Do you require some OET preparation material on how to pass OET speaking sub-test? In this article, Jay from E2Language will give you three simple steps for you to follow that will help you ace your OET examination!
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In the OET speaking exam the examiner will hand you a role play card. You will have a few minutes to prepare and then you will converse for up to five minutes.
To ace this part of the exam you need to follow a structure. You need three steps:
Step 1: initiate the conversation
Step 2: maintain the conversation and;
Step 3: conclude the conversation.
Initiating the conversation
It’s important to understand that although this is an English speaking exam it is a workplace simulation. As such, you are not the candidate; you are the medical professional. You need to take charge of the conversation.
When you look at the role play card the first section is the ‘scenario’. This section will tell you whether you know the patient or whether this is the first time you are meeting the patient. Use this information to construct your opening statement. If you know the patient then you can say something like:
Mrs Smith, it’s good to see you again.
Or if you don’t know the patient you can say something like:
Hello my name is Mr Doctor. What’s your name?
You then need to begin the consultation. It’s important that you follow the tasks on the role play card. They are your guide posts. Use them constructively. Understand that your tasks will relate directly to the patient’s tasks.
In a word, your tasks are ‘interconnected’. If you have to ask about “Meals on Wheels” you can be sure that the patient’s role play card will also have something there about “Meals on Wheels”. The role play cards are constructed in such a way that if you follow the tasks the conversation will follow a logical path.
How to pass OET speaking: Maintaining the conversation
OET examiners are not allowed to maintain the conversation. If it dries up, it is up to you to continue the conversation – not the OET examiner. You need to learn how to ask open-ended questions, not closed questions. Put simply ask questions that make the patient speak. Don’t ask questions that simply elicit a yes/no answer.
Don’t speak about nothing …
Although this is your speaking exam, you are being assessed on your ability to converse – not talk, the difference being that if you just talk, you are not talking with the patient. You need to engage the patient in a meaningful conversation. In short, you need to listen. Actually, you need to do three things:
Three tips on how to pass OET speaking:
a) Glance (at the task)
This is a cycle that you will follow for the full five minutes. You will glance at the role play card, ask a question of give a statement then listen to the patient’s response and either glance at the role play card again or answer the patient’s concern before glancing at the role play card.
If the conversation dies then you need to revive it. One way to do this is to prompt the patient to speak about something. For example, let’s say that you can see on your role play card something about ‘trouble while driving’.
So you know that the patient knows that he/she has trouble while driving. Why not ask him/her about that? Even though the topic has not been raised yet, you can simple ask: “Can you tell me about the problems you have while driving?” The patient will then begin to speak about that particular issue and the conversation will be revived. Keep it alive!
Another way to maintain the conversation is to complete the tasks in order. It’s not a good idea to skip tasks or do them in a random order. You don’t get points for being creative with the tasks. You just need to follow the logical order given to you and if you do happen to miss one then you can always come back to it.
How to pass OET speaking: It’s not a difficult puzzle (thankfully!)
Concluding the conversation
It’s difficult to tell how long you have been speaking for but if you take a tutorial with E2Language then you will have a much better idea. Either way, at the end of the conversation it’s a good idea to conclude it. You can this by summarizing the tasks that you have spoken about.
This is a neat way to chew up the extra time and it adds a sense of professionalism to your role play rather than you sitting there awkwardly. For example, you can say something like: “It’s been good chatting to you Mrs Smith. Let’s summarize what we have spoken about today. Firstly, you mentioned… You also described…” Of course, you don’t have to use your memory here; you can use your task card to remind you about what you spoke about to make a great conclusion.
Initiate, maintain and conclude
If want to know how to pass OET speaking, you’ve now found these key three steps: initiate, maintain, conclude. You will feel more confident on test day because you won’t have to ask the OET person what to do. You will know what to do. The biggest take home message is that you need to be professional. The OET examiners are listening for your ability to engage in a professional way and that means that you know how to start, continue and end a conversation as a nurse, doctor, dentist or physiotherapist, etc.
I hope you have found this OET preparation article helpful; make sure you use the three steps to to enhance your OET Speaking sub-test score! Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any of your own tips on how to pass OET speaking, or if you have any concerns about the OET speaking section in general.
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Written by Jay.