I’ve done a post on grammar quizzes before, but another one of my favourite things is vocabulary. To be fair, a lot of the more unusual vocabulary is not used or recognised all that often. (Or ever.) But it is always interesting to find out words for things you’ve never considered before, and sometimes they may come in handy. That’s one of the reasons I love reading book. If I know an unusual word from a book, I will always remember exactly which book it’s from, the context, and about when I first read it. Sometimes TV shows teach words too. Has anyone else seen that Phineas and Ferb episode where they explained what an aglet was? That was enlightening. (I love that show.) Anyway, today I have a few websites with vocabulary quizzes to test your knowledge.
Merriam-Webster: Name That Thing
This is just a quick ten-question quiz where they show a picture of something and you have to know the correct vocabulary word for it. It’s unique because it’s visual vocabulary—they don’t just give you a word and ask you to pick out the right definition. This was really fun (despite being so short) and I got 9/10. (For those of you who have taken/will take it, it was the shoe one that tripped me up. That’s also what reminded me of aglets. As for the architecture one, I only knew that because I went on a trip to Washington, DC and my mom decided to sign up for a tour of the cathedrals. We got a lot of historical/architectural knowledge there. I also got a book that I haven’t looked at since.)
This is a great website that will donate ten grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program for every question you get right. There are all sorts of subjects that they quiz you on but I remember having to use this website in grade school and my teacher had us do the vocabulary quizzes, so that’s what I’ve linked to. (There are grammar quizzes as well.) There are 60 levels of difficulty. I got to level 42 before getting one wrong, and level 44 before I seriously started going backwards. But overall I donated 1340 grains of rice! I’m not sure how much would make up a meal for someone, but hopefully it’s something. It depends on the size of the rice, but the number of grains in a cup can be anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 (source here, may not be the best one) so my contribution may be around two cups. If that’s uncooked rice, that may be about a day’s worth of rice for one person. (For me, anyway—I cook and eat rice all the time.) Either way, the more the better, so try and get some of those questions right!
Games with Words: Vocabulary Test
This one was designed by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After you take it you can see how well you did compared to other people your age and level of fluency and education. The questions range from easy to I’ve-never-heard-anything-remotely-close-to-this-word-in-fact-it-sounds-like-gibberish. The unfortunate thing is that they don’t tell you the answers at any point. But what’s interesting is that it’s not a definition-finding game, nor is it an exact-synonym game. It’s more of a word association game. You have to pick the word that is closest to the one at the top. It really requires a lot of thinking. I got 24/32 and I did as well as or better than 76% people of my age, education level, and fluency level.
I hope you try out these quizzes. If you do, tell me your results and any new words you learned. (If you have any fun stories about how you learned a particularly difficult word, I’d love to hear those too.) Have a wonderful day, and may your vocabulary be ever-expanding!