Home Education Which test should nurses take? The ELTS or the OET?

Which test should nurses take? The ELTS or the OET?

by Uneeb Khan
IELTS pakistan

If you want to work as a nurse in the UK, you may already know that you need to show that you can speak and write English. The ICD now accepts the Occupational English Test (OET) for registration, but is it really better than IELTS Pakistan? Let’s take a look at both…

What does IELTS mean?

IELTS, which stands for “International English Language Testing System,” is a general English language test that is recognized and accepted in all English-speaking countries, including the UK, Australia, New Zealand recognized in the USA, and many others.

Who is the OET for?

The Occupational English Test (OET) is a language test for people who work in health care. It was first made for countries like Australia and New Zealand. But in November 2017, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) started letting people register in the UK based on this assessment.

Which test should you take?

IELTS is always the best choice if you want to move to the UK because it is the “gold standard.” It is a more general test of English than just a test of work-related English. This will have a bigger effect on your life outside of work in the UK, and you’ll also get a qualification that is more widely accepted and recognized.

But it could be said that the IELTS focuses on topics and language that aren’t important for healthcare workers.

IELTS is the better choice for most people because it covers more countries and helps you understand complicated English better. On the other hand, if you work in health care, the OET could be a better choice, especially for nurses, because it has more relevant content.

Which is the easier test?

As expected, the two tests are different in how hard they are. In some ways, the OET is easier because it is more focused on health care, so you can use your knowledge, vocabulary, and experiences in health care. This means that the writing and speaking parts of the test would be a little easier for you because you would already know what to do. During the written test, you’ll be asked to write a referral letter for a patient, and during the speaking test, you’ll have to talk to the examiner, who will be acting as a patient.

IELTS is different from the OET because it is not just for people in the medical field. Usually, professionals and students from all kinds of fields take this test. This means that the topics and information covered will be more general and come from a variety of sources.

For the written part of the test, you will have to write an essay, write a formal letter, and analyze written information. For the speaking part of the test, you will talk with the examiner about certain topics.

How do you score the IELTS?

IELTS scores are given on a scale from 0 to 9. To pass IELTS, you must get a total score of 7 or higher on the Reading, Listening, and Speaking parts. For Writing, you need a score of 6.5.

How do you score the OET?

The Occupational English Test, unlike the IELTS, is graded (A-E). To pass, you need a B or an A on the whole.

Here’s a quick look at how IELTS and OET are different:

Test time

IELTS: 2 hours and 45 minutes

About 3 hours for the OET


IELTS: \ (30 mins) (30 mins)

You will be asked to listen to 4 recordings and answer questions based on what you heard. There will be two talks or monologues and two conversations on the recordings. You’ll be asked to “fill in the blanks” or “match the following,” as well as to label, finish sentences, and do other things.


(50 minutes)

There are two parts to the OET listening test. You’ll be asked to take notes on a patient consultation in Part A. In Part B, you’ll listen to a healthcare lecture and then be asked to fill in the blanks and answer multiple-choice questions.

Reading IELTS: (1 hour)

You’ll be given three long passages of text from magazines, newspapers, and other sources. Then you’ll be asked to answer questions and do tasks based on what you read. Some of the questions might be multiple choice, true or false, fill in the blank, identify, etc.

OET: \ (1 hour) (1 hour)

There are two parts to the OET reading test. Part A has four short texts, and you must fill in the blanks to summarize what the texts are about. Part B has you read two longer texts and answer multiple-choice questions about them.

Writing IELTS: (1 hour)

There are two tasks on the IELTS writing test. The first one takes 20 minutes. You’ll need to look at the data and graphs given and write about them.

During the second task, you will be given a topic and asked to write an essay about it.

OET: \ (45 mins) (45 mins)

On the OET writing test, you will have to read some case notes and then write a letter of discharge,  

Speaking IELTS: (15 mins)

The IELTS speaking test has three parts. In the first part, you’ll talk about your home, family, hobbies, and interests. In the second and third parts, you’ll be given a task card with a topic to talk about.

Before you start the OET Pakistan (20 minutes), you’ll have a short talk with the examiner to warm up. The main test will be two role-plays in which you play a nurse and the examiner plays a patient. The interaction will be based on a topic card that will have been chosen.

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