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OET Reading 3 – The L1 Method

Today we will look at another method of OET Reading. This is known as L1 MethodLexicon Method.

Before you proceed, tell me, how do you feel when the Reading / Listening tasks have so many tough words?

  • Feel low, disappointed?
  • Feel like surrendering?
  • Feel like, “let me try!”

This is a crucial situation that everyone faces during the OET examination. These words are:

  1. New medical terms (10%)
  2. Semi medical words (25%)
  3. Non medical words (50%)
  4. Others (15%)

The L1 Method

We love Reading texts that have simple, familiar, medical terms. However, some reading texts, listening audios, speaking and writing use heavy, unfamiliar words.

Although we know most medical terms, there are many that are not yet clear to us. Besides, new terms are being “invented” each day with new pandemics and new treatment developments. Apart from these, some of the English words are also adding to this difficulty.

Below is a text similar to those provided for Reading part C. Forget M and E of the paragraphs but focus on the lexicon and language elements.

The patient, a 60-year-old male who had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2015 and was on maintenance therapy, was hospitalized in February for chest tightness and shortness of breath. Although he did not show symptoms of cough or fever, he tested positive for COVID-19 and his illness was classified as severe.

Treatment with antiviral and corticosteroid therapies did not fully resolve his symptoms. On the second day in the hospital, a chest CT scan showed that the patient had ground glass opacities (also known as GGO is a descriptive term referring to an area of increased attenuation in the lung on computed tomography) in his lungs, which are a characteristic of pneumonia. His levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a pro-inflammatory cytokine, were high. After one intravenous administration of tocilizumab, the patient’s IL-6 levels decreased. Three days after tocilizumab treatment, his chest tightness had resolved; 10 days later, his CT scan had cleared and he was discharged from the hospital.

Tocilizumab is commonly used to treat cytokine release syndrome, a systemic inflammatory response that occurs in response to treatment with certain types of immunotherapies. Dr. Zheng and his team suggest the agent may treat COVID-19 by addressing the acute severe inflammatory response, or “cytokine storm,” that the virus triggers. However, they emphasize the need for more research into the potential mechanisms of action.

Now, look at the medical, semi medical and non-medical Lexicon taken from the texts:

  • Maintenance therapy – M – Treatment of cancer with medication, typically following an initial round of treatment
  • Multiple myeloma – M – Kahler’s disease (A cancer of plasma cells)
  • Antiviral – M – effective against viruses
  • Corticosteroid – M – Class of drug that lowers inflammation in the body.
  • Resolve – NM – Find a solution
  • Ground glass opacities – SM – To an area of increased attenuation in the lung on CT
  • Computed tomography (CT) SM
  • Characteristic of pneumonia – M – A symptom that indicates pneumonia
  • interleukin-6 (IL-6) – M – A pro-inflammatory cytokine
  • Pro-inflammatory – SM – Causing inflammation
  • Cytokine – M – large group of proteins, peptides or glycoproteins that are secreted by specific cells of immune system
  • Attenuation – SM
    • The reduction of the force, effect, or value of something.
    • The increase of the force, effect, or value of something.
    • A condition by which the force, effect, or value of something remains stable.
  • Which word is not related to Tocilizumab?
    • Toncilizumab
    • Actemra
    • Atlizumab
    • Immunosuppressive drug
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic means:
    • Relating to a system as a whole
    • Relating to a “systematic” approach.
    • Relating to part of a system
  • Agent
  • Addressing
  • Which is not related to “acute?”
    • Severe
    • Critical
    • Drastic
    • Dire
    • Manageable
    • Dreadful
    • Terrible
    • Awful
  • Cytokine storm
  • Triggers
  • Potential
    • Senseless
    • Having the ability to
    • Not possible


New and hard words that obstruct fast reading at the start of the text / audio, gets easier as we go further. It doesn’t mean that words get easier but we start getting the style of the writing and start adjusting to it. As we read more, we don’t necessarily know the meaning of difficult words but we start picking up meanings from context and that is why reading helps improving vocabulary.


So, I would advice you to start reading outside your usual medical contexts. Read a book? Have patience and wait for first 50–60 pages of the book even when it is going slower than normal book.

Welcome to English Melon’s Extra Reading Website and start reading the book on the website or buy on amazon, Google Play Books or Order a Paperback copy!

Now, take time and upgrade your brain and reading! All the best!

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