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Many of our students are confused about whether they should take PTE or OET for immigration and employment purposes, so we decided to provide some facts about which test may be right for your situation. 

Hi my name is Jay and I’m one of the expert teachers at E2Language. E2Language is the OET’s only authorized ‘feedback provider’. We are the only institute trained by the OET to give feedback on writing and speaking. We have an online OET course that is second to none. Our materials and our methods get students the score they need.

But is OET the right test for you? Although you are a medical professional, you can take other tests, such as the PTE. Should you take the OET? Here are some reasons why and why not that you should consider…

PTE or OET: Why you should take the OET instead of the PTE.

Medical vocabulary

The main reason doctors, nurses and physios take the OET instead of the PTE is because they feel more comfortable with the vocabulary associated with their profession. In the OET writing sub-test, you must write a letter using vocabulary that you are familiar with. You will not be faced with a question prompt about ‘spaceships’ or ‘global warming’. The same goes for reading and listening: The words you hear will be medical words; they will be familiar to you.

Professional development

The other big reason why doctors, nurses and physios choose the OET over other tests is that they feel it relates to their professional development. The tasks that you do in the OET are ones that mirror the workplace environment. Listening to consultation and taking notes in the listening sub-test, for example, is one such real-life task. Writing a discharge letter is another. The test can prepare you for your upcoming job in the hospital or clinic whereas the PTE will not really apply.

The OET takes into account the English skills that you will need in the workplace if you are a healthcare professional.

PTE or OET: Why you should take the PTE instead of the OET.

It’s cheaper

The cost of the PTE is substantially less than the OET, so if money is an issue then PTE might be a better option.

It’s quicker

The results of the PTE are released within 2-3 days of taking the test, so if time is an issue for you then the PTE might be a better option.

It has more tasks

Why would more tasks be a better thing? Wouldn’t that make it a worse test to take? Well… it depends on your attitude towards taking the test. If you see the PTE or OET as a barrier that you have to get through then it doesn’t really matter what you have to do, but if you see these tests as an opportunity to improve your spoken, written and comprehension of English then the PTE is arguably a more ‘rounded’ English tests. It tests more aspects of your language and as such gives you more opportunities to improve your English all ‘round. For example, in the reading section of the PTE, there are five different tasks, each of which tests a different aspect of reading and vocabulary. Preparing for the PTE, then, gives you a better insight into the English language.

Make sure you check out our blog’s free PTE practice questions and PTE writing sample.

It’s on a computer

I’m not sure about you, but I can’t write with a pencil anymore. Years of typing on a keyboard has rendered my handwriting skills redundant. While I haven’t taken the OET, I have taken the PTE and the IELTS. Typing, for me, is far easier than writing by hand.

The PTE is completely digital, which is certainly an advantage for tech-savvy test takers!

There aren’t many OET preparation materials

One of the problems with the OET is that the preparation materials are extraordinarily difficult to create. As such, there are very few ‘sub-tests’ on the internet to practice with, and usually what you find is sub-standard. E2Language is different in that our preparation materials are top quality. However, if you need HEAPS of practice materials because your English is low, then you should opt for the PTE because we have more practice materials. On the other hand, if your English is already very good, then you should consider doing the OET because you don’t need that much practice.

If you decide to take the PTE, make sure you visit the E2 PTE YouTube channel for webinars and video lessons like this one:

What else do you need to know about the OET?

If you are leaning towards the OET as your preferred test, there are some other things you should know before you go ahead and book your test.

A) Get feedback

Vocabulary and grammar aside, the way that you write a referral or a discharge letter is quite complicated. The method of selection, transformation, and organization requires practice, and more importantly, it requires feedback. You shouldn’t just get any old feedback, however. You need expert feedback from people who are officially trained by the OET – in other words, us. We know what you need to do to get an A or B on the OET writing.

B) Learn methods

OET Reading Part A is a real killer. You have 15 minutes to answer about 30 questions – or 1 question per 30 seconds. Without a method – without a step by step approach to this sub-test it is virtually impossible to score highly. There are two skills that OET candidates consistently fail and they are writing and reading.

PTE or OET: What should I do now?

If you need to become a registered nurse or practice medicine in Australia, for example, and you need to pass the OET or another test like the PTE then you should start your preparation immediately. Don’t underestimate how challenging these tests are. We’ve had candidates who have completed a four-year nursing degree in Australia – who have written essays and done workplace practice – yet fail the OET several times because they did not prepare adequately. This is the final step before you land your dream job – don’t let this test stop you.

If you decide to take the OET, make sure to visit our E2 OET YouTube channel for some free webinars and video lessons like this one:

Do you still feel like you need some expert advice about whether you should take PTE or OET? Contact us and one of our knowledgeable tutors can help you make your decision and select the PTE or OET preparation course that best suits your needs!

Written by Jay Merlo

All Comments 12
  • Anu Varghese says:

    l am Anu Varghese , I am a registered nurse and l studied general nursing and midwifery course (31/2years curse) .so, which course will be more suitable to me?like Oet, IELTS, pet……etc. can you please tell me for your valuable correct guideline… thank you

  • Hello,
    I am really Get confused. I’m a pharmacist & I can’t decide which test is proper to me. Which one is easier to get at least 4*7s or equivalent. Many friends recommend to get PTE & you mentioned in the previous comment that OET would be better for whom working as HCPs. Is it mandatory to get OET exam for us (pharmacist) or not?
    Please I need your advice.
    Thanks in advance.

    • It will depend what you are using your exam for- whether for PR, Visa applications etc. And different universities/companies will have different policies for which they accept and what score is minimum.

      Good luck!

  • Hi i recently did nusrsing. M completly confused which is best for me nd from which i will get overall 7 which is easiest for me. Plz fill me up with confusion

  • Hi, I got my OET test all B last year, but now I want to improve my English and also try to get the score as IELTS 8 either in OET or PTE. I am not sure which one I should choose because I am not really a typer but I have been hearing getting OET all As is way harder than getting PTE over 80. Can you help me?

    • The exam you choose depends on what you want to do in the future. If you plan on going to university you should check their requirements, for employment- ask them, and for immigration you must check with their visa policies.

  • Hi for doctors wholl practice in australia what PTE test should we apply PTE general or PTE academic? Any difference?

  • Mohd ihtesham uddin mubazer says:

    I am physiotherapist. Am confusing which course is better PTE Or OET .
    Need marks for PTE all modules 65 marks
    Need marks for OET all modules B grades.
    Plz give yur valuable opinion.


    I completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy but my secondary education was not the country where English is spoken so I need to demonstrate English ability to resister AHPRA. My results of IELTS was 6 but need 7. The score B of OET is acceptable for it. What test should I take?

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