What is VELT about?

VELT is a paper-and-pen test consisting of 60 multiple choice tasks of the “one-best-answer type”. The test must be completed in 30 minutes.

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 10 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.

English language skills at (upper) B2 level ("Independent User") according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) are expected. B2 is the language level required by the Austrian upper secondary school-leaving examinations for the first foreign language.

Below, you can find some sample questions. For tips about how to prepare for the VELT, please click here.

Practising for VELT

Any practice or preparation you do for 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.

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  AfterB  WhileC  UntilD  Before
2.  I’ll go and visit her when I _____  to Paris.
A  'll getB  getC  have gotD  had got
3. His favourite pastime is _____ practical jokes.
A  to playB  playingC  to have playedD  having played
4.  I expect you to give me a _____ answer to my question: when did you last see him?
A  correctB  right C  straightD  conclusive
5.  When war broke out, the government looked for _____  in their fight against the aggressor.
A  friendsB  comradesC  alliesD  associates

Q1 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 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 asks you to distinguish between the use of the -ing form of a verb as subjects or objects or the infinitive.

Q4 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 tests vocabulary use in context. All the words signify a positive relationship, but only one word is used in the case of war.

For solutions, scroll to the bottom of the page or click here.

Here is an example of the text format:

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


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) _____, it should be used with discretion.


A  A disabilityB  An inabilityC  An unabilityD  A debility


A  withB  atC  byD  on


A  featureB  markC  signD  indication


A  common withB  according toC  due toD  stated by


A  DespiteB  ThereforeC  MoreoverD  However

Q1 tests your knowledge of word formation using prefixes.

Q2 tests your ability to use prepositions.

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

Q4 tests your knowledge of prepositional phrases in context.

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

For solutions, see below.

Solutions to sample questions


  • Individual sentence format
    • Q1: B - While
    • Q2: B - get
    • Q3: B - playing
    • Q4: C - straight
    • Q5: C - allies
  • Text format
    • Q1: B - An inability
    • Q2: C - by
    • Q3: A - A feature
    • Q4: B - according to
    • Q5: D - However