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Leap’s IELTS Programs include live training by experts, mock tests and evaluations.
Students moving to an English-speaking country to study medicine must take an English language proficiency exam, which validates the registration with the General Medical Council. This exam also enables prospective medical students to take the PLAB tests.
Regarding this, there are two exam options, namely OET (Occupational English Test) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Both these tests measure the candidate’s ability to converse in English through four sections – reading, listening, writing, and speaking. As a result, many individuals are confused between OET vs IELTS and which test should they opt for. For a clear understanding of students, we have laid down a comprehensive comparison between the two exams. In addition, the following sections also contain a few tips to prepare for IELTS and OET.
The Occupational English Test has been exclusively designed for individuals wishing to enter the healthcare sector. Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment or CBLA conducts this test.The OET test is widely accepted across various nations, including some of the most popular study destinations like Australia, Canada, the U.S., the UK, and Singapore. OET evaluates all four language skills and uses test materials reflecting model communication scenarios from the healthcare industry. Furthermore, this exam is designed specifically for 12 healthcare professionals, including:
IELTS or International English Language Testing System is an English language test that candidates wanting to move to English-speaking countries need to take. There are two types of IELTS – IELTS General Training and IELTS academic. The academic module is suitable for students wishing to study in a foreign country, whereas the general training module is appropriate for medical professions to practice in the country. The general version of the exam is generally easier than the academic one and can be taken for gaining relevant work experience.
Although both OET and IELTS are English proficiency tests, there are several differences between them. For candidates confused between these tests, the below table provides the difference between IELTS and OET.
|Full form||Occupational English Test||International English Language Testing System|
|Conducting body||Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Trust (CBLA)||IDP Education Ltd and British Council|
|Accepting countries||Ireland, United Kingdom, Ukraine, New Zealand, Singapore, UAE, Namibia, Canada, Philippines, Maldives, Malta, Qatar, and Spain.||New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.|
|Suitable for||Healthcare professionals wanting to work in the medical sector.||Candidates wanting to study, work, and migrate to English-speaking countries.|
|Exam duration||2 hours 55 minutes||2 hours 45 minutes|
|Score range||Evaluated between A and E||Evaluated between 1 and 9|
|Test dates||Twice a month||Every week|
|Declaration of results||Within 16 business days||Within two weeks|
|Content||Includes the ability of individuals to communicate efficiently in medical scenarios. Candidates are required to write a discharge or referral letter, recognize a patient’s consultation, and follow the next steps.||Includes the individual’s ability to follow lectures, write essays, and take up a wide range of topic discussion.|
|Versions||Offers 12 versions. The listening and reading tests are the same for all these versions, whereas the speaking and writing sections are modified according to specific scenarios.||Offers two versions – academic and general training. Listening and speaking sections are the same for both these modules. On the other hand, reading and writing modules are crafted in a different way to suit both the modules.|
There is a substantial difference in format between IELTS and OET. While the former covers a wide range of topics, the latter is specifically designed for healthcare professionals. Here is a detailed outlay of difference between IELTS and OET as per the exam format.
|Reading (60 minutes)||3 long texts from journals, newspapers, magazines, and books. These texts can be discursive to descriptive and factual to analytical.||Understanding logical argument, purpose and attitude, reading for details, gist, and ideas.|
|Listening (30 minutes)||Four recordings in various accents comprising a total of 40 questions. Out of the four recordings, two are based in everyday context and two in academic context.||Understanding opinions, major ideas and detailed factual information, and following the development ideas.|
|Speaking (11-14 minutes)||Contains three parts:
||Communicating ideas and opinions in an everyday scenario, speaking at length on a provided topic, justifying and expressing opinions, discussing, speculating, and analyzing various issues.|
|Writing (60 minutes)||The writing section contains two tasks:
||Summarizing and describing opinions, ideas, and information in a precise way, writing a well-organized review, giving examples and evidence, and writing in a formal style.|
|Reading (60 minutes)||The reading section contains three parts:
||Reading for gist and main ideas, understanding different texts on health and healthcare sector related topics.|
|Listening (50 minutes)||Contains three parts:
||Understanding and following a range of various healthcare-related materials.|
|Speaking (20 minutes)||Contains two parts:
||Explaining, describing, and discussing real-life matters, providing conversation structure, and communicating effectively and efficiently.|
|Writing (45 minutes)||Read case notes and then write a letter. Topic can be related to any profession, like doctor, nurse, etc.||Expanding notes into descriptive sentences, writing effectively and clearly on health-related subjects.|
Apart from the differences, there are certain similarities between IELTS and OET. Find them below:
The scoring system of these exams will help individuals confused about OET vs IELTS get a better grasp.
|Grade A (450-500 points)||8-9 band|
|Grade B (350-440 points)||7-7.5 band|
|Grade C/C+ (200-340 points)||5.5-6.5 band|
|Grade D (100-190 points)||4.4-5.5 band|
|Grade E (0-90 points)||4 band|
IELTS preparation requires knowing a huge amount of new words on a wide range of subjects related to academics. Test takers also need to learn the proper way to write reports on a range of essay topics. On the other hand, OET preparation requires knowing a wide range of healthcare-related languages. This is done to determine whether the candidates are knowledgeable enough to understand medical talks and tasks. So, to overcome the confusion of OET vs IELTS, candidates can follow these tips and strategies and root for a better score.
Tips for OET preparation
Tips for IELTS preparationWriting module
Candidates wondering about isOET easier than IELTS should know that no test is easier than the other. The required level from both these exams by Regulatory Authorities in a country is the same. However, healthcare professionals may find OET a bit more familiar because they have been attached to the healthcare field for a long time. On the other hand, the IELTS test analyzes different topics, which may not contain questions about healthcare topics. So, OET is a growing preference among healthcare professionals.While both the exams measure the English language expertise in individuals, it is crucial for candidates to be well-versed about OET vs IELTS before applying for the test. It is also important to understand the admission requirement of a particular university because, at most times, universities prefer one exam over the other. Candidates must remember that while the OET exam evaluates healthcare professionals, the IELTS covers a wide range of topics and entails a more generic student base.Furthermore, immigrating candidates may face some unfamiliar circumstances related to finances. At such times, Leap Finance can be of major help. We provide no collateral education loans with a 10-minute online process. Our education loans are designed to save you dollars with no hidden charges and minimal fees. Moreover, we are determined to support fellow students with counselling and a widened student community, so they don’t have to let the cost factor affect their dreams.
Ans: All four sections of the test – reading, writing, speaking, and listening contain an equal weightage of 25%. Hence, you must give equal importance to all the four sections.
Ans: OET publishes the results on their official website 17 days after the date of the test. Healthcare professionals can visit the website and visit their profile to download the report.
Ans: This depends upon what topics seem simple to you. For instance, if you are well-versed with healthcare topics, you may find OET simpler. On the other hand, if you are proficient in English and find general topics simple, IELTS is the perfect test for you.