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How long are the results valid for? It can be confusing to know when to take the OET exam.

This is a difficult question because… it depends.

Different countries have different regulatory authorities which means that OET results are valid for a different amount of time in different countries.

However, most exam boards such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and General Medical Council (GMC) and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) state that…

…OET results are valid for two years.

This means that there might be a deadline for you to apply for your exam and you should take this into consideration before booking and sitting your OET test.

You should contact the relevant authority to check their exact validity period and whether they will expire.

IELTS results are also valid for two years.

Cambridge Assessment English

The official OET website has a useful list of regulatory authorities on their website. If you apply for registration with a governing body such as the GMC with expired results, then your application will be refused.

If your results have expired, you will need to take the full test again.

You can find out more about how OET resitting the OET exam here: Does the OET exam allow resits?

Do you want to find out if your OET results are valid?

Please feel free to comment in the box below and our teachers will get back to you to answer your questions.

The post How Long Are OET Results Valid For? appeared first on Fast Track IELTS.

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On 23 June 2016, 51% of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in what has been known as “Brexit”.

The terms of leaving the EU are still up for debate, as is the eventual leaving date.

Before this article begins, the difficulty truth behind any discussion regarding Brexit is:

Nobody knows.

Nobody can say for sure (whether they are a politician, business-leader, economist or healthcare professional) what the exact changes to the NHS in the UK will be after Brexit. However, this article will discuss…

How will the UK leaving the EU affect jobs for overseas nurses in the uK?

As you are preparing for your IELTS or OET exam, you’ll likely be thinking about your job prospects and how leaving the EU could affect your ability to work in the UK.

Here are some important considerations:

The NHS is understaffed and this problem is getting worse.

For the last 30 or so years, around 10% of doctors and around 5% of nurses have been from the EU. There are also around 160,000 social care and health workers from Europe.

The NHS is incredibly understaffed with approximately 50,000 full-time positions vacant in 2016 (especially for nursing and midwifery).

This number is growing every year. The number of British nurses and doctors is also decreasing.

In a 2017 report, 86% of nurse leaders said that recruiting nurses from the EU was essential for the NHS to correctly operate.

The number of nurses and doctors registering with the NMC and GMC has also dropped since 2015. It is unlikely that the Government will (or can) continue to allow these vacancies to happen.

“This is an extensive and credible report which should trouble everyone who cares about the future of health and care in the UK. …With no further net migration or improvements domestically, healthcare could face a gap of up to 70,000 workers by 2025. “

Nigel Edwards, chief executive at the health think tank The Nuffield Trust

Increasing vacancies likely means more opportunity for nurses and doctors from both inside and outside the EU.

The Government is to reduce immigration for those earning less than £30,000 per year – not including doctors and nurses.

The Government currently has a plan in place for after Brexit to restrict immigration to the UK to only those earning over £30,000 per year.

The good news however is that nurses are not included in this plan.

A BBC report said:

In most cases, the migrant will need to be earning at least £30,000 per year (or £20,800 for new entrants), or the “appropriate rate” for their job if that figure is higher. Some professions, like nurses, are exempt.

BBC News

Meaning that the Government will not put these rules on nurses (and also social workers, doctors and engineers).

With all of the negative and positive talk about Brexit, there may be some positives for nurses and doctors wanting to register in the UK and NMC.

An important factor for the UK voting to leave the UK was stricter laws regarding immigration however the facts show that there could be positive opportunities for overseas professionals after Brexit, especially healthcare professionals.

The NHS values international nurses and doctors and the excellent job they do and will likely put a lot of pressure on the UK Government to relax some of their employment rules to allow valuable doctors and nurses to fill the many vacancies around the UK.

Are you confused about Brexit? Or do you want to find out more about how to become a nurse in the UK?

Please feel free to comment in the box below and our teachers will get back to you to answer your questions.

The post BREXIT: How Will It Affect Jobs For Overseas Nurses appeared first on Fast Track IELTS.

