Three Types of Letters in OET Letter Writing

The OET Writing sub-test will require you to write a letter. There can be three different types of letters. Each of these letters will have a different format or structure. You need to follow some basic rules of writing a letter. 

Purpose of the task

The sole purpose of the task is to assess your writing skills. You need to understand the task first. The case notes that you will get will be for your reference. You shall use them smartly. But, remember you should not copy the notes. You need to learn the art of paraphrasing. You can pick the information from the case notes and reconstruct in your own words. You will have to use a wide range of vocabulary. Try to use as many different grammatical structures as possible to convey the information in the right way. 

Three different types of letters are as follows: 

  • Referral
  • Discharge
  • Transfer

About Referral Letter 

In a majority of the cases, it will be a referral letter for you. Here, we have expired how your referral letter should be. 

The letter will be based on a real-world scenario. It can be a day-to-day case that you may come across as a healthcare professional or in the healthcare profession. 

You need to communicate essential patient’s information to another healthcare colleague.
The approach to writing all this type of letter (or even other types of letters) is going to be very simple. You will have to select only the most relevant information from the case notes and you will have to convert it into your own words and present it to the other healthcare colleague. 

Introductory sentences shall provide information about the patient. It makes sense to talk about the present condition of the patient, or the problems the patient is currently facing. If the present problem is the outcome of some past illness then it is necessary to mention the past illness as well. You need to explain the reason for writing the letter. It shall be very clear.   

If needed, you can also include: 

  • Description of significant family history
  • Medial, pregnancy, and developmental histories
  • Pertinent test results
  • Review of physical examination and/or diagnosis

Irrelevant information

There are many candidates who fill out the space in the letter with irrelevant information or unnecessary long sentences. Remember your score is calculated based on the information that you provide. It is not just about writing 150-180 words. You need to accomplish your goal of conveying the information in the right way. 

What happened?

Briefly describe the condition of the patient. What are the complaints of the patient? How is the condition of the patient now? What treatment has been provided? If you want, you can also include relevant dates and times to describe the series of events.   
Ending of the letter

Be clear about what you expect from your other healthcare colleague. Explain in one of two sentences about further treatment or necessity of tests, etc. 

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