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IELTS or OET - What's in the English proficiency test score?

It has become easier for International Nurses to qualify to work in the UK. Even though the shortage of skilled nurses remains at an all-time high in the UK, NMC has been very transparent in their focus on recruiting global nurses who will be able to ensure the safety and well-being of patients as their top priority. Nurses play a vital role in providing healthcare in the UK. A key part of this is communication, and the need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively in English.

As per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ( CEFR), the six levels which are widely accepted for grading an individual's proficiency in English are A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2.

A Beginners level A1 A2

B Intermediate level B1 B2

C Advanced level C1 C2

A nurse much achieve the required score in the English Test as prescribed by NMC, UK. Given the fact that these registered health professionals work very closely with their patients, the scoring criteria for Listening, Reading and Speaking is fixed at C1 (Advanced Level), however, B2 ( Intermediate Level) is accepted for Writing.

At present, only IELTS Academic and OET scores are accepted by NMC, UK Each candidate must prove that have recently achieved the required score in the academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET). They must achieve the required score in reading, writing, listening and speaking. For IELTS they must achieve at least 7 in reading, listening and speaking, and at least 6.5 in writing. For OET they must achieve at least a grade B (350 to 440) in reading, listening and speaking, and at least a grade C+ (300 to 340) in writing. Whichever test they take, they must have achieved the required scores within the last two years at the point recruiters are considering their complete application.

Clubbing opportunity

Although most candidates will try their best to get the desired band scores on their very first attempt, the research has proven that it takes them anywhere from 2-3 attempts given they have received the right kind of guidance and have committed to preparing well for the exam. At Lushbridge Global, we have had candidates who could clear the exam with the requisite band scores within ONE month and at times TWO months of dedicated learning support. The good news is that candidates need to keep their morale high and continue to work on their goal as they can utilise their test scores across two test sittings.

The following requirements apply when combining test scores across two sittings: 1.1.They can only combine test scores across two sittings of the same test (two IELTS or two OET tests). They cannot combine IELTS and OET test scores. 1.2.IELTS: in both sittings your scores must be at least 6.5 for speaking, listening and reading, and at least 6 for writing. 1.3.OET: in both sittings their grades must be at least grade C+ (300 to 340) for speaking, listening and reading, and at least grade C (250 to 290) for writing. 1.4.They must take the two test sittings within twelve months of each other, and they must have been tested in all four sections both times.

We sincerely hope that 2023 will be the year when more nurses will qualify to land their dream job in the UK and patients will be able to get the healthcare support they truly deserve. If you are a candidate who has achieved the requisite band scores to prove your English proficiency and want to work in Top hospitals in the UK, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@lushbridgegobal .com as we can assist you to participate in the ongoing interviews with NHS Trust hospitals through the year.

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1 Comment

Nice write up.

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