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Moving to another country is a very exciting experience however it can often be a scary step to take. There is so much planning and preparation involved (housing, family, passports, immigration etc.) and that’s before you even begin working as a nurse.

When planning this article we spoke with nurse Jincy from Nepal who is now working as a nurse in Maidstone, England. We asked her: How did you become a nurse in the UK? 

Jincy told us:

Before registering for my nursing pin, I had no idea what to do and wish somebody had given me some advice. The NMC never made it 100% clear what I needed and I wasted a lot of time and money.

1. Register as a nurse in your home country and achieve the required qualification

If you’re reading this article we can assume you have already qualified as a nurse and are either in your home country (outside or inside the EU) or you are currently in the UK. Before you begin…

Make sure that you have a file containing all of the relevant certificates or registration numbers. The NMC will likely ask for these later in the process so make sure that you have them before you register. If you don’t have a copy, you can usually request them from the authorities.

2. Research the requirements

Anybody wanting to work in the UK as a nurse or midwife must register with the NMC (Nursing & Midwifery Council) to achieve a nursing qualification (often referred to as ‘a nursing pin.’)

The rules are slightly different for nurses in the EU and out of the EU. You should read through the relevant pages on the NMC website to get an understanding of everything that is required.

3. Pass the OET exam

This part is easier said than done! While you don’t need to prove your English ability until later in the process you should pass (or at least get close to passing) the OET exam before starting your application.

This is because once you begin an application you will have a deadline to provide your OET results. If you fail the test or are finding the test difficult, this might mean that the application expires and you will have to pay the fees again.

Everybody is different when it comes to their English ability. I had not studied much English before coming to the UK except for what I learned at school. I had tried practising the OET exam but didn’t know where to begin. I took the complete OET course at Fast Track IELTS and I know I wouldn’t have passed without them.

4. Start the application

Once you have completed the previous three steps, you should now begin the application. The fees are £140.

This part was the easiest and I just filled in the form on the NMC website. It took less than an hour and they asked for all of my personal details and to complete the application fees.

5. Pass the competency tests

You will then be required to pass the two competency tests: CBT and OSCE (outside the EU only). If you have passed inside the EU then the great news is that you can skip this part completely!

The CBT exam is a test of working quality for nurses nurses and midwives. The questions cover professional values, decision-making, communication skills and leadership.

The OCSE will act out scenarios which nurses and midwives are likely to come across in real-life working scenarios. The test is broken down into six scenarios or ‘statons’ and each of the six stations has a different situation for the nurse to be assessed against.

I was very frustrated with the competency tests, not because I had to take them but because of the fees! They cost over £1000 which was stressful for my family because I was not making a lot of money working in a care home. It was worth it eventually because now I earn much more as a registered nurse.

The full required fees are:

Application for nursing/midwifery £140
Part 1 test of competence (CBT) £130 (non-EU only)
Part 2 test of competence (OSCE) £992(non-EU only)
Admission onto our register £153

Total £1415 (non-EU) / £293 (EU national)

6. Relax and have a cup of tea

Well done you can now practice nursing in the UK! The final step is to register on to the NMC register which you can do on the OET website. The fees are £153.

One thing similar between India and the UK is our love of tea! After this process I needed a nice warm cup of tea to relax and look back on my journey.

It is indeed a long and sometimes stressful journey to register as a nurse in the UK but ultimately it is worth it.

How has your experience of registering with the NMC been? Do you have any questions about the qualification process? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Are you struggling to pass the OET exam? Book a free consultation with one of our teachers today to find out more about our online courses.

The post How To Become A Nurse In The UK appeared first on Fast Track IELTS.

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Brilliant news for overseas nurses as the NMC has officially announced that it is changing the IELTS requirements for NMC registration.

No longer will you be required to achieve a band score of 7.0 in the writing exam. Instead, a score of 6.5 only is needed.

What does this mean?

For a long time the IELTS writing exam has been a significant challenge for nurses. It requires for you to complete two tasks: one in which the candidate discusses a graph or table and another in which an opinion essay is written.

