Skip to main content

WordSmart High School Excellence Review

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.

Our Verdict

This application is ideal for students because of its structured learning process and large lexicon.

For

  • WordSmart High School Excellence is a structured course that will guide you through each new set of words and gives you the necessary tools to embed each word into your mental lexicon.

Against

  • This vocabulary software doesn't display phonetic spellings for words.
Image 1 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: Before you begin to use this program you are encourages to take the WordSmart Challenge, shown in this image.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: Before you begin to use this program you are encourages to take the WordSmart Challenge, shown in this image.
Image 2 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: Throughout the WordSmart Challenge, the program presents you with new words for which you need to find the synonym.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: Throughout the WordSmart Challenge, the program presents you with new words for which you need to find the synonym.
Image 3 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The screen you see when you answer a question correctly in the challenge exam.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The screen you see when you answer a question correctly in the challenge exam.
Image 4 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The screen you see when you answer a question incorrectly during the challenge exam.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The screen you see when you answer a question incorrectly during the challenge exam.
Image 5 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: Once you've finished the challenge exam it will give you an estimated income range, suggested occupations and an estimated SAT score, as shown in this image.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: Once you've finished the challenge exam it will give you an estimated income range, suggested occupations and an estimated SAT score, as shown in this image.
Image 6 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: You can create an account for multiple users.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: You can create an account for multiple users.
Image 7 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The homepage.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The homepage.
Image 8 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The multiple-choice section will play audio pronunciations of each word and synonym.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The multiple-choice section will play audio pronunciations of each word and synonym.
Image 9 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: If you get a question wrong in the multiple-choice section, you will be shown a full definition of the word.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: If you get a question wrong in the multiple-choice section, you will be shown a full definition of the word.
Image 10 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: It will give you multiple chances to guess the correct word.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: It will give you multiple chances to guess the correct word.
Image 11 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The Flash Card section.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The Flash Card section.
Image 12 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The Column Matching game requires you to match vocabulary words to the program's synonyms.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The Column Matching game requires you to match vocabulary words to the program's synonyms.
Image 13 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: This image shows how WordSmart High School Excellence marks each word as correct or incorrect.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: This image shows how WordSmart High School Excellence marks each word as correct or incorrect.
Image 14 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The program features a spelling activity.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The program features a spelling activity.
Image 15 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The program will inform you if your spelling is close to the correct answer.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The program will inform you if your spelling is close to the correct answer.
Image 16 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The Word Shark game.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The Word Shark game.
Image 17 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The program tracks your progress as you learn new words.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The program tracks your progress as you learn new words.
Image 18 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The tab that tracks your progress in the Multiple Choice section.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The tab that tracks your progress in the Multiple Choice section.
Image 19 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The program shows how much time you spend in the application and how much time you've spent on task.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: The program shows how much time you spend in the application and how much time you've spent on task.
Image 20 of 20

WordSmart High School Excellence image: You can change to any volume or group.

WordSmart High School Excellence image: You can change to any volume or group.

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.

Finding ways to improve vocabulary is a good idea for anyone, but the necessity of doing so may be most apparent in the life of a student. For a student, increased vocabulary comprehension can aid you in the classroom and on tests. Vocabulary software like WordSmart High School Excellence not only helps you excel in your studies through high school, but it can assist you in getting into a university of your choice and finding a better job once you graduate. In other words, it can enrich all aspects of your life.

WordSmart comes on a set of CD-ROMs with more than 5,000 pronounced words on each disc. Each disc provides you with 200 core words from those 5,000 that are essential for the mastery of the English language. Each disc contains the same five sections: Multiple Choice, Flash Cards, Column Matching, sentence completion and Word Shark. These sections are intentionally repetitive to help you learn the words, but it can become tedious as well. It is easy to use and offers a large vocabulary database.

WordSmart High School Excellence begins with a preliminary exam that will help you determine where to start your vocabulary improvement experience. After taking the WordSmart Challenge, the application will tell you which volume to begin with and such information an approximate SAT score and suggested occupations based on your results, and even an estimate of how much you can hope to make in your career. No matter which volume you begin with, you will find the same five sections on each disc. While you can pick and choose which sections to utilize, the WordSmart doesn't have the variety of teaching tools that we found in other vocabulary software.

The WordSmart does not display phonetic pronunciations alongside the words, but the multiple-choice section plays the audio pronunciation for each new word, as well as for each one of the options. If you choose the wrong word, WordSmart High School Excellence will show you an extended definition of the new word. You can also choose to have a full definition displayed after every word. The audio cues along with the definitions are a great way to help you expand your vocabulary.

After learning new words in the multiple choice and flash card sections, you can then use the column matching, spelling and word shark sections to test your skills. Column matching works much like the multiple-choice section, where you match a word to its synonym. Word shark is the same concept, but this time you get to shoot plungers at sharks with synonyms written on their sides. The repetition in the synonym matching section, while sometimes monotonous, is an effective way to learn the words.

With more than 20,000 words to learn, WordSmart offers plenty of opportunities to learn. Word Smart High School Excellence includes volumes C through F, as well as the WordSmart Challenge, Progressive Reader and Mastermind. This series of CD-ROMs is geared toward high school students and college students.

The program also includes word histories and ways that the word is commonly misused, to help you avoid making those common mistakes. The program is designed to help you dramatically improve you vocabulary by using it for 20 minutes two days a week. Some people may need to devote more time than that, but a little time goes a long way with the vocabulary-building techniques WordSmart employs.

As previously mentioned, this vocabulary software doesn't have written phonetic pronunciations, but it does have audio pronunciations. Each disc includes 5,000 pronounced words, 1,400 defined words and 200 essential core words that you focus most of your attention on. This makes it manageable, while directing you toward the words with the most heft.

The definitions include plenty of information regarding the words, including their history, derivations, origins, synonyms and antonyms. The multiple-choice section displays the word being used in a sentence, and the spelling section, obviously, will help you learn to spell the word correctly.

If you need help using WordSmart High School Excellence, the CD-ROMs feature helpful tutorials and videos. You can also find a FAQs page on the WordSmart website. If you need additional help, you can contact the WordSmart customer support team by phone or by using the contact form on the website. We found that using the WordSmart phone support system is faster and more effective than WordSmart's email support.

WordSmart's method of repetition and structure can be either helpful or tiresome, depending on how you prefer to learn. Each disc of WordSmart High School Excellence has the same educational activities. The software isn’t as diverse as other vocabulary we reviewed and is driven mostly by matching a new word to a synonym. Nevertheless, the audio pronunciations, the extensive definitions and the spelling activity are all useful tools to help you learn and retain new words. WordSmart can help you improve your language skills, which will help you in the classroom and excel on tests, while helping you prepare for life after high school.