This datasheet will discuss the relevance of OET and IELTS as Certification Standards of English.

It can help you decide which certification you need!


OET is easier than IELTS – True or False?

OET might appear easier in some aspects as it is confined to matter you are already familiar with. But this can be misleading, as the level of competence required from both tests, remain the same!

How is the OET different from the IELTS?

The IELTS assesses your knowledge of academic English relative to its usage in overall circumstances. Whereas, the OET is designed to evaluate how you communicate in English in the medical domain, exclusively.

Let us Consider the Similarities

  •  Both tests consists of four modules,
    – reading,
    – comprehension,
    – writing and
    – speaking.
  • Both tests award a graded score rather than merely a pass/fail verdict.
  • Both tests award a C1 level, in Standard of Common European Framework
    of English. (Score of 7/9 in IELTS and B Grade in the OET)

Observe the Differences

  • Theme – The Difference between IELTS and OET is that :
    The IELTS evaluates comprehensive and academic English while the OET is based on the evaluation of communicative English in the medical environs. This includes
  • Understanding patients
  • Conducting consultations
  • Writing discharge & referral letters


 Academic, General Training
 OET has 12 versions covering the main aspects of healthcare
Grading  IELTS and OET Score
awards a score out of 9
 awards a grade between A & E (with a numerical score to show exact grading)
IELTS is recognized by universities, healthcare regulatory
bodies, immigration authorities and companies across the world.
OET is recognized by healthcare regulatory bodies in the
UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Ukraine,
Dubai and Namibia.

Salient features of OET and IELTS in comparison



Testing for proficiency in English among health care personnel.

Testing for proficiency in Academic English – usually for entry into universities.

Wholly based on real-life situations of healthcare personnel

Wholly based on versatile topics of general relevance, not necessarily medical in nature

The module for written English evaluates proficiency in written communication exclusively in the medical context. (discharge notes, referral notes) 

The module for written English evaluates proficiency in academic writing, appropriate for university study ( essay, drama, prose etc.,)

The Spoken English module assesses proficiency in oral communication in the medical working environs, usually in role-play format. (establishing rapport with patients, etc)

The Spoken English module assesses proficiency In communicating lucidly in interview format, expounding on ideas and topics in general.

Why people opt for IELTS Certification :

IELTS certification projects you as a proficient English speaker with skills useful
for life in the world outside your work space. It is the gold standard for English
Language competence.

Why people opt for OET Certification :

OET certification facilitates employment in the medical sphere, in regions that
require professional communicative proficiency in English.