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Learning Vocabulary

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After having a cute little baby girl, I am pretty much stuck at home, both physically and mentally, taking well care of her. I really want to do something else in the mean time… and I figure out this is the best time to sharpen up my vocabulary power – something that I have been wanted to do for a while now.

So I did my homework. As we all know, one of the best ways to earn vocabulary is to use flashcards. Now with the aid of smart phones, iTouch, and tablets, learning vocabulary is even easier. You don’t need to carry heavy and cumbersome stacks of cards with you. All you need is one of the above devices and a good flashcards app. My favorite? Anki and Quizlet.

Quizlet is a very popular flashcards website. They have many users, and hence, a huge collection of user-created flashcards to choose from, covering a wide variety of subjects. You can find cards about any language or subject at school.They have different learning modes for you to choose from so it will be hard to get bored. They are also supported by many flashcards apps, and have their own useful app for iPhone, iTouch and iPad user. Unfortunately they don’t have any app for Android.

Anki is an open source project. They support pretty much every platform, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. Although it is a bit more complicated to create flashcards through them, they support html and LaTex, so you can make personalized and more intuitive flashcards. They have a powerful learning algorithm, so what you tend to forget often, they’ll make it appear more often.

Now you have the tool. What to learn? I would recommend Oxford 3000 for general study purpose. For other tests, a quick Google search will give you plenty of lists. If you are using Quizlet, you’ll be likely to find tons of decks for TOEFL, SAT, GRE, and GMAT vocabulary. Decks created in Anki are private by default, thus there will be a limited number of decks you can choose from. But, of course, for the best learning experience, you can always create your own decks, or create them with a group of friends.

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