Monday, February 7, 2011

Review of VocabAhead SAT Vocabulary Book

Recently I had the honor of reviewing VocabAhead's book, SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos, & MP3s, in exchange for my honest review.  It is safe to say that this has become one of my favorite books.  Granted, I'm a huge word nerd so I'm completely biased, but I found this book completely delightful!

The premise of the book is simple: 300 SAT words are presented, one to a page, with an accompanying cartoon. 

The word is defined, a very humorous cartoon is presented, the word is used in hilarious sentences, and synonyms and antonyms are presented. The words are presented so vividly that they are immediately impressed on the brain. However, further reinforcement is available! The purchase of this book entitles you to access the videos which accompany the words, available as a download on the website. The videos are under a minute long each, and need to be seen fully to be appreciated. Fortunately, you can sample them here.

Finally, VocabAhead offers MP3 downloads of these words, completing your internalization of the words. There is no way that this program cannot enhance your vocabulary, and I would be shocked if it did not up your SAT Verbal (or GRE!) score.

In terms of kid appeal, in the interests of full disclosure, my 9 year-old daughter is as big a word nerd as I. Hence, I was not exactly surprised to see her settle down and read this book as if it were a novel. She loves it. I have to say, though, that I think the approach of the book is ideal for more reluctant learners. The words are presented in a very non-threatening way; it doesn't feel like learning at all. In my brief stint as a "real" teacher, I would have embraced this book as a means of teaching vocabulary.

The VocabAhead website is a treasure trove of resources. A full, 1000 word, word list is available on the website, along with a study room in which you can quiz yourself on the words you've learned. The website alone will make you want to buy the book, which you can at VocabAhead SAT Vocabulary: Cartoons, Videos & MP3s.

While I think that learning Latin is the very best thing you can do for your vocabulary, using this book definitely ranks second!

I loved this book (clearly), but if you want to find out what other Crew members thought, head to the Crew blog!


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