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What Skills are being Tested in OET Speaking Sessions?

The OET Speaking Test is a method of evaluating your verbal communication skills. It assesses whether you can communicate effectively in real-life situations. It was introduced in the late 1980s. After that, it became one of the most accepted tests for professional purposes in Europe and beyond.

The interlocutor verifies your identity and career. You engage in a brief warm-up conversation about your professional history. It takes about 20 minutes to administer the Speaking test. Materials designed for your profession are used in this section. Here is a brief on how OET speaking test works:

  • The speaking test assesses the candidates’ ability to communicate in a clinical setting.
  • Initially, there will be a warm-up session that is not assessed.
  • There are two role-plays. Before each role-play,  three minutes will be given for preparation.
  • The speaking time is five minutes.

What is being tested in OET Speaking Session?

Your performance in the two Speaking role-plays is graded according to nine criteria. It includes a band score assigned for each. Linguistic and clinical communication are the two elements that form the nine criteria.

Linguistic Criteria:

Intelligibility: Your pronunciation, intonation, and accent are tested.

Fluency: The effect of your speech’s speed and smoothness on the comprehension of your listeners.

Language appropriateness: How your words, tone, and professionalism affect comprehension.

Grammar and expression resources: The effect of your word choices and degree of grammatical precision.

Clinical Communication Criteria:

Building relationships: How your choice of conversation opener and expressions of empathy and respect affect your listener’s comfort.

Understanding and including the patient’s point of view: The degree to which you include the patient in the dialogue. It will affect your listener’s comfort and comprehension.

Providing structure: How you present information and propose new subjects for debate.

Information gathering: How your audience will grasp what you are saying will depend on the questions you ask and how you listen to their answers.

Giving information: How you provide information and ensure its comprehended impacts. And how comfortable and knowledgeable your audience feels.

Interpersonal Communication in the OET Exam

Interpersonal communication skills are a vital part of the OET speaking test. An oral English skill exam assesses your ability to speak, write and listen in an English-speaking environment. To pass this test, you must prove good interpersonal communication skills. You can do it by communicating effectively with others during your interview or presentation. 

Three primary interpersonal communication skills are listening comprehension, speaking fluency, and negotiation strategies.

Social Interaction in the OET Speaking Test

In the OET speaking test, social interaction is one of the essential skills you need to own. The examiner will ask you questions about your ability to interact with others. This can be done through small talk or more formal discussions. It could be a conversation about current affairs or politics.

The OET examiners expect candidates to have good interpersonal skills. These include being able to:

  • Build rapport with others by maintaining eye contact and being responsive during conversations;
  • Respond appropriately when asked questions by the examiner;
  • Speak clearly and expressively (i.e., use the correct grammar);

How to Succeed in the OET Speaking Test?

To succeed in the OET speaking test, you must constantly develop your interpersonal communication skills.

The ability to communicate with others effectively is key to success in any career or field. You must develop specific interpersonal communication skills to work effectively with others and build positive relationships. It includes effective listening and giving feedback on their performance.

One way of improving your interpersonal communication skills is by practicing daily at home. To do so, you can try to role-play scenarios where you pretend to be talking with someone else. You can join our online classes from the comfort of your home and learn from experts. You can also practice reading body language by watching videos online. It can give you an idea of how people move around during a conversation.


The OET speaking test assesses your ability to communicate effectively in different situations. You must take this test seriously and prepare yourself before sitting for the exam. Dynamic Academy at DHS can help you train yourself for OET. 

We have our training center where we train you for OET. We also introduce you to focused results and ensure you ace the test on the first attempt. By following our tips on improving your interpersonal communication skills, you will be well-equipped to succeed at this challenging exam!

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About the author

Based out of the UAE , Dynamic Health Staff (www.dynamichealthstaff.com) is an industry leader in overseas recruitment since 1977. We have 12 offices in 6 countries.

Each year, we give jobs to over 2500 healthcare professionals.

If you are confused which country is right for you, click here : https://dynamichealthstaff.com/countries .

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