OET Writing: Learn these 3 letter types to get a GRADE A

In the OET writing subtest, the test taker is required to exhibit various skills with regards to writing and they will be writing this letter to another health care professional. Hence, it goes without saying that the recipient has to get a clearcut idea of what to do next or how to continue the care.

Interested to know what the most common types of letters are in OET Writing? Read on to find more.

OET Writing

The 3 main types of letters you will come across are:
  • A referral letter
  • A transfer letter
  • A letter of discharge

A point to be noted here is, none of the situations presented to you in the letter will be fictional. They will always be real-life situations.

Different types, same approach
Although you will have to write 3 different types of letters in OET writing, the approach to writing a letter is the same. That is you have to select relevant information from the case notes and write a clear purpose paragraph.

Attention to the Introduction
While all the letters are similar to some extent, the difference really pops out while reading the introduction. This is where you explain the purpose or the intent of writing the letter.

Before reading any further, always keep in mind that there is no one perfect way to begin the letter but rather, the analysis of the given scenario decides what is the best suited way to go about this. You can assess the situation with the help of the final section in the case notes. The WRITING TASK given at the end of the case notes will have clues hidden that will help you decide what sort of language to use. 

However, some of the common ways to begin are with 

Thank you for seeing/reviewing/providing...........
I am writing to (urgently) refer/transfer/discharge/update/request...........
Mr. Carter, your (my) patient,/ Your (My) patient, Mr Carter...............

Be careful of these common mistakes that you might make
  • The word 'refer' is used only and exclusively when the patient is new and the recipient and the patient have no prior relations. So it is used only when the patient is being introduced to the reader. Thus, make sure you judge the scenario appropriately when using this word.
  • A second common mistake is a usage of 'refer back'. Especially when writing a reply to the person who has made the referral, the word 'refer back' is incorrect as you cannot introduce someone a second time.