What should I read to improve my OET reading skills?
Don't just do OET practice tests!
You've probably heard many OET teachers, myself included, telling you not to just do practice tests to improve your score.
Why not? Well, all that does is test you at the level you are, and if your level isn't quite ready to get a B, no amount of practice tests will help you get there. All practice tests do, as their name suggests, is test! They don't teach, or build, or improve your skills, and that's what you need to do.
How can I improve my OET reading skills?
So, what can you do instead of practice tests? Well, really, you need to be reading medical and health-related articles and information booklets. These can include:
'How to' guides which come with medical equipment.
Workplace memos that appear in your in-box.
Notices that are put up in the staffroom, such as training reminders, or 'who to contact if' information.
Medicine and dosage guides.
Updates to health-related guidelines.
Articles discussing research or current trials.
I've read these things, but then what should I do?
The trick is knowing how to read them. One of the key skills in the OET reading sub-test is being able to understand concepts, so as you are reading a memo, think about, how can I say this in another way / how can I paraphrase this? Or, what is the key message this document is trying to tell me. Or, why has this been sent to me? What am I to do now? Or, if it's an article, think about what the writer's attitude is? Is it positive, neutral, or negative?
Create your own vocabulary list
A great idea is to create your own OET vocabulary list. Maybe, as you're reading, you find a new word. Look it up in an English-English dictionary and make a note of the following:
What it means.
If it's formal or informal.
What prepositions come after it.
What other words does it collocate with.
How is it pronounced?
Then, try and use it in a sentence and see if it works. Write it down, or try using it in conversation with your colleagues if appropriate.
In our next blogpost, we'll focus more on OET reading Part A, and give you some ideas of what you can read to improve your scores in your OET reading sub-test.