What does it take to "master" a word?

When you play Vocabulary.com, we’ll ask you questions on the most essential definitions of a word. When you get these questions correct, the progress bar will start to fill in for that word.  Once you’ve “mastered” all definitions of the word, the progress bar will fill up completely, and the word will become a “mastered” word — and you'll get a 1,000 point bonus!


Mastering a word takes time.

Typically, it will take you multiple sessions over multiple days before you master a word and claim that 1,000 point bonus for achieving mastery.  Why so long?  Because we need to make sure you really know it, by giving you multiple questions on multiple meanings of the word. Plus, we need to give you a little time to forget in between, so that we can make sure that you are retaining all the good stuff you are learning.


How long? It depends.

The amount of time it takes depends on a number of factors:

  1. How many meanings a word has.  Words can have many meanings.  We won't let you master a word until you have demonstrated mastery on all the essential definitions of the word (we might skip some really obscure definitions). You'll master the easiest definitions of a word first, then we'll move on to harder meanings later.
  2. How many questions you get right / wrong.  The more you get questions wrong, the longer it will take to master a word.  Get every question right?  We may decide that you know the word and let you master it more quickly.
  3. How many other words you are learning at the same time.  If you choose to learn a lot of words (Either by electing to learn them individually, or by choosing to "Learn this List" on a number of lists), it might take you longer to master words because we have to spread the time you are dedicating to mastery over a large number of words.


What happens to a word once I master it?

Good question! Once you master a word, we'll give you "brush-up" questions on that word periodically just to make sure you are retaining everything you've learned.  The more you struggled with a word initially, the more often you'll see brush-up questions.  Once we're super-double-sure that you know a word, we'll let up and you may never see a question on that word again.


How do I track my progress towards mastery?

It's easy to track your progress. To see your progress on any word, simply look it up in the dictionary. There you will see an overview of your progress on that word.

Read more: Tracking Your Progress on a Word

To see your overall progress on all the words you are learning, visit the My Progress page.  

Read more: Tracking Your Overall Progress 



Have more questions? Contact Us