Uncountable Nouns in OET

It’s important to error-free OET letters to score B or A grade in OET. Majority of writing errors take place in the grammar section and that too especially when writing uncountable nouns.

To put it in layman terms, they have difficulty finding out whether or not a particular word needs article a/an before it. Similarly, they are not sure about writing s/es with that particular noun.

What are nouns?

A noun can be a person, a place or an object. These are of two types:

  1. Uncountable Nouns in OET
  2. Countable Nouns in OET

What are uncountable nouns in OET Writing?

Nouns which cannot be counted are called uncountable nouns. For example, “data” is an uncountable noun. We cannot say 1 data, 2 data, 3 data and so on. It’s not possible to write indefinite article a or an in front of an uncountable noun

OET Writing

Pasted below are uncountable nouns in4 broad categories. Note that these are tailored to OET writing and have been found after scanning hundreds of OET nursing, medicine and pharmacy case notes.

Generic Uncountable Nouns

  • DO NOT write article a/an before these words
  • DO NOT pluralise the nouns

Read the following uncountable nouns commonly used in OET writing.

  • accommodation
  • admission
  • advice
  • anger
  • assistance
  • attention
  • balance
  • behavior/behaviour
  • care
  • concentration
  • confusion
  • courage
  • damage
  • depression
  • discomfort
  • dosage
  • education
  • energy
  • enthusiasm
  • equipment
  • failure
  • fall
  • growth
  • hair
  • happiness
  • health
  • hunger
  • importance
  • information
  • injury
  • intolerance
  • ischemia
  • itching
  • knowledge
  • labor/labour
  • lethargy
  • loneliness
  • management
  • noise
  • nutrition
  • obesity
  • pain
  • paleness
  • pallor
  • pathology
  • permission
  • pressure
  • progress
  • recreation
  • relief
  • research
  • sleep
  • sleeplessness
  • smoking
  • sneezing
  • speech
  • stiffness
  • strength
  • stress
  • success
  • support
  • surgery
  • tenderness
  • thirst
  • time
  • tiredness
  • tissue
  • tolerance
  • treatment
  • usage
  • vision
  • weakness
  • work
  • bleeding
  • hospitalisation

Uncountable Medical Nouns

  • Always Written in Plural Form
  • As with common uncountable nouns, you cannot write  indefinite article  a or an with these words.
  • caries
  • genetics
  • measles
  • glasses
  • clothes
  • scissors

Uncountable Nouns – Disease Names/Conditions

  • anemia
  • cancer
  • dementia
  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • influenza/flu
  • insomnia
  • ischemia
  • jaundice
  • leukemia
  • nausea
  • neuralgia
  • neuropathy
  • pneumonia

Common Uncountable Nouns – Medical Procedures

  • acupuncture
  • angiography
  • breast screening
  • catheterization
  • chemotherapy
  • kidney dialysis
  • liposuction
  • occupational therapy
  • physiotherapy
  • rhinoplasty

COUNTABE NOUNS IN OET WRITING

With countable nouns, you can use article a or an and even write the noun in a plural form. Check the list below:

Common Countable Medical Nouns

  • a/an can be used
  • can be pluralized
  • analgesic
  • anti-depressant
  • anti-diabetic
  • anti-hypertensives
  • biopsy
  • carcinoma
  • cough
  • cyst
  • diagnosis
  • expectorant
  • fever
  • graft
  • heart attack
  • illness
  • lesion
  • malignancy
  • metastasis
  • mucolytic
  • transplant
  • tremor
  • tumour/tumor
  • wound

Common Countable Medical Procedures

  • a/an can be used
  • a blood test
  • a breast screen
  • a cholecystectomy
  • a colostomy
  • a dressing
  • a tonsillectomy
  • an angiogram
  • an MRI (scan)
  • an ultrasound (scan)
  • an X-ray
  • an appendectomy
  • *a hip/knee/shoulder replacement

* hip/knee/shoulder replacement surgery; no article

Exceptions

The following nouns can be used as countable & uncountable nouns.

Assessment

An assessment confirmed her diagnosis. (Countable – when used specifically)
He is referred to you for further assessment. (Uncountable – when used generally)

Swelling

On examination, there was a swelling on his back. (Countable as a specific sign)
An insect bite can cause pain and swelling. (Uncountable as a general condition)
However, it is not pluralized.

Appetite

She complained of a poor appetite. (Countable as a specific symptom)
Symptoms include tiredness and poor appetite. (Uncountable as a general condition)
However, it is not pluralized.

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