Increase your vocabulary for effective language proficiency
There are more than one million words in the English language. Most people, however, use about 2,000 words to handle their everyday communication. And, even though we won’t be able to learn them all, we do judge people by the words they use.
We review five of the top vocabulary software to help improve your communication, writing and reading skills and of course career options. We looked at various products such as cloud software, online tools or CD-sets that cover different learning styles.
Popular Vocabulary Software 2016/2017
|Vocab1||Ultimate Vocabulary||WordSmart Excellence||Verbal Advantage||Overnight Vocabulary|
|Visit Website||Visit Website||Read Review||Visit Website||Read Review|
|142,647 words||140,000 words||20,000 words||3,500 words||300 words|
|Mac, Windows||Cloud||CD-Rom||CD-Rom||Download, CD|
Please note: Ultimate Vocabulary is now Vocab1.
1. Vocab1 Vocabulary Software
The Vocab1 Vocabulary Builder (visit website) is the latest cloud-based software by eReflect to systematically improve your vocabulary and the way you may want to handle everyday and business communication, both orally and in written language.
It is most likely a successor of the popular Ultimate Vocabulary software (UV) and has further advanced the proven system of expert learning methods (contextual learning) as well as features, tools and cloud technology.
Goals – The core goal is to double any student’s vocabulary with the help of 649 expert curated wordlists, fun training games and the ability to create own, subject related lists and store/share them in the cloud. The database consists of more than 140,000 words and includes basic, complex and technical vocabulary.
Contextual learning – Students can quickly explore new words in their different contexts as in order to learn a new word one has to read or use it several times. The option to actually choose the genre you want your context from, such as fictions, news, academic or magazines, provides a great learning experience. Vocab1 may therefore significantly decrease the time to read and learn words in contexts and also offers learning-style suitable to your level and needs.
Features – Further top highlights include a built-in dictionary and thesaurus, audio pronunciations, printable worksheets and flashcards, advanced tracking and customized learning options. A nice feature is a tool that will pop up a word every now and then to remind you of specific vocab as you learn new words. Vocab1 offers great support and help when it comes to test preparation such as GRE, SAT, GMAT and IQ tests.
Technology – Compared to UV, the Vocab1 interface is way smoother, easier to use, cleaner and more modern. It supports all operating systems and version including Windows 10 and Mac OS as well as Chrome OS. Do you have a PC at work but a Mac at home? All your results, stats and activities will be synchronized automatically between your devices.
- 50-60 usage examples per word (context)
- more than 140,000 words and 649 expert lists
- create, manage and share your own word lists
- 9 Games
- Advanced tracking and progress reports
- 20,000 Audio Pronunciations
- Printable word and study lists and flashcards
- Unlimited desktop installs
- 5 User accounts, 3 years cloud license
Verdict: eReflect has successfully rebranded Ultimate Vocabulary as Vocab1. While the company will likely further market UV, Vocab1 is now the newest version and should soon outstrip it as one of the best vocabulary software in 2016/2017.
Price: $67.00 Visit website.
2. Ultimate Vocabulary
Ultimate Vocabulary (visit website) was developed by eReflect, a maker of self-improvement software who market the program to more than a hundred countries. It can be installed on any platform including Mac, PC, Linux or Chrome. It includes quizzes, word matching, tests, sentence completions, fun games and virtual flashcards. To build vocabulary you can access more than 140,000 sophisticated words stored in its cloud database.
Ultimate Vocabulary 2015 allows you to learn at your own pace. You can track your progress and monitor your recent activities using the pie chart console on its interface. It also has an Audio Pronunciation feature (British and American English voices) which comes very handy if you come across unfamiliar words.
This software has been integrated in the cloud allowing you to access your word lists online whenever you want using your phone or computer. It also has a social sharing functionality that can add up to five users, perfect if the rest of the family also want to learn.
There’s a little glitch on this program’s Audio Pronunciation feature though technical support specialists are on standby to help users on their queries. eReflect also promises a 12-month money back guarantee for Ultimate Vocabulary software.
|Pros||Good to know|
Overall, the Ultimate Vocabulary 2015 has a lot of useful features and an unique approach to help increase your English vocabulary. Its comprehensive, scientific background but also the playful games make it to one of the best vocabulary software on the market.
Price: $67.00 Visit website.
Update: Vocab1 is now officially the successor of UV. Visit website for more details.
3. WordSmart Excellence
WordSmart, created in 1993, is the brainchild of David A. Kay. This vocabulary software aims to enhance academic proficiency, expand financial knowledge and for professional improvement. The course is based on five well-known dictionaries; Oxford English, Century, Chambers Dictionary, Websters1828 and Bailey’s Dictionary.
WordSmart is a 20-hour program that comes in CD-ROM format with more than five thousand words pronounced and 200 core words to practice. Volumes C to F are specifically for SAT/ACT preparations.
The CD also has an interactive exam and reading exercises. It has a feature that defines the word’s history, origin, antonyms and synonyms. There are also flash card exercises, sentence completion, column matching and a fun, arcade-style vocabulary builder game. Students can choose from different learning levels; grade/middle school, high school and adult learning.
