Know Is OET Harder than PTE & How to Prepare

Is OET Harder than PTE?: Among the myriad of questions regarding OET vs. PTE, one of the most common is whether OET is indeed more complex than PTE and, if so, how best to prepare for these assessments. 

Today, we will discuss the OET and PTE exams in detail, unraveling the perceived difficulties and providing practical insights into effective preparation strategies.  

Whether you're a healthcare professional aiming for OET proficiency or a student seeking success in the PTE academic realm, understanding the nuances of each test and tailoring your preparation accordingly is paramount.

From dissecting the structure and format of each exam to exploring the unique challenges posed by OET and PTE, we aim to equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate these assessments confidently. 

Furthermore, we delve into proven study techniques, resources, and tips explicitly curated to help you maximize your performance and achieve your desired scores.

So, if you're wondering about the difficulty of OET compared to PTE and seeking guidance on how best to prepare, you've come to the right place. Read on to learn more!

Analyzing the Differences Between OET and PTE

Analyzing the differences between the Occupational English Test (OET) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) involves understanding various aspects of each exam, including its purpose, Pte Test format, content, scoring, and target audience. 

While OET and PTE assess English language proficiency, they cater to different audiences and contexts.


  • OET - Designed specifically for healthcare professionals, OET assesses English language proficiency in a healthcare context, focusing on the language skills required for effective communication in medical settings.
  • PTE - Aimed at a broader audience, PTE evaluates general English language proficiency for academic, professional, and immigration purposes, covering a wide range of language skills and contexts.


  • OET - Consists of four sub-tests: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The test materials are healthcare-related, such as patient consultations, medical reports, and healthcare articles.
  • PTE is divided into three main parts: Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening. The test includes a variety of task types, such as multiple-choice questions, essays, summaries, and spoken responses.


  • OET - Focuses on language skills relevant to healthcare professionals, such as medical terminology, patient interaction, writing referral letters, and reading medical texts.
  • PTE - Covers a broader range of topics and contexts, including academic vocabulary, everyday communication, workplace scenarios, and general knowledge.


  • OET—Scores are reported on a scale from A (highest) to E (lowest) for each sub-test, with specific score requirements for different healthcare professions and regulatory bodies.
  • PTE - Scores are reported on a scale from 10 to 90 overall, with separate scores for each skill area (Speaking, Writing, Reading, Listening). There are no pass or fail grades; scores are used to determine proficiency levels.

Test Administration

  • OET - Administered on specific dates at authorized test centers worldwide. Test takers typically receive their results within 16 business days.
  • PTE - Offered year-round at authorized test centers globally, with flexible test dates and online booking options. Results are usually available within five business days.

Target Audience

  • OET - Primarily targeted at healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and other allied health professionals seeking registration or employment in English-speaking countries.
  • PTE - Suitable for a diverse audience, including students applying for study abroad programs, professionals seeking employment opportunities, visa applicants, and individuals aiming to improve their English language skills for personal or academic reasons.

Strategies for Effective Preparation for OET and PTE

Following these strategies and dedicating consistent Time and effort to your preparation, you can effectively prepare for the OET and PTE exams and improve your chances of achieving your target scores. 

Here are detailed strategies for adequate preparation for both the Occupational English Test (OET) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE): 

Strategies for OET Preparation

  • Understand the Test Format - Familiarize yourself with the format of each sub-test (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) by reviewing official OET practice materials and sample questions. Understand the tasks you will encounter and the skills assessed in each section.
  • Focus on Healthcare Context - Since OET is tailored for healthcare professionals, focus on building vocabulary related to medical terminology, patient care, diagnosis, treatment, and healthcare procedures. Practice listening to and reading healthcare-related materials to improve comprehension.

  • Practice Communication Skills—OET Speaking and Writing tasks simulate real-life healthcare scenarios, such as patient consultations and referral letters. Practice speaking clearly and confidently, and organize your writing to convey information logically and accurately.

  • Take Practice Tests - Regularly take full-length OET practice tests under timed conditions to simulate the test environment and improve your pacing and time management skills. Analyze your performance to identify areas of strength and weakness.

  • Seek Feedback - If possible, seek feedback from qualified healthcare professionals or language instructors on your Speaking and Writing performance. Incorporate their suggestions for improvement to enhance your skills further.

  • Utilize Official Resources - Use official OET preparation materials, including practice books, online resources, and sample test papers provided by OET. These materials are specifically designed to help you prepare effectively for the exam.

  • Simulate Test Conditions - Mimic the test conditions as closely as possible during your preparation. Practice speaking and writing within the time limits, and create a quiet environment for listening and reading practice to simulate the test experience.

Strategies for PTE Preparation

  • Become Familiar with the Test Format—Review official PTE practice materials and sample questions to understand the format and structure of each section of the PTE exam (Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening) and familiarize yourself with the different task types and question formats.

  • Build Core Language Skills - Improve your English proficiency by strengthening your grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, reading comprehension, and listening skills. Use various resources, including textbooks, online courses, and language learning apps, to practice and enhance these skills.

