international nursing programme

oet exam day what to bring

Guide to OET Test Day at Foyle International

If you are taking the OET exam at Foyle International here is some important information which you will need for the test day. All necessary information will also be emailed to you in advance from Foyle’s OET Venue Manager – please ensure you have ‘’ added to your ‘safe senders’ and keep an eye on your junk inbox!

1. Getting here

We are based in Derry city centre, just inside the city walls. Our address is 17-21 Magazine Street. We are a 5 minute walk from the Foyle Street Bus Depot.

2. Parking

If you are arriving by car then you can park nearby at the following locations:

Free on-street parking is available, although limited at Fahan Street.

3. Where to stay

Image: Maldron Hotel Derry

If you are travelling from outside of Derry and wish to book accommodation close-by, the Maldron Hotel is closest to Foyle International – about a 1-minute walk to the test venue. 

4. Test Day Registration – Morning exams (7.15AM - 8.15AM)

When you first arrive at Foyle International on the morning of the OET exam, you will need to go through a registration process before being permitted to enter the test room. 

Due to Covid 19 health and safety restrictions, you have been assigned a registration time which you will find in your email approximately one week before the OET exam. You must be present to register at this time. (Registration is usually between 7.15AM-8.15AM)

Late Candidates will not be permitted to enter the test room and may request a Test Day deferral.

What you need to bring

  • Photo ID that you used to register for the exam
  • Candidate Day Declaration Form, signed
  • A clear plastic bag with the items you are permitted to take into the test room
  • Stationary – including several 2B pencils for your exams
  • Ensure you read OET's guidelines about the items you need on test day and what you can/can't bring into the test room!

Read OET’s Ultimate Guide to Test Day: Part 1 

2b pencil for OET exam

5. Timetable for OET Test Day

Please note that the times stated in this timetable is when you must be seated in the test room, ready for the pre-test instructions.

  • 9.00AM - OET Listening sub-test
  • 10.00AM - OET Reading sub-test
  • 11.00AM - OET Writing sub-test
  • 12.30PM -  end of the day - OET Speaking sub-test

Note: The Listening, Reading and Writing tests run consecutively with only authorised bathroom breaks.

6. Re-registering for your Speaking Exam – from 12 noon

After you have completed the morning OET sub-tests, you will usually have a chance to retrieve your items from the cloakroom, leave the test venue to go and have lunch/a break.

You will need to re-register for the Speaking sub-test at least 30 minutes before your allocated Speaking sub-test time.

For more information on OET test day or about OET preparation courses at Foyle International, please get in touch at 

doctor and nurse working in the UK

5 reasons why OET is your best route to working in the UK

The Occupational English Test is the only healthcare-specific test that is internationally recognised. OET can help healthcare professionals achieve their dream of working in the UK. At Foyle, we offer OET to a range of healthcare professions, including Doctors and Nurses - supporting their dream of working in the UK.  Here are some reasons why OET is the best route to working in the UK: 

1. OET has been designed for you – a healthcare professional

OET Exams are designed with you and your healthcare profession in mind. For example, Nurses will sit an OET exam specifically for Nurses, whilst Doctors will sit an OET exam specifically for Doctors. This is the same for all 12 healthcare professions. This is important because the language and the scenarios covered in the example will be familiar to you as a healthcare profession. For example, the Nursing Speaking exam will be a role play of a patient presenting symptoms. The aim of OET is to assess how well you can communicate with patients and other healthcare staff. Compare this with other English tests i.e. IELTS – you may be writing an essay about global warming, and speaking to the examiner about your dream holiday!
OET doctor with child
Photo: OET

2. OET can be used for registration with your healthcare provider AND for your work permit

OET is accepted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), General Medical Council (GMC) as well as other healthcare regulators in the UK. OET is also accepted by UKVI (the UK Border Agency) for Tier 2 Health & Care visas. This is also known as a work permit.

3. Prepare for success in your UK career

OET Preparation Courses are designed to prepare you in your UK career as a nurse, doctor or other healthcare profession. OET is preparing you for work in an English-speaking medical environment. OET for Nurses | OET for Doctors | OET for Healthcare Professionals See Zambian nurse, Muulos OET success story below:

4. UK employers value OET

We know that healthcare professionals sitting the OET exam have the ultimate goal of working in the UK (or other English-speaking countries). As OET is accepted by various healthcare regulators, many NHS Hospitals, Trusts and private healthcare providers actively encourage their overseas recruits to take OET. 

