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Reading Part C requires a more in-depth understanding of the texts than Reading Part A or Reading Part B.  In this post we are going to go through all the essential facts about this part of the OET Reading sub-test and give you a few tips to get you started.

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What does Reading Part C consist of?

OET Reading Part C consists of two semi-academic texts of approximately 800 words.  For each text, you must answer six 4-option multiple questions (i.e. choosing between A, B, C, or D).  That means there are a total of twelve questions in Reading Part C.

How long do I get to do OET Reading Part C?

You get a total of 45 minutes to complete Reading Parts B and C.  However, the texts in Reading Part C are significantly longer and more complex than those in Part B and require a different type of understanding, as do the answer options (see below for further explanation).  We recommend spending no more than 12 of the 45 minutes on Part B, and leaving the remaining time for OET Reading Part C.

Note: Remember Reading Part A is separate to Reading Parts B and C

What skills is Reading Part C testing?

OET Reading Part C is all about understanding the inferences, attitudes, and opinions of the writer and other people quoted in the texts, as well as the writer’s purpose.  These ideas might be explicitly stated or implied in the language.  That means it is often asking you to “read between the lines”, so to speak, to make sure you can show a deeper understanding of a text.  You are also being tested on your ability to understand more complex language.

What text types will I get in Reading Part C?

As we previously mentioned, OET Reading Part C involves semi-academic texts. These are the types of texts you might find on websites or in journals for a general medical audience.  They will often discuss medical research and case studies and expert views regarding these topics.  

What types of questions will I see in Reading Part C?

All twelve questions in Reading Part C are 4-option multiple-choice questions.  As I said earlier, the questions focus on opinions, attitudes, and showing an understanding of complex language.  Some examples of questions might include:

  1. What point is made about rehabilitation programs in the first paragraph?
  1. By quoting Dr Smith in the third paragraph, the writer shows that the doctor
  1. What does the word ‘those’ refer to in the fourth paragraph? 

You will note two types of questions in the examples above. Questions 1 and 3 above are direct questions, while question 2 is a sentence completion.  These are the two types of questions you might get in Reading Part C.

You will also notice that each question has a different focus.  Question 1 is asking you to understand a particular opinion or attitude expressed about rehabilitation programs.  Question 2 is asking you to identify what the writer is trying to achieve by including Dr Smith’s quote. And finally, Question 3 is asking you to show understanding of a reference word.  These are just some examples of what the questions in Reading Part C might focus on.

Some tips for Reading Part C

Identifying keywords in the question and answer options is crucial for success in OET Reading Part C. These will help you focus and spot any subtle clues in the answer options.

Becoming familiar with the language of opinion is also extremely important for understanding these texts, and you need to get used to understanding what is being implied in language use, rather than just being satisfied with a surface understanding of a text.

The best way to practice the skills you need for the OET Reading sub-test (and the other three sub-tests) is with high quality materials and by consulting expert teachers that know the test inside out, and that’s what E2Language offers. Sign up to one of our OET packages to take part in our daily live classes and 1-on-1 tutorials to get the best OET preparation experience going around.

Other OET Reading Articles to help you pass!

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