Implementing a strict OET exam preparation routine is vital to ensuring your test success. It is imperative that you have the discipline to follow your study routine and become resourceful in finding other means to aid your training.
About the OET Exam
Before you start your OET exam preparation, it is vital that you understand the demands of the exam. OET is an English language test specific for healthcare professionals from different fields, including Dentistry, Nursing, and Pharmacy, among others. The exam has four components: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. This article focuses on the Writing sub-test.
OET Writing Sub-Test
The Writing exam lasts for 45 minutes. This sub-test is profession-specific since the tasks include typical workplace situations and demands of the profession. Test-takers will be asked to write a letter, typically for referral, transfer, or discharge, among others. Stimulus materials, such as case notes and documentation, will be provided. Assessors will mark your exam based on five criteria:
- overall task fulfillment (length and format of the letter);
- appropriateness of language (tone, organization, and vocabulary);
- comprehension of stimulus (use of relevant information);
- linguistic features (grammar and cohesion); and
- presentation features (spelling, punctuation, layout).
Here are tried-and-test writing tips to aid your OET exam preparation.
1. Understand the exam format
Writing within the writing limits is essential. Test-takers will be asked to write a letter with 180–200 words. Writing more than the given word count will lessen your time to proofread your work. Remember, read the instructions carefully and manage your time well.
2. Build your spelling skills
Among the main aspects assessed in the Writing sub-test are spelling, punctuation, and layout. Introduce new English words to your vocabulary every day to build your spelling skills. It is also imperative that you research on the correct spelling of medical terms. Incorrect spelling can reduce your points in the presentation features criterion.
3. Research on the accepted layout for different kinds of letters
Various layouts and letter formats are accepted by healthcare professionals. It will all depend on the context given. Hence, you must study the appropriate layout for a particular task.
4. Utilize OET training practice exercises
OET instructors provide practice exercises to hone the writing skills of students. Maximize your preparation period by taking a series of practice exercises. This will help you acclimate to the demands of the exam, and become more prepared for the test.
5. Bank on OET review materials about writing
Look for study materials online or ask previous test-takers if they can lend you their training resources. This will help improve your writing skills and give you a better understanding of the exam format and demands.
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