Using Verb Tenses | OET Writing (OET Podcast Ep. #6)

Using Verb Tenses OET Writing


In this episode of the Swoosh English OET Podcast, UK English teachers Scott and Una discuss how to use verb tenses for the OET Writing task. They discuss 4 tenses: present, past simple, present perfect and present continuous.

How is each tense used and what are some examples? Read on to find out and much more!

Listen to the episode on Spotify, YouTube and Apple Podcasts


OET Writing task involves a letter (referral, discharge or advice letter)

You have 45 minutes in total which includes 5 minutes to look at the case notes

Tenses are important for the Language scoring criteria

Incorrect tenses might confuse your readers in the real world

Present Simple Tense

• The present simple tense is used to report unchanging facts like a person’s name, age, job with verbs like do, make, come. Example: 

“The patient is allergic to penicillin.”

Past Simple Tense

• To use the past simple tense, change the verbs from do, make and come to did, made and came.

• This tense provides information on some other time that the patient visited you in the past and said in the context of a fixed time period: two weeks ago, last month, yesterday. Example: 

“The patient first presented 2 months ago with a bowel complaint. At this time, she displayed symptoms consistent with IBS.”

Present Perfect Tense

• This tense is used to state about an action or time which may have occurred in the past but still relevant at this time. There is no set time period. Examples:

“I have prescribed the patient Propranarol in order to help control his anxiety.”

“The patient has received massage therapy for the last 5 months.”

• Some indicator words include for and since.

Present Continuous Tense

• This tense is designed to show an action which is specifically relevant to the present and can be used to refer to something very recent. Examples: 

“The patient’s condition is deteriorating.”

“The patient is refusing to take her medication.”

 Final point: Get feedback and improve your knowledge of tenses by making a table that lists down articles, tenses, pronouns, etc and correcting your mistakes.

For more helpful tips and articles, simply go to

1 thought on “Using Verb Tenses | OET Writing (OET Podcast Ep. #6)”

  1. Please find a solution for listening part A answering. To scroll back and fort is making me lose focus. The material is good but because of the technical limitations the magic is gone.

    Kind regards

    Asim Mentesh

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