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The Best Vocabulary Software of 2017

We spent 70 hours researching and writing about vocabulary software.
The products you'll see throughout our Buying Guide

While word-a-day calendars and cardboard flash cards can help improve your language skills, vocabulary software is designed to help you spell, pronounce and understand new words in a faster and more effective way. Some of the best software helps you significantly improve your vocabulary through engaging and educational exercises – some of which require as little as 15 minutes a day of your time.

If you are a student, demonstrating an extensive vocabulary can help improve your test scores, term papers and class participation. If you are a working adult, possessing a rich and varied vocabulary can boost your marketability in an increasingly competitive workplace. Heightening your vocabulary skills will greatly improve your reading comprehension, and the best vocabulary software allows you to choose the level of words you want to learn.

We examined the best vocabulary software to help you find the ideal one for your learning style. For more information, check out our articles relating to vocabulary software.

Extensive Word List

If you think your vocabulary is just simply too simple and lacks enough words to express what you are thinking and feeling, then a vocabulary software product with a large list of words might mend those feelings of inadequacy. By using a product such as this, you can equip yourself with a sweeping personal vocabulary that you fully understand and can employ at any time. If you embark on a course of study using these three vocabulary builders, they can help you expand the number of words at your disposal and boost your confidence in social situations, at work, in school or even public speaking.

$9.95

WordPal

WordPal vocabulary software isn’t a super sophisticated application, but it does pack a lot into a small package with its sizeable number of vocabulary words to study. If you are using the WordPal vocabulary builder on a computer, the window is quite small, which can make the application hard to see since it is about the size of a playing card. However, if this approach works with your learning style, you can make use of the 4,000-plus words in its database to improve your vocabulary or get ready for such things as the SAT or GRE exams.

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$67.00

Vocab1

Vocab1 might seem a little intimidating at first. With its rich and vast quantity of words to learn, this vocabulary software is a lot to take in. This updated version of what once was Ultimate Vocabulary provides a whopping 142,647 vocabulary words and 649 word lists.

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Short Lessons

Today, it seems like everyone is short on time and rushing from one activity to the next in order to take care of work, family, friends, finances and so much more. Improving your vocabulary is a worthy goal, and you can achieve a great deal with vocabulary building software that offers brief but helpful lessons that take only about 15 minutes each day. You can sense a difference in a matter of weeks if you apply yourself and, given that it's only 15 minutes, you probably can find an interval that short to do something that could make a profound difference in your professional and personal life.

Overnight Vocabulary

Overnight Vocabulary works on the principle of quality over quantity, which isn’t to say that this vocabulary builder doesn’t have a lot of substance. You get a system that lets you learn in 15-minute daily sessions. Unlike some vocabulary builder products that try to teach you thousands of new words, Overnight Vocabulary focuses on 300 carefully selected words that its designers consider to be essential. The object of Overnight Vocabulary is to find words that are powerful, useful and that can be easily incorporated into your vocabulary.

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Verbal Advantage

Verbal Advantage uses a systematic approach and short lessons to improve your vocabulary and help increase your confidence in expressing yourself in speech and in writing. This vocabulary building software consists of 24 audio CDs and two CD-ROM guidebooks. The program encompasses 3,500 vocabulary words you learn through a process of repetition and progression as you assimilate the words into your vocabulary.

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Basic Instruction

Sometimes going back to the basics is the best way to approach an educational task, whether you're still a student or you left the classroom behind years ago. You might find that straightforward and simple repetition in your studies implants words in your brain. In addition, tasks such as finding synonyms and antonyms might be the best approach for you to flesh out your lexicon. Depending upon your learning style, it might turn out that using vocabulary building software that employs basic but helpful learning tools and exercises can do wonders to strengthen and expand your vocabulary with potent words that matter in conversation, writing and overall comprehension.

Vocabulary Fitness

Vocabulary Fitness is vocabulary software intended to teach basic words to young students or those learning English as a second language (ESL). Most of the words are commonly confused ones, such as "accept/except" and "proceeds/precedes." Vocabulary Fitness can help you become a better writer and speaker, since you can learn how to avoid common mistakes. However, this vocabulary builder doesn't teach advanced vocabulary words. With only 156 words, it has quite a small vocabulary database, so it doesn't expand your vocabulary as much as other software.

