News - Specialist Language Courses

OET introducing computer-based and at home testing

OET are introducing a computer-based version of the test which can be taken as an alternative to the paper-based tests used so far. Initially this will be for Nursing and Medicine.

Computer-based tests can be taken at a recognised test centre or at a candidate’s home. The ‘OET@Home’ test is particularly exciting given the ongoing challenges of candidates taking tests at centres under the current Covid-19 restrictions. Many candidates have had to postpone what can be a life-changing test and this has the potential to rectify the situation sooner than many hoped.

The test itself – content, tasks, timings – will be the same as the paper-based test. The Speaking test will take place with a live interlocuter at a test centre or via a secure web conferencing interface where candidates are at home. Candidates need a laptop or desktop computer with webcam, microphone and speakers.

When at home, tests are run by remote proctors who check a candidate’s identity and make sure test-takers stick to the rules during the test. Security features mean a candidate cannot access the internet, spellcheck, copy and paste, or take screen shots during the test.

We understand that the computer-based tests are being trialled in June. If all successful, and subject to approval from regulatory bodies such as the NMC and GMC, they will be rolled out soon afterwards.

We look forward to hearing more on this innovative and exciting development.

Written by Chris Moore

Chris works on SLC’s strategic direction, product development, course design and key partnerships with organisations including Health Education England, NHS Trusts and medical universities worldwide. He ensures that the work SLC does with healthcare professionals and students has a significant and lasting impact on patient care, medical research and international projects. Chris has worked in specialist English language training since graduating from Cambridge University in 1989 in teaching, academic management and commercial roles. In 2012, he founded SLC to provide training and resources to those who need to communicate in English in critical environments, using technology to reach learners around the world. Chris is also Trustee for Eaquals, the world’s leading international accreditation body for language teaching.

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