Melbourne Language Centre  > Courses > English for Health Professionals (OET Preparation)

English for Health Professionals (OET Preparation)

CRICOS Code: 080626C

Intakes: Every Monday

Course Length: 1–52 weeks

There is no minimum or standard course length.   Please contact us for a 1-4 week intensive course.

Campus: Melbourne City

Hours: 20 hours per week (Monday to Friday)

Age: 18 years +

Course Overview:

This course is designed to help overseas healthcare professionals prepare for the language and communication skills needed in a variety of clinical contexts.

The course focuses on improving students’ language skills (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) as well as sub-skills (Pronunciation, Vocabulary, Grammar, Writing conventions, and Punctuation) in their particular professional situations and increasing their chances of passing the Occupational English Test (OET). While practice tests are of benefit, they are not sufficient on their own to prepare students for the exam; therefore, the course also:

  • Recreates an exam room environment to help students adjust to a test setting
  • Helps students prepare for a medical workplace in Australia
  • Teaches exam skills and tips for each of the four OET exams
  • Provides feedback and individual training plan from a trained OET teacher
  • Offers plenty of practice materials

The full course is offered to: Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, Pharmacists and Physiotherapists. 

A course is also offered to Occupational Therapists, Radiographers and Veterinarians which consists of a full reading and listening course and a limited writing and speaking course.  Please contact us for further details.   We don’t have materials for speaking and writing skills for Dieticians, Speech Pathologists, Podiatrists, and Optometrists.  Please contact us for further details.

Occupational English Test (OET) is an international English language test that assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals. The OET is accepted by Australian vocational and tertiary education providers for course entry requirements and covers all four language skills, with an emphasis on communication in a healthcare environment (please visit here for more details).

The OET is now accepted by many organizations and countries as a proof of English proficiency for overseas-trained doctors for registration purposes. Also, The Department of Homes Affairs recognises OET for various visa categories including student visas (For more details, please visit here.).

The OET has officially announced that the updated OET will come into effect from the September 2018 test (registrations open on 21 June).  Please click here for more information.  The OET states, many of the OET test tasks, the format of the test and the focus in each sub-test (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking) will remain the same.

As one of the oldest running OET providers, Melbourne Language Centre will prepare OET candidates for the updated OET test and ensures that students will practice all the components of the test based on the test modernization.


Only limited time to prepare?:

Are you among many other OET candidates who:

  •  have a limited time to prepare for OET?
  •  look for OET last minute preparation?
  •  have tried the test before and failed one or more of the skills?
  • have never taken the test but have a fairly advanced proficiency level?
  • are during their main course semester break and want to get OET out of the way?

Then, this course can still help you prepare for all four components of the exam (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking) and improve your performance under test conditions within 1 to 4 weeks.

For more information please contact us.


Time Monday Tuesday
09:00-10:00 Introduction* /
Writing* / Reading
Part B
10:00-11:00 Reading Part A Listening Part B
11:00-11:30 Break Time
11:30-12:30 Reading Part B Speaking
12:30-13:30 Listening Part A
Time Wednesday Thursday
09:00-10:00 Grammar and punctuation workshop /
11:00-11:30  Break Time
11:30-12:30 Listening Part A Reading Part A
12:30-13:30 Listening Part B Reading Part B
Time Friday
09:00-10:00 Writing
11:00-11:30 Break Time
11:30-12:30 Vocabulary and expression workshop
/ Speaking


Every two weeks, an ‘OET mock test’ will replace Wednesday’s class hours with post test discussion/feedback and an individual learning plan on the following Thursday.



Assessment Feedback – Report
Ongoing Ongoing



A consistent IELTS band of 5.5 (Academic) is recommended as a minimum entry requirement for this course. If you are unsure of your English level, please contact us for consultation.  Melbourne Language Centre also offers a free placement test at our City campus every Monday. Bookings are essential, contact us for more information.

School Dates:

At MLC, classes are run continuously throughout the year – the school is open every day except Saturday, Sunday and public holidays and does not close for term or school holidays.


 View fee list here.