To pass the IELTS exam for NMC registration you will require:

Writing: Band Score 6.5
Listening: Band Score 7
Reading: Band Score 7
Speaking: Band Score 7

In 2018, a petition to decrease the band score attracted nearly 24,000 signatures (correct as of writing).

The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) released a statement which read:

The moderate and proportionate change is in line with the NMC’s commitment to better, safer care and will ensure that only those nurses and midwives with the right skills, knowledge and command of English are able to work in the UK.

The change will take effect from 5 December 2018. IELTS results under two years old that meet the new requirements will be considered by the regulator. [Source]

What is now the best option, IELTS or OET?

In a recent article, we asked Is OET Easier Than IELTS?

Despite the changes announced today, it is the opinion of Fast Track IELTS that the OET exam is still a preferable and easier option for overseas nurses. Even with the lowering of the band score to 6.5, the IELTS exam will expect for you to:

  • Have a larger vocabulary and a firmer grasp of grammatical rules.
  • To write essays on a variety of topics including but not limited to politics, government and science.

Every student has different skills however the OET still remains the simplest option for healthcare professionals.

What do you think of these changes? Will you decide to take the IELTS exam instead? Is IELTS still too difficult? We’d love to hear from you.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Want to find out whether IELTS or OET is the best option for you? Book a free consultation with one of our teachers today to find out more.

The post NMC Reduces Requirements For IELTS Writing Exam appeared first on Fast Track IELTS.

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Fast Track IELTS by Jordan Whotton - 8M ago

Are you confused by your recent OET grade and score card? Is it not clear whether you have passed or failed?

Below you can see an example of the results that one student sent to us. But what does it mean? Did they pass?

Furthermore, what is meant by GRADE 350? Or GRADE 300?

Looks confusing doesn’t it?

Understanding OET test results

Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as passing or not passing. The OET exam board has decided to give a score out of 500 for each area of the exam rather than a clear grade (A-E).

The simplest thing to remember is a grade of 350 or higher in each section is a pass.

We have included the table below for your reference. Look up your score below and use this to help you decide whether your OET score is a pass or not.

OET Results Score Equivalent Score in IELTS Passing Grade?
A 500
8.0-9.0 Yes
B 440
7.0-7.5 Yes
C+ 340
6.5 No (unless applying to NMBI)
C 290
5.5-6 No
D 190
Less than 5.5 No
E 90
Less than 5.0 No

You can find more details on the Results & Assessment area of the official OET website.

How have you fared with recent results? You may find our article on OET passing grades useful for further reading.

Do you have a question about the OET passing scores and grades? What do you think of the exam board’s change to numbered scores instead of lettered grades?

We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the box below and our teachers will get back to you.

The post What does my OET grade mean? appeared first on Fast Track IELTS.

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The OET writing exam will require for you to write a letter of around 180-200 words regarding a patient.

This task is similar for both nurses and doctors however each will write a letter specific to their profession.

You will be given:

  • The task (this explains what you must do, for example: Write a letter regarding Mr Smith who is being discharged from hospital back to his nursing home.)
  • The patient’s case notes and full medical history

The OET writing exam can be difficult.

However, the good news is with these 5 tips you can quickly improve your letter.

1. Understand the writing task

The first thing you should look for is the writing task.

You can see an example of one below.

This box explains:

WHO you will need to write to and the TYPE OF LETTER you must write.

In this example you are writing to Dr Jason Roberts at Newtown Hospital and it is a REFERRAL letter.

While the word count is 180-200 words you will NOT lose marks for writing more or less than this. The word count is given for guidance only. We would however recommend to aim for 180-250 words in order to focus your letter and to not write too much or too little.

There are three common types of OET writing letter:


This means the patient is going to another healthcare facility for a different kind of investigation or treatment.


This means the patient is going to another healthcare facility or department for to continue their treatment.


This means that the patient will now be leaving your healthcare facility or clinic and will be going home.

