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OET Day 6

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OET Day 6


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Writing Tasks

5 Questions you should answer before writing an OET Letter.

Remember. When you sit for the exam, before starting the writing, during the 5 minutes for understanding the question, write down the five points as I write below:

1. Who is the recipient?

If doctor to doctor

  1. Use polite language
  2. Use medical terms
  3. Do not give instructions
  4. Give recommendations / opinions

If nurse to Doctor

  1. Use more polite language
  2. Use medical terms
  3. Do not give instructions
  4. Do not give recommendations / opinions
  5. Mention about medicines but not about a change of dosage
  6. No need to mention the nursing care provided to the patient (like, dressing)

Nurse / Doctor to the relative of a patient

  1. Use less polite (not rude) language
  2. Do not use medical terms
  3. Give instructions

2. Who am I?

You should also write down your role. Based on your profession, your language, tone and attitude should change.

3. What is the purpose?

Many people commit the error of not specifying the exact purpose. Suppose a patient you are referring to in the letter was admitted 5 days ago with the following purposes.

  1. On admission day – Breathing difficulty and vomiting.
  2. The second day – Breathing okay but back pain started.
  3. The third day – Breathing difficulty started again but back pain was alright.
  4. The fourth day – Swelling and patches on lungs.
  5. Today – Pulmonary edema diagnosed.

So, when you write the “purpose” of the letter, you should not mention the symptoms and problems through day 1 to day 4. You need to mention only the present condition (today) and seek help for the present problem.

“Mr Twine needs an urgent admission into your facility for the treatment of pulmonary edema.”

4. What is the trick?

Every letter contains a few (at least one) tricky element. They include:

  1. Giving too much of irrelevant details.
  2. Not specifying if the case is known or not known to the recipient.
  3. A new kind of letter, like advice or reply to a complaint.
  4. A nurse advising a doctor to reduce / increase a medicine’s dosage.

You should write down this tricky element before you start writing the letter.

5. Known / not known?

It is very hard to determine if a case is known or not known. There are a few guidelines that may help you. See if there are expressions similar to:

  1. “Write a letter to his / her family doctor”
  2. “…to his / her gp.”
  3. “…going back to…”
  4. Look at the address of the patient and the address to which the letter is being sent. If both are similar, it is a known-case (mostly).

Language Tasks – Adverbs

The below are the adverbs mostly used in OET (writing). Let’s see their uses and misuses:

Before / Ago

  • Ms Shelby had another episode of diarrhea three months ago.
  • Ms Shelby had another episode of diarrhea before three months.

After / Later

Daily / Rarely / Frequently / Never


Now / Later / Sometimes / Still

Soon / Later / Presently / Currently

Today / Tomorrow / Yesterday

Abroad / Overseas / Home

Weekly / Monthly

Downstairs / Upstairs

Biju John

Love for English begins with understanding its unknown rules. Biju John lives on the internet, teaching OET, IELTS and PTE. More than a million students have thanked him from their heart.

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