Parents' Guide to

Vocab Smart

By Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Confusing, odd definitions distract from real learning.

App Android , Kindle Fire Paid, Free Education
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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Overall, Vocab Smart has clean navigation and flexible features, but it falls down on the quality of definitions and constant, sometimes overwhelming ads in the free version. On the plus side, it comes preloaded with more than 5,000 words, kids can add their own word lists, testing is flexible, and performance statistics give overall numbers as well as by last session, per each list, and "trend" which seems to mean each testing session. As a bit of icing, the word of the day displays on the main menu.

Unfortunately, that's where the connection to ends. Clearly, neither it nor Merriam-Webster is the source of this app's definitions. Thankfully, teens can edit definitions -- a serious plus since some of them are seriously off. While some folks might not be so fussy, it will lead to incorrect answers especially for teens who have already encountered these words in text or speech. An example: Vocab Smart gives this definition, "1. Marked by impulsive anger or violence as in a hasty and forceful expression of anger," with answer options "outrage" or "impetuous." According to them, "impetuous" is correct, though neither or use the word anger in their definition for impetuous; the word violence is used only in the second meaning referring to inanimate objects. Lastly, kids will be distracted by the constant banner ads, app store button on the main menu, and interrupting video ads for adult-oriented products like Old Spice and acid reflux medicine.

App Details

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