EDUCATION

Difference Between PTE and OET: Which Test Is Right for You?

Are you a non-native English speaker looking to work or study in an English-speaking country? If yes, you must demonstrate your English language skills to get admission to the desired country. Two of the most popular English proficiency tests are the PTE (Pearson Test of English) and the OET (Occupational English Test). While both tests assess English proficiency, they have some significant differences.

This article will explore the differences between PTE and OET, finding the purpose, eligibility, course structure, OET and PTE course fees, and everything else to help you make an informed decision.

Purpose

The first difference between PTE and OET is their purpose. PTE is a general English proficiency test designed for students and professionals seeking to study, work or migrate to English-speaking countries.

On the other hand, OET is an English proficiency test designed for healthcare professionals seeking to register and work in healthcare settings. So, if you’re a healthcare professional, OET is the right choice. If not, then PTE would be a better option.

The PTE and OET exam fees vary due to their varied purpose. Therefore it’s essential to know the difference, so you know the estimated difference in the exam fees too.

Content

Another difference between PTE and OET is their content. While both tests assess English proficiency, the content of the tests is different. PTE tests your overall English proficiency, including speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. It assesses your ability to use English in academic and general settings.

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In contrast, OET focuses on English language skills relevant to healthcare professionals, such as writing referral letters, taking patient histories, and communicating with patients and colleagues. Due to the difference in content, there is a huge variation in the exam preparation strategies too.

Format

The format of the two tests is also different. PTE is a computer-based test with multiple-choice questions, whereas OET is a paper-based test with scenario-based questions. PTE consists of 20 question formats, including multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blanks, and essay writing. On the other hand, OET includes four sub-tests: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

The Writing and Speaking sub-tests are profession-specific and require you to write a letter and engage in a simulated conversation with a patient or a colleague. The Listening and Reading sub-tests are more general and test your ability to understand spoken and written English.

Scoring

PTE and OET also differ in their scoring systems. PTE uses a computer-based scoring system, whereas human examiners score OET. The PTE and OET scores are valid for two years, and some regulatory bodies require a specific minimum score in each module.

PTE uses a unique algorithm that assesses your English proficiency and provides you with a score on a scale of 10-90. OET, on the other hand, uses a grading system of A, B, C, and D, with A being the highest grade.

Availability

PTE has a broader availability as it is acceptable in more locations worldwide. Also, the applicants can take the exam at any time of the year. On the other hand, OET has specific test dates and locations, with limited availability in some regions. It is essential to consider the location and timing of the tests when deciding which one to take. The availability of these tests also determines the OET and PTE course fees.

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Fees

The fees of the two tests are another significant difference. PTE is generally cheaper than OET. The fees vary depending on the location. Presently the PTE course fee in Australia is AUD 410 for both PTE Academic and PTE Academic Online tests.

OET exam fee is slightly costlier than PTE. In Australia, you must pay around AUD 587 for the same. So, if you’re on a tight budget, PTE is the better option. However, there will be a change in course selection.

Duration

The duration of the two tests is also different. PTE is a three-hour test, while OET is a little longer, lasting around four hours. However, the duration of OET can vary depending on the location and the number of candidates taking the test that day.

Test Frequency

The frequency of the tests is another difference between PTE and OET. You can take PTE as many times as you want without limits on the number of attempts. However, you have to wait for three months before retaking the test. In contrast, OET only offers a maximum of three attempts yearly.

Test Preparation

Both PTE and OET offer test preparation materials and courses to help you prepare for the test. PTE offers an online course, practice tests, and a test-taker handbook to help you prepare for the test. Similarly, OET offers online courses, practice tests, and study materials. So, regardless of which test you choose, you will have access to resources to help you prepare.

Concluding Words

PTE and OET are popular English proficiency tests, but they differ significantly. PTE is a general English proficiency test designed for students and professionals seeking to study, work or migrate to English-speaking countries. At the same time, OET is an English proficiency test designed for healthcare professionals seeking to register and work in healthcare settings. The content, format, scoring, cost, duration, test frequency, and test preparation materials of the two tests also differ. Ultimately, your test depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. Therefore, before deciding which test to take, carefully consider the differences between the two tests and choose the one that best suits your needs.

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If you are still confused or have decided and want to kickstart your preparations, contact English Wise. We provide free study materials, individual classes and all the necessary guidance so you can qualify for the test easily.

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