Should I practise with old OET materials that I've already used, or try to find new ones?
Another day and another great question has come in from one of our YouTube OET students, Simmy, who asks this common question about preparing for the OET Reading test:
Should you study re-using old materials you've already practised with, and so, re-use sample papers you've already been through, or try to find new OET reading material?
It's a great question, so let's look at both options and find out why either answer can be correct, but at the same time, may not be! Confused? Well, let me try to explain!
First of all, think:
Why am I doing OET practice papers?
Or in other words, what are you hoping to gain?
Is it to build your reading skills and vocabulary ahead of your OET reading sub-test?
If so, then I'm sorry to say, but doing hundreds of sample papers is not going to help you achieve this. All it's going to do is test you, and maybe stress you out, and what's more, you're going to whizz through all the available good quality material in no time and then be left looking at the not so good material out there (and sadly there is a LOT of rubbish freely available, so please be careful!).
If you are trying to build your English knowledge
Then just doing sample tests isn't going to help. Instead, try to read other medical-related material instead. You can take a look at this blog post for more inspiration and take a look at our practice and skills builder videos on YouTube.
If you are already fairly confident in your reading skills and vocabulary and grammar
Then doing sample papers is a great way to improve your technique and get faster and more accurate in your answering.
If you are already fairly confident in your reading skills and vocabulary and grammar AND have been through all the sample papers, then, yes, you can re-use them, but make sure you are doing so for a different purpose other than to test yourself. It's no point using them as a test, because I'm pretty sure you'll remember the answers. Instead, use them as a tool for learning. Here's a blog post I wrote about how you can do so.
Finally, if you are looking for new OET reading material, please, please, please check the sources.
There is a lot of not so good material out there, so while practising using that can help you in your reading generally, it's not going to be great at giving you good quality OET practice. Instead, please look for teachers who are listed on the OET website of providers, and then you'll know that they have done special training in order to teach you how to get the grades you need in your OET. Some are called Preliminary Providers, who have done a foundation course in teaching the OET, while others, like us here at Bose Learning, are Premium Preparation Providers who have done extra training and have been endorsed by the OET.
Well, thanks again for your great question, Simmy. I hope this helps.
If any of you reading this has a question about the OET you'd like to ask, please let us know and we will help if we can!