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Over a set of blog posts, we will break down the OET listening test for you – along with a few tips and strategies suggested by our experienced and expert trainers, spearheading our OET online training programme.

*Update for Covid-19: For all of you staying home, we are here to assist you with your OET preparation during the lockdown. All of our blog content can be used as frameworks guiding your practice and study efforts – so you can make the most of this time!

About the Listening Test

The test is designed to test your ability to process information in English via Listening, in general, healthcare environments/situations. Unlike the Writing and Speaking tests, this test is not profession-specific.

It consists of 3 parts with a total of 42 questions. For all 3 parts together, the total time limit is 50 minutes.

Top Tips For OET Listening Part A During Covid Lockdown

Top Tips To Prepare For OET Listening Part B During the Covid Lockdown

Here, we will discuss Part C. You can also check out our posts on Part A and Part B.

Part C: Presentation extracts

It consists of recorded presentations related to healthcare topics – typically a healthcare professional talking about or being interviewed about a particular aspect of his work.

The test consists of 2 recordings, each of about 5 minute’s duration. Based on each recording you will have to answer 6 multiple-choice questions.

P.S. the context of each recording may be related to any one of the 12 professions covered by OET.

P.P.S. The recorded voices may reflect varying accents – most commonly British, American and Australian, but also others like Irish, South African etc. This is meant to be a reflection of the global nature of the healthcare workforce.

Required skills

  • language comprehension, including accent and pronunciation
  • ability to understand lengthy information related to healthcare in English
  • basic analytical abilities – including comprehension of inference and implication


To help acquaint you with the OET Listening test, we are using genuine OET material. To hear the sample extracts in full, refer to the given link (you may have to skip forward to the relevant part).

Listening Sample Test 1

  1. Why does Dr Robson regard Chagas as a neglected disease?
  • because of the social groups it mainly affects
  • because patients often don’t realize they’re infected
  • because its impact is severe in a relatively small number of cases
  1. Dr Robson says that concerns over Chagas in the USA are the result of
  • a rise in the number of people at risk of being infected with the disease.
  • a greater awareness of how many people there have the disease.
  • an increased prevalence of the insect which carries the disease.
  1. A patient called Marisol recently asked Dr Robson to test her for Chagas because
  • he was worried about the health of any children she might give birth to.
  • she wanted to know whether it was safe for her to donate blood.
  • she thought she had symptoms associated with the disease.

Listening Sample Test 2

  1. What does Sandra Morton see as the main aim in her work?
  • to inform patients about the different treatments on offer
  • to publicise the availability of tests for the condition
  • to raise awareness of the symptoms of the illness
  1. When Harry was offered a routine health check at his local surgery, he initially
  • resisted the idea due to his wife’s experience.
  • felt that he was too fit and well to be in need of it.
  • only agreed to attend because his doctor advised him to.
  1. During Harry’s investigations for prostate cancer at a hospital clinic, he
  • felt part of the examination procedure was unpleasant.
  • found it hard to cope with the wait for some results.
  • was given false hope by a preliminary blood test.

Tips for preparation

  1. Honing key language skills
  • Listening and language comprehension skills: For this test, familiarising yourself with various accents and the pronunciations of different words is required.
  • Build your vocabulary: Vocabulary skills involve knowing a large number of words, what they mean, spellings and appropriate use – both related to your profession, as well as colloquial vocabulary.
  • Grammar skills: Grammar skills are necessary in order to help you decipher sentence structures and the various nuances of speech, in order to interpret meanings accurately during the listening test.

The best ways to develop the above skills, involve

  • exposing yourself to English in use in various audio formats – including particularly television and online videos (ensure that you also choose such material from a number of different countries, in order to get used to different accents)
  • reading plenty of material, including medical texts, journals, textbooks and so on, as well as informative books/magazines/online resources where good English is bound to be used
  • and finally…

2. …Practice!

Answer as many mock OET tests as you can – ideally, a minimum of 6-7.

In doing so, not only will you hone the above skills, but you will also:

  • Get used to the nature of the recorded extracts
  • Get used to performing the test within a limited time
  • Get used to making correct inferences
  • Get used to recognising implied information


  • Inference refers to the meaning you as the reader can get from what the speaker is saying – even when it is not said exactly that way

Example (see recording B.)

What is said: “A procedure that I like to explain to patients is uncomfortable but entirely necessary.”

Inference: Patients may be reluctant to have the procedure, but must be told that it is important.

  • implied information refers to the meaning that the speaker is giving without saying it at all

Example (see recording B.)

What is said: “He promised his friends and family that he would take care of himself. His wife had died of ovarian cancer a few years ago, and so he felt obliged to go.”

Implication: Because his wife had died of cancer, he knew he must not take cancer lightly.

Tips for Performance

1. Read the questions carefully

Once the recording starts you will have to listen and answer the questions simultaneously.

Before the recording starts, you will have 90 seconds to take a look at the questions.

During these 90 seconds,

  • skim through the questions and the options
  • keep in mind the ‘topic’ of each question
  • keep in mind the ‘topic’ of each option

Once the recording starts, keep a lookout for each question-topic. As soon as you hear a reference to it, you will know that you will soon hear the answer you are looking for.

2. Watch out for the answers

In all likelihood, each option-topic will be mentioned in some way. However, only one of the options will match exactlywith what is said in the recording.

You thus employ 2 closely-linked strategies:

  1. Elimination
  • when you hear anything that directly contradicts one of the options, that option can be eliminated.
  • Example – question B.1

Option a) says he “resisted the idea due to his wife’s experience.”

However, as we have already seen – he feels “obliged to go” because she died of cancer. This option a) can be eliminated.

  1. Matching
  • identify any match between what you hear in the recording and what is in the option.
  • remember – the language used may not be exactly the same. You must be able to identify similarity in meaning.
  • Example – question B.3

Option b) says he “found it hard to cope with the wait for some results”

In the recording: “Harry said though that the three weeks between having a biopsy taken and waiting for the results was far more of an ordeal.”

The description of the wait as an ordeal thus matches what is given in the option. Thus, this is the correct option!

All of these skills come best with plenty of practice!

For more how-to’s like these, and plenty of opportunities to put them into practice, you can depend on our OET online classes.

To learn more, reach out to us via email: [email protected] or call us on: 8971357938.

Source:- Top Tips For OET Listening Part C During Covid Lockdown