It is vital that you take the time to recognise these letter types and to get an idea of how they affect the letter. You should get into the habit of asking yourself:

  • Who am I writing to?
  • What has happened?
  • Who am I writing about?
  • What type of letter is it?
2. Understand the case notes You should spend around 3-4 minutes carefully reading and understanding the case notes.

As advised by the OET exam board, the next thing you will need to do is study the case notes.

The first five minutes of the exam are for reading the case notes only. You will not be allowed to start writing until this time is up.

The main difficulty with this is that the writing case notes are not written in perfect sentences and might be challenging to understand.

It is your job to understand these case notes and to transform them into grammatically correct sentences.

For example a case note which reads:

NURSING MANAGEMENT AND PROGRESS daily dressings surgery incision site

What exactly are they asking here?

Nursing management relates’ to what the patient will require in the future to manage their symptoms.

Daily dressings’ refers to changing the patient’s bandages and ‘surgery incision site‘ refers to the wound where the surgery was performed.

We might therefore write:

To continue the patient’s care, he will require for his bandages to be changed everyday at the site of the surgery.

Of course there is no set rule of exactly how to explain this information however you should try to use all of the relevant details within the case notes and to ‘transform’ them into sentences with good grammar and structure.

3. Know your abbreviations

OET writing case notes may also use abbreviations.

Abbreviation means a shorter form of a medical vocabulary or phrases. For example ‘BP’ instead of ‘blood pressure.’

What do the abbreviations mean in this example?

PHx pt. suffered with heart attack – 4-yr

In this case ‘PHx‘ refers to ‘patient history’. While ‘pt‘ means ‘patient’ and ‘4-yr‘ means ‘4 years ago’.

This sentence might therefore read in your letter as:

The patient’s history shows that Mr Smith suffered from a heart attack four years ago.

In your letter you will not be using abbreviations.  You should instead expand on the abbreviations and turn them into full sentences.

Other common abbreviations in the writing exam are:

  • BMI = body mass index
  • OTC = over the counter
  • r/v = review
  • ICU = intensive care unit
  • SOB = shortness of breath

During your studies if you come across an abbreviations you haven’t heard before, you can find this useful dictionary of common medical abbreviations to study what they mean.

4. Choose relevant information

The letter you are writing will likely be less than 300 words which isn’t very long (especially when compared to IELTS).

You will however be given a page and a half of case notes, meaning:

You should not include all of the case notes in your letter. Some will be relevant and will not be.

A general rule is: only include information that is relevant to the patient’s illness.

Consider this case note:

Let’s assume that this patient’s condition is DIABETES.

Which of these cases notes would be relevant here?

  • The patient’s date of birth is essential information and will need to be included in each letter.
  • The patient’s weight and BMI is important when relating to diabetes. Patients with a higher BMI are more likely to have diabetes.
  • ‘Teacher’ is NOT RELEVANT. The fact this woman teaches History and English is not relevant to her illness.
  • Likewise, the fact she is divorced and has two children is NOT RELEVANT to her condition.
  • ‘Social drinker’ and ‘non-smoker’ may be relevant as there may be some connection between a healthy lifestyle and diabetes.

Let’s instead assume the patient’s condition is instead DEPRESSION.

Which of these cases notes would be relevant here?

  • The patient’s date of birth is essential information and will need to be included in each letter.
  • The patient’s weight and BMI is likely NOT RELEVANT when related to depression. (Although with a patient with a very high BMI, there may be reason to mention this information).
  • The patient’s occupation as a teacher is likely NOT RELEVANT here. However, a patient with a high stress job may sometimes be relevant.
  • ‘Divorced’ is likely relevant and may be related to the patient’s feelings of depression.
  • Likewise, the patient’s social drinking would need to be connected to the depression as it is a related case note.

It is up to you to choose which notes are most relevant. We always advise our students to ask themselves:

If I was receiving this letter from another professional, would I want or need to know these details?

5. Plan your writing structure

Once you have decided which case notes to use (see Tip 4 above) you will need to structure them within your letter.

The start of your letter

The top of your letter should include:

WHO we are writing TO and their address.

You can see an example of this highlighted in red above.

