The OET (Occupational English Test) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System)  are used to test the English language skills of candidates in different parts of the world. The IELTS test will assess your English skills within the context of a vast range of topics whereas the OET test is specifically designed for healthcare professionals. Both the tests assess the four linguistic skills, namely Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. A candidate’s decision to choose between the IELTS or OET examination depends on certain key factors such as:

The Context of the Examination

The advantage of the OET test for healthcare professionals is that the candidates can use their experience acquired during their studies and workplace situations. Vocabulary and content specific to the profession are one of the main highlights of OET examination.

On the other hand, the IELTS test is taken by professionals and students in all sectors and the context is more common and extensive in nature. The situations in the test may be unfamiliar to the candidate.

If you have the necessary English Language skills, both tests will not be a problem for you.

Types of Examination

OET test is offered in 12 versions for different medical professions: Doctors, Dentists, Pharmacists, Nurses, Optometrists, Podiatrists, Occupational therapists, Dieticians, Physiotherapists, Radiographers, Speech Pathologist and Vets. Reading and Listening sections are the same for all versions whereas the Speaking and Writing sections are designed to suit the specific scenarios in each profession.

IELTS test is offered in two versions – Academic and General. The Academic test is intended for Higher Education purposes and the General Training test is considered more suitable for immigration and job purposes. The Speaking and Listening modules are the same for both versions whereas the Reading and Writing modules differ in their contexts.

How to prepare for both tests?

Preparation for OET requires the test takers to be familiar with a wide range of healthcare scenarios and the candidate has to use a profession-specific language. They need sufficient knowledge to understand medical texts and should be proficient to write a healthcare related referral letter.

In order to prepare for the IELTS exam, the candidate has to learn the adequate amount of vocabulary, complex sentence structures and grammar. The test takers should develop the ability to understand lectures, discussions and express their opinions confidently in fluent English. They need to learn report writing based on a variety of data and different range of essays.

Scoring Pattern

OET examination is graded from A to E whereas the IELTS examination is marked out of 9. Required individual grade or score is needed in both examinations.The score equivalency chart between the two tests is as follows:



7-7.5 B
5.5-6.5 C
4.5-5.5 D
4 E

Examination cost & Test Centres

IELTS test is much cheaper compared to OET and there are more test venues and available test dates for IELTS examination. This is one of the major advantages of the IELTS test.

Which test is more suitable?

When a candidate considers money and the availability of test dates as the main factor, the IELTS test is the suitable choice.The OET test is advantageous for healthcare professionals as they are already familiar with most test scenarios.

But for both test, the English language skill level of the candidate should be good enough and we cannot reach a conclusion that one test is easier than the other. The candidates should focus on improving their English skills in a general context, no matter which test they choose.

Want to know more about IELTS and OET?

Bemax Academy, being one of the best IELTS and OET coaching centres in India, has guided over 5000 successful candidates in both the IELTS and the OET examinations. Our well-experienced trainers make sure that the candidate achieves the required score or grade in the first attempt itself. Our IELTS and OET training centres in Kerala located in Kollam, Mevaram, Kottarakkara and Pathanamthitta are well-equipped with the latest study materials and full-fledged listening labs. Besides, we also offer OET online coaching with flexible timings for each candidate.

For more information about IELTS and OET examinations, coaching and registration,

Call us at +91-9544889890