading

Whether your healthcare position involves dealing directly with patients or not, reading skills will play a significant role in ensuring patient safety in terms of reading patient history and being able to look up symptoms on medical databases. Reading skills will also be vital in understanding policy documents pertaining to your individual healthcare setting and ensuring that conventions of different medical text types and presentation of numerical and textual information are understood.

OET reading

The OET reading exam preparation class will help you improve your reading skills by focusing on topics of generic healthcare interest and are therefore accessible to candidates from across all professions. From challenging a candidate’s ability to locate specific information quickly to being able to identify gist, detailed meaning, and inference, the OET reading exam will prepare you for daily demands of your chosen healthcare role in English.

Here are some more details about the OET reading exam.

Question amount

• Three parts with a total of forty-two question items

Times of exam/ sections

• You have 60 minutes for this test. 15 minutes for part A and 45 minutes for Part B and C

Part A – Assesses your scanning abilities (locating specific information quickly)

o Four short texts relating to a single healthcare topic.

o Twenty questions consisting of matching, sentence completion and short answer questions.

Part B – Assesses your ability to identify detail, gist, or purpose.

o Six short texts sourced from the healthcare workplace (100-150 words each). The texts could include extracts from policy documents, hospital guidelines, manual or internal communications such as emails.

o For each text, there is one three-option multiple choice question.

Part C – Assesses your ability to identify detailed meaning, inference and opinion.

o Two long texts on topics of interest to healthcare professionals (800 words each)

o Eight four- option multiple choice questions


The reading section is split into three parts and has an overall maximum score of 42.



Part A


Part B


Part C




1. Develop your scanning skills (reading for specific information) as these are essential for PART A reading. You only have 15 minutes to read all four texts and answer twenty questions.

2. Spelling matters. A misspelt answer is counted as wrong.

3. Read instructions carefully and notice if it says: “letters, numbers or both.” Adhere strictly to the instruction for your answers.

4. Abbreviations should only be used if that is the way the word appears on the original material.


1. Before you read the text, underline the key word(s) in the question

2. Before you start reading, underline the key words in the A, B or C answers too

3. You have 10-15 minutes maximum to answer the six questions in Part B ads you are only scoring 6 points for all correct answers in it.

4. Even if you do not know the answer, circle a random answer. You do not get marked down for wrong answers.


1. You have about 30 minutes to read a couple of long texts and answer the questions related

2. Before you read the text, underline the key words in the question.

3. Before you read the text, underline key words in the answers

4. Notice that for PART C you have four different answer options and not three.

5. Develop your scanning skills (reading for specific information)

6. Develop you skimming skills (reading for general information)

7. Learn the difference between opinion and fact as you will have to demonstrate you know how to differentiate between the two

8. Two of the questions are based on reference – familiarise yourself with the function of pronouns and how they substitute subjects

9. One of the questions is related to an idiomatic phrase – expand your range of idiomatic phrases and expressions in English.

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