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OET Reading FAQs

Q: How is this section structured?

A. This section is broken into two parts, each containing one task. Part A is a summary reading task where you must scan 3-4 related texts and fill in the missing words (represented by blank spaces) to complete each summary. You will have to fill between 25-35 gaps in total, and you will have 15 minutes to do so. Part B is a multiple-choice task where you must read two passages (600-800 words each) and answer 8-10 multiple choice questions for each one (for a total of 16-20 questions).

Q. What skills are being tested in this section?

A. Part A is really about assessing your scanning/skimming skills. In workplace situations, healthcare professionals will often have to synthesize information quickly and accurately in English. This task is designed to ensure that you are processing the meaning of the texts efficiently, despite the stressful time limit.

Part B is more about your attention to detail. Again, in the workplace, healthcare professionals must make important (sometime life-altering) decisions about a person’s wellbeing based on information they are given. This task is aimed at testing your ability to pinpoint important information within a larger text, as well as your ability to understand the general concept in an in-depth way.

Q. How many times will I have to do each task?

A. You only have to complete the summary task in Part A once. In part B, you will have two similar but separate tasks to complete in the 45 minute time limit. You must read and analyze two unrelated texts, then answer a number of questions for each, so it’s important to use your time wisely and move on to the next text or question if you find yourself stuck.