OET vs IELTS: Choose Right English Proficiency Test

OET vs IELTS: Choosing the right english proficiency test for your goals

PI - Prepare IELTS


OET vs IELTS English Proficiency Test


Selecting the appropriate English proficiency test is crucial for individuals pursuing opportunities such as immigration, professional registration, or academic endeavours. If you belong to the healthcare sector, choosing the right English Proficiency Test could be more confusing as you have 2 options – IELTS vs OET. 

The OET (Occupational English Test) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are prominent English Language proficiency tests. However, each exam has specific needs. So, which one to choose between OET vs IELTS, is a common question that arises in aspirants' minds. 

In this regard, this blog aims to assist individuals in making an informed choice with IELTS vs OET Comparison. Let’s get started and know the best one for you.

You May Also Read: Types of English Proficiency Tests

What is the OET Exam?

The OET is a language proficiency test designed for healthcare professionals. It assesses English language skills in a medical context, evaluating candidates' abilities to communicate effectively in healthcare settings. 

The test consists of four sub-tests - Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Each sub-test is tailored to healthcare scenarios, ensuring relevance to the professional context of test-takers.

What is the IELTS Exam?

IELTS is a widely recognised English language proficiency test that evaluates individuals' competencies to communicate effectively in English for various purposes, including immigration, study, and work. 

The IELTS exam comprises four sections – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. It is a general test taken by a diverse range of candidates, including students, professionals, and individuals seeking immigration opportunities.

Also Read: IELTS Exam Format

OET vs IELTS - Exam Pattern

Understanding the exam pattern is crucial for proper preparation. Below, you can explore the difference between IELTS and OET exam patterns.

Type OET Exam Pattern IELTS Exam Pattern


It involves listening to healthcare-related recordings and answering questions. 

It involves listening to various recordings and responding to related questions. 


It focuses on healthcare-related reading materials with task types specific to the medical field.

It comprises reading passages with a range of question types. 


Requires writing a letter or other healthcare-related documents.

Requires candidates to complete two writing tasks: Task 1 (report writing) and Task 2 (essay writing). 


Assesses speaking skills through simulated healthcare consultations. 

Assesses speaking skills through a face-to-face interview with a certified examiner.

Difference between IELTS and OET

Below, you can check the major differences between IELTS and OET exams.

S. No. Criteria OET IELTS



Occupational English Test

International English Language Testing System


Conducting Authority

Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Trust (CBLA)

British Council and IDP Education Ltd


Countries that Accept the Score

United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand (NZ), Ireland, Ukraine, Dubai, Singapore, and Namibia

Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America


Popular for

Healthcare sector

To study, work, and migrate to English-speaking countries


Exam Pattern

The entire OET Exam is divided into four sections - Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking 

The IELTS exam pattern comprises four sections - Listening, Writing, Reading, and Speaking. 


Type of Exam

12 versions for different healthcare professions like nurses, dentists, doctors, pharmacists, vets, radiographers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, etc.

2 versions of the IELTS exam (Academic and General Training)


Exam Duration

170 Min. 

165 Min. (2 Hrs and 45 Min.)


Type of Questions

Each part of the exam is related to real workplace scenarios for healthcare professionals

Every aspect of the test can be on a topic that may or may not be related to healthcare


Range  of Exam Score 

On a scale of A (Highest) to E (Lowest)

On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest)


Exam Fees

AUD 587

INR 16,500


Exam Validity

2 years

2 years


Exam Test Dates

Available every month

Once a week


Availability of results

Varies as per the authorities

Written test: 13 days

CBT: 3-5 days after your test

IELTS vs OET – Which is Easier?

The perception of difficulty varies based on individual strengths, backgrounds, and the specific requirements of each candidate. However, you can consider the following factors to choose the best one and most accessible for you. 

Professional Background

  • OET - Healthcare professionals may find OET more tailored to their expertise, potentially making it more approachable.

  • IELTS - Individuals from various professions may find IELTS more accessible due to its general nature.

Contextual Relevance

  • OET - Healthcare practitioners may benefit from the contextual relevance of OET content to their daily professional activities.

  • IELTS - Candidates with diverse backgrounds may appreciate the variety of topics covered in IELTS, allowing for a more generalised preparation approach.

Writing Preferences

  • OET - Those comfortable with writing healthcare-related documents may find OET's writing tasks manageable.

  • IELTS - Individuals adept at report writing and essay composition may find IELTS writing tasks less challenging. 

Assessing individual needs, goals, and preferences is essential when determining which test aligns better with personal circumstances.

People Also Like: IELTS Academic Reading Test


In conclusion, choosing OET Exam vs IELTS depends on individual goals, professional background, and preferences. Healthcare professionals seeking specific assessments of their language proficiency in a medical context may find OET more suitable. In contrast, individuals with diverse goals and professions might lean towards the versatility of IELTS. Understanding the exam patterns and differences assists in making an informed decision that aligns with the individual's goal.

We hope the information shared in the blog will be useful to you in making an informed decision regarding IELTS vs OET. However, you can contact Prepare IELTS (PI) expert counsellors if you seek guidance on test prep to study abroad. Our team of education experts is dedicated to providing you with the best guidance in the IELTS exam. You can get a one-on-one counselling session online via our platform. Contact us at info@prepareieltsexam.com or call us at +91 9773398388.


Yes, candidates can take both tests based on their specific goals and requirements.

Both OET and IELTS are widely accepted for immigration purposes. It depends on the specific requirements of the immigration authorities in the destination country.

While healthcare experience is beneficial, it is not a strict requirement to take the OET. The test assesses language proficiency within a healthcare context.

The perceived difficulty may vary among individuals. Healthcare professionals may find OET more aligned with their expertise, while others may prefer the general nature of IELTS.

While some skills may be transferable, switching between OET and IELTS may require additional preparation due to differences in content and format. Candidates should carefully consider their decision before making a switch.


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