Innovative Free Apps To Help You Step Up Your SAT and ACT Vocabulary

Friday, September 1, 2017

back_to_school_apps.jpgUtilize Free Resoures To Supplement Your Test Prep

By Megan, IvyWise Tutoring Manager

Expanding your vocabulary is important in high school, especially when preparing for the SAT or ACT, as they both have sections that will test your reading skills and your knowledge of certain words and their definitions. There are a number of free apps that students can use to enhance their vocabulary and make the most of their test prep.

While the SAT isn’t as vocabulary-heavy as it used to be, there are still questions about what a word in a passage means, and the ACT also asks similar questions. Often students are able to use context clues to answer these questions, but a robust vocabulary will not only help you conquer these types of questions, but it will also help you with reading and writing in your regular coursework.

While working with your tutor is one way to expand your vocab, there are also some seriously cool and easy-to-use applications for your phone or tablet that are great accessories to use in conjunction with your regular tutoring.

Understanding the vocabulary is only one piece of conquering the Reading section of these exams. To learn more about how to ace the SAT Reading Section click here, and for information on the ACT Reading Section check out our recent blog post!

Mindsnacks.pngSAT Vocab by MindSnacks                                           Looking for an alternative to flashcards? MindSnacks provides fun and engaging alternatives for students to enrich their SAT and ACT vocabulary!

There are nine separate games for students to work through for free, and you can upgrade to unlock up all 25 lessons.

This app is compatible with iPhones and iPads, and will help you learn all the key elements of a word by understanding their antonyms, definition, context and spelling.

Take deeper look at the games by checking out their video.

visual vocab.pngVisual Vocab SAT

Are you a Visual Learner? Then Visual Vocab SAT is the perfect app for you.

You can access Visual Vocab on your iPhone or Android device, and it includes simple and straightforward instructions to utilize the different photos.

visual vocab 2.pngWhat does studying look like with Visual Vocab? An image is displayed with the word, and you can click the triangle in the bottom of the screen to show the definition, the usage of the word in a sentence, and the option to hide the word so you can focus on new words. Interested in testing your knowledge? Click the Q to quiz yourself!

volt.pngVolt Vocabulary

Compatible with both iPhone and Android devices, the Volt App is an engaging way for students to learn new English vocabulary for test prep or enrichment purposes! How does it work?

After you download the app and log in, you are able to choose how you would like to learn the words. You’ll see on the main screen that you have the options of ‘Learning from memory key’, ‘Learn by gif’, and ‘Learn by video”.

Learning by Gif & Learning by Video are quite similar. You are given the word and the definition. However, the video component will be an actual video for you to watch with the definition on the bottom of the screen. You can find their videos on their app or YouTube channel

Learning from memory utilizes an image along with a Memory Key phrase.

  • Example: Agog
    • Agog sounds like ‘Gog (goggles)’. I got agog by seeing a god (goggles) on a dog.

This outlet utilizes the most information, also providing the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and usage.


Looking for a more traditional App? Try out Magoosh! Compatible with both Android and iPhone, Magoosh is a wonderful free app for students looking to spruce up their vocabulary. Magoosh has a series of applications geared towards vocabulary and test prep for both the SAT & ACT. Make sure when you are searching for the application that you specify which test you need it for.

Signing up is easy with Magoosh – and we do recommend that you sign-in when using the program. Why? You’re able to save your progress! If you would save the progress of a video game, you should save the progress of your vocabulary cards!

Search for the app in your Google Play or iTunes App Store and download. Alternatively, you can simply google it on your computer or use this link – no app required! Regardless of what interface you are using, you are able to login and stay up-to-date on your progress.

You’ll then be able to choose from a series of different ‘stacks’ of flashcards.


Once you’ve chosen your stack of cards, you’ll be shown a word. After looking at the word you have the options to see a ‘New Word’ and come back to this word or ‘Click to see meaning.’

When choosing to see the meaning of the word, you’ll be shown the definition, and how it is used in a sentence. From there you can click ‘I knew this word’ or ‘I didn’t know this word.’

If you didn’t know the word, it will remain in the stack. If you know the word, it is added to your stack of mastered words that are tracked below the card.

Not everyone learns the same way, so it’s important to feel comfortable and confident in trying different approaches to studying vocabulary. If a vocabulary application is not working for you, that’s okay – try something new!

If you’re working on your test prep, download our free checklist below to make sure you’re on the right track!


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