OET Tips Importance of Being Clear When Giving Instructions

In medical communications, a small error can lead to big errors. Therefore, clarity in communication is of vital importance.  

Sometimes at the workplace, it happens that the task is not performed as expected or as instructed. Your colleague or your patient may do something that is different than what you have suggested, instructed or recommended.  

The error can be due to improper or unclear instructions or it can be due to grammatical errors.

Check out this example: 

Not Given Proper Instructions 

You have prescribed an inhaler to a patient for the chest. 

The patient returns to you the next day and says that it is not helping him/her at all. 

You question the patient and discover that the patient is spraying the inhaler on the chest. But, it is expected to spray into the mouth. 

Error Due To Bad Grammar

The patient was difficulty in briefing

The patient faces difficulty in breathing 

The patient has a little difficulty in blinking 

The three sentences given have different meanings. Using them in the right way is important. A present tense can’t be used in place of a past tense. Similarly, the choice of words matters a lot. For instance, sentence 3 shows that the problem is not a bigger one. 

OET Writing And Speaking Sub-Tests 

It often happens that the patients or the colleagues do not do things as required because of the incomplete or unclear instructions. 

In your OET speaking sub-test in the OET writing sub-test, it is important that you should be very clear when explaining things. 

For instance, your letter shall be very clear. There shall be no ambiguity in the information. It shall be straight to the point. 

Similarly, your examiner, or the interviewer during your OET speaking sub test may ask you a couple of questions in order to learn more from you. And you are required to answer all the questions in the best way. You need to be very clear while communicating with the client or the patient (your interviewer will act as your client or a patient). 

Improving clarity 

If it is your writing test, make sure that you provide only necessary details. Do not add anything that is not needed. Include all major points or the reasons, complaints of the patient, medication provided or the course of action, etc. 


“The patient was admitted into the hospital on 12th June on complaints of chest pain. There is no history of a heart attack. He has been having intermittent episodes of chest pain for the last 6 months. The patient smokes 2 packs of cigarettes daily.”

Similarly, while speaking to the interview (during your OET speaking sub-test), you can try to be as explanatory as possible. Do not think that the interviewer knows about everything that you are going to say. Remember, it is a role play so you will have to play your role. 

Do you want to take OET? Want to prepare for the OET? Do not wait. Enroll for the OET online training at OETpractice.net. 

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