Right approach and techniques to get a high score in OET Writing:

  1. General instructions
  2. Hospital admission system in western countries
  3. Time management
  4. Analysis of writing task
  5. Understanding the case notes
  6. Selection of the case notes
  7. Planning
  8. Letter format
  9. Signing off
  10. FAQs
  11. YouTube videos on writing task


1. General instructions

  • You will be assigned to write a formal letter.
  • Types of letters: referral, transfer, discharge, information/advice
  • Allocated time: 45 minutes( 5 min reading + 40 min writing)
  • Body of the letter: approximately 180-200 words.

2. Hospital admission system

  • Hospital admission process differs from country to country. In order to identify your position and role, it is necessary to understand hospital admission process.
  • When patient gets sick at home, they first visit their GP for primary treatment, if GP feels that the patient cannot be treated at primary level then he writes a letter to a specialist who will be working at multi specialty hospital. If the specialist finds that the patient recovered, he will give discharge and patient will be under the supervision of GP, again. But if patient requires specific care, such as physiotherapy, he may write further to the specialist based on patient’s requirements.
  • In OET writing, identify what is your position and predict the task initially.
  • For example, “write a letter to the endocrinologist……”  After reading half of the sentence, you can assume that you must be GP or a Nurse at clinic/community health centre and writing a letter to the specialist means further assessment and management is required.

3. Time management

  • Time management is a crucial part of OET writing. You can manage your time as follows:
    • Reading time = 5 minutes
    • Selection of case notes = 5 minutes
    • Planning = 5 minutes
    • Writing = 25 minutes
    • Proof reading = 5 minutes

4. Analyzing writing task

  • Identify following things from ‘writing task’
    • Type of letter
    • Profession of recipient
    • Purpose of writing
    • Patient – known/unknown

5. Understanding the case notes

  • Ask yourself following questions:
    • Where are you working?
    • From where you received the patient?
    • What is/are the problems of the patient?
    • What have you done for him/her?
    • To whom are you referring?
    • Why?

6. Selection of the case notes

  • Put tick mark (*) for the case notes that you will definitely include
  • No marks for information that you will definitely exclude
  • Question mark (?) for the information that makes you confused whether to include or not.

7. Planning

  • Never start writing before you plan. You should have critical thinking about the paragraphing and organization before you start.
  • Decide, which way of writing is effective – chronological or as per the degree of importance. Every case note is unique and so based on the given case notes you should prioritize the information.
  • Now you are ready to start.

8. Letter format

Date (Date of your test)

Recipient’s name


Clinic/hospital’s name

Clinic/hospital’s address

Patient’s name with age



Body paragraphs (leave a line between each paragraph)

Closing phrase

Sign off

Your name (if given in the case notes/task) Your profession

9. Signing off

  • When recipient’s name is mentioned in the task, you should close with

Yours sincerely,

  • When recipient’s name is not given in the task, you should close with

Yours faithfully,

10. FAQs

  • How to write date?

Ideal way of writing a date at the top of the letter is 22 May 2020

If you need to write a date in paragraphs, better to write – 22/05/2020. If you write full date in paragraphs, it is considered as three words and it is time consuming for the reader.

You can write a date either at the top of the letter or after the address but do not forget to leave a line.

  • How to select the title?

Mr. = male, married or unmarried.

Mrs. = married women

Ms. = women who do not wish to disclose marital status. This includes divorcee.

Dr. = doctor


  • How to write age?

Re: Mrs. Brittany Walsh, a 65-year-old

Re: Mrs. Brittany Walsh, 65 years old

Re: Mrs. Brittany Walsh, aged 65 years

Re: Mrs. Brittany Walsh, age: 65 years

  • Can I write salutation first and then the patient’s name and age?

Yes, you can write in either way.