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5 OET writing tips and tricks – How to score HIGHLY in the test

OET Writing

For the OET Writing sub-test, you are asked to write a letter.

This letter will be specific for your healthcare profession – for example, a doctor’s referral letter.

Most English-speaking countries need you to pass the OET writing task with a B Grade.

So how can you do that? Follow our 5 tips for getting your highest score ever.

Tip 1 - Take five minutes to read the case notes properly

You must understand the case notes, or your letter may be inaccurate.

Take five minutes at the beginning to read through them thoroughly.

Then you have 40 minutes to write the letter – you can look back at the case notes at any time.

Tip 2 - Think about your own patient journey

The case notes might look difficult, but they are about the patient’s journey.

To help you prepare for how they will look, remember your own (or a family member’s).

Did you go to the doctor?

What tests or treatment did you have?

Were you referred to someone else?

Tip 3 – Write a discharge letter to your own doctor

It will be easier for you to practise writing if you can picture a real-life patient journey – like your own.

Write an imaginary discharge letter to your usual doctor, with you as the patient.

Tip 4 – Answer the writing criteria

There are six criteria used to score your letter.

They are: purpose, content, conciseness & clarity, genre & style, organisation & layout, and language.

To help you, we’ve made some videos to help you with each one.

Go to our OET Knowledge Bank and click on ‘Writing.’

Tip 5 – Watch our free videos

Our OET Senior Teacher Jo has made over 20 free videos to help you pass the OET Writing. Watch them all on YouTube.

You can reach OET Grade B with the experts at SLC. If you’re a doctor or a nurse, get an online course that’s perfect for you.

Need more OET Preparation?

We have an OET Writing course taken from our hugely popular Reach OET B course, prepares you to achieve a high score. You work on a combination of carefully structured language and test-based tasks, video tips and lesson recordings. You analyse test questions and write your own letters which you can compare with a model answer or download and share with a teacher.


Our Reach OET B Medicine and Nursing courses gives you the language, strategies and techniques to get the OET scores you need.

Or check out our OET Writing Correction Service where we send you an OET Writing task complete with a full set of Case Notes. You then write your answer – a referral letter using the information in the notes – ideally under timed conditions.

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