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Maths Practice App


GRE Upgrade Vocabulary

Price: iPhone/iPad - Paid

Teacher Overview

From visiting the developer’s website it explains that this app is aimed at helping students in their preparation for taking the Graduate Record Examination, or GRE. This is a computer-based program that a large number of graduates take in the US and its aim to help gain a better understanding of their potential in the workplace.

Within the test there is quite a large emphasis on the ability to understand and use English language correctly, and so this app helps students in this by aiding them in areas such as reading comprehension and the ability to write successful, detailed essays.

The app is described as focussing on the 440 most frequently encountered words on the GRE and its aim is to help those graduates wishing to undertake the test a multi- sensory approach to this. The app is clearly aimed at this purpose and these reasons, however, that does not mean that the content and the approach cannot be used to help other users from improving their own abilities in regards to the English Language regardless of whether they are taking the test or not.

Teacher Review

Behind the production of this app there is clearly a large amount of knowledge and research that has gone into creating it. The production team that has created the app and forms the developing team are award-winning educators who among them have a vast understanding of education and the areas in which they specialise. This is all means that the app has been created on this knowledge expertise and this can be seen through the content within the app.

The main aim of the app is to help graduates learn and successfully understand the 440 most common words in the GRE. The GRE is the Graduate Record Examination which many graduates in the United States undertake. As there are so many graduates that undertake such a test it is clear the developers have been able to tap into this market by creating an app that is simple to use and clear in its aims in helping graduates to achieve in the GRE.

However, it is also worth mentioning that even though the apps aim is for graduates undertaking the GRE this does not make it the apps only use. The GRE has a big focus on English Language and the 440 most common words are words that will most definitely need to be used in any English speaking country. Therefore there would be plenty of students who would be able to access this app, who are not taking the GRE, or live in the US that would benefit from the practice and guidance that it will be able to give them. Other users, who are learning English as a second language could also benefit from such an app too meaning that even though it does have a distinct aim, the broad aim of helping people to improve on their understanding and ability in the English language is one that is featured in a number of education systems around the world.

The app claims to use a multi sensory approach and this is achieved via a musical theme that runs throughout. Users are encouraged to work their way through lots of different stages of learning, compounding their understanding and abilities as they do. Using a set of piano keys the user presses a key which produces the correct sound and then sees a word and the definition for that word. If the user clicks on the underlined word a pronunciation is given, again further compounding their ability to use this word. Throughout the app the developers have looked at ways in which they can use their understanding of learning to produce an app that will help the users learn to the best of their ability. By using different approaches and by continuing to repeat information in different ways they certainly achieve this.

The user works their way through the 24 different keys where they access sections that include practice, rehearsing, performances and finally a master class to help them develop their understanding and learning. From an educators perspective this is a highly successful way of achieving optimum learning. There are a number and range of activities that the user accesses and all of this goes towards creating the best learning environment in the app for the user.

Once they have worked their way through this section they then go on to using the major and minor keys in the scale with each key containing 8 different vocabulary words. The user works through synonyms and antonyms through different activities which include context work and comprehension.

I am very impressed with the content within the app and this is clearly where a lot of its strengths lie. The knowledge that the developers have poured into the app on learning styles and how students can learn best is clear and by using such an approach it means that the app can be used beyond its main aims of helping graduates take the GRE. Overall this is a strong app through the content and the approaches that it uses.

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Teacher Certification

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App Advertising or In-App PurchasesSafeguarding

In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No

Screenshots

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Developer Description

UPGRADE Vocabulary, a test preparation app that offers 440 most frequently encountered words on the GRE and 150 practice test questions, utilizes newly revised testing formats and patent-pending, associative/multi-sensory learning techniques. By playing a virtual piano, individuals are given aural, visual and kinesthetic cues that enhance vocabulary acquisition and retention. To reinforce learning, individuals practice, rehearse, perform and engage in master class exercises. Special features of the app include self-selected audio and color preferences, word pronunciation, and a lexicon and reverse dictionary.

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