Wednesday, October 13, 2010

5 Resources for Learning SAT Vocabulary

Today, all of the sophomores and juniors in my school are taking the PSAT. That got me thinking about some of the many resources designed to help students learn PSAT and SAT vocabulary that I've come across over the last few years. Here are five resources worth checking out.

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.