Expanding your vocabulary can be a useful endeavor, whether you are preparing as a high school student for college entrance exams like the SAT or ACT, studying as a college student to improve your general comprehension in classes, or learning new words to improve your performance on oral and written exams. Online games and quizzes can be an easy way to learn and practice new words and increase your vocabulary--all without leaving your computer.

Sheppard Software: Language Arts Games

Sheppard Software has a large portion of its Language Arts Games section devoted to SAT and GRE vocabulary preparation, as well as general advanced, medical, and technical/computer vocabulary. The SAT and GRE vocabulary games come in sets of 50-word flash card quizzes. The computer pronounces the word, presents it on the screen, and presents players with a multiple-choice selection of definitions to choose from. If players choose an incorrect answer, the computer responds with the correct answer, along with an explanation. There are over 720 words in the SAT and GRE prep quiz, and the other advanced vocabulary quizzes function similarly. The medical vocabulary quizzes have sections relating to stroke, high blood pressure, arrhythmia, heart disease, cancer, and general medical terminology, all ranging from 50 to 300 words per section. The computer/technology vocabulary sections work similarly, with a small section for common computer and Internet terms as well as a larger, 220-word section for computer terms. These quizzes can be accessed by visiting sheppardsoftware.com and clicking the 'Language Arts' link at the top of the page.

Vocabulary Exercises for the Academic Word List

This website provides a compilation of different activities and exercises to study words on the Academic Word List (AWL). The AWL is a list of words compiled by a researcher in New Zealand who analyzed academic journals, textbooks, lab manuals, and course notes, and selected words that appeared most frequently throughout a range of academic subjects. These words are very useful for college students to learn, as they will apply across all fields of study. The exercises on this web site are fill-in-the-blank activities that will provide users with immediate feedback after they have completed a set. These exercises can be found by visiting academicvocabularyexercises.com.


MyVocabulary.com is another website with an impressive array of free resources for students wishing to learn college level vocabulary words. There are several different activities for students to choose from. In the root word lesson plans, students can use Latin and Greek roots to help learn new vocabulary words. These exercises include a variety of different formats to keep students entertained, such as fill-in-the-blanks, synonyms and antonyms, crosswords, word finds, and definition matching. There are also thematic puzzles, where word lists are separated into categories and can even be printed. Another useful section is the Test Prep/Assessment section of the web site, where students will find puzzles and activities that help them learn 216 SAT and ACT words. There is also a Word Lists section on the website, where students can find vocabulary lists and activities from frequently assigned novels, books, and plays. All of these activities can be accessed at myvocabulary.com.