OET Speaking Exam Format

Do two role-plays with someone to prepare for the OET Speaking test. You will have two tasks to complete. You’ll have prep time for 2 tasks – 5 and 6 minutes each. Resources are available to assist you.

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Overview of OET Speaking Test Role-play

In the role-play, you’ll interact with a patient or caregiver and be evaluated on communication skills in specific areas.

Understand the plan and the interlocutor’s instructions

Communicate effectively with the interlocutor

Use appropriate medical terminology

Demonstrate cultural sensitivity

In a role-play scenario, you need to explain a pneumonia diagnosis and treatment options to a 70-year-old woman who speaks little English.


In the conversation, you will be asked questions about your healthcare experience. You will be assessed on your ability to:

Respond to the questions clearly and concisely

Use appropriate medical terminology

Demonstrate cultural sensitivity

Here is an example of a conversation question:

Tell me about when you had to communicate with a non-English patient.

The OET Speaking test is evaluated on a scale of 0 to 5, where the highest score is 5. The average score for the OET Speaking test is 3.5.

What to Expect in Speaking Exam

Two assessors will assess your speaking skills. The assessors will evaluate your speaking skills in fluency, accuracy, coherence, and pronunciation. You will receive a band score for your speaking exam, ranging from 0 to 5.

Here are some tips for what to expect in the OET speaking exam:

  • Be prepared to speak about a variety of healthcare topics.
  • Use clear and concise language.
  • Be attentive to the other candidate.
  • Ask and answer questions appropriately.
  • Use appropriate non-verbal communication.

Tips for success in the OET speaking exam

Practice and be familiar with the format to do well in the OET speaking exam. Use precise language, listen carefully, and ask for clarification if needed. Think before answering and use non-verbal communication. If you’re experiencing anxiety, taking deep breaths right away is essential. This effectively helps calm your nerves.

Here are some extra tips that could be useful:

To improve speaking skills, try getting feedback from a native speaker through a class, tutor, or friend.

Take a practice test under timed conditions. 

Making mistakes while speaking is customary and even crucial for improving language skills. Don’t be afraid to make them.

To ace the OET speaking exam, prepare carefully and follow helpful tips.


Three types of questions are asked in the OET speaking test:

Information exchange: These questions require you to exchange information with the patient. For example, you may be requested to inquire about the patient’s medical history or clarify a medical procedure.

Opinion exchange: These questions require you to share your opinions and ideas with the patient. For instance, you may need to discuss treatment options for a patient or explain the pros and cons of a particular procedure.

Problem-solving: Collaborate with the patient to find a solution, like creating a strategy or guiding them on operating a medical apparatus.

Practice answering different types of questions: The best way to prepare for the questions in the OET speaking test is to practice answering them. Practice questions are readily available either online or in book format.

  • Record yourself speaking. One way to get feedback on your speaking skills is to record yourself, and this will allow you to listen to your performance and identify improvement areas.
  • Get feedback from a native speaker. Native speaker feedback can help improve pronunciation, grammar, and fluency.
  • Take a practice test. Practice tests help you get familiar with the format and questions and show how well you’re doing.
  • Be confident. Confident English speaking is essential. Take deep breaths if nervous, and remember your qualifications for the test.

Sample OET Speaking tasks

Role-play task

You are a doctor talking to a patient about their medication.

The nurse provides instructions for the patient’s discharge while the therapist discusses mental health.

Discussion task

Being prepared to discuss healthcare topics is crucial for success in the OET speaking exam, such as analyzing treatments, patient confidentiality, and cultural diversity in healthcare. You can do this by reading about healthcare topics in the news or magazines or talking to healthcare professionals.


Passing the OET speaking exam is challenging, but with preparation and seeking feedback from a native speaker, you can improve your chances of success. Attend a speaking course, hire a tutor, or ask a friend or family member to evaluate your speech.

Take a practice test under timed conditions. Practising exams under time pressure will help you adjust to the exam format.

Don’t worry about making mistakes when speaking; focus on learning from them. Good luck with the OET speaking exam, and I hope these tips help.

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Tiju's Academy

We provide friendly, professionally qualified and experienced trainers who help you to achieve your desired score. We also offer flexible and convenient timings which allow you to study even in your busy schedule. Listening and reading sessions are taken unlimitedly by specially trained tutors; therefore, they explain tips and strategies in each session which help to acquire your required score.

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