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What date should I use in my OET writing task?


What date should I use in my OET letter?


One of the most common questions I get asked by OET candidates, is "What date should I use in the letter?" After all, it's really important that you format your letter correctly, and this means using standardised conventions, such as putting the receiver's name and address at the top left-hand corner; ending with a conventional sign-off, such as "Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any further enquiries."; and, mentioning the date correctly at the start of your OET letter.


Once you know how to begin, you don't even need to worry about these things - you can just go ahead and fill it all in, and then really concentrate on the content of the letter itself.


So, let's go over how you select the date of the letter, as I'm sure a lot of you have been wondering the same thing. In fact, this is the part that Reshma, one of my YouTube students got in touch with me about as she wanted some clarification. Here's her question:


She asked, "If the discharge date is given, what would 'today's date' be?"


Well, that's a great question, and it's actually, really simple to answer. OET will actually specify which date to use and it will always be a day in the past. They'll mention it right at the start of the case notes and say, "Assume that today is..."


So let's imagine they say, "Assume today is 15th July 2019", so we put that date on the letter.


If your patient was discharged from hospital on 15th July 2019, we can mention this in our letter and you can do so like this:



xxx (Receiver's name)

xxx (Receiver's address)


15th July 2019

(you can also put this on the left-hand side if you prefer)


Dear Receiver's Title and Surname


Re: Patient and D.O.B



I am writing to introduce Mrs Joan Cusack who was discharged from hospital today following successful knee replacement surgery (R. knee).

xxxx and then you carry on




Perhaps the notes tell you she was discharged on 14th July 2019. In that case, you would write:


xxx (Receiver's name)

xxx (Receiver's address)


15th July 2019



Dear Receiver's Title and Surname


Re: Patient and D.O.B



I am writing to introduce Mrs Joan Cusack who was discharged from hospital yesterday following successful knee replacement surgery (R. knee).

xxxx and then you carry on



Or, if the discharge happened on 8th July 2019, we can either write as above and then:


I am writing to introduce Mrs Joan Cusack who was discharged from hospital a week ago following successful knee replacement surgery (R. knee).


OR


I am writing to introduce Mrs Joan Cusack who was discharged from hospital on 8th July 2019 following successful knee replacement surgery (R. knee).



A Clear Timeline


It's really important that you set out a clear timeline so that the reader knows what happened when, but, just follow what has been given to you in the case notes, and you'll be fine.


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