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OET Writing Strategy: How to Plan & Write Letter for Grade B or Above

OET Writing Sub-test has a simple task but unfortunately, it is the sub-test most OET candidates fail to secure a band B score. Mostly it is because they start writing without the proper planning that will affect the score in the Comprehension of Stimulus and Cohesion criteria. Having an effective writing strategy is therefore important in getting a good score in the Writing sub-test.

Practice writing with this strategy regularly and getting valuable feedback from an expert trainer also is important.

An info-graph describing the stages of OET writing

The OET Writing strategy by S.OET

1. Analyze the Task

In OET Writing sub-test, you will be given ‘the stimulus’ and ‘the task’. ‘Stimulus’ is a collection of information for the letter, ie the case notes, and ‘the task’ tells you what you need to do. Read the task carefully. It will give you important information to select and organize the relevant case notes for the letter. This include,

  • Who you are writing the letter to?
  • The profession and the position of the recipient?
  • Does the recipient know the patient already?
  • What is the purpose of writing this letter?

2. Analyze the stimulus

Choose the relevant information from the case notes for your letter. Missing relevant information in your letter may cost you dearly. Your band score may go down to a ‘C’. Read each case note and ask yourself whether your recipient should know this? Also, consider these factors,

  • What is the profession/ position of the recipient?
  • Does the recipient know the patient already?
  • What is the purpose of writing this letter?

3. Prioritize the information

Ordering the information according to the relevance and significance is important to write a well-organized letter. Prioritize the information that you want to convey to your recipient,

  • The current medical issue(s)
  • Secondary issues
  • Additional issues

4. Plan your paragraphs

Plan your paragraphs before you start writing the letter. This is usually the most common advice trainers give to their students but it is also the most ignored advice too. However, a well-organized letter reduces the need for re-writing and re-organizing during the test thus it actually saves time. Also, it makes your writing easy to follow and reduces the risk of missing relevant information. A simple organization of paragraphs could be,

The first paragraph– The purpose of the letter (Make sure you mentioned the purpose of writing the letter, also should include the name of the patient and the current issue)

The last paragraph– Tell the recipient what do you want them to do. The requests, recommendations, suggestions, and reminders, etc. (More about the organization of letters will be in another post. Please like and follow the page S.OET to stay tuned)

5. Execute the writing

Some important information to remember,

  • Do not miss any relevant information
  • Do not change the pronouns (He/She) (a very common mistake)
  • Be accurate in name, age, sex, diagnosis, etc.
  • Write in a proper letter format
  • Be consistent in the tone and register

6. Proof-Read

Finally, please do not forget to proofread after writing. It is not that difficult and you would not believe how many mistakes you can correct yourself in your writing by proofreading it.

Please like and follow the page S.OET for more tutorials.

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