5. OET is always evolving to meet the needs of the healthcare industry.

OET has frequently adapted the exam in order to address the needs of the healthcare industry and regulators around the world. For example, some of the skills tested in the OET exam include:
  • The candidate’s information-sharing ability with patients
  • Summarizing clinical notes
  • How well the healthcare professional can explain technical language to a patient in order for them to understand
In addition, OET has a range of different accents in the Listening test. For example, you may be listening to a consultant from Australia discussing research findings, whereas in the next section you could be listening to a doctor from Scotland talking to a patient. 

For more information about OET preparation courses or the OET exam at Foyle International, please get in touch at 

doctor from phillipines passed OET

5 common questions about OET

OET stands for the Occupational English Test and is an internationally-recognised English language test. Healthcare professionals who are taking or are  thinking about taking the OET exam usually have many questions.

Below we have addressed 5 of the most common questions healthcare professionals have about the OET exam.

1. How is OET different from other English tests?

OET has been designed specifically for healthcare professionals. 12 professions can take the OET exam.

OET assess the use of language and communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to register and practise in an English-speaking environment, such as the UK.

The exam involves real healthcare scenarios, and it tests your ability to communicate effectively with patients and colleagues.

2. What countries recognise OET as proof of English?

OET is recognised by health regulators across the world.

Australia, Ireland, Maldives, Malta, United Kingdom, Nambia, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, UAE, USA  and Ukraine.

In the UK, OET is accepted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and General Medical Council (GMC), as well as other healthcare regulators, as proof of English. OET is also accepted by UKVI for UK visas.

Photo by alex5248 via Canva

3. How much does the OET exam cost?

Candidates book the OET exam directly through OET. The fee is $587 AUD (usually around £325). The exam can be booked and paid for online through the OET website.

4. What is the duration of the OET exam?

The OET exam involves four sub-tests: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The entire exam takes around 3.5 hours.

The OET usually takes place on a Saturday and candidates are advised to keep the entire day free to complete the OET exam.


20 minutes


45 minutes


Approx. 45 minutes


60 minutes

5. How long does it take to receive OET results?

Candidates will receive their OET results approximately 16 business days after the OET exam. The results are published on the OET website, via the candidate’s log in portal.

The best way to prepare for the OET exam is to take a preparation course with an official provider, such as Foyle International. 

Check out our OET Preparation Courses here.

OET exam centre in UK

For more information about OET preparation courses or the OET exam at Foyle International, please get in touch at 

what is OET

What is OET?

What is OET? 

OET stands for the Occupational English Test and is an internationally-recognised English language test. The OET has been designed specifically for healthcare professionals who require a recognised English test to be able to work in the UK (and elsewhere).

OET is suitable for 12 healthcare professions:

  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Dentistry
  • Dietetics
  • Occupational Therapy
  •  Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Radiography
  • Speech Pathology
  • Veterinary Science

Why take OET?

OET is internationally recognised by healthcare regulators around the world. 

It can be used to register with health organisations in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the US and several other countries. 

In addition to registration, OET is accepted by UKVI for Tier 2 (employment visa) for healthcare professionals.

OET Test Format

The OET exam assesses four main skills: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

  • Listening (approx. 45 minutes)
  • Reading (60 minutes)
  • Writing (45 minutes)
  • Speaking (approx. 20 minutes)

Nurses who want to work in the UK require will require overall OET Grade B (Grade B in Reading, Listening and Speaking, and min. C+ in Writing) to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Doctors will need Grade B (or a points score of 350) in all areas for registration with the General Medical Council (GMC). 

Preparing for OET

If you are planning to take the OET exam, the best way to ensure your chances of success is by studying an OET preparation course with an official OET preparation provider.

Foyle International is both an official OET preparation provider AND OET test venue. Meaning students can both study OET with our expert tutors and take the OET exam in the one location – Foyle International.

Read: Foyle International becomes Northern Ireland's first OET Test Venue 

oet test venue

IELTS or OET? What’s the difference?

Academic IELTS is also accepted by UK healthcare bodies and usually require either IELTS 7.0 or 7.5 in all areas, depending on profession.

IELTS is not specific to health or medical care, and the IELTS exam can cover a very wide variety of topics. For example, you could be writing about climate change and then reading a comprehension about technology.

In contrast to this, OET is specific to healthcare professionals and the content is directly related to every day work environment.

OET sub-tests are profession-specific

The OET Reading and Listening papers are suitable for all 12 professions, whereas the Writing and Speaking are profession-specific.

For nurses, that means OET Writing sub-test will involve writing a referral letter to a doctor.

For the OET Speaking sub-test, nurses will demonstrate how well they can communicate with patients and other healthcare staff. The examiner will take the role of a patient or a colleague  and the nurse will play the real role of a nurse. It is not about testing the nurses medical knowledge, but rather their English language and communication skills.

OET for nurses

For more information about OET preparation courses or the OET exam at Foyle International, please get in touch at