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What is VELT about?

VELT is a paper-and-pen test consisting of 60 multiple choice tasks of the “one-best-answer type”.

VELT is a mixture of two test formats. A considerable part of the test consists of individual sentences which test your knowledge of grammar and syntax, i.e. the most common structures of the English language you should be familiar with, and vocabulary; the second format is a short reading passage with about 5 to 7 gaps. The reading tasks will again test your knowledge of grammar, syntax and vocabulary, but will also test your understanding of connections within a text.

The items are of increasing difficulty. The test must completed in 30 minutes.

 

Here are some examples of the individual sentence format:

In this section you must choose the word or phrase which best completes each sentence. For questions 1 - 5  , mark one letter A, B, C or D on your Answer Form.

1.       ………. we were having our dinner, there was a knock on the door.

A  After      B  While      C  Until      D  Before

2.       I’ll go and visit her when I ……….  to Paris.

A  ‘ll get      B  get      C  have got      D  had got

3.       His favourite pastime is ………. practical jokes.

A  to play      B  playing      C  to have played      D having played

4.       I expect you to give me a ………. answer to my question: when did you last see him?

A  correct      B  right      C  straight      D  conclusive

5.       When war broke out, the government looked for ……….  in their fight against the aggressor.

A  friends      B  comrades      C  allies      D  associates

 

Q1 (B) tests your ability to understand the function/meaning of subordinating conjunctions in clauses of time.  You should, furthermore, be aware of the continuous aspect of the time clause.

Q2 (B) tests your knowledge of (one of) the ways in which future can be expressed, e.g. that after “when”. Being competent in the use of tenses is important for passing VELT.

Q3 (B) asks you to distinguish between the use of the –ing form of a verb as subjects or objects or the infinitive.

Q4 (C) tests vocabulary. This is an area of vocabulary knowledge which focuses on particular words going together such as “heavy drinker – not strong drinker”.  This area of vocabulary is called collocation. Proper use of collocations makes your language sound natural and fluent.

Q5 (C) tests vocabulary use in context. All the words signify a positive relationship, but only one word is used in the case of war.

 

 

Here is an example of a text format:

In this section you must choose the word or phrase which best fits each space in the texts. For questions 1 - 5 , mark one letter A, B, C or D on your Answer Form.

 

Memory

Our memory is a fascinating thing, and improving it is important.   (1) ………. to remember names is the commonest complaint that people make about their memories.  But there is a simple strategy for improving memory: (2) ………. picturing the name associated with an outstanding (3) ……….  of the face.  Studies show that the use of this technique can improve people’s memory for names by 80 per cent, (4) ………. Dr Michael Gruneberg. (5)

1.       A  A disability       B An inability      C  An unability   D  A debility

2.       A  with                 B  at                  C  by                 D  on

3.       A  feature             B  mark             C  sign              D  indication

4.       A  common with   B  according to   C  due to          D  stated by

5.       A  Despite            B  Therefore       C  Moreover      D  However

 

Q1 (B) tests your knowledge of word formation using prefixes.

Q2 (C) tests your ability to use prepositions.

Q3 (A) tests your use of vocabulary in context. Here all four words are possible, but only one word is used in this context.

Q4 (B) tests your knowledge of prepositional phrases in context.

Q5 (D) tests your ability to understand information beyond the sentence and connect sentences meaningfully.

 

Any practice or preparation you do for sitting VELT is useful. You should, though, be aware that being competent in English is not about demonstrating knowledge in grammar and vocabulary, but being able to apply this knowledge appropriately according to situational needs.

 

Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik /
Department of English
Universität Wien
Campus d. Universität Wien
Spitalgasse 2-4/Hof 8.3
1090 Wien
Austria

T: +43-1-4277-424 01
F: +43-1-4277-9424
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