PTE or OET: What’s the Difference?

For health care professionals, the Occupational English Test (OET) is a trusted and prominent English language examination. It was designed to evaluate a person’s ability to communicate in professional healthcare settings. Despite this feature, OET is accepted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) of the Australian Government for general skilled migration and student visa applications. For Australian visa applicants, the Pearson Test of English is the trendiest choice amongst the language tests accepted by DIBP.

OET or PTEA? How do they differ? See below table:

Price AUD 587 AUD 330
Test Schedules

Typically, once a month. Some test venues have eight test dates only in a year.

Can be as frequent as four times a week and three to four times per day in Australia.
Test Centers Around 20 test venues in different universities and English language Examiners’ centers found all over Australia

Visit –

In Australia, there are 15 test centers located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Towoomba.
Exam Format Answers and responses for the Listening, Reading and Writing parts are written in an answer booklet. Like IELTS, the Speaking section involves a human intervention.  The candidate will play the role of a health care professional while the interlocutor will act as a patient, client or carer.


Machine-based examination. Speaking Section is performed by speaking in a headphone with a built-in microphone.
Time Length Three hours approximately Three hours approximately
Assessment Criteria Language Skills:





Communicative Skills:





Enabling Skills:


Oral Fluency




Written Discourse

Scores Grades are classified as A (highest) to E (lowest). A score of at least ‘B’ in each sub-test is proof of English competency. Scores range from 10 to 90 points. To achieve Competent English, minimum score for each skill must be 50.
Scoring System The answer booklet of the Reading – Part B section will be scanned by a computer and automatically scored. The Listening, Reading – Part A, Writing and Speaking sections are marked by human assessors who follow a detailed marking guide. Answer booklets and audio recordings are randomly assigned so that conflict of interest can be avoided.


Pearson developed automated scoring systems.
Availability of scores Approximately, 16 business days after each test day. Results are typically available within five business days.
Score Report/ Report Form Can be viewed in the taker’s online OET account. An official copy of the Statement of Results will be sent by mean of postal mail within ten business days after the exam day.

The OET website serves as a portal to Boards and councils who wish to access a test taker’s result.


Will be released in a PDF format and can be accessed by an unlimited number institutions and organizations by means of Pearson’s secure online website.
Validity Three years prior to lodging the visa application. Three years prior to lodging the visa application.
Acceptance Accepted by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and various universities found in Australia.

A complete list of these organizations is found here:

Accepted by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, various assessing professional bodies, and educational institutions.


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