Dos and Don’ts in the OET Reading Sub-Test Part B

The OET reading sub-test is divided into three parts: Part A – expeditious reading; Part B – careful reading; and Part C – (also) expeditious reading. This article focuses on Part B.

Part B measures your ability to determine the gist, main point, and supporting details from short texts. The passages have 100–150 words each. They are lifted from texts common in healthcare centers such as hospital guidelines, policy documents, department protocols, and internal correspondences (e.g., memos, emails, etc.). Each passage is followed by a multiple choice question.

Sounds simple right? That’s because it is. The texts are short, and you have choices. However, this doesn’t mean that you can skip this section during your OET online review efforts. Many examinees had and ended up missing their grade goals by a few marks. Don’t make the same mistake.

Develop a strategy for Part B of the OET reading sub-test. Consider the dos and don’ts below.


• Prepare strategies for the section’s question types. There are three types of question in Part B of the reading sub-test: sentence completion; true or false; and vocabulary definition. Come up with a strategy for each one. Consider the tips below.

When answering Sentence Completion tasks:

• Consider the words before and after the blank.
• Make sure the completed sentence is grammatically sound.

When answering True of False tasks:

• Pay attention to how the instruction was phrased. It may ask you to choose the option that’s “false” or vice versa.
• Use the process of elimination.

When answering Vocabulary Definition tasks:

• Consider the context.
• Make sure the definition you provide is consistent with how the word was used in the text.

• Consider the text type of the passage. It’ll help you find pertinent information faster. Documents common in healthcare centers often have a standard format.

Take medical guidelines of example. Before they go into detail about their directives, they always establish their core objective at the beginning. So, if you’re looking for information about the guideline’s goal, focus on the beginning. Emails have a similar structure. They begin with the sender stating his/her reason for writing followed by supporting details and a follow-up request. Keep these in mind during your OET review online sessions.


• Be hasty. You have 45 minutes to read the texts and complete the questions. So, take your time. Focus on understanding the passages and determining the right answer. Since there are six passages, you can spend seven and a half minutes tops on each one. Make every second count.

• Disregard the text.

Even if you think you can answer the question based on the options and your knowledge of the topic, read the passage anyway. Double-check not only your potential response but also the choices that you considered incorrect. Remember, you have 45 minutes to accomplish this section. Use them wisely.

Ace the second section of the OET reading sub-test. Practice these dos and don’ts during your preparation period. But, don’t stop with this part of the high-stakes exam. Refine your strategies for the other sub-tests as well.

Enroll in an excellent OET online review program to find out more ways to supercharge your test performance.

By | 2019-02-07T02:48:06+00:00 February 7th, 2019|OET Exam Tips|0 Comments

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