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Exam Preparation and Experience OET (Occupational English Test) PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board)

My Journey to OET by Dr. Khyrun Nisa

I know It’s too lengthy, I’m really sorry for that. Plz, do pardon my mistakes if u have come across any while reading this.

OET kinda tests your language proficiency in a very time efficient environment. So it’s your resilience and language skill, and we need a bit of favour of luck too when we are not aware of our skillset. Moreover, there is a lack of external guidance to help yourself prepare effectively.

I started preparing myself for the OET examination from January 2019. After I booked for my OET exam on 6th April 2019, my OET preparation paced up eventually from mid-February 2019. It appeared to me that “Listening” is the most confusing module out of four. Getting even a decent score was challenging for me. Managing answers within a required time frame was an impossible task for me. I was getting low marks consistently.

It was a frustrating time, I remember. However, I did not lose my hopes. I kept my trust in myself. The harder it was to get myself in a shape, the harder I tried. Reading, Writing, Speaking – every module had its own challenges.

My first attempt was a failure with 300 in Writing and 320 in Speaking. Even though I passed in Listening and Reading, I was quite unsure whether I would pass in both Listening and Reading in my next attempt. It took time for me to settle down, gain my positive vision, and make an effort to make another attempt.

I was looking for some external support, knowing and believing that I exhausted my efforts and self-direction. The support I received from an unexpected person,#IftekharMahmood vaiya from

OET-power-prep, in another way I would say an angel showed me some lights at the end of the tunnel. He was a blessing to me😀.

I found his teaching style absolutely mind-blowing.His tips and tricks while solving Reading and listening (esp part B+ Part C) were so good. My time management problem got solved, my confidence boosted up. In my whole OET journey, I have not met such a person. My listening-reading phobia was decreasing day by day. In these 25 days of preparation, I found myself more and more confident. And, Eventually, I got my success on 3rd August 2019 exam.

The routine of my last attempt

Total Time 25 days

🎯 One part of Listening, One part of Reading, One Writing subtest at one sitting while maintaining time. (Twice a day)

🎯 Speaking cards from future land – 6/7 a day.

🎯 I developed my own set of formats for Writing modules for different criteria: Referral Letter, Discharge Letter, Emergency Referral Letter, or Discharge Letter to a Nursing Home, etc.

🎯 I used to listen to podcasts and health news and read articles from Health Week. It developed my Listening and Reading skills and gave me a better understanding of health-related topics.

One thing I did notice, OET always loves to repeat the topics in listening and reading which literally matches the health week mainly the previous month, ongoing month, and next month topics. That’s why I did make a list of topics from Health week. I used to listen to podcast /health news and read articles from those topics. Luckily, I got Rheumatoid arthritis, deep vein thrombosis on 3rd August. You must be thinking it’s crazy, making a list, and listening to them. But, for me, a known topic is always a stress reliever.

Link of health week::
make a list, then start to listen to health news of those topics from youtube/google

Common topics of OET

DM, Asthma, COPD, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Psoriasis, scabies, impetigo, chickenpox, food allergy, coeliac disease, Stroke, Parkinson’s, Dementia, ADHD, Pain, Palliative care, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, a venous ulcer, STD, etc.

Key Points to Take

🍀Listening :

1) If one part is not as expected as it should have been, don’t take the psychological effect on other parts. Every part is separate. One part can change the overall scenario.

2) Do not over depend on Part A.( On 3rd August, I did miss 6-7 questions from part A, so basically Part B+C were the reason for my success)

3) Do not rush. In the real exam, you might get enough time to write or tick the full answer.

4) You might not get enough time to erase and rewrite. So, do the right thing at first.

5) Apply your own tricks to exclude two out of three.

6) Use time efficiently when the directions of the Listening exams go on for understanding the questions and answer options.

7) Use the Exclusion method for Part B & C.

🔴Reading :

🌿Reading part A:

✔It is the key to success. The first time I couldn’t able to finish(nearly 4 questions were unanswered in 1-7) This time, I tried to start from the question (1-20).

✔Read all four paragraph’s headline,sub-headline, bullet point, any word in the bracket, any line below the chart, any word in bold letter(Spent-1.5-2 minutes, not more than that)

✔ Don’t stick to one question, if you could not find the answer, then move. The first time, I was stuck with the same questions and landed up missing 4 questions.

✔Try to read audio script:: from ABC health news, it will increase ur reading speed.

🌿Reading B

It needs skill+ proper tricks to complete within 10-12 minutes.
The first time, it took nearly 20+ minutes to finish. Later in my second attempt, it took only 10-12 minutes. because this time I know where is the answer, I don’t need to read full paragraphs. I can skip some lines.

🌿Reading C

✔Look at the topics, which one is easier acc to you, then start with those topics.

✔Try to answer specific questions at first, because Gist questions are always tougher than specific.

✔The exclusion method is the best.

✔Don’t need to read the whole paragraph, just you have to think wisely where could be the answer. These small things will save a lot of time in the end.

✔Try to read audio script:: from ABC health news, it will increase ur reading speed.

Featured image for OET experience by Khyrun_nisa

🔴Writing

My writing was not that bad. Truly speaking I didn’t need to struggle that much for writing.

✔On 3rd August, the letter was kind of discharge +information to Pt’s GP.

