Every user on Vocabulary.com has their own customized learning program. With Vocabulary.com, you have control of the learning process. You can choose to focus on words or lists that are important to you. The way you do this is through managing your learning program.
Your learning program is used to decide which words you will work on, the questions you answer on those words, and the amount of time we'll wait between asking you questions on the same word.
Words can enter your learning program in one of three ways:
- You elect to learn the word. The easiest way to add a word to your learning program is to simply look up the word in our dictionary and click this button:
Words that you elect to learn have the highest priority in your learning program. If possible, we will work with you on these words before working with you on other words. Sometimes, however, we can't do that because we need to wait for a little while so that you have a chance to forget them. This is called spaced repetition, and it's one of the key ways that we can get you to really remember what you are learning. In the case where we need to pause working on high priority words for a bit, we may work with you on other (lower priority) words in your learning program.
On the button above, you'll also see an estimate of the chances that you already know the word. This estimate is based on everything we know about your vocabulary knowledge so far. So, the more you play, the more precisely we can predict which words you don't know.
- The word is on a list that you elected to learn. When you view vocabulary lists on Vocabulary.com, you will see a "Add to Learning Program" button on the top right corner of every list page. Click this button and we will add every word on the list to your Learning Program.
When you elect to learn a list, we will work with you until you master every word on the list. Remember, mastering words takes time, so learning a list (which is really mastering every word on that list) can take a long time. For some long lists, it could take months. For that reason, we really recommend that you use Practice this list for shorter term goals like learning words for a quiz or homework. Read more: Practicing a list vs. learning a list
- We think you might need some help with that word. If you answered questions incorrectly (or took hints) in the past, we will ask you follow-up questions on a word. If you get enough of those questions wrong, we might decide this is a word we should add to your learning program.
This comes in handy when you are practicing a list. If you get some questions wrong, we'll automatically add those words to your learning program, even though you never clicked "Learn this list" on the entire list.
When you play Vocabulary.com, we are working with you to "master" all the words in your learning program. The words that you are actively working on mastering we call your active learning set. We work with you on these words the most.
Once you master a word, you won't see questions on that word quite as often. However, if you struggled to master a word, you may still see questions on that word from time-to-time. We don't want you to forget what you've learned!
Read more: What does it take to "master" a word?
If you are starting to struggle with a word, we'll put it in your Trouble Words list — we'll work with you a little more on those. Words will float in and out of your trouble words list over time, but if you are looking to study words outside of Vocabulary.com, your trouble words list is a good place to start. You can always see your current "Trouble Words" list by visiting the My Progress page.
Read more: Monitoring Your Trouble Words
Tracking Your Progress
Of course, it's always nice to look back and see how far you've come. That's why we have the My Progress page. Here you can see a snapshot of what you are learning now as well as what you were working on at any point in the past.
Read more: Tracking Your Progress.