Surfing the Net With Kids

By Barbara Feldman
November 26, 2010

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This week’s roundup of vocabulary sites offers a mix of pre-defined tests and tools to create quizzes based on your own word list. Whether your goal is a good score on Friday’s vocab quiz, a perfect score on your Verbal SAT, or simply to improve your vocabulary, these sites will surely help.

Flashcard DB

At Flashcard DB, you can create your own flashcards, or use an existing set created by a community member. Online study can be paced by either the Leitner or Graded Spaced Repetition systems, which are two different algorithms for studying harder items (those with incorrect answers) more often than easy items (those you’ve answered correctly). In addition to the print function, Flashcard DB offers a multiple-choice interactive quiz for all the flashcard sets.

“Quizlet eats flashcards for breakfast.’’ Although some games are playable without an account, you will want to sign up for a free account to build your own interactive flashcard sets to study in five different modes: Familiarize, Learn, Test, Scatter Game, and Space Race Game. Sets are organized by tags, and can be coded private or public, or exported in a variety of formats to use elsewhere. Before I run out of space here, I must tell you that Andrew Sutherland started Quizlet in 2005 when he was just 15. Put Quizlet on your must-see list, and spend a few minutes reading up on this amazing young entrepreneur.

Basic membership at Test Designer is free, but does require registration. A free membership allows you to create and save up to two printable tests at a time, with up to 10 questions each. The easiest way to begin is to choose a grade level (kindergarten through grad school), and build a test by choosing from the existing vocab words. To enter your own vocabulary words, dash over to Create (in the horizontal menu at the top of the page). There is also a paid membership that allows members to create an unlimited number of private tests.

Vocab Test

These free (ad-supported) online vocabulary tests are categorized either by grade level (6 through 12) or levels A to H from the Vocabulary Workshop books published by Sadlier-Oxford. Each interactive unit can be practiced in a variety of ways: sentences, definitions, synonyms, or antonyms. At the end of each test, your scores can be e-mailed or printed out. There is also a Quiz Maker where you can enter your own words, but it is not as feature-rich as those offered at other sites.