Improve Your Time Management in OET Writing

Improve Your Time Management in OET Writing


A lot of students join SET English and tell us that they struggle with managing their time in the OET Writing task. They often tell us about things like:

  • rubbing out and rewriting lines
  • adding lines to paragraphs
  • not finishing
  • not having time to check


All of these issues are understandable. However, we help you manage your time better! The table below gives some information about how to do it:


1) Understand what the examiners want

It’s always quicker and easier to write if you feel certain about task achievement. If you know what the examiners want to see in your letter then you will be more confident to start and continue writing.

If you feel unsure, you take longer to make decisions – and this wastes time.

When you are preparing for your exam, learn about and understand the importance of :

·       Purpose

·       Content

·       Organisation

Review the criteria personally & get some guidance & advice from experts




2) Understand structure & logical paragraphing



SET English we have very logical approach to paragraphing.

We teach that you should have a collection of paragraphs that you can use to organise your tasks.

For more information, check out our OET Sandwich writing book: SET OET Sandwich

Have a clear approach to paragraphing before you do your test!


3) Practise planning & have a repeatable process





Spend 10 – 15 minutes every time you write a letter:

·       Find the purpose (5 mins)

·       Choose content which supports the purpose (5 mins)

·       Organise the content logically (5 mins)


To establish the purpose, ask the following questions:

1)     Who is the reader?

2)     Do they know the patient?

3)     What is the reader’s task?

4)     Does the writer have any tasks?

5)     Why am I writing today?

6)     Is it urgent?


If you follow this planning advice, you will have 30 minutes remaining to write 180 – 200 words.

That’s definitely achievable!



4) Practise under timed conditions

If you don’t practise with a timer, you don’t know how that time pressure feels.

SET advice: Become good, then become fast

So,  for your 1st – 3rd letter: don’t worry about times. Just focus on planning properly, structure and your language.

But from the 4th letter onwards – 10-15 minutes planning / 30-35 minutes writing – EVERY TIME!


You can see the class relating to this blog here: Time Management in Writing


Best of luck!



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