News - Specialist Language Courses

Changes in the OET Writing Criteria


This will be of great interest to any healthcare employer or recruitment company whose nurses and doctors achieve the score required by the NMC or GMC in the Reading, Listening and Speaking papers, but fail to do so in the Writing.

Currently, the Writing test is marked out of 30. Download the current OET Writing score criteria.  Download

Infographic writing criteria


From August 31st, the Writing test will be marked out of 38 and there will be six criteria:

  1. Purpose – is the purpose of the letter immediately apparent to the reader and sufficiently expanded in the course of the letter?
  2. Content - is all the necessary information included and accurate for the reader?
  3. Conciseness & clarity - has unnecessary information from the case notes been omitted so that the letter is an effective summary for the reader?
  4. Genre and style – are the register, tone and use of abbreviations appropriate for the reader?
  5. Organisation and layout – is the letter organised and well laid out for the reader?
  6. Language - does the accuracy of the grammar, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation communicate the necessary information to the reader?

Purpose is marked out of 3, while the other five criteria are marked out of 7.

Download the new OET Writing score criteria



What is the effect of this?

The updated marking does not apply until the September tests, so we won’t see any impact until then. However, as an OET training company, we feel that the updates will enable us to target the preparation programmes we deliver more precisely.

The additional criteria and assessment bands makes it clearer to understand what the task demands and what OET markers are looking for. The greater range of marks also means each grade will be a little wider and if a candidate scores poorly on one criterion this won’t impact as negatively as at present. The greater range of marks available also means that the target range of grade B may be more clearly identifiable. We will continue to measure the results of the hundreds of candidates taking OET after our preparation programmes and adjusting our training accordingly.


  OET Preparation Programmes


Download the SLC OET Preparation brochure to find out more about SLC’s OET preparation options – tutored, self-study, blended – or just drop us an email on or give us a call on 01273 900213.

Written by Carina Morante

Carina leads SLC’s marketing campaigns, making sure that our customers – current and future – really understand what SLC offers and how we work to deliver outstanding training programmes and online course materials to our global client base. Carina has a Masters degree in Neuromarketing and is an all round genius when it comes to digital, design, video production and social.
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