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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

10 Sites and Apps for SAT Vocabulary Review

Like many of their peers across the country, this Saturday all of the Juniors at my school will be taking the SAT. Although it's kind of late to start prepping for the test, better to do some review this week than not do any at all. The following ten websites and mobile apps are designed to help students review the type of content they're likely to encounter on the SAT.

Vocab Ahead is a great service offering hundreds of videos designed to help students learn SAT and ACT vocabulary words. Each video features a narrator pronouncing the word, reading the definition, and then reading a sentence or two using the vocabulary word. An animated drawing accompanies each sentence to illustrate the meaning of each word and sentence. You can watch the Vocab Ahead videos individually or in a continuous stream. All of the Vocab Ahead videos can be viewed directly on their website or you can embed the Vocab Ahead widget into your own blog or website. Vocab Ahead also gives teachers the ability to create custom playlists of vocabulary videos. The playlists can be shared via email, a posted link on a blog, or by posting a vocabulary video widget on a blog or website.

Bubba Brain is a simple site packed with review games for students preparing for the SAT and AP exams. Bubba Brain also has some games for elementary and middle school subjects. The games all use the same format of giving a definition and asking students to find the word or term that it matches. Once a correct match is made, a new definition appears on the "back" of the answer to the previous definition.

Vocab Sushi is designed to help students prepare for standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, and more. When you register for an account, Vocab Sushi will ask you which test you are preparing for. Based upon the test for which you're preparing, Vocab Sushi will give you a short (20 question) quiz to evaluate your current skills. Then based on your score, Vocab Sushi will generate a list of words for you to learn.
EduFire is a tutoring service offering live video lessons. EduFire charges for the video lessons, but they do have a good selection of flashcards that students can access for free. There are many decks of flashcards designed for SAT and other standardized test preparation. Students can also access flashcards designed for developing and practicing foreign language comprehension.

Flashcards, either online or physical, still seem to be one of the preferred methods of studying vocabulary words. Flashcard Flash is a handy little search engine designed for one purpose, helping you find sets of flashcards. Flashcard Flash was built using Google Custom Search. Flashcard Flash searches twenty-two different flashcard services including Flashcard DB, Quizlet, and Study Stack all of which I've previously reviewed and found to be excellent services.

Power Vocab is a free iPhone App for learning and studying vocabulary commonly found on the GMAT and GRE. The app uses artificial intelligence based on the research of the MIT Web Semantics Lab and MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. The artificial intelligence in the Power Vocab app is used to learn about your vocabulary skills and habits to then present you with the word lists and exercises you need to focus on. The app provides you with tools to track your progress as your test date approaches.

Easel is an educational iPad App that provides a canvas for working on Algebra and SAT practice problems. Select a problem type from the menu and you're provided with a blank canvas to write and draw on in the same way that you would use scratch paper. If you get stuck, you can tap the "show me" button to get help. Easel has free and paid versions of an app for SAT prep and an app for Algebra.


Words, Words, Words is a free vocabulary app for Android from Socratica. I have previously checked out some other apps from Socratica that I liked, and this one is no different. I like that the interface is very visually-pleasing and easy to navigate. Words, Words, Words can be used in a flashcard-like manner for familiarizing yourself with the words or in a quiz mode. Words, Words, Words offers audio to help users with pronunciation.

Cobocards, like other flashcard services, allows you to create customized sets of flashcards. One of the key differences between Cobocards and other flashcard services is that Cobocards provides you with pdf copies of your flashcards that you can print to study offline. Of course, you can study also study your flashcards online.

Cramberry allows users to share flashcards with other users. After creating your flashcards you can contribute to a public gallery of flashcards. If you don't have time to make flashcards of your own, you can search for and study flashcards in the public gallery. To use the flashcards you will need to create a Cramberry account. Cramberry offers apps for iPhones and iPads. 

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