After this, you need to include the date. If there is an appropriate date cited in the case notes, use this. If not, use today’s date. For example: 12th February 2017 or 07/08/2018

Followed by “Dear RECIPIENT’S NAME,”

You should finally also follow this up with WHO your letter is REGARDING (Re:) and their DATE OF BIRTH/AGE.

For example: Re: John Smith, DOB: 04/03/1948 or Re: Mary Jones, aged 79 years.

The middle of your letter

The first paragraph should state: Why are you writing, patient name, date of event, hospital, medical condition and what type of letter is it?

There is no set rule of how to do this however you can find some examples below.

“I am writing regarding Mr Smith who is being discharged from London City Hospital on 01/01/2019 after a myocardial infarction.”

“I am contacting you in regards to Mr Lionel Ramamurthy who was admitted to Newton Hospital on May 20th 2019 with a provisional diagnosis of renal failure. I am referring this patient to your care for further treatment and investigation.”

DISCHARGE LETTER: The next paragraph should explain what happened to the patient when they were admitted. Did the patient have difficulty breathing? What were the symptoms? What were the results of tests?

TRANSFER LETTER: Similarly the second paragraph should include what happened to the patient. What symptoms do they have? What medication has been given?

REFERRAL LETTER: The second paragraph should include a timeline of what happened to the patient during the course of their treatment. For example, “The patient presented on 01/01/2018 with a history of a sore throat… Three weeks later this developed into…”

The end of your letter It is recommended that you practice writing a similar structure of letter each time.

In the next paragraph you should discuss any further relevant information that the recipient of the letter should know about. What is the patient’s medical history? Are they on any medication? What is their general progress?

Each paragraph of the next one or two paragraphs should have its own ‘theme’ or ideas, meaning one might be about the patient’s lifestyle while the other is about the patient’s medical history.

The final paragraph should explain any further tasks the recipient needs to undertake. Do they need to book the patient in for an appointment? Do they need to monitor his diet or blood sugar levels?

You should end your letter with:

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Yours sincerely…

(Your profession)

You do not need to include your name on the letter, only your profession.

How are you finding the writing exam? We’ll be releasing another article soon focusing on the common grammar mistakes that students make.

If you are finding the OET writing exam difficult, you might be interested in our OET writing correction service. This involves sending your work to our teachers for detailed feedback and corrections.

We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to ask us any questions in the comments below and our teachers will get back to you.

The post OET Writing Exam: The 5 Best Tips appeared first on Fast Track IELTS.

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Fast Track IELTS by Jordan Whotton - 9M ago

Everybody says it…

OET Reading Part C is probably the most difficult area of the entire OET exam.

Not only are we tested on more complex vocabulary, we are also tested on our deeper understanding of the text. In truth a lot of questions in this section of the test can be very tricky and challenging. Almost unfair in fact!

That said, our teachers have four important secrets we like to pass on to our students about this test.

1. A few dropped marks don’t matter – move on!

Don’t be afraid to get tactical. As long as you get a passing grade, you have achieved your goals.

As we mentioned in a previous article, the passing grade for OET reading is 29/42 which means that…

… it isn’t the worst thing in the world if you don’t get the full marks in Part C of the exam. If you can consistently achieve around 17/20 in Part A and 4/6 in Part C that means you will only need to achieve 8/16 in Part C – which is certainly possible!

Focus on achieving as high a grade as possible in the first two sections of the test to make things as easy for yourself as possible.

If you are not 100% sure about an answer, make an educated guess and move on!

2. Questions are answered in order

This one is a simple but useful one: the answer to question one will likely be in the first paragraph and the answer to the last question will likely be the last paragraph.

The questions are answered in order. That means, if you are unable to find the answer to question 4, it will likely be somewhere in the passage between the answer that you found for questions 3 and 5.

You can use this tip to narrow down to a rough area of where the information may be presented.

3.  Don’t overwhelm yourself with information

Similarly to the earlier parts of the test, you do not have time to read everything in the passage.

