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OET Not Currently Accepted For U.S. Visa Processing

Some of you may have already heard about the latest Occupational English Test (OET) news.

However, the OET is NOT valid for U.S. visa processing and immigration. It is currently accepted in only two U.S. states and does NOT mention that it will be accepted for your Visa Credentials Assessment (VisaScreen® Certificate) which is required for healthcare professionals who are seeking an occupational visa to work in the United States.

Click on this article to read about how a valid, passing IELTS academic score is still required in order to get your visa screening.

For NursesTest Prep

Three Facts About IELTS That May Surprise You

IELTS is one of those high-profile tests that tend to intimidate people a bit. Perhaps it's not the difficulty of the test itself, but the impact it can have on the test taker's personal life that causes the most unrest.

Click on this post to read three facts that should make you feel more confident as a future test-taker.

COVID-19For NursesTest Prep

COVID-19 Affecting NCLEX and IELTS Testing

With the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic around the world, many NCLEX and IELTS testing centers globally have suspended testing.

We understand this is a very stressful and difficult time and we want to be transparent with our candidates by providing the latest NCLEX and IELTS testing updates.

5 Highly Effective Habits for IELTS Prep

PassportUSA has worked with thousands of successful language exam passers, so we have a good idea of what good IELTS prep looks like. The following is a shortlist of five highly effective habits for IELTS preparation:


1. Begin IELTS test preparation well in advance.

Cramming is often used as a means of memorizing large amounts of information in a short amount of time. It is often used by candidates who delay preparing until shortly before their scheduled IELTS Exam. Bad idea!

Putting off learning and cramming before the test is not an effective strategy to use when preparing for any exam and trying to cram for IELTS is a sure-fire way to ensure you’ll be taking it again. Don’t make this mistake. We know you’re busy and you have lives to live in the meantime but think about what you really want.

Take charge of your learning! You are a healthcare professional. You have endured the stress of passing many high-stakes exams, along with NCLEX, you’re obviously able to achieve excellence! Building and strengthening your English language skills requires commitment and diligence in learning and time-management – that doesn’t just begin the week of your exam. Begin practicing well in advance, with just a short time each day, and you’ll find yourself equipped to succeed on test day.


2. Find a friend or mentor who’s fluent in English.

This is especially true for people who simply hate the traditional method of studying. Some people learn better by doing instead of listening. That’s totally understandable. If that’s your case, you need to find someone you know – a family member, a friend, a coworker – and routinely engage them in English.

Don’t be discouraged if they’re always correcting you – that’s the point! Be open to any feedback. You know that you need to achieve a 6.5 overall and a 7 in speaking on IELTS, so begin studying well in advance.

Find someone who can speak English well. By routinely speaking with this person, you’re actively learning and improving both your English listening and speaking abilities! By chit-chatting!

If you don’t know many people who are fluent in English, that’s fine. You can practice listening by watching English movies or television shows. Use subtitles occasionally if you must. Download podcasts and watch videos online for more English-speaking material. For reading practice – you’re doing it right now! Use the internet and search for topics that interest you. Read them, and write about them somewhere. This might not sound like much, but if you are constantly listening, speaking and reading English, well before your scheduled exam, you’ll find yourself needing to study less as the language becomes easier for you.


3. Know your test.

Uncertainty is a key ingredient of fear. The less you know, the more you assume. So end the myth and find out precisely what you’re up against.

Prepare to sit for two hours and 45 minutes for IELTS. You can find more information on IELTS here. You need to know precisely what you’re up against. Akin to point No. 1, and we can’t stress this enough – proper planning is largely indicative of success.

Following directions, or the inability to do so, can trip a lot of people up, especially on IELTS. You’d be surprised to learn how many people have failed this exam, not because of their English proficiency, but because of simply not following the directions!

Many IELTS takers will just assume all the directions are the same the further they get into the test. This is a critical mistake.

Is the question asking for a letter answer, or a complete word? Are you using “Not Given” in the YES/NO/NOT GIVEN segment? So many people just assume the answer is YES or NO, but do not forget about NOT GIVEN. Reading the instructions is the easiest way to prevent yourself from failing, assuming you’ve put in all the hard work up to this point.


4. Do not memorize. 

Many candidates who go on to fail this exam thought they were prepared. This is because they memorized sentences, questions, they memorized certain paragraphs and try to use them whenever possible. For example, there are many practice exams you can take for IELTS. But that’s all they are – practice. Too many make the mistake of just practicing these questions repeatedly.

Practice exams are never a bad resource, but they aren’t what make or break your real exam. Memorizing those questions and answers do little for you on test day, when you’re of course taking an entirely different test.

English is a skill. You sharpen skills with practice. Trying to memorize essays is not only a bad idea, it’s actually harder to do! English is hard enough without having to recall someone else’s thoughts word-for-word, and furthermore, many examiners can identify this!

Trying to memorize English instead of truly learning it will result in an awkward scenario like this. Follow these steps and ensure this isn’t you on test day.


5. Stay calm, test on.

This is why step No. 1 is important. Time management is an important skill needed to succeed in these tests, especially in the shorter IELTS. The speaking portion of the exams seem to be most challenging, as test-takers will literally go blank and are suddenly at a loss for words when they need them most. This will often spark panic.

Breathe. This happens to almost everyone. Know that you are not alone or unique – English is hard, and when forced to recite it under stressful conditions, the brain can simply lock.

The best thing you can do is keep calm and do not scramble for words. Take a deep breath and let it come to you. Remember, you’ve been putting in all this work to prepare for this moment of test-taking. You are ready!