  • Practice Task Types - Practice a wide range of PTE tasks, including multiple-choice questions, essays, summaries, and spoken responses. Pay attention to each task's specific requirements and practice strategies for approaching different question types effectively.

  • Develop Speaking and Writing Skills - Work on speaking clearly and fluently, and practice organizing your thoughts coherently and expressing ideas concisely in both spoken and written forms. Practice responding to prompts within the time limits and focus on structuring your responses logically.

  • Use Authentic Materials - Supplement your preparation with authentic English language materials, such as newspapers, magazines, podcasts, and academic articles. Expose yourself to various topics and language styles to improve your comprehension and vocabulary.

  • Take Practice Tests Regularly - Take full-length PTE practice tests regularly to assess your progress and identify areas for improvement. Analyze your performance, review your mistakes, and focus on strengthening your weak areas.

  • Utilize Official Practice Materials - Take advantage of official PTE practice materials, including sample questions, practice tests, and study guides provided by Pearson. These resources are designed to familiarize you with the test format and help you prepare effectively.

  • Manage Time Effectively - Practice time management strategies during your preparation to ensure you can complete each exam section within the allocated time limits. Develop techniques for skimming and scanning reading passages, and practice allocating Time appropriately for each task.

Tips and Resources to Excel in Both OET and PTE

Utilizing these tips and resources for both the OET and PTE exams will enhance your preparation and increase your chances of achieving your target scores. 

Here are some tips and resources to excel in both the OET and PTE exams, along with specific websites for each exam: 

Tips and Resources for OET

  • Use OETPro - Visit for comprehensive OET preparation materials, including practice tests, study guides, sample answers, and expert tips. OETPro offers a range of resources specifically tailored to help healthcare professionals prepare effectively for the exam.

  • Practice Speaking with Colleagues - Practice speaking English with colleagues or peers in a healthcare setting to improve your communication skills and confidence. Focus on using medical terminology and simulating real-life patient interactions.

  • Read Medical Journals and Articles - Stay updated on medical topics and terminology by reading medical journals, articles, and case studies. This will help you improve your reading comprehension and vocabulary related to healthcare.

  • Listen to Healthcare Podcasts - Listen to podcasts or audio recordings related to healthcare topics to improve your listening skills and familiarize yourself with different accents and speaking styles commonly encountered in medical settings.

  • Take Notes Effectively - Develop effective note-taking techniques to capture essential information during patient consultations, lectures, or medical discussions practice summarizing and paraphrasing information in your own words.

  • Seek Feedback—Seek feedback on your writing and speaking skills from qualified healthcare professionals or language instructors. Incorporate their suggestions for improvement to enhance your performance in these areas.

Tips and Resources for PTE

  • Explore PTEZone - Visit for a wide range of PTE preparation resources, including practice tests, study materials, video tutorials, and expert advice. PTEZone offers comprehensive resources to help you prepare effectively for all exam sections.

  • Practice Regularly - Dedicate Time to practicing each section of the PTE exam, focusing on improving your overall English language proficiency and familiarity with the test format. Use a variety of practice materials to simulate the test environment.

  • Utilize Official Practice Tests - Take advantage of official PTE practice tests on the Pearson website. These practice tests closely mimic the format and difficulty level of the actual exam, allowing you to assess your readiness and identify areas for improvement.

  • Improve Time Management - Practice time management strategies during your preparation to ensure that you can complete each exam section within the allocated time limits. Develop techniques for skimming and scanning reading passages and responding to prompts efficiently.

  • Work on Pronunciation - Focus on improving your pronunciation and intonation by practicing speaking English regularly. Use online pronunciation guides and resources to help you master complex sounds and accents.

  • Review Grammar and Vocabulary - Brush up on your grammar rules and expand your vocabulary by studying English grammar books, vocabulary lists, and online resources. Pay attention to common grammatical errors and tricky vocabulary words tested in the exam.


While the debate over whether OET is harder than PTE persists, the key to success lies in understanding the unique demands of each exam and adopting tailored preparation strategies.  

By leveraging the tips and resources provided, candidates confidently approach the OET and PTE exams, maximizing their chances of achieving their desired scores and advancing their professional or academic pursuits.  

With diligent preparation and strategic study, success in these language proficiency tests becomes an attainable goal for all aspirants.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Is the OET exam hard or easy?
The difficulty of the OET exam can vary depending on individual strengths and weaknesses. Still, it presents a challenging yet manageable English proficiency test within a healthcare context for many.

Q2. Which topic is most challenging in PTE?
The difficulty of PTE topics can be subjective, but some test takers find the Speaking section challenging due to the need for quick thinking and fluency under timed conditions. 

Q3. Which is more difficult, OET or IELTS?
Comparing difficulty between OET and IELTS depends on factors such as familiarity with the subject matter and individual language skills, making it subjective to each test taker's experience and preparation. 

Q4. Which part of OET is the most difficult?
For some test takers, the Writing sub-test of OET can be the most challenging due to its specific requirements, such as writing referral letters or case notes within a limited time frame.