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THE OCCUPATIONAL ENGLISH TEST(OET)


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OET and IELTS - Important Differences

 

On this page, we would like to let you know about some of the differences between the two tests in terms of their implications on a candidate's nursing practice.It is well known among those aiming for overseas nursing registration that the OET and IELTS test English language skills very differently. It is important to note that the OET is not easier than IELTS, but it requires a different knowledge of English. The OET tries to imitate the target workplace and was designed by both health professionals and language experts together.


In comparison, IELTS was developed at Cambridge University as a tool for testing English language proficiency for a wide range of purposes; i.e. entry to schools and universities and various professions. It requires a very high level of English and has been termed as the "gold standard" because those who pass must be extremely proficient. However, there is an argument that this type of proficiency is not necessarily relevant to nursing.

Patsy Deverall, an examiner for both the OET and IELTS, states that "There is a huge intersection between language, culture and communication. IELTS is a measure of English proficiency but doesn't have a cultural component that can assess relationships between people or the cultural mores at play in particular situations with patients" (1) On the other hand, the OET tests English in a nursing context, so it can be said to be of benefit to the candidate in their future employment.

It is important to remember however, that regardless of whether a candidate sits the OET or IELTS, the Nursing Council of New Zealand also requires a Competency Assessment Programme to be undertaken so that overseas nurses are fully prepared to work in a New Zealand environment.

There are other small differences between the two tests. IELTS is substantially cheaper than the OET and is offered much more often. This, combined with its established reputation, makes it the more popular choice for most candidates. The OET also has its benefits - if a candidate does not gain a B pass in one or more skill areas, they are only required to re- sit those areas (at an adjusted price depending on how many skill areas need to be tested). Those sitting IELTS must re-sit the entire test if any section is failed.

Both tests have their various strong points - IELTS is instantly recognisable worldwide, and the OET can be helpful due to its healthcare context - and passing either of these leads on to nursing registration in New Zealand. 

(Source: kingshealthcare.co.nz)

 

 
 
 
 

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OET and IELTS - Important Differences