In this article, we will answer some of the most common questions about how the OET Listening paper is marked. This guidance and these rules apply to all formats of the OET listening paper, including computer-based, paper-based, and the latest version of the OET, the home-based and remotely proctored OET at home.
1. How many marks are there on each part of the OET Listening paper?
In total, there are 42 questions on the listening paper, and each question is worth one mark. Part A contains 24 marks, Part B counts for 6 marks and Part C for 12 marks.
2. How are listening scores marked?
The OET listening papers are marked by a combination of assessors and computers. For Part A, which is the task that requires the test-taker to fill in a set of notes about a consultation between a doctor and patient, assessors mark the answers, and the other parts of the OET Listening paper, Part B and Part C, are computer scanned as they are multiple choice tasks. Part B includes 6 short conversations or monologues that include different healthcare professionals, such as nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, and ward leaders, and Part C features two longer presentations or interviews on general healthcare topics.
You have likely noticed on samples that you have taken that you must write your answer for Part A in the question booklet and for Part B and Part C there is a place to shade the lozenge or bubble next to the correct answer. It is recommended that you use sample tests to become familiar with the format of the tasks on the listening paper. You can also ask the staff at your test venue if you have any doubts about where to write your answers. Finally, you should also try to become familiar with the rules and regulations of the format of the OET test that you plan on taking, paper-based, computer-based or OET at home. This is how you overcome the challenges of OET listening.
3. How do assessors mark Part A? What answers do the assessors accept in OET Listening?
Part A of the OET listening paper is double marked, meaning two OET assessors check the answers. Both assessors use a very detailed marking guide that clearly shows which answers are to receive marks. The guide is to help assessors determine if you, the test taker, have provided enough of the correct answer to receive a mark.
Assessors also have to make sure you have not included any conflicting information to your answer that makes your meaning unclear. This means that you should try to keep your answers short so that you don’t include extra information that may contradict with a correct part of your answer.
It is important to keep in mind that Part A does not require you to paraphrase what you hear in the audio. You must complete the notes with the same words you hear on the recording, such as the name and description of a medical condition, the name of a medication, or a type of laboratory test.
In a previous article, the issue of spelling mistakes was addressed, but the general rule is as long as the assessor can determine that your answer refers to the same word as the correct spelling, you will receive the mark for that test item. Learning to deal with these questions is how you overcome the challenges of OET listening test.
4. Are assessors monitored? What happens if there is a problem with a question?
Assessors are regularly checked to make sure they are assigning marks in an accurate and consistent manner. In addition, if a problem with a particular task or question, such as problematic or unforeseen answers, a group of senior assessors will give additional guidance on how to mark that question or set of questions.
5. What is the minimum score on the OET Listening to get a grade B?
The OET does not provide a definitive mark to obtain a grade B, but generally test takers must get at least 30 items correct out of a total of 42 items to be awarded a grade B.
6. Can I apply re-marking of my OET listening score?
Yes, you can. In fact re-marking for any or all 4 OET modules can be requested. However, there is little benefit as listening answers are carefully marked twice. You may not get any change in your listening score post re-evaluation.