SAT Vocab - MindSnacks

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

9 fun ways to practice; purchase needed to unlock full app.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The interface is simple and easy to navigate. Gameplay is usually but not always intuitive; if you need guidance, you can pause the game to get help.

Violence

If you don't solve your words before the water drains from the fish tank, the fish dies; it has Xs for eyes, angel wings, and a halo. In a different game, misspelling a word causes birds to be electrocuted. It's all cartoonish and not graphic.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The first level is free. A $4.99 in-app purchase unlocks all 25 levels.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Players are required to sign in to the app, either by creating an account using first name, last name, and email address, or by logging in through Facebook. The app also allows players to post to Facebook, but promises "We'll never share anything without asking." Players can opt in to Apple's Game Center to track scores and achievements, and for some games, challenge friends. Players can send and receive friend requests using an email address or Game Center nickname, revealing the first and last name associated with each party's Apple ID and, in the case of email requests, the sender's email address. With iOS 5, players can opt to have a private or public profile, which can include a photo. With a public profile, your real name is visible to all other players, and Game Center will recommend you to other players using your real name. With a private profile, only your friends can see your real name, and Game Center will not recommend you to other players.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that SAT Vocab – MindSnacks is an educational app that adds a bit of fun to what might be a stressful task of SAT prep. Kids can also use the games as a general vocabulary builder -- ever wondered what polemical means? In addition to definitions, kids can learn the pronunciation, antonyms, and spelling of SAT-level words. The first level is free, and the rest are a $4.99 in-app purchase. Players must create an account with MindSnacks or log in with through Facebook; the app promises not to share without your permission. You can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A variety of game formats keeps the words fresh and the challenge high. Hand-illustrated graphics are modern and fun, and kids will get hooked on the motivating quests.

Learning Approach

Nine different games give students many ways to cement understanding of new vocabulary and the ability to recall it.

Support

The speed with which kids are pushed to recall words is nerve-wracking! Gameplay isn't always intuitive, leading to some unnecessary misses while still working out how to play.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • memorization

Kids can learn vocabulary words while having fun with SAT Vocab – MindSnacks. Once you make the in-app purchase to unlock all 25 levels, you'll get 500 SAT vocabulary words to practice in nine games. Kids first study the words, then test their knowledge through activities such as quickly recognizing the definition of a given word, or matching a word with its definition, picture label, and antonym. The levels may at first seem to take a long time to complete, but by the time you do, you'll have mastered the words. SAT Vocab – MindSnacks turns what could be a mundane memorization task into a fun and useful activity.

This Learning Rating review was written by Cynthia Chiong

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What's it about?

SAT Vocab – MindSnacks begins with a review feature where you can study the definitions, including a picture and audio label. Then kids test their knowledge through nine timed mini-games, ranging from turning blocks on a totem pole, to matching the definition with antonyms and pictures, to a spelling tasks and sentence completion. The app tracks your progress with each word and also tracks your overall progress. Players who purchase the upgrade cover 500 words over 25 levels.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

SAT Vocab – MindSnacks takes what could be a mundane task of memorizing definitions and turns it into a fun endeavor. The nine different ways of attacking words and the adaptive nature of the app help ensure that those uncertain words become familiar. With the different mini-games and the adrenalin rush of the fast-paced timer, cramming the same word list over and over doesn't get boring, but it sure reinforces learning the words.

Families can talk about...

  • You can play too! These words are challenging for parents as well. Provide some friendly competition.

  • Kids can get push notifications of the word of the day to make learning those SAT word lists easier.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free, Paid
Release date:February 9, 2012
Category:Education
Size:17.10 MB
Publisher:MindSnacks
Version:2.5.12
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of SAT Vocab - MindSnacks was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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