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Writing the date in the right place on your letter

writing date

 

In OET Writing, you should follow the standard layout for letters. That means, you write the recipient's details, including their address in the top left, the date, plus a salutation (e.g. Dear Doctor) and an Re: line.

We hear many questions about how and where to write the date in OET Writing tasks. In this blog, we'll clear everything up with the answers to three common questions.

 

1. Should the date come at the very top of the letter or after the address?

The position of the date can be either above the recipient's address or below the address. It is normal to leave a blank line space between the date and address. See examples below:

Example 1:

Date (this position is acceptable)

Name of recipient
Address
Address

Dear (name/title),

 

Example 2:

Name of recipient
Address
Address

Date (this position is acceptable)

Dear (name/title),

 

2. Should the date be in full-form or numbers separated by slashes?

In formal letters, it is normal for the date at the start to be written in full form e.g. 2 October 2021 rather than 2/10/21. Check out the sample letters that come with our free sample tests for more examples.

 

3. Should I write the date of the test, the discharge date of the patient or some other date?

The date for your letter will usually be given at the start of the writing test, like this: Assume that today's date is ....

Use that date. If you make a mistake in the test and write a different date or use numbers not words, don't panic. The assessors are looking for your understanding of letter writing convention in English. It is much more important that a date is on the letter than that the date you used is correct.