Importance of Grammar in OET ( With easy tips )

Learning the English language is considered to be a herculean task by many owing to the difficulty in understanding its grammar and structure. Yeah, the case is not different with the majority of the Non – English speakers who thrive on clearing the Occupational English test. 

Grammar is one of the key concepts in determining the OET score of the candidates. Hence, knowing grammar is highly important for clearing the OET exam. Those candidates with poor command of English grammar may find it difficult to crack the test with the desired score.

importance of grammar in oet

Even though there is no individual module for evaluating the grammar skills of the examinee in the OET examination, each sub-test is tailored in a way to identify the knowledge of the test taker in English grammar and structure. Grammar is included as a criterion for assessing all the four subtests in the OET exam. In this article, I would like to guide the health care professionals who wish to attend the OET exam about the importance of grammar in OET listening, reading, writing and speaking subtests.

What is OET grammar?

OET grammar refers to the particular arena of English grammar which constitutes a set of rules and regulations in the structure and system of language including syntax, morphology, semantics and phonology. Being an OET aspirant you should focus on certain areas in English grammar, which are of prime importance, and they are as follows:

  • Tenses
  • open and closed questions 
  • passive voice 
  • propositions 
  • articles 
  • linking words 
  • proper use of punctuation
  • clauses
oet grammar lessons and modules

Having a grip on the aforementioned areas will definitely help you in giving answers to all the subtests with minimal grammatical errors. And trust me, this can really help in elevating your scores as well. There are specific areas under all the topics given above that you need to understand really well. Here, I have included the specific areas of utmost importance to you.


Present tense holds an important position when it comes to OET, especially for OET writing. All the four divisions of the present tense that is present simple, present continuous, present perfect and present perfect continuous will have to be used in different instances when you write a referral letter or discharge letter. 

Depending on the situations in the letter or on the basis of the audio that you listen to during the A part of the listening sub-test, you should be able to use different forms of the present tense. The candidate should be capable enough to frame positive, negative, interrogative and imperative sentences. Not only present tense but the appropriate use of past and future tense should also be practised in advance.

Open and close-ended questions

Knowing how to frame open and close-ended questions are more important for the speaking sub-test. As the candidate is required to gather all the relevant pieces of information from the interlocutor, who enacts the role of carer or patient, he or she may have to pose an array of queries. At this point of time, if the candidate fails to construct the question sentences properly, undoubtedly, he or she will lose the score. First and foremost, the aspirant should get to know the difference between both types of questions and learn the rules for the formation of interrogative sentences.

Passive Voice

Most of the test takers fail to identify when and where to use passive voice. The healthcare professional can build a relationship with the patient or care only with the aid of proper communication. While conversing the candidate needs to have a clear idea about when to convert the object in the sentence into the subject. Also, he or she should be careful not to use certain verbs in the passive form, for instance, those action verbs denoting a natural process like healing or improvement. This very knowledge really matters while composing a letter in the writing subtest or while giving assurance during the role-play session of the speaking test.


Though small in size, the pertinent application of these short terms is still unthinkable for many. It is impossible to learn by – heart the rules of prepositions, then the only way left to master prepositions in the English language is through practice. One needs to constantly use all these propositions in different situations so that you will not forget it in the future. Else, it would be quite hard for the candidates when they present an idea in the letter or role play.


As far as non-native English speakers are considered, the correct usage of articles is out of the question for them. With regards to OET writing and speaking modules, the candidate may have to refer to their professional role or have to make use of nouns for describing the patient and then there is a need of adding the article in front of it. Therefore, articles have a prominent role in grammar. 

Linking words

Linking words, otherwise known as connectors, serve an undeniable part in constructing meaningful sentences with better quality in OET writing tasks. Imbibing new connectors and their use will be an add on advantage for the examinee to score well as it would create an impression in the mind of the assessors. Including connectors in between sentences will enable us to convey the idea with clarity and precision.

Proper use of punctuation

Do you have any idea about when to use commas, full stops, exclamation marks, question marks and so on? OET has always been introducing changes in the traditional hard and fast rules for using punctuation marks. It is advisable for the candidates to check the official website of OET to take a note of the accepted formats before appearing for the test.