You have been speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English. You may have used online preparation materials, attended a face-to-face review center, or had access to a great preparation book. You have been practicing speaking in English with someone you know, getting correct feedback on what you got wrong, you learned from it, and the smartest thing you did was that you began all this well before the week of your exam.

What do you think of these steps? Have you taken IELTS already? For more information on the IELTS exam watch our IELTS 101 video.

*If you already passed NCLEX and signed our contract, we can assist you with IELTS. Please contact your most current assigned PassportUSA representative for more details.

If you are a registered nurse interested in joining PassportUSA, be sure to apply below.

Apply for PassportUSA

OET Not Currently Accepted For U.S. Visa Processing

Some of you may have already heard about the latest Occupational English Test (OET) news.

What is the OET?

The OET is an alternative English language test for healthcare professionals. It assesses the language communication skills of healthcare professionals who wish to practice their profession in an English-speaking environment.

Their official page states, “Doctors and nurses applying for positions in the United States can now validate their English language proficiency with OET, the world’s only international English language test specifically for healthcare professionals.”

However, the OET is NOT valid for U.S. visa processing and immigration. It is currently accepted in only two U.S. states and does NOT mention that it will be accepted for your Visa Credentials Assessment (VisaScreen® Certificate) which is required for healthcare professionals who are seeking an occupational visa to work in the United States. This will be required at your embassy interview for your green card visa approval.

We support the aim of the OET exam and applaud their success with various U.S. state boards of nursing. We hope that more states will follow suit and that this will ultimately lead to acceptance for the VisaScreen® Certificate.

Do I still need to take and pass IELTS?

Yes. You will still need to pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) unless you are exempt due to English based professional education. This test measures the language proficiency of people who want to work where English is used as a language of communication. A valid, passing IELTS academic score (7 in speaking and 6.5 overall) is required in order to get your visa screening with the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).

For more information about the requirements to obtain your VisaScreen® Certificate and satisfy the United States Federal screening requirements, click here.

How the PassportUSA IELTS Academy is Here to Help You

We encourage candidates to sign up with PassportUSA before taking IELTS because we will assist with test preparation. We are already in place to offer our candidates access to IELTS materials and personalized feedback through phone, Skype video chat, and email. We also do all of our scheduling, placement, and predictive tests online so candidates can easily set those up at times that work conveniently for them.

The best feature of the PassportUSA IELTS Academy is that it is and always has been 100% online 24/7. Our online learning approach gives us reach that would not be possible in any traditional educational setting and we are happy to report that we are able to maintain 100% service delivery levels during these unprecedented times.

If you have any questions about IELTS testing, please contact your assigned PassportUSA representative.

We are working with our candidates and encourage continued studying for the IELTS. When you are ready to take the IELTS, we will help you find the nearest available test center.


We are currently hiring registered nurses! If you’re a registered nurse who is not being guided to your dream of the USA by PassportUSA, simply apply with us today and we’ll help get your journey to the USA underway! 

Apply for PassportUSA

Three Facts About IELTS That May Surprise You

IELTS is one of those high-profile tests that tend to intimidate people a bit. Perhaps it’s not the difficulty of the test itself, but the impact it can have on the test taker’s personal life that causes the most unrest.

But here are three facts that should make you feel more confident as a future test-taker:

  1. 75% of Academic IELTS test-takers who take the exam as a registered nurse score an overall band score of 6.5 or higher. (That’s the overall band score needed to qualify for a U.S. VisaScreen.) Compare this to the combined pass rate for the NCLEX exam (less than 50%) and IELTS seems a whole lot easier.
  2. The overall band score for Filipinos is even better. A whopping 82% of these candidates scored a 6.5 or higher.
  3. Speaking is not the most challenging test section for Filipino nurses. This is a common misconception. In fact, Filipino RN test takers average 6.8 on Speaking, but only 6.3 on Writing. However, U.S. VisaScreen standards do require a band score of 7 on Speaking. (So in effect Writing and Speaking are tied for the most difficult sections. We’ll call this one a draw.)

More interesting IELTS stats can be explored at https://www.ielts.org/teaching-and-research/test-statistics.

*If you already passed NCLEX and signed our contract, we can assist you with IELTS. Please contact your most current assigned PassportUSA representative for more details.

If you’re seeking a company that provides a wealth of assistance in passing the IELTS, please take the time to register with PassportUSA.

Register Now

Promoted to Charge Nurse and Exceeded Expectations – Kara Leah, PassportUSA Nurse Alumni

Promoted to Charge Nurse and Exceeded Expectations – Kara Leah, PassportUSA Nurse Alumni

PassportUSA is honored to have employed Kara Leah, a registered nurse, who has now reached the end of her temp-to-perm assignment.

Kara Leah has achieved many of her top life goals such as purchasing a forever home, buying a brand new car, and exploring the beauty of the United States with her family. Click on this article to read more about Kara Leah's story.

PassportUSA Offers New NCLEX Assistance Program for Global RNs

PassportUSA Offers New NCLEX Assistance Program for Global RNs

RNs face many barriers to the USA, such as passing required tests like the NCLEX and IELTS.

That’s why the PassportUSA Succeed Program provides everything you need to fulfill your dream of immigrating and working in the USA – including financial support.

This is our new relaunch of the program (open for a limited time!) and is a great opportunity for those who cannot afford the fees to take the NCLEX and/or for those who need coaching in order to pass the NCLEX. Click on the article to read more about the PassportUSA Succeed Program.

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