You have written your OET letters and you have submitted them to your OET teacher.  The teacher has spent time and energy reading your letters in order to provide you feedback on areas of strength and weaknessin your OET letter writing: she has highlighted grammar mistakes, spelling errors, errors in usage of expressions, length inappropriacies and so on. 

You then go on to write another letter making very similar mistakes. What is the problem here? Why do you continue to make the same kinds of errors?

Well, most likely it’s because you have missed out a vital stage in the process of becoming an expert in OET letter writing.  Although the teacher highlighted all of your errors, you didn’t spend time reflecting on your mistakes and, as a result, you weren’t able to avoid making the same kinds of mistakes in your future writing. 

In this article, I will be encouraging you to take some time to really reflect on the errors you are making in your OET letter writing.  I will advise you to acknowledge that quality is always preferable to quantity when it comes to improving your OET writing skills and moving from a lower grade to achieving the As and Bs you require.  So here are some steps as to how you can begin to make better use of teacher feedback.

 

1. Read all the feedback carefully

Let’s start with the most obvious and the most crucial step first.  When submitting OET writing, it is tempting to focus only on the grade and not on the reasons why that grade was awarded.  Perhaps you got a C, knowing that by itself is of very limited use to you.

What you really need to know is what it was which prevented you from achieving a higher-grade.  In order to determine this, you will need to read your teacher’s feedback carefully. You will need to look at both the errors identified in the body of your letter, including spelling errors, word order errors, errors in details taken from the case notes and anything else your teacher has highlighted. 

You should also make sure that you read the comments made carefully too. If the teacher states that you have written too many words, then try to determine which parts of the letter were overwritten so that you can write in a more synthesised manner in future.

If your teacher comments that you are using too many informal or non-standard expressions in your OET letter writing, then try to identify which expressions need to be avoided for future submissions.  I have seen expressions such as “do the needful”, for example, repeated many times despite being highlighted as inappropriate in the context of an OET letter.

2. Rewrite your letter

Once you have spent time reflecting on the errors your teacher has highlighted and read all of the comments, rewriting your letter can be a very useful exercise.  This process allows you to put your teacher’s feedback into practice in a direct manner.

You will be actively correcting your spelling and addressing your grammar and punctuation errors.  If possible, you can then ask your OET teacher to look at your letter again to see how successfully you were able to improve your writing based on their feedback.

As a result of doing this, you are much more likely to remember what your teacher has advised and, crucially, you’ll be in a much better position to use your teacher’s feedback usefully in future submissions.

Join one of our OET course packages (starting at just $49)in order to get high quality practice and feedback from one of our OET UK teachers by clicking here:

For doctors: https://www.swooshenglish.com/oet-packages-doctors
For nurses: https://www.swooshenglish.com/oet-packages-nurses

3. Be prepared to do some extra study

One of the main areas OET candidates often struggle with in OET writing is with the use of articles.  Many candidates fail to use grammatical words such as “a” and “the” correctly and, unfortunately, they continue to make the same errors in their writing despite these errors being repeatedly highlighted by their teachers. 

Mistakes like this can only be truly avoided by active study. So, in the case of article errors, this will involve actively pursuing information on article usage by reading grammar books or explainer videos or booking classes with trained English teachers who can help you in this specific area.

This doesn’t just apply to articles, it could relate to using linking expressions or aspects of punctuation such as apostrophes or any other aspect of language. 

In this case you are using feedback from your OET letter writing teacher in order to identify where you need to focus your efforts in order to make further improvements.

If you’re planning to take the OET exam, we’ve got live group classes, speaking mock exam classes, video courses and writing corrections as part of our OET packages. You can click here to learn more:

 For doctors: https://www.swooshenglish.com/oet-packages-doctors
For nurses: https://www.swooshenglish.com/oet-packages-nurses

4. Learn from other people’s mistakes

Before writing your own OET letters, it is a great idea to spend some time reading the letters from other OET students and the feedback given on those letters from OET teachers. 

Using Swoosh English’s Facebook forum, for example, you will have access to 1000s of letters written by OET candidates, ranging from the equivalent of A all the way to C and below. 

Reading a selection of these and the feedback they have received will allow you to learn from the mistakes other candidates have made and will provide you with the opportunity of speeding up your journey of achieving at the highest level possible in your OET writing exam.  

Practice

  1. Go to Swoosh’s Facebook OET writing forum now and look at at least 5 letters including the feedback given on those letters by OET teachers.  Which mistakes from those letters have impacted your writing in the past? What did you learn from reading other candidates’ work?

 

  1. Write your own OET letter and submit it to Swoosh’s Facebook forum for feedback.  Make sure you have not repeated any errors from the examples you read previously.

 

  1. Once your letter has been corrected, read all of the feedback carefully.  Decide which areas you should study in order to improve your writing in the future (for example, article usage, word order, tenses).

 

  1. Make sure you spend at least 2 hours studying the grammatical area which caused you issues in your OET letter writing.

 

  1. Rewrite your letter improving the areas highlighted by your teacher and applying what you have learnt from the study you engaged in for step 4.

 

  1. Resubmit this letter to your teacher and observe the improvements you have made due to focussing on the quality of your submissions as opposed to the quantity.

 

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✳️Read our blog for more tips on how to pass the OET exam: https://www.swooshenglish.com/blog/

 

 

Practice

  1. Look at Reading Sample Test 1 Part B here https://www.occupationalenglishtest.org/preparation-portal/free-sample-tests/reading-sample-test-1/ Try to answer the questions in 15 minutes.
    2. Check your answers using the answer sheet. How many were correct?
    3. Underline the parts of the text which gave you the correct answers.
    4. Now, using a different colour, underline the parts of the text which allowed you to eliminate the incorrect options.
    5. Now look at your errors. Underline the parts of the text which led you to making the choice that you did.
    6. Using the answer sheet, try to find the parts of the text where the correct answers were contained. Underline them using a different colour.
    7. Check all the parts of the texts which you have underlined. Do any of them contain any unfamiliar vocabulary? If so, use a dictionary to research the new words. Write the new words down with their definitions as part of a vocabulary list.
    8. Now try doing Reading Sample Test 2 Part B https://www.occupationalenglishtest.org/preparation-portal/free-sample-tests/reading-sample-test-2/ and go through the same procedure.

Join one of our OET course packages (starting at just $49)in order to get high quality practice and feedback from one of our OET UK teachers by clicking here:

For doctors: https://www.swooshenglish.com/oet-packages-doctors
For nurses: https://www.swooshenglish.com/oet-packages-nurses

 

 

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