The OET listening sub-test has three parts: Part A – Consultation Extracts; Part B – Short Workplace Extracts; and Part C – Presentation. This article focuses on the first one.
Part A tests your ability to determine specific information during a medical consultation. It involves listening to two audio recordings between a healthcare professional and his/her patient and filling out a blank note sheet in the answer booklet. Each consultation extract is about five minutes long.
Practice the following dos and don’ts during your OET exam preparation period to ace this part of the life-changing exam.
• Learn how to multitask. You can only listen to each consultation extract once. So, you need to take down notes or jot down your answers in the booklet while you listen.
• Anticipate the recording.
As mentioned in the previous point, you can only listen to the recording once. So, you can’t afford to miss a single word of it. Anticipate the recording. Have your answer booklet and writing tool ready before it begins. Practice your note-taking skills during your OET training to prepare for this aspect of the exam.
• Consider the headings in the answer booklet.
They’ll not only give you an idea of what the consultation is all about, but they’ll also let you know of what information to listen for. For example, if the recording is about a patient with diabetes, the answer booklet may look like this.
So, skim the answer booklet before the recording begins.
• Assume that the recording will revolve around your profession. The consultation extracts of Part A of the listening sub-test is not profession-specific. They can be drawn from any of the 12 professions that the OET caters to, which are:
5. Occupational Therapy
11. Speech Pathology
12. Veterinary Science
So, don’t be surprised if the consultation extract you get is not related to your medical field.
• Focus on the American and British accent during your review. Yes, there’s a chance that the speakers in the consultation extracts will have a heavy English accent. No, it’s not necessarily American or British.
OET also utilizes other English accents to reflect the international nature of the healthcare industry. So, you may encounter other accents such as Australian, Irish, Canadian, Kiwi (New Zealand), South African, and more.
• Paraphrase the information. Write down the same words you hear from the consultation extract. Paraphrasing or changing the information you hear will either cost you points or negate your answer.
Set yourself up for OET success. Practice these dos and don’ts when you prepare for and take the high-stakes exam.
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