WorldSmart Adult Excellence is perfect for those who are practicing ESL and who are preparing for a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE). WordSmart High School is made for high school students who want to expand their English proficiency and improve their Mathematic skills. WordSmart Grade School was crafted to enhance children of grade and middle school’s reading comprehension. It also has Math Adventure feature that can help children with basic math.
Overall, WordSmart is a complete package. The reliability of the software is proven by its time of existence in the market.
4. Verbal Advantage Vocabulary Software
Verbal Advantage’s product line which consists of audio learning programs has been around since as early as 1980. These classes were compiled by Easy Eloquence, LLC who widely promoted them through various advertisement channels like CNN, The Wall Street Journal and ABC radio.
Verbal Advantage (VA) apps come in CD formats and are composed of seven different classifications;
1. VerbalAdvantage, a program taught by Charles Elster, focuses on building vocabulary and mastering one’s communication skills.
2. Conversation Confidence: Secrets to Fearless Conversation teaches how to build rapport, master the art of a good first impression and how to revive a faltering conversation.
3. Grammar for Success is a VA’s program that focuses on perfecting one’s writing skills including grammar, punctuation, spelling, et al.
4. Listening to Win teaches how to identify biase statements, the right ways to respond, the ways around decision making and solving problem.
5. Verbal Advantage Student Edition is specifically made for Junior and High School students. It is designed to help those who are preparing for SAT/ACT exams. The Student Edition is composed of sixteen lessons.
6. Memory Advantage is a 2-hour course that proposes new techniques to help you easily memorize new words. And;
7. Spelling Advantage, focuses on techniques for better spelling. It comes in 1 audio CD with interactive learning format.
If you aim to master the language for your career, then these vocabulary software training tools are the right fit.
5. Vocabulary Super Stretch
Vocabulary Super Stretch is made up of three stages. The Tryout stage is made to test one’s vocab skills. The Workout stage acquaints the user with new words to learn and the Final section is where you will be tested about the words you read.
Learners will be taught about the word’s origin and as well as its root words. Recognition skill is also enhanced with the tutor’s 920 questionnaires.
There are two skill sets to which each has 108 vocabulary words. All your work will be stored in the software’s Teacher Program Manager. Inside the console are animations and sounds for fun learning. The Merit Text Talker speaks the word aloud for better user comprehension.
Vocabulary Super Stretch is builder software designed for students in grades 9 to 11. It is also perfect for those who use English as their second language.
6. Overnight Vocabulary
While some tutors try to cover as many words as possible, Overnight Vocabulary rather focuses on a selection of specialized words. In fact, this vocabulary software ships with a database of only 300 words.
Not a lot, you might think, but the concept is quality over quantity here. The tutor targets adult learners by offering a well-thought cluster of words suitable for business and academic purposes.
There is one big advantage here: Learning 300 new high-profile words can be way more effective than browsing through long lists of new suggestions. You know what you get and won’t waste time on superfluous vocabulary. On the other side, if you like to upgrade your words on a broader basis, you might find their product somehow incomplete. It therefore depends on your focus.
Highlights – Coming to features, users will appreciate the ability to download and store lessons onto portable media players as an MP3 file. With each purchased license, students will also receive a link to a page listing all the downloadable content. All in all, you can consume up to seven hours of vocabulary podcasts.
You won’t have to invest a lot time on a daily basis. Though expanding on words could easily be a lifelong task, the program’s 300 words can be quickly learned within the daily 15-minute sessions. You will be introduced to the new word phrases and also learn when or how to use it. Easiness of use and learning is a big selling point as you can take the whole course onto your daily commute or while doing other activities.
Those preferring to read, may benefit from a 150-page PDF booklet that comes attached with each purchase. Though audio is the main medium to teach you new knowledge and words, the PDF is used to track your progress and also run a few tests and exercises.
Downsides – Of course every course has it downsides and Overnight Vocabulary is no exception. You cannot add extra words to the list and practice them. If you like flash cards, you will be rather disappointed here. There are also no games, though you may easily think of your own ones.
Overnight Vocabulary is an interesting project if you wish to quickly expand your pool of words. Due to missing features such as on-screen learning, adding new words or creating own classes, this course is suitable to improve on daily conversations, but lacks the long-term goal of continuously learning new words from all paths of life.
Best Vocabulary Software 2016: Final Verdict
Language proficiency – Gone are the hit-and-pound-the-book days as mastering English is made easier with the help of software. As unjust as it may sound, but the way we talk is how we are judged. That being said means that language proficiency, specifically, English, is a MUST and a reliable vocabulary builder software will be a very great help.
Our recommendation – The best fit depends on one’s specific needs. Say, if you want to learn in a broader perspective or for ESL, Vocab1 2016 (visit website), formerly known as Ultimate Vocabulary, would be the best vocabulary builder. It’s also the tutor offering the best price value. Otherwise, if you are preparing for a SAT or ACT exam, then WordSmart would be an alternative too.
Alternatives – To make this review complete, these tutors are also worth checking out: Overnight Vocabulary, Vocaboly, WordPal, VTrain or Sheppard. There are also free vocab trainers around. You can check them out here, here and here.
What’s your opinion? – In your opinion and experience, what is the best vocabulary software 2016? Any GRE tutors missing? Share your review in the comment section below. If you have any questions about certain programs feel free to ask and discuss here or send us an email.