There is too much information to take in. There is only so much information your brain can process and if you waste your energy focusing on specific details, it may not even be relevant to the questions you eventually answer.

When you first start OET Reading Part C, quickly read through the text to get a good idea of how the information is presented and what it is about. Make any notes/underline information related to the main ideas. This will give you a guideline of where information can be found generally and then you can return to it easily later.

The questions will guide you where to look based on your notes. Cross out any answers that are definitely wrong and if you still can’t answer the question make an ‘educated guess’ based on any details you can find and move on.

4. Understand ‘referencing’

Many of the difficult questions in the Part C will relate to ‘referencing’. There will usually be several questions that use this trick and it can make understanding the text a real challenge.

Consider the sentence below:

The patient was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. It has returned this year.

In this sentence, what does ‘it’ refer to? Does it relate to the patient? To 2018? To the cancer?

Here, ‘it’ relates to cancer. This use of ‘it’ is known as ‘referencing’ an it stops the writer from having to use repetitive nouns such as this one.

The patient was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. The cancer returned this year.

Sounds repetitive doesn’t it? If you are unsure what ‘it’ refers to try replacing the other words in the sentence to see which best fits. If it makes sense, your answer is likely correct.

Now, let’s consider another example:

90% of patients find a catheter to be uncomfortable. Results of a recent study on this matter discovered that it was due to the shape of the tube.

What does ‘this’ refer to in the sentence? The study? The patient? The shape of the tube? The discomfort of the catheter?  The catheter itself?

The correct answer here would be ‘this (matter)’ relates to ‘patients finding a catheter to be uncomfortable’.

Practice looking for these referencing words and then checking back through the sentence to see what it is they are referring to. This is an essential skill in the OET reading exam.

Common referencing words are:

  • It
  • This
  • That
  • These
  • He
  • She
  • Her
  • His

How are you finding Part C of the reading exam? Do you find it to be one of the most difficult sections?

We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to ask us any questions in the comments below and our teachers will get back to you.

The post 4 OET Reading Part C Secrets appeared first on Fast Track IELTS.

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Reading Part B is the second part of the OET 2.0 exam and many argue that it is more challenging than Par tA.

Here we discuss this test in detail and tips on how to achieve the most available marks.

What is Reading Part B?

This exam assesses your ability to identify the detail, the general idea or main point of six short texts sourced from the healthcare workplace (100-150 words each). The texts might consist of extracts from policy documents, hospital guidelines, manuals or internal communications, such as emails or memos. You must answer a total of 6 multiple-choice question (one per passage).

There are 6 marks available in Part B.

You can find more information about the OET 2.0 reading exam structure on the OET website.

The first thing to note from this is that: the type of passage you will read is the type of document you would find at work. It could be an email from your manager or a note from your college or instructions on how to work new hospital equipment.

The second thing to note is: you will read six different texts and answer one multiple choice question for each.

Below you can see an example of a Part B question.

Your job is to read each passage (just like these ones above) and to answer a multiple choice question based on what you have read.

So how do we work out our answer?

1. Carefully read the passage

Unlike in OET 2.0 Reading Part A where you should skim and scan the text, you should read the entire passage in Part B.

Start by reading the questions and highlighting all of the key words in the answers like this:

2. Try to define any unfamiliar words

Each question will likely have one or two words that you may be unfamiliar with.

In this case we have the examples: interfere and close proximity.

If you are unsure what they mean, try reading the paragraph to find more context. Let’s look at the three examples here.

A. Interfere – You may have heard this word which means to ‘stop something from happening’. You may have also noticed the word ‘interference’ in the first paragraph. Part B of the test may use paragraphing.

B. Close proximity – This word is a little bit more complex and means ‘a close distance’.  You may read this answer as ‘…may not work correctly when close to some other devices’.

C. Considered – A more common vocabulary choice meaning ‘is believed to be’.  In this case ‘…is believed to be safe’.

Once you have defined these unfamiliar words try looking for them or any synonyms in the passage.

