About the Speaking sub-test
The Speaking sub-test is delivered individually and takes around 20 minutes. You take this part of OET using materials specifically for your profession. In each role-play, you take your professional role (e.g. as a nurse) while the interlocutor plays a patient/client or sometimes a patient’s relative or carer. For veterinary science the interlocutor is the owner or carer for the animal.
The Speaking sub-test structure
In each Speaking test, your identity and profession are checked by the interlocutor and there is a short warm-up conversation about your professional background. Then the role-plays are introduced, one by one, and you have 2-3 minutes to prepare for each. The two role-plays take about five minutes each.
How is speaking assessed in OET?
- The Speaking sub-test is marked independently by a minimum of two trained Assessors. Neither Assessor knows what scores the other has given you, or what scores you have achieved on any of the other sub-tests. Your test day Interlocutor plays no role in the assessment of your performance
- OET Assessors’ judgements are targeted and specific, not a general evaluation of candidates’ ability in spoken English.
- Assessors are trained to focus on how a candidate responds to the particular task on the day, and to apply specific assessment criteria which reflect the demands of communication in the health professional workplace. Remember that the OET is a test of English-language skills, not a test of professional knowledge.
- Candidates who pay attention to the details of the specific role-play task, and who are familiar with the assessment criteria, have a better chance of demonstrating their ability in the key areas. Candidates who use pre-prepared material, or who rely on techniques which worked in other circumstances, tend not to perform to their full potential in the test.
Your performance on each of the two role-plays is scored against five criteria and receives a band score for each criterion:
- Overall Communicative Effectiveness
- Resources of Grammar and Expression.