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  • Writer's pictureBose Learning

I always run out of time in the OET Reading!

So many of my students say to me that they run out of time when they take the OET reading sub-test.

Does this happen to you too? Why is that do you think? And what can you do about it?

Well, the first thing to understand is that taking an exam is a skill, and like any skill, the more you practise, the better you'll get. So get reading right now!

And you know that you'll be under pressure in the exam, that clock is ticking and you have to get through 3 sections, so plan ahead now.

Part A, of course, is separate, and you only have 15 minutes to complete that before the papers are taken away from you, and then in Parts B & C of the OET reading sub-test, you get 45 minutes to complete both sections.

So, it’s very important that you manage your time carefully and think about how long you want to spend on each part now. For example, when you're doing reading Part B, you need to make sure to leave yourself enough time for reading Part C as well.

It's really up to you how you want to plan this. Some OET candidates like to think logically and say, OK, well, there are 6 questions for Part B and 16 questions for Part C which works out at 2 minutes per question, so this means I should allow myself 12 minutes to complete Part B and then move on to Part C.

But if you want to think about it another way, Part B questions only have 3 answer options to choose from, whereas Part C questions have 4 answer options. Added to this is the fact that Part C questions are more involved and require a much deeper understanding of the text compared to Part B.

So, it's probably a better idea to give yourself about 90 seconds per Part B question, or something closer to 10 minutes to allow you a few more seconds on any question which you are not sure about.

Then, once those 10 minutes are up, be strict with yourself and move on to Part C knowing that you still have 35 minutes left to complete the final section.

Each question is worth the same marks, so it doesn't matter which section you score more points in, as long as you're hitting around about 32 right each time.

So play around with the timing while you can before the exam, get comfortable with it and then on exam day, you'll be all set.

For more practice, why not check out our YouTube channel:

or if you're looking for tips and strategies on how to crack the OET, then take a look at our on-demand course which gives you a step-by-step guide on how to go through the OET reading paper.


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