How to Apply:

Find the course(s) that meet your interests and needs and follow these steps.


Is the course run and taught by a teacher who is experienced in OET teaching?

OET is a unique test that can be difficult to teach.  With some newer schools, it’s possible that teachers may not have much experience in the test.   If there are claims that the teacher used to be an OET examiner, you should find out if they were a full examiner or just an interlocutor for the speaking tests.  It’s common for examiners to just work on speaking and therefore not have much knowledge on the writing, listening and reading tests.

A: Our two OET teachers have over 5 years OET experience between them.

Are the practice materials used in the class a high quality?

Some preparation courses may use out-of-date materials, which are no longer an accurate reflection of the test. They may also use materials which are already available either online for free or in local libraries.

A: The full course is offered to Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, Pharmacists and Physiotherapists at MLC.   Our materials are upgraded on a regular basis.  None of these materials are currently available from other places.

A course is also offered to Occupational Therapists, Radiographers and Veterinarians which consists of a full reading and listening course and a limited writing and speaking course.  Please contact us for further details.   We don’t have materials for speaking and writing skills for Dietitians, Speech Pathologists, Podiatrists, and Optometrists.  Please contact us for further details.

What does the course provide, apart from materials?

Constantly doing practice tests is not the best way to pass OET. Feedback on your answers and resolving problems with language skills or test strategy is also necessary to actually improve your scores. Without feedback or troubleshooting, you are only reinforcing the problems you have rather than fixing them. Sometimes it’s difficult for online courses and private tutors to provide the sufficient feedback students need.

A: We are able to provide both one-on-one and group feedback for students in our classes. We also teach methods where students can troubleshoot their own work and each other’s work.

Is the course structured in a way that maximises learning?

Some courses are structured in a ‘cram course’ style, which is not the recommended way to study for OET. When you cram, you are memorising information you can recite later. However, OET is a skill test, not a knowledge test. For a skill test, high volume study over a short period of time can have a negative effect on results.

A: We run our course in a way that gives students sufficient time between lessons to reflect and learn. We also teach self-study methods which the students can employ between classes.

What’s the school’s involvement with the OET?

It’s helpful for a school to keep up-to-date with the test and any changes to the test if the school has an active involvement with the OET test centre.

A: Our OET teachers attend the OET forum which is held annually by the official OET centre and keep themselves appraised as to the latest updates about the test.

Does the school offer student support after they’ve attempted the test?

It is always hoped that students pass the OET on their first attempt, however, this may not always be the case. Some schools’ interest in a student may end after they’ve completed their studies.

A: We endeavour to keep in touch with our students and check their results after the test. If they haven’t reached their study goals, we assist them with planning their next step and try to troubleshoot why the goals weren’t achieved.

Is it cost effective to take the course rather than just do self-study?

Some students feel they can study at home by themselves rather than attend a preparation course as this will save them money. The fact that many test materials are available online at a cheaper rate further suggests self-study could be a better option.

A: Many of these online materials are out of date, which can cause more harm than good to a student’s performance. In addition, simply doing endless practice tests will not help improve your level in a significant way, as feedback is needed on WHY mistakes are being made, rather than what mistakes are being made. Without assistance in this area, improvement is hard to attain. Our school provides personalised feedback on writing and speaking tests. We can also look at reading and listening tests to find out what patterns are occurring in mistakes.

Does the school offer courses for single skills?

Some students have already achieved B in 1, 2 or 3 skills and aim to pass other skills and therefore require skill-focused preparation.

A: Our course prepares students for all four language skills (Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking) as well as sub-skills (pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and writing conventions).

My IELTS band scores are lower than 5.5, can I still take the course?

Some schools offer OET preparation courses without any minimum entry requirement.

A: It is not generally realistic for students whose current proficiency level is lower than 5.5 in IELTS (lower than upper-intermediate level) to be able to pass the test by only completing a short period of OET preparation course. Therefore, they may need to spend more money and time on repeating courses and resitting the exam over and over again. We recommend that these students sit our academic English course to improve their English language skills and then sit the OET preparation course to increase their chances of passing the test.

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