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Vocabulary Stretch

Vocabulary Stretch differs from most vocabulary building software because it is intended for those who need to learn a basic English vocabulary. It features such words as "prey" and "guard." This vocabulary builder is easy to use, but its simplicity makes it seem outdated and repetitive. Still, if you are trying to teach a child new words, or if you are learning English as a second language, then Vocabulary Stretch might be the right choice.

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Lesson Progression

If you are like most people, taking on a new project one step at a time and being able to see how you have progressed can provide the motivation to keep moving forward until you reach your goals. If you want to speak more expressively or write better, the vocabulary software programs that allow you to move systematically from one lesson to the next and one concept to the next, and then see how well you have done in your efforts, might be the ideal method for understanding and incorporating new words into your life. Your approach to learning might benefit greatly from software that employs this general approach.

Vocabulary Super Stretch

Vocabulary Super Stretch uses a three-stage process to teach you new vocabulary words. First, the Tryout section of this vocabulary builder tests your current skills. After that, the Workout section introduces new words to improve your vocabulary. Then, the Finals section tests you on the words you've learned. The interface of this vocabulary building software is easy to navigate and useful as far as helping you improve your vocabulary. However, the application looks outdated and, at 216 words, this software won't build your vocabulary as much as some other vocabulary software products.

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Speedstudy English Vocabulary

Speedstudy English Vocabulary looks like something out of the early 1990s with bright, block colors and dated audio. However, with more than 1,500 words, this vocabulary software still has something to offer you if you want to improve your vocabulary. You can choose a standard lesson plan, which starts at level 1 and goes through level 75, with each becoming progressively more difficult. There is also an option to print lessons and tests, and you can create custom lessons and add words of your own. This vocabulary builder lacks matching games, flash cards and tools to create flash cards, but it does offer a few unique options for learning.

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Features to Look For

The vocabulary building software you invest in should give you the tools to expand your English lexicon quickly, easily and effectively. Among other things, it should not distract you with outdated interfaces or glitches that can waste your time from the important task at hand. The application needs to be user-friendly so that you can focus on learning new words, and not on learning how to use the interface and continually making adjustments as you move through lessons.

Software that provides inaccurate or outdated information is useless and is not worth your time or money. It also is helpful if the vocabulary software provides some entertaining exercises to help hold your interest so your studies don’t become a tedious chore. When you look for vocabulary software, consider the level of words covered as well as the level of accuracy.

Some programs divide lessons into easy lessons you can learn with a commitment of 15 minutes a day or even less. It is essential that any software you buy offers learning tools that suit your style of learning so you can make the most of practice time and see quick results.

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Teaching Tools
The various teaching tools within the software are the engine that helps you learn from any vocabulary building software you select. The best software offers an assortment of tools such as sentence completion exercises, puzzles, flashcards and games. It is also helpful if you get the option to hear audio pronunciation of each new word.

You undoubtedly want to look for vocabulary software that offers a variety of tools so you will end up with an application that suits your learning style and benefits others in your household as well. It’s also a good idea to consider how the software tracks your progress so you can see what you are learning and how well you are progressing.

Instruction Quality
Some of the software in our review is intended for certain age groups. Other applications are intended for a wider audience but can be adjusted to fit the needs of an individual student. The best vocabulary software has a large number of vocabulary words and allows you to choose which ones you want to use. It’s also best if you look for software that presents a variety of teaching methods, not only to get the approach that works best for you, but also to stave off boredom and keep you interested in ways to improve vocabulary.

Subjects Covered
First-rate vocabulary builder software gives you thorough definitions of each word, which is essential so that you can use these words correctly in context, whether that is in writing or speaking. In addition, the best software provides pronunciations, synonyms and antonyms, and teaches you how to spell the words correctly. Understanding what each word means, how to spell it, what the opposite of the word is and other concepts will help you remember the word, use it properly and enhance your overall language skills.

Help & Support
Vocabulary software should be easy to use, but if problems do occur, there should also be a helpful customer support system available. We examined what kind of online assistance each manufacturer offers, as well as what kinds of contact methods they provide.

Each of these vocabulary-building applications can help you begin to improve your vocabulary almost immediately. This software is made to teach you words quickly, help you remember them and assist you in using them correctly. Armed with your own determination and some great vocabulary builder software, you can expand your language skills dramatically, and that can produce greater academic and professional success.

Contributing Reviewer: Linda Thomson