Why Nurses Should Choose OET over IELTS: A Comprehensive Guide

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As a nurse, if you're looking for an opportunity to work or study abroad, you would need to prove your English language proficiency. Two of the most well-known tests to prove your English language skills are the IELTS and OET. However, as a healthcare professional, it's recommended that you opt for the OET (Occupational English Test). This test is specially designed for healthcare professionals and is more medical-based in comparison to the IELTS which focuses on generic English. This blog post will compare the difference between OET and IELTS and explain why nurses should be taking OET over IELTS. Furthermore, we'll also highlight the importance of taking an OET course and properly preparing for it.


Both the IELTS and OET tests assess your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. But one key difference is that the IELTS test is a more generalized test that can be taken by anyone, while the OET test is an occupation-specific test and is only intended for healthcare professionals. As a result, the OET test assesses your skills using medical language and situations that are commonly used in healthcare settings specifically. The IELTS test, on the other hand, uses generic vocabulary and topics. Therefore, if you are a healthcare professional, you'd most likely find the OET more relevant and easier to understand.

OET test format

The OET test is a paper-based test that includes four sub-tests - reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The reading and listening tests are profession-specific and have text related to healthcare topics. The writing test requires you to write a letter based on healthcare situations and is often different from the usual letter-writing format. The speaking test is one-on-one and is focused on healthcare communication. The examiner plays the role of a patient, and you, as a nurse, play the role of a healthcare professional. You have 20 minutes to conduct this interview.

OET Course

Preparing for the OET test can be challenging, especially if you don't have a medical background. But, with the help of OET courses, you can easily prepare yourself for this test. OET courses are designed to teach you about medical vocabulary, sentence structure, and the format of the test. They also guide you on how to write an appropriate and professional letter, and how to conduct a professional and effective nurse-patient conversation. In short, OET courses prepare you comprehensively for the test.

Benefits of taking OET

Apart from healthcare professionals being tested on their relevant vocabulary and language, there are other reasons why the OET is a better choice for nurses. Firstly, OET is recognized and accepted by regulatory bodies, universities, and hospitals in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Dubai, and Singapore. Secondly, as nurses are in high demand around the world, having an OET certification could provide various opportunities for employment. Finally, the OET test assesses your English language skills relevant to your profession, which will further improve your career development.


In conclusion, an OET certification will open doors to higher studies, better opportunities, and improve your career development as a professional nurse. Taking an OET course will make preparation for the test much easier and effective. In contrast, the IELTS test may not be adequate in assessing your profession-specific skills and knowledge. Therefore, we highly recommend that nurses choose OET over IELTS, as it's more appropriate to their skills and professional aspirations.

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