OET Reading and Listening: two tips


The OET Reading Test is in two parts and takes one hour. Changes to Part A of the test have been in place since March 2010.
Part A of OET Reading is four short pieces of text / statistical information / dot point list / short paragraphs – which candidates need to read and then complete 25 – 30 gaps in the summary document. 15 minutes is allowed for this test. Time management is critical.
Part B of OET Reading requires the candidates to read two short pieces of text and then answer 7 or 8 multiple choice questions for each short piece. Again, time management is critical.  

The OET Listening Test is in two parts:
Part A is a consultation – two people speaking – usually lasts 8 to 10 minutes
Part B is a short lecture – one person speaking – usually lasts 25 to 30 minutes

The Listening Test takes one hour to complete and candidates need to take notes while listening and complete a questionaire.
Key skills to pass this test:  being able to anticipate what someone is going to say; being able to take notes in English while listening to English.

Here are the two tips:

1. Learn to search out information by gleaning through information packs. One of the OET test is a 15 minute reading test which technically does not allow you sufficient time to read all the paragraphs of information provided. The technique to ace this is to find key words in the questions and quickly scroll through the information text and identify the key word. Once you do, you will find the answer there..do not waste time wondering if this is the correct one or not…FILL IN THE BLANKS. Example – The success and survival rate for patients undergoing balloon angioplasty during a myocardial infarct is ____%. The key word is "balloon angioplasty"…go to the information/text and search for this word and you should find the data to fill in the blank. DO NOT READ THE WHOLE information/TEXT…you will have NO time after reading to do you questions!!


2. You have 1 minute before each section of a test starts…USE IT to read all the questions ahead of you. This IS doubly important for LISTENING. If you try to listen and look at the question at the same time, you will fall behind because there is only one chance to hear it…The tape of the conversation or speech is never repeated.

4 Comments OET Reading and Listening: two tips

  1. Dr.Adnan Malik

    Dear Mr.Jeffery,

    Hope to see your response soon!!!!!!

    As expected unfortunately I have secured B in Listening, Speaking and in Writing but in Reading got C.I have registered for upcoming date of exam in Dubai can you kindly send me or if you want will pay you for some reading part A & B section notes or practice test or material especially Part A of Reading and if you have something for Listening than I am interested in that as well…..the next exam is on 5th Oct 2013

    kindly help and assist me with the best of your sincere knowledge, wisdom & experience.

    Dr.Adnan Malik

  2. Dr.Adnan Malik

    Dear Mr.Jeffery,

    Thank you for your response, unfortunately I have tried to do work on same strategy as you mentioned but what I feel is I am short of practice material especially for both Part A section listening as well as reading can you just help me to develop or improve my standard of listening and reading i.e. by giving or facilitating material on this regard. If you arrange classes online or have purchased material for listening and reading other than what OET itself is offering please confirm.

    even you can email me on my personal email address and confirm me your fees I am happy & willingly to pay you on this regard



  3. Dr.Adnan Malik

    I have appeared for OET exam yesterday i.e. 17.8.13 unfortunately irrespective of preparing for exam it didn’t went good I have reading and listening task material of oet but at the time of exam it was way different what I prepared too fast. Please help me to improve my part A of both listening and especially reading Part A tips or material if you can share or I will buy….seek your guidance badly as what you have written is absolutely make sense
    your prompt response is highly appreciable



    1. Jeffrey

      Step 1:
      Do not read the entire texts! You need to rapidly scan and skim for certain details that will help you characterize each of the four texts so that you know where to find you answer. These details include things like: Headings Author Year Location Now you need to quickly give a unique personality to each of the texts so that you can remember which one is which.
      For example: “Text 1: Spanish study from 1999; Text 2: Statistics from 2005; Text 3: Study by O’Neill et al.; Text 4: Australian Guidelines for approaching asthma”.

      Step 2:
      Now keywords in the gap-fill will tell you immediately which text you need to find your answer from. The first sentence might read: “Asthma is a common condition. In Spain, ­­_____________ of people suffer from asthma.” Which text are you going to get your answer from?


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