IELTS or TOEFL Not Required for Doctors and Nurses in UK

    Sayantani Barman Sayantani Barman
    Study Abroad Expert

    Medical professionals like doctors, dentists, midwives and nurses who dream to practice in foreign hospitals of UK will not need to write IELTS or TOEFL exam as English language proficiency test. The UK will only accept OET score. 

    OET or Occupational English Test is an international English language exam which measures communicative skills of healthcare professionals who wish to practice in an English speaking nation. In UK, General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council are the two renowned healthcare boards. For medical practice, applicants earlier have to clear OET to register into these healthcare boards. Apart from OET, practitioners also have to appear for IELTS or TOEFL for visa requirements. CBLA in a collaboration with Box Hill Institute and Cambridge Assessment English conducts OET. OET is considered as a language proficiency exam required for registration to any major healthcare councils located in Ukraine, Namibia, Singapore, Dubai, New Zealand, Australia, Irelands and UK. 

    Sujata Stead, CEO of Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment (CBLA), conducting body of OET said that UK Home Office decided that English language proficiency test (IELTS or TOEFL) are enough to practice at any relevant medical hospitals. Professionals are not required to appear for any kind of other exams for Tier 2 visa. She also added this rigorous change has been announced by the UK government so that medical industry shouldn’t be hampered due to lack of practitioners. 

    Will OET help Indian students to practice medicine in UK?

    Every year, OET takes place in 110 locations or more across 40 countries. Mostly this exam is taken by medical professionals in fields like medicine, dentistry, nursing, dietetic, pharmacy, occupational therapy, radiography, speech pathology, optometry, and veterinary science. Conducting body didn’t make any passing marks for OET. Each medical organization keeps its own score band for OET. Applicants have to score that OET score to work in a particular medical organization. 

    OET Preparation Tips

    Applicants who want to practice medicine in any of English speaking nations can appear only for OET exam now. As compared to IELTS Preparation tips, OET does not require wide preparation tips to score well. If an applicant has a good command over language can easily perform well in this exam. Like other language proficiency tests, OET has four sections like reading, writing, listening and speaking. Applicants can go through the official website of OET to get a clear idea about the exam and its pattern. In the official website, applicants can also sign up for offline or online coaching classes for preparation. 

    OET vs IELTS

    Both these are English language proficiency exams. As per new rule, now medical practitioners can appear for OET only to get job opportunities in medical industry of UK. Exam pattern of OET is easier in comparison to IELTS. As OET is a healthcare specific industry, therefore exam format is easier. Writing and speaking sections in OET are easier than IELTS. For writing test, the test taker has to write a referral letter for the patient. It will be related to healthcare industry, therefore it will be easier to attempt. Similarly for speaking test, the test taker has to interact with the examiner who will act as a patient. 

    Where IELTS measures communicative skills of the language through reading, writing, speaking and listening. Mostly test takers who want to pursue higher education or migrate for employment opportunities to English speaking nations write IELTS. Whereas in writing section of IELTS, test takers have to write opinionated essays with incorporation of logical reasoning. Speaking section of IELTS comprises 3 tasks. Test takers have to make a general introduction for Task 1 and for Task 2, one needs to speak on a particular topic for 4-5 minutes expressing logic completely. 

    Comparison between IELTS and OET

    OET vs IELTS

    Scoring for IELTS and OET

    Test takers are being measured on the band of 0-9 for IELTS Score. For each correct answer, test taker scores 1 raw point. Then those points are being converted to the scale of 0-9. To get admission in the best universities of the world, candidates need to get an average score of 6.5-7.0 on overall band. Whereas OET is being scored on the scale of A-E. To get employment opportunities in the best medical institution, test takers need an overall band of B or A.



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