10 common OET Writing Mistakes and How to avoid them

What is OET Writing?

OET writing is a section of the Occupational English Test (OET) that assesses your ability to write clear, concise, and error-free English in a variety of healthcare contexts. The OET writing section is scored on a scale of 0 to 500, with 500 being the highest score.

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To achieve a high score on the OET writing section, you need to be able to:

  • Write clear and concise sentences
  • Use correct grammar and punctuation
  • Use appropriate vocabulary
  • Organize your ideas logically
  • Proofread your work carefully

Our tips cover ten frequent errors and show you how to avoid them for success.


1. Lack of Clarity and Focus

Vague Expression

  • Use clear and concise language to avoid further confusion.
  • Avoid overly complex sentence structures.
  • Provide specific details and examples to support your points.

Unclear Pronoun Reference

  • Ensure pronouns have clear antecedents to avoid confusion.
  • If necessary, repeat the noun to maintain clarity.

2. Poor Organization and Structure

Inadequate Paragraphing

  • Start each new idea in a separate paragraph.
  • Avoid using vague or general topic sentences.

 Lack of Logical Flow

  • Avoid using the exact transition words over and over again.
  • Follow a chronological or cause-and-effect order when presenting the information.

3. Incorrect Grammar and Syntax

 Subject-Verb Agreement

  • Avoid using singular verbs with plural subjects and plural verbs with singular subjects.
  • Be especially cautious with compound issues.

 Run-On Sentences and Sentence Fragments

  • Break down long sentences into shorter, clear statements.
  • Make sure every sentence has a subject and a predicate.

4. Insufficient Vocabulary and Word Choice


  • Avoid excessive repetition of words or phrases.
  • Use synonyms or rephrase sentences to maintain variety.

 Inaccurate Word Usage

  • Consult a reliable dictionary to confirm the meaning and usage of unfamiliar words.
  • Use precise vocabulary relevant to the medical field.

5. Neglecting Task Requirements

 Ignoring the Case Notes

  • Carefully read and understand the case notes provided.
  • Address all relevant points in your response to showcase your comprehension.

 Not Following the Letter Format

  • Adhere to the formal letter format prescribed by the OET guidelines.
  • Include appropriate salutations, openings, closings, and signatures.

6. Inadequate Proofreading and Editing

 Spelling and Punctuation Errors

  • Use spell-check tools but rely on something other than them.
  • Proofread your writing carefully to catch any spelling or punctuation mistakes.

 Disregarding Time Constraints

  • Allocate sufficient time for reviewing and editing your work.
  • Only submit hastily-written responses with proper revision.

7. Lack of Cohesion and Coherence

 Disjointed Ideas

  • It is important to ensure that there is a logical flow between your ideas.
  • Use transition words like “however,” “in addition,” and “therefore” to connect your ideas smoothly.

 Inconsistent Tense Usage

  • Maintain consistent verb tenses throughout your writing.
  • Switching between tenses can confuse the reader, so choose one tense and stick to it.

8. Overly Complex Sentence Structures

 Excessive Use of Passive Voice

  • While passive voice has its place, overusing it can clarify your writing.
  • Opt for an active voice when the action’s doer is important, or clarity is paramount.

 Stringing Clauses Together

  • Be cautious of creating overly lengthy and complex sentences with multiple clauses.
  • Break down complex ideas into separate sentences to enhance readability.

9. Misinterpreting the Patient’s Needs

 Not Addressing Patient Concerns

  • Carefully analyze the case notes to understand the patient’s condition and concerns.
  • Address their specific needs and provide relevant information in your response.

 Focusing Solely on Medical Details

  • While medical accuracy is crucial, pay attention to the emotional and personal aspects of the patient’s situation.
  • Balance medical information with empathy and consideration for the patient’s feelings.

10. Inadequate Introduction and Conclusion

 Weak Opening Statements

  • Craft a solid and engaging introduction that sets the tone for your letter.
  • Clearly state the letter’s purpose and briefly overview what will be discussed.

 Abrupt Conclusions

  • Summarize the key points of your letter in the conclusion.
  • Restate the purpose and offer a closing thought that leaves a lasting impression.


To boost your OET writing skills and score well, avoid common mistakes and follow the advice given.Remember, practice, preparation, and attention to detail are your allies in conquering the OET writing section and advancing your healthcare career internationally.

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We provide friendly, professionally qualified and experienced trainers who help you to achieve your desired score. We also offer flexible and convenient timings which allow you to study even in your busy schedule. Listening and reading sessions are taken unlimitedly by specially trained tutors; therefore, they explain tips and strategies in each session which help to acquire your required score.

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