Types of Letters in OET
Just like most language evaluation exams, there are four subtests that make up the Occupational English Test. Each of these evaluates a separate set of linguistic skills relevant to the healthcare industry. For example, a letter-writing task will test your writing abilities in the Writing sub-test. This is tailored to each professional field, such as medicine, physiotherapy, nursing, etc. You will typically be asked to compose a referral letter utilising your own words. You will receive stimulus material such as case notes and/or other associated documents, including information to use in your response and the task instructions. So, basically, this task assesses your capacity to articulate and communicate typical practical concerns in the workplace.
The OET Letters come in three different varieties. Each of these letters will be formatted or structured differently. You must be able to adhere to a few fundamental letter-writing guidelines.
Any exam may be faced successfully with the right attitude, planning, and practice. Therefore, in this article, we will discuss OET types of letters and a number of helpful OET referral writing pointers and recommendations that might help you learn how to write better in the OET. By utilizing these tips, you will be able to polish your writing skills and get a top score in the OET Writing subtest.
What are the types of letters in OET?
The three most common letter types you must prepare to write in the OET include:
- Referral letter – When your patient sees a different medical specialist, effective referral letters can make all the difference. A strong recommendation letter can go a long way, whether you’re seeking a second opinion on a patient’s illness or handing over the patient’s primary care to a specialist. You must make sure to include all pertinent details as the referring physician.
- Discharge letter – A clinical report created by a health professional at the end of a hospital stay or course of treatment is known as a discharge letter or summary. It frequently serves as the main means of contact between the hospital care staff and those who provide aftercare. It is regarded as a legal document, and any mistakes could compromise the patient’s care.
- Transfer letter – When moving from one residential care facility to another, a transfer letter is typically written to a medical practitioner asking for additional care or treatment. In some circumstances, it could involve a move inside the same medical facility from one department to another.
Besides these, you might come across a particular type of letter depending on your specialisation. These include:
- In the fields of pharmacy, veterinary science, speech pathology, and occupational therapy – letters to advise or inform a patient, caregiver, or group.
- For Radiography – a written response to a complaint.
Evaluation Criteria for the Writing Subtest in OET
Your letter will be evaluated using the following criteria:
- Conciseness & Clarity
- Genre & Style
- Organisation & Layout
Each of the aforementioned is given a band score between 0 and 7, with the exception of Purpose, which is given a band value between 0 and 3. You must perform well in each of the six categories if you want to achieve a writing score of 350, which displays a good grasp of written communication skills.
We have put together a comprehensive guide to the OET Writing sub-test in order to assist you. Let’s examine the writing abilities you’ll need for each and how to strengthen them.
Pointers to know about the Writing Task
Here are some writing tips for OET letters from our expert guides:
- Understanding the task and the case notes is crucial for performing well on the writing assignment. You should also plan your response in advance so you may choose the material that is most pertinent to the reader. You get the chance to do this during the five minutes of reading allotted at the beginning of the Writing sub-test.
- The tasks for the Writing subtest are created so that you have enough time in the remaining 40 minutes to compose a response that is the required length and to proofread what you have written. The task and the case notes are always available for your review.
- Spelling is one of the most crucial components, along with grammar and punctuation.
- The task’s word count ranges from 180 to 200 words. Every activity is made to be completed within that word limit. If you have written a substantial amount more, you probably added unnecessary information, or your letter needs to be organised correctly. If you have written significantly less, you might not have grasped the task or the case notes properly, or you might have omitted key details. Your results for the six Writing assessment criteria will reflect any shortcomings in those regions.
- Use the title and mailing address information provided in the task instructions.
- In various regional contexts, health practitioners accept a variety of formats. In the OET Writing subtest, there is no set format that you must adhere to, but it is crucial that your letter is organised clearly.
- Do not obscure crucial information with less crucial data.
Tips for drafting the Letter:
Once you have learned about the fundamentals of the Writing task, it is wise to acquaint yourself with some tips to compose your letter. They are as follows:
- Through the Writing task and the case notes, you can determine and comprehend the goal of your letter. You must be able to demonstrate this in your letter as well. To do this, write an opening sentence that clearly states the aim of your letter and uses the appropriate verbs.
- The best information to choose will depend on what the reader needs to continue providing care for the patient. Additionally, you must be able to translate the case notes accurately into entire sentences while preserving the original meaning of the content.
- You must decide what details are not necessary and ought to be omitted.
- Your correspondence with another professional should be formal. Knowing how to employ the appropriate register and tone is necessary for this. It’s crucial to start and end the letter correctly and to use facts rather than assumptions.
The writing assignment, which is directly related to the job, calls for you to pick and arrange pertinent data before presenting it in a way that is appropriate for the reader. For working professionals, writing such a letter with little time is a reality. Thus, this task will directly prepare you for your time as a healthcare professional. Mastering this skill is a necessity – not just to score well on the OET but also for you to be a proficient and efficient healthcare provider for your patients.