I think It was one of the toughest letters that ever came in the OET exam for medicine.

I tried to write the introduction in a better way so that it Doesn’t match with others. While doing so,15 minutes already passed I guess. I was in time pressure, then shake off the idea of writing in a better way🤐.

The letter was informing the pt’s Gp regarding his medical history, medication, advice, etc.

The majority of the students were stuck in history whether to write or not. Later, I skipped medical history totally, used only simple sentences. Even, I did repeat a lot of words for 2/3 times. In the meantime, I managed to write all the relevant Information except Medical history and closing sentence(should there be any queries***). I didn’t get even 10 sec time for proof-reading.🤐

It was one hell of an experience I would say.

My word count was nearly 240+.

🎯So, my advice for the newbie and upcoming test-takers are

✔Write in a simple way(no need to exaggerate complex sentences, linkers /connectors). Avoid using too many linkers in the same paragraphs. It will deduct your marks.

✔Keep it simple, grammatically flawless as much as you can. Always write in a story form so that reader doesn’t get confused. That’s the key to passing in writing.

✔Don’t overthink in the exam hall, no need to use strong vocabulary, and avoid excess Paraphrasing. Trust me it will do nothing except for killing time. If you are repeating the same words 2/3 times, don’t worry at all. Try not to use repeatedly, but if you don’t have enough time, just use the same word. Don’t overthink about ‘comma’ thing.

✔If you are afraid that, you might not get enough time for proof-reading after finishing writing, then revise every time u finish a paragraph. In that way, you don’t need to wait for finishing your letter.

✔As current criteria are more focused on the Purpose of the letter and relevant -irrelevant case note,

I would say Make your introduction part more clearly and don’t copy others’ introduction + conclusion blindly.

Majority candidates write: Your further assessment and management would be appreciated. Plz, avoid writing those lines. Give some effort in writing a better introduction +conclusion. There are many ways to skip those commonly common lines.

🔴For writing correction service::

✔Benchmark:: is good, but they always focus more on grammar, less on relevant case notes. So, be careful about that.

✔Swoosh:: Good one, some of my friends told me.

✔Helping aid/apps for writing from Google Play Store:

🍀Grammarly: After typing your letter, try to correct it by Grammarly keyboard,

They correct the misuse of articles, prepositions, comma, a hyphen, etc.

⭕⭕⭕⭕🔴🔴🔴🔴🔴⭕⭕⭕⭕

Materials

Now, coming to the materials you will practice:

🍀 Firstly, to get an overview of OET —

Go through the OET official site and read thoroughly. Download 2 free samples from this site.

🍀Then watch: From Youtube:: E2 OET by Jay’s video

🍀After that,

Go through the Kaplan book. This will make your base. The listening and reading part B here is absolutely outstanding. I would say, everybody, should read all the details mentioned in Kaplan(esp listening +reading). Everything is mentioned here in a detailed form.

🍀After solving Kaplan::

✔Start your preparation by OET official sites- free sample (2)

✔Then, OET official’s free practice tests(3)- If you can score 30+( both in reading+listening) in these 3 tests, then you are on the right track.
So, judge yourself by practicing these 3 tests.

✔You can purchase E2 materials from the E2 site(5 tests are there).

These materials are also up-to-the-mark.To some extent, it reflects the main OET exam.

✔Swoosh (8 tests)- You have to purchase them too, not available for
free. They are quite good.

✔ OET online:: (6 tests)::: I found reading part A, listening part B+C quite good.Rest of them, not worthy of practice.

✔You can give a try:
Adel, Anna Hartford, Maggy Rayan,Jaydan, IRS, Benchmark, etc(though I will not recommend those)

✔If your scores in OET official materials are above 30++ at the first attempt, then I believe you will pass inshaAllah.

✔Listening helping Aid :

1) Abc health news, MJA podcast–toughest Australian accent
(Either from Google// you can download Podcast/Podbean/Double Podcast apps from Play Store)

2)GP’s behind closed doors(search in google daily motion)- It will also help you in speaking.

3) Health Professional radio-From Youtube

4)Try to read audio script:: from ABC health news, it will increase your reading speed(Helpful for reading part C)

🍀For writing::

📣 Read: OET Grammer from the Futureland recalls book, (must)

🔔Case notes: From OET Futureland recalls book, Benchmark.

📣 Read Benchmark corrected letters(A, B grade only)

📣Try to write 2-3 letters a day.

🍀Speaking::

✔Futureland recalls book(you will get 4-5 role play cards from here minimum.)

✔So, practice these 94+ speaking cards.

✔Make a speaking partner (Daily practice – at least 5-6 cards)

✔Make some notes: like introduction, +how to show sympathy-empathy, etc from listening tests(like-Kaplan, OET official free sample, practice test, etc)

While doing a listening test, try to follow their style.you can use those lines in your speaking.bcz the scenario is almost the same.

✔Avoid using memorized phrases from Futureland book word by word, try to use it in a modified way. First time I got low marks all because of that.

🔴One thing I always used to follow is checking the answer keys by another person, in that way I did practice all the materials for 6/7 times. You can also do the same.

That’s all.

Stay blessed❤

Author

Khyrun Nisa
CMC (2009-2010)

Acknowledgement

This article first appeared on Facebook. Republished with permission from the author

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