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OET assesses your English language skills, not medical knowledge | OET

Don’t get caught out diagnosing the patient

OET uses healthcare scenarios to assess your English language skills. It is not a test of your medical knowledge. Instead, it uses healthcare scenarios to test your English language skills.

Understanding the difference will help you perform better when you take OET.

Focus on English skills, not your medical knowledge

In the writing test, you do not have to interpret the case notes provided to you in the task. You shouldn’t justify any of the case notes or add details which are not part of the case notes. You are not required, and you shouldn’t, make a diagnosis.

Your task is to understand the case notes using your professional knowledge of patients and communicate this information in letter format using accurate English.

If you do add information or provide justification/ a diagnosis, you may alter what the Writing task is asking you to do and this may affect your score.

How should I approach the Writing task?

Use the 5 minutes’ reading time you are allocated to go through the case notes. Think about which information the patient will need to know so they can take the action you want.

Once the Writing time starts, spend a few minutes planning your letter. This might include listing the information you will add to each paragraph. Make a final check to ensure you have included all the important details in your plan before you start writing your letter.

For more information about the Writing subtest, check out our Test Information page.