TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade

Rating TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade - 5 out of 5 - Best Rating 5.0

  • iPad, iPhone
  • Paid
  • age 12+
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About TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade

TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade helps English language learners prepare for the Test of English as a Foreign Language. This iOS-only app combines visual, spoken and written cues to help users absorb and remember new words to add to their lexicon.

TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade is available for a single purchase price with no in-app purchases or subscriptions necessary. Although there is no trial version, you can learn about the app in this review and via video demonstrations on the app's website.

TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade Review

What is TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade app?               

TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade is part of a family of apps designed to expand and improve its users' vocabulary. Each addresses the different reasons a person might want to enhance the breadth of their vocabulary. In the case of this app, it is to assist learners of English as an additional language.

Once learners have an established foundation in their new language, improvements come from improving the variety, nuance, and interest of their communications using new words. It isn't just about being understood but moving closer to the linguistic abilities of a native speaker.

TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade uses a patented associative method of helping students add new words to their lexicon. It helps ensure they know how to use and say them. Students may be motivated purely by the desire for self-improvement, but, as the app's title suggests, its content directly addresses preparing for the Test of English as a Foreign Language standardised test.

What we love about TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade app.

The app uses international fables as one of the ways of introducing new words to a user. These work well as some will be familiar to many readers, but all are unambiguous in their purpose and use of language. Music and simple animations enhance the text.

Within the fables' text, the keywords that the app wants users to focus on are in bold. This brings together all the facets of learning:  the narration helps pronunciation, the story highlights context and usage, and the text promotes reading and spelling.

The app has additional useful features that are especially helpful for reference and revision. A reverse dictionary, word finder, and quizzes all have a role to play in helping students learn and practice.

There are more than eighty words with an additional forty idiomatic phrases. These word lists show that the app comprehensively covers the words TOEFL students need. Any student who has learned all TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade's content will be well set to excel in the TOEFL test.

What skills does it teach?

TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade helps learners grow their vocabulary in preparation for the standardised Test of English as a Foreign Language.

What age is it appropriate for?

TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade users will be those who are preparing for the TOEFL test, which does not confine it to any age group. Young and old learners have chosen to prepare for this test, and the app will support everyone.

Is TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade app easy to use?

TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade has a narrated user guide that explains the app's purpose, methods, and how to use its somewhat quirky interface. Users will have to remember some button taps that don't have the usual visual cues for their purposes, but there are not so many that this will be a barrier to effective learning.

Students who want to use the app to learn and revise won't have to struggle to get to the app's learning content and reference materials.

How will students benefit?

Students have the motivation to learn but not always the financial means to get the support they need. This app's low, one-off cost makes it an appealing option for students.

The associated learning activities forge strong links between words, meanings, and pronunciations. The ease with which students can revisit the words should help them embed the knowledge over time until it is secure.

Those who would rather avoid the gamified and distracting aspects of more expensive apps for straightforward practice will find TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade a great choice. When they do want a structured challenge, the app includes simple quizzes.

How will teachers benefit?

The app is most at home on a student's device, where they can revise and learn whenever they have the opportunity. However, the app will still be helpful for teachers to enhance their lessons or provide additional support in class.

While the app does not support multi-user profiles, it does make it easy to reset the app's data for a new user. Considering the app's functions and typical usage, this is likely enough for teachers to get the best from it among multiple students.

How much does TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade app cost?

TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade does not have a free or trial version, but it is a low-priced app bought with a one-off purchase—something rare enough in apps now to be considered a positive feature.

If you visit the app's supporting website, you can view excerpts from the app in video format, effectively highlighting what you will get.

Is TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade app safe to use?

There is no inappropriate content in TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade, and it does not contain advertisements.

What can TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade app improve on?

All of the apps in this family of vocabulary improvers use a piano-style keyboard for accessing the sections of the app and options. This is by no means hard to use, and the app explains it to new users, but it is a non-standard means of navigating an app that doesn't necessarily improve the learning experience. If an app deviates from user expectations and typical UI practices, it should have a good reason to do so, and it isn't easy to see what this app gains from this unusual interface.

TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade could polish its presentation a little. Some of the app's graphics accompanying the words are indistinct and do not follow a coherent style. The audio recordings, while perfectly understandable, have background hiss and would benefit from a refined recording process.

The app would look and sound better if it improved these aspects, but its current presentation does not harm its educational usefulness.

Overall rating of the app.

TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade is a cost-effective and comprehensive study and learning aid for TOEFL students and any English-language learner, whether they intend to take a test or not. Balancing this app's price, features, and content results in it being awarded five stars in this review.

App Details



iPad, iPhone


Communication Skills


In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No


Global Vocabulary LLC

Download TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade

You can download TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade on your iOS devices from the Apple App Store.

Download TOEFL Vocabulary Upgradefor iOS

Screenshots of TOEFL Vocabulary Upgrade

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