3. Eliminate incorrect answers

Now you are required to choose which answers are NOT correct.

The passage is provided for you again below. Take a few moments to read through the passage in detail and try to find the keywords we have listed above.

Be careful of words such as ‘almost’, ‘unlikely’ ‘may not’ and ‘should’ as these can often change the meaning of a sentence. There is a big difference between ‘the equipment is almost safe’ and ‘the equipment is safe’.

A. Interfere – We can see in the first paragraph that it mentions ‘interference’ and says ‘medical equipment may be susceptible to electromagnetic interference.’ However, the question says ‘is likely to interfere’.  This is a trick answer as there is a difference between ‘may be’ and ‘likely to’.

B. Close proximity – We know that ‘close proximity’ means ‘close to’. There is no mention of ‘close to’ but it does mention ‘within 7 metres’ near the end of the paragraph.

C. Considered safe – There is mention around halfway down the paragraph of ‘preventing unsafe product situations’. However, this is nothing that mentions whether it should be considered safe in all hospital environments.

4. Choose the correct answer

Finally, we need to choose the correct answer based on the information we have.

The correct answer in this question is B: may not work correctly in close proximity to some other devices.

We can see this in the following sentence:

Nevertheless, care should be taken to avoid the use of the monitor within 7 metres of cellphones or other devices generating strong electrical or electromagnetic fields.

The later parts of the reading exam can be some of the most difficult and challenging parts of the entire OET exam.

The important advice we give to all of our students is:

  • Practice. The more tests you complete the better you will be at answering this type of question.
  • Review your answers. Once you have completed a practice test, take some time to go back and review your answers.
  • The passing score for the entire exam is 30/42 however only 6 of these marks are available in Part B.

How are you finding the new Reading Exam Part B?

We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to ask us any questions you might have in the comments below and our teachers will get back to you.

The post OET Reading Part B: How To Pass appeared first on Fast Track IELTS.

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This article is part of a series in which we discuss important tips and share advice on how to pass the OET exam. Click here to read other articles in the series.

OET Reading Part A can be tricky. Remember in this section of the exam…

  • You have only 15 minutes to answer all of the questions. After 15 minutes the test paper will be taken away and you won’t have time to check your answers.
  • You have to answer 20 questions in 15 minutes. That’s just 45 seconds per question! Therefore speed is essential in this section of the game.

Therefore it is important that you improve your understanding of the test format and the important techniques that are required to achieve a passing grade.

You can find more information on the Reading Test on the Official OET Website.

1. Understand the test format

The Reading exam in total contains three sections: Part A, Part B and Part C. This article will focus on Part A only.

The first thing you will see inside the test paper (after the above test instructions) are four texts (A-D) for you to read.

The texts will most likely relate to one topic. For example if the topic is ‘cancer’ then Text A might be about ‘symptoms of cancer’, Text B might be about ‘cancer statistics’, Text C might be about ‘cancer treatments’ and so forth.

Here is an example of one.

Later on in this article we will discuss how to read each text passage.

And then you will have to answer two types of questions.

Matching paragraphs – The first 6-8 questions will ask you to match specified information to each of the texts. For example: “Text C discusses cancer treatment.’

Short answer question types – The remaining 12-14 questions will be either ‘short answer questions’ or ‘fill-in-the-blank’ type questions.

Don’t go into the exam unprepared. Take some time to understand the test format by looking at practice papers and this will massively improve your grade.

Read our article on OET 2.0 Changes Explained for more information on test formatting.

2. Skimming and scanning

Skimming and scanning are essential techniques in the OET exam, especially in Part A. Remember we only have 45 seconds for each questions therefore we can’t waste any time.

The number one rule is…

Don’t waste time reading everything in Part A. Once you have quickly skimmed the texts move on to the questions straight away.

We simply don’t have time to read all four texts. You should skim the passage for a general overview and then move on to the questions.


Skimming means to quickly run your eye over the passage to understand the main purpose of each text and a few key points. 

