OET Writing Guide 2021

This is the ultimate guide to OET writing sub-test, updated as per the 2021 standards of OET writing. 

You will learn about how to write effectively, and how the content should be. This small guide has been developed focusing on the latest writing section criteria of the test. When you follow the criteria, you get the score you need.  

The criteria covers the following things: Purpose of your letter, content of the letter, clarity in the content of your letter, the style  or the way of presentation, whether the content is organized intelligently/appropriately or not, and the lexical resources.  

Each and every criteria listed above will be assigned a band score from 0 to 7. But, for the criterion such as Purpose, you will get a band score of 0 to 3. If you are aiming at getting a band score of 350  (in the past it was called grade B) then you will have to score higher in all of the criteria. You can easily improve your score when you focus on some of the essential things as listed down here in this article.  

You shall describe the purpose as clearly as you can 

It is important that you should describe the purpose in a nutshell. You really do not have to elaborate the purpose. You can describe it in one line or two lines. You need to read the case notes and identify the real purpose of the letter. Make your introductory sentence as effective as possible. You do not have to lengthen the introduction with long-form of greeting that we normally use in other personal letters. 

Pick the right content from the case notes 

Case notes will have more content than the required content for your letter. You do not have to include everything that you find in the case notes. You will have to be intelligent enough to pick the right information and present it in your own words. Choose the right content focusing more on the purpose of your letter.  When you transform the sentences make sure that you keep the meaning the same as those of the sentences given in the case notes.  

Conciseness and clarity in the content 

Nobody would like to read a letter that is not clear or which doesn’t convey the information in the right way. You will have to make sure that it has the highest level of clarity. You should not include information that is unnecessary. Clarity is correlated directly to relevance and purpose of the content. So, make sure that you pick only the right information about the patient. 

Style and genre of your OET letter 

Of course, your letter should be formal. You need to write it using the right style. Learn more about how to write letters using formal tone. When you read some letters or books related to medicine you may understand how the presentation should be. 

Organizing your thoughts 

Information in the case notes can be a little disorganized. But, in your letter you will have to piece together the information at one place and present in the most organized way. Do not digress when you talk about the patient’s history or the medication or the action that is needed for further improvement. Divide your information in small paragraphs. Each paragraph should talk about specific things. 


The first paragraph will have introductory sentences where you will describe the purpose of the letter. It will be followed by a small paragraph which will showcase some details of the patient’s history, or the medications, and the treatment performed. This will be followed by the course of action, reaction to medicine, or the recommendations, etc. 
You need to be able to accurately apply elements of Grammar, Vocabulary, 

Lexical resources 

Use proper English language, preferably, medical English. But, of course, you don't have to pepper your content with only medical terminology. You need to make use of a variety of sentence structures, pick words and phrases that are the most effective.  

Enroll for the OET online training at OETPractice.net.