Best Vocabulary Apps For Middle & High School Students


by TeachThought Staff

Many of the most successful apps–in any category–are characterized by their ability to adapt to various user and user goals.

Minecraft is a perfect example of this–a game that the player can use to create what they want. Users of various ages and ability levels can play it. Other apps like YouTube, Google Music, Duolingo, and others can be used flexibly by children, teens, or adults as well.

But due to the inherent nature of language, vocabulary apps are different. Vocabulary apps are highly dependent on age and grade level for most users, and while a 7th-grade student could like benefit from a 5th-grade or 9th-grade app, ‘levels’ tend to matter more.

With that in mind is a list of 12 of the best vocabulary apps for middle and high school students. They are a mix of level and adaptive apps, and vocab apps for standardized testing practice. We’ve featured the ‘Knowji’ series of apps in the past, and in this list among others, you’ll see their ‘academic word’ app which with words selected because they often appear “with greater frequency in a broad range of academic texts.”

Also included are apps that, like Knowji’s offerings, depend highly on the visual representation of ideas. Which reminds us–why hasn’t someone done a Frayer Model app yet?

12 Of The Best Vocabulary Apps For Middle & High School Students

Knowji Vocab 7-10, SAT, GRE, ASVAB Audio Visual Vocabulary Flashcards with Spaced Repetition 

Developer Description: If you have trouble remembering what you’ve learned, then this is the app for you. This app teaches you 1600 words specifically chosen for the SAT®, GRE®, ACT® and ASVAB exams, but users of all ages can enjoy the benefits of this app. The words taught are practical words often used in news, books, movies, businesses and politics. Knowji apps are Common Core aligned.*

Vocabulary – Learn New Words

Developer Description: Looking for tips for improving your vocabulary? Whether you are trying to strengthen and broaden your vocabulary for school or personal growth, the key is a commitment to regularly learning new words. Why expand your knowledge and use of words? You’ll be able to communicate (speak and write) more clearly and concisely, people will understand you more easily, and you will increase the perception (and reality) that you are an intelligent person. Besides, learning new words is a fun activity — and one you can even do with the people around you.

Knowji AWL (Academic Word List) Audio Visual Vocabulary Flashcards for ESL Students, and IELTS / TOEFL Exam Takers

Developer Description: If you have trouble remembering what you’ve learned, then this is the app for you. The AWL (Academic Word List) was developed by Averil Coxhead at the world renowned School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria Univ. of Wellington, New Zealand. The list of words were selected because they appear with great frequency in a broad range of academic texts. This app teaches you 620 academic words (570 word families) that all students, particularly ELL learners, need to know in an academic environment.

WordUp Vocabulary

Developer Description: WordUp is the easiest way to learn English words and understand them deeply, with entertaining examples from movies, songs, famous quotes and more. It is unlike any vocabulary builder app you’ve seen before! WordUp’s revolutionary approach to learning new English words and expanding your vocabulary will leave you feeling confident in any scenario. Whether you are native English speaker or your English just needs some work, WordUp can identify which important words you don’t know and give you fun and engaging tools to learn them.


Developer Description: At Quizlet, we believe that anyone can learn anything. All it takes is a tenacious spirit, the right guidance, and the tools to see it through. We know that students are under more pressure than ever. It can leave them overwhelmed, be anxiety-producing and make it all too easy to burn out. It’s our job to give every student the tools and confidence to succeed, no matter what their motivation, or what they’re striving to achieve.

Ultimate Vocabulary Builder 

Developer Description: The English Vocabulary Builder app from Galvanize Test Prep is a unique learning tool: why study a long and boring list of English words when you can experience a gamified vocabulary journey.

Vocabulary Builder by Magoosh

Developer Description: Build your vocabulary with Magoosh’s free vocabulary game for your iOS device. Quiz yourself every day to learn the 1200 most important words! 1200 vocab words picked by an expert tutor, definitions and example sentences for every word, basic, intermediate, and advanced vocabulary sections, beat levels to unlock new words, track your progress as you study.

Vocabulary Builder – Test Prep

Developer Description: This app is an online test prep company with a focus on teaching the GRE, GMAT, SAT, and TOEFL through videos and personalized customer support. In addition to their online course, they blog about words, roots, formulas, grammar, problem solving, quantitative reasoning, and reading comprehension along with study guides and study tips.

Merriam-Webster Apps

Developer Description:  It’s never been more fun to learn new words and test your vocabulary for everyone from English learners to total word nerds. Hundreds of words to test your skills.

Words Inc – Endless Vocabulary Definition Competition

Developer Description:

The rules are simple – tap the word that correctly matches the definition shown on the screen before time runs out, or swipe away incorrect words to get more time. The game is (virtually) endless – see how many vocabulary words you