We all know that IELTS and OET are required English language exams to validate our language proficiency to work or study abroad. If you are confused on which test to choose, here is everything you need to know.
Whether you are planning to study or work in countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK or the USA, you will have to qualify a language assessment test like IELTS or OET. These exams mainly measure the ability of test-takers to communicate in the four Basic English language skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing.
IELTS is The International English Language Testing System that evaluates and measures the language proficiency of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication. OET is the Occupational English Test which is the language assessment test designed for healthcare professionals. Before we choose, let’s get to know what both these tests are about.
IELTS- The International English Language Testing System
IELTS is an English language exam required to be taken by international candidates considering to study or work in a country where English is the main language of communication. IELTS is accepted as evidence of English language proﬁciency for study, employment and migration in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA.
So, how is an IELTS exam?
- The IELTS exam has four parts including Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. The duration of the test is 2 hours and 45 minutes. IELTS is a score on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to a specified competence and level in the English language. However, each country sets its own IELTS requirements. For up-to-date information regarding the IELTS requirements, you can visit relevant government websites.
- The IELTS exam is conducted by IDP Education Australia, British Council, and Cambridge English Language Assessment. It is widely accepted in the universities in the UK and Australia. It is accepted in more than 3000 institutions in the US and thousands of institutions in English speaking countries.
- The IELTS exam is conducted 5–6 times a month but it is normally advised that you should not appear for the exam any closer than once in a period of two months. It has a validity of 2 years.
There are two types of IELTS exams: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. IELTS Academic exam is for those who wish to pursue higher education or professional registration abroad. The IELTS General Test is to be taken if you want to study, work or move to major English speaking countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK where English is the main language used for communication.
OET – Occupational English Test
OET or Occupational English Test is an exclusive English language test that has been specifically designed for health care professionals. The OET exam has been conducted by CBLA or Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment which, a collaboration of Cambridge English and Boxhill Institute.
Healthcare professionals who are looking to work or study in the healthcare sector in the UK, the USA, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Dubai, Singapore or Namibia are required to qualify the OET test. Now, OET has been officially recognised in the US. OET exam has been specifically designed for 12 healthcare professions including:
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Pathology
- Veterinary Science
So, what is the structure of OET?
The entire OET Exam is divided into four sections, similar to that of the IELTS. The Listening Section, the Reading Section, the Writing Section, and the Speaking Section are the four components. 2 hrs and 55 mins is the duration of an OET exam. The scoring system is different from that of IELTS. The scoring is marked on a scale of A (Highest) to E (Lowest)
The validity of an OET exam test result is 2 years. You can attend the exam twice a month. Results will be delivered within 16 business days after your exam. OET exam centres are available in over 120 locations across 40 countries. OET is held 14 times every year.
IELTS vs OET
We know that IELTS and OET are similar in many ways. Both these tests are language proficiency tests to evaluate English language skills to register in various countries.
● Which one is easy?
Neither of the exams is easier than the other from a linguistic perspective. Both IELTS 7.5 and OET B show that you have an advanced level in English. Usually, people find OET simpler to understand as it is healthcare-oriented and tests the language you use in practice.
OET exams are specifically for healthcare professionals. Therefore, if you are working in the healthcare sector, you might find OET materials and language familiar. The IELTS test, on the other hand, tests your English language proficiency in generic terms.
● Which test is affordable?
IELTS is much cheaper than OET. IELTS is available in more places and more test dates are available than OET. For the preparation of IELTS exam, you can easily access many resources which can be from online and from private classes whereas OET has limited resources.
IELTS may be preferable if you are unsure of where you might work or study in the future. So, what if you fail an exam? If you fail one of the four skills in IELTS, you have to take all four again whereas an OET candidate has to score only for the failed component.
Which one should you choose?
As you read, there are many similarities and differences between these two tests. However, choosing one depends on your convenience. There is no one that is easier than the other. But, if you are a healthcare professional, we suggest you OET. IELTS is a more general test and is cheaper.
Anyhow, doing a different test is not going to gain scores if you aren’t proficient in the English Language. So it is important that you improve your skills whichever test you choose.
Let’s Wrap Up
So don’t wait. Check out which one suits you. Check out the cost, syllabus, exam pattern, result publishing and every detail before you register for an exam. Also, do not forget to look over the countries accepting these tests. Get started. Earn your skills and register today. Don’t wait to fly to your dream place.