Vocab Videos Review

Have you ever faced a challenge where the outcome would determine your future possibilities? Such a concept is daunting, yet that is what every college-bound student who takes a standardized test faces.

It sounds like a good opportunity to declare WAR on any obstacles that might lead to failure, right? Enter stage right: Vocab Videos.

Vocab Videos is an online SAT-level vocabulary learning program that offers an arsenal of ammunition for blowing the vocabulary section of any standardized test out of the water.

I received a Small Educators Subscription to Vocab Videos as part of the SchoolHouse Review Crew for purposes of reviewing the site. The Small Educators plan ($75) allows me to access records of quizzes and study progress for up to 20 students. My teenagers and I watched the videos and took a few of the quizzes to see how it all worked.

Video Episodes

As you can expect from just perusing the professionally designed website, the videos have been equally well done by a variety of young actors. There are approximately 10 different “shows” that cover 500 different SAT-style vocabulary words all-in-all. Loosely imitating popular TV shows such as The Office, LOST, 24, and Gossip Girls, the video shows are divided into 20 thirty-second episodes where the characters illustrate a single vocabulary word in action.

My biggest concern was evaluating the level of cultural humor and values in the videos. My family does not enjoy sexual references, off color-jokes, and horror imagery that is found so often into today’s entertainment. For example, despite its brief moments of authentic, clever humor, The Office is actually a pretty raunchy show that we quit watching long ago. I noticed the Freddy Kruger character in an image on the Vocab Video website and was really concerned because we absolutely eschew all horror movies around here.

I was pleasantly surprised. The Vocab Video team has done a great job capitalizing on the themes in popular TV shows and turing them into an incredibly entertaining method for studying vocabulary. The “Two’s Company” video series deals with young adult dating and relationships and humorous turns of events when you have an annoying know-it-all competing with a loveable nerd for a gal’s affections.

“The Study Partner” has the Freddy Kruger character in it – with that horribly iconic hockey mask or whatever it is. It turns out that the main character is actually having a bad dream after studying her vocabulary flash cards and eating pepperoni pizza the night before a SAT test. Although there is the suggestion of some blood and violence, it is not acted out – just hinted enough to draw on the pop-cultural connection in order to drive home the meanings of the words – she is having a bad dream, after all. As it turns out, the monstrous character just really wants to help the young lady know her vocab words, but does he know them as well as he thinks he does? Oh, the horror! I actually found myself laughing hysterically at the juxtaposition of the supposedly scary character who earnestly wanted to help the young lady do well on the test.

We have enjoyed other shows of adventure, danger, and mystery like LOST and 24, so overall the Vocab Videos were fun to learn from.

Study Resources

A Vocab Video subscription offers a gold mine of study aids such as…

A study guide explaining Vocab Video’s approach for vocabulary mastery: declare WAR:

A glossary as well as a list of all the words grouped by definition – genius!

Crossword puzzles.

Online quizzes and downloadable PDF versions.

Online and printable worksheets.

Comprehensive score and progress tracking.

My 16 year old NerdGirl found some of the humor too embarrassing to enjoy (she’s a bit squeamish about stupid foolishness and knew most of the words already anyway), but my 13 year old Fashionista and I giggled ourselves silly at some of the characters’ antics. The characters are actually quite endearing. I would not recommend this for anyone younger than 16 without parental oversight due to the pop-culture references that may be too mature for some viewers, though.

If you have a high schooler aiming for the ACT or SAT anytime soon, you will want to seriously consider Vocab Videos for test preparation. Although the whole program would leave a memorable impression on any learning style, the videos would be an incredible asset to contextual/auditory learners! A 12 month student subscription can be purchased for $40. Parents can try a 1-month educator subscription for free. A yearly educator subscription which gives you access to manage 20 student accounts is $74.99/year.

Want to learn more? Click the image below to see what other SchoolHouse Reviewers had to say about Vocab Videos:

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Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product at no cost to me in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine alone.

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