As in the case of connectors, good command over relative clauses is greatly indispensable for the meaningful expression of sentences and for adding details in a formal letter. Especially in the case of letter writing, candidates may face several occurrences to use what, when or where (examples of a relative clause). This is the reason why relative clauses gain more importance than any other clauses. 

I am pretty sure that you have had thoughts regarding the concept of OET grammar. Well, OET grammar does not refer to anything that is unknown to you. So, you can stay calm as things are not going to be as difficult as you think. Through practice, you can surely get through this task without much effort.

Is grammar important in OET listening?

Grammar holds significance in the OET listening module as well. When we consider Part A of the OET listening, it is evident that to make a note of what you hear in the audio demands expertise in English grammar. 

Many people think that grammar will not be a matter of concern for OET listening since the B and C parts of the sub-test contain multiple-choice questions whose answers have already been given in the question booklet itself. 

It is true that we are not asked to construct new sentences. Instead, the listener can write down exactly what he or she hears. But, a person, who is not aware of the cases such as singular, plural or parts of speech, does have the chance of making errors while noting down the lecture that he listens to. 

Moreover, if the listener is good at grammar, he or she can easily make predictions in several instances about the answers by connecting with the medical knowledge that the person possesses. 

To check your oet score click here

Is grammar important in OET reading?

Like all other subtests, the reading module is also assessed on the basis of the grammatical knowledge of the examinee. Grammatical errors made while answering may result in the loss of a considerable amount of marks. 

It is essential to check for grammatical mistakes before finishing off the session. Make sure that you have placed proper articles, nouns, connectors and linking words so that your answer will not be wrong. Always bear in mind that half of the percentage of your OET exam should be devoid of grammatical faults.

Is grammar important in OET writing?

Grammar plays a pivotal role in the OET writing module. This is mainly because the candidate ought to compose a letter using the vocabulary and sentence structure that he or she knows. Unlike the listening and reading session, the test taker can exhibit his or her writing skills completely only if he or she has great apprehension of grammar.

Obviously, the ideas given in the case note should be expressed using proper tense and connectors, for which the candidate must have a proper understanding of specific areas in English grammar as mentioned in the previous section. On top of that, grammar is also included as a criterion for assessing the OET letter writing task. 

Is grammar important in OET speaking?

Unquestionably, it is proven that one can perform the maximum in the OET speaking module only if he or she can present the dialogues in the role play with correct grammar and vocabulary. The candidate must be able to render the ideas spontaneously by incorporating the proper sentence structure and lexis. Thus, knowledge of grammar is an inevitable factor in the OET speaking subtest.

Similar to the case of OET writing, speaking skill is also vaulted by determining the candidate’s knowledge of grammar and its application. It could be challenging for healthcare professionals to get through this, but constant practice in different medical contexts in the workplace can really help them to make it simpler.

In addition, the youtube videos on our speaking sessions are available plenty now. Referring to those video classes may also guide you to deal with this complex task. Unlike writing tests, the candidate may not receive enough time to frame sentences or to check for errors in the speaking session. Hence, the candidate will have to be more cautious while preparing for the speaking sub-test.

OET grammar resources

For healthcare professionals to improve their grammar skills, a lot of grammar books are available. Some of the best resources for learning English grammar as follows:

  • Practical English grammar – A J Thomson
  • Practical English Usage: Michael Swan’s guide to problems in English – 4th edition – Micahel Swan
  • Hospital English – The brilliant learning workbook for International Nurses – Catherine Arakelian
  • Concise Medical Dictionary – Oxford

Tips to improve OET grammar

Here go the easy tips which enhance your OET grammar skills:

  1. Get coaching from a language trainer who has good command over grammar.
  2. Rather than learning the rules of grammar by heart, try to understand when and where to apply it. 
  3. Watch English programmes and read English journals or stories daily. While doing so, focus on the pattern and structure of each sentence.
  4. Get feedback from the trainer and try to improve on the basis of their suggestions.


Proper planning and practice can certainly help the OET candidates who find grammar intricate. Nowadays, hundreds of online video sessions are available for grammar practice. If you are a person who really longs to clear the OET exam, all that you need is to find some time and have the patience to get to know about the required fields of grammar in the OET.

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