You should…

  • Spend 2 minutes skimming all four passages.
  • Read through the titles and the first sentence of each paragraph.
  • Quickly run your eye over the paragraph for a few seconds.

Doing this will give you enough information to answer the first 20 questions. Of course you will still need to check back on your answers as you work through them but do not waste time reading all of the paragraphs.


Scanning is almost the opposite of skimming and requires for you to look for very specific words within the passages.

The first step is to read the questions and to decide on keywords in the question.

Then look back through the text and attempt to find your keyword.

Before reading the surrounding sentences to confirm what the correct answer is.

Let us know in the comments: what is the answer to question 15?

3. Practice makes perfect

Reading Part A is considered to be the easiest section of the subtest and has 20 available marks.

As we discussed recently in another article the passing grade for OET reading is around 29/42. Therefore Reading Part A is a great opportunity to get as many marks as possible before those difficult Part B and Part C sections.

The most important tip is practice.

Simply put:

The more exams you do the higher your result. If you don’t complete practice tests before your exam you are unlikely to pass.

Remember to follow these three important reading tips while preparing for your exam.

Have an OET Reading Part A tip?

We’d love to hear from you! And remember to check back for new articles in the series.

Leave a comment in the box below and our teachers will get back to you.

The post 3 Easy Steps To Passing OET Reading Part A appeared first on Fast Track IELTS.

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There can often be some confusion as to what the pass grade is for the OET exam. Do different organisations have different passing marks and does the exam allow resits?

The general rule to remember is:

Most organisations will require a grade of B in each of the four sub-tests.

A grade B in the OET exam is the equivalent of IELTS band score 7.0.

However there are some exceptions to this and things can be a little more complex.

In this article we will look at two case studies in the UK of both the GMC (General Medical Council) and the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) to find out their pass score. We will also look at what the pass grade is in each area of the exam.

1. What is the NMC pass score?

To earn a nursing pin in the UK you will be required to achieve a grade B in all areas of the exam (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking).

However, if you do not pass first time there are some exceptions and you may be able to combine your results from two tests.

The rules for combing test results are:

  • The two tests must be within 6 months of each other.
  • No grade is ever below C+ in any exam.
  • Both tests were taken after September 2018.
  • B is achieved in each sub-test of the exam at least once.
Example 1
Listening Reading Writing Speaking
July Exam B B C+ B
August Exam B C+ B B

This result would be accepted. The student has achieved a B in each of the exams (across both tests) and has scored at least a C+ in every exam.

Example 2
Listening Reading Writing Speaking
February Exam B B C+ B
November Exam C C+ B B

This result would not be accepted. The student has achieved a grade of C in one of the areas of the test (listening) and the results were achieved more than 6 months apart.

2. What is the GMC pass score?

Things are a little simpler when discussing the General Medical Council’s passing grade.

You will require a B in each area of the exam and the results must be achieved in one sitting.

There are no exceptions to this rule.

Listening Reading Writing Speaking
February Exam B A B B

This result would be accepted. The candidate has achieved at least a B in each section of the exam.

3. Test Scores Explained Writing Exam

Your letter in the writing exam is graded against five criteria:

  • Overall Task Fulfillment
  • Appropriateness of Language
  • Comprehension of Stimulus
  • Presentation Features (spelling, layout, punctuation)
  • Linguistic Features (grammar and cohesion)

You will be given a grade between A-F for each of these criteria and are required an overall score of B to pass.

Speaking Exam

Your speaking exam is graded against several criteria:

  • The fluency of language
  • How easy to understand the conversation is
  • How well the task has been understood
  • The usefulness of grammar and appropriateness of language

Similarly to the writing exam, learners will be given a grade between A-F for each of these criteria. You can find more information here and here on the exact requirements.

Listening and Reading Exams

Unfortunately, the OET exam board does not confirm exactly what the passing score is for the listening and reading exams.

We generally advise that a passing grade is around 70% of the total available marks.

Do you have a question about the OET passing scores and grades?

We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the box below and our teachers will get back to you.

The post Understanding the OET Pass Score appeared first on Fast Track IELTS.

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