The tip I’ve got for you today is all about practicing your speaking. What I am about to tell you seems like really simple and basic advice. However, I speak to a lot of students after they’ve taken their examination. I ask them what their preparation like plus the length of time they spent on this.
Generally, for people who are not in our VIP programmes, they either say they didn’t practice at all. Or had very, very little practice which is unfortunate. Candidates who haven’t prepared enough are more likely to find themselves in a predicament on exam day.
It’s so crucial that you familiarize yourself with the format of the speaking exam. You also need to understand every aspect of it. Knowing what to expect when you’re seated in front of the interlocutor will help you immensely. Basic things like warm-up questions that will be asked of you at the beginning. How much preparation time is given for each of the two role plays (2-3 minutes). And the five-minute talk time for each role play. It’s surprising that so many nurses and doctors go into the examination not fully understanding these very basic things.
I know that there are a lot of financial difficulties out there for nurses and doctors. Especially with paying for the examination. But you should be getting a native OET teacher to help you with some form of speaking practice. They’ll give you advice, and tell you what’s right or wrong with your performance. They can even give you an estimated grade or an indication of what your level is. And the things you need to know before your exam. Furthermore, your teacher will remind you to empathize with the patient and go through as many bullet points as possible in the role play card. Also, your pronunciation, fluency, grammar, and vocabulary are all fundamental elements that will be checked by a native OET teacher. Unfortunately, not all OET test takers are doing a lot of speaking practice. Our Swoosh VIP students have the benefit of receiving hands-on feedback and advice during their speaking practice and mock examinations.
If you’re in a situation where you cannot have access to an OET teacher to help. Then get a fellow nurse or doctor to be your study partner. You can take turns in playing the role of the candidate/interlocutor. But of course, you must be careful in taking advice from the person you’re doing the role play with because their level might be lower than yours and they may unintentionally give you wrong advice.
Nevertheless, it’s better than getting no practice at all. Practicing will make you more comfortable with the conversation format. One more advice I can give you is to visit the official OET website and make use of role play cards used in previous exams and practice with them.
Hopefully this was helpful. It does sound very simple but a lot of people don’t focus on the simple things. They might spend hours and hours and hours reading role plays but memorizing and cramming information before your exam won’t benefit you in the same way that practicing with feedback would.
I wish you all the best. If you’ve got any questions about this article, make sure you put them in the message box. If you’re planning to take the OET exam, we’ve got an OET FREE 3-part video course which you can easily download on our website www.swooshenglish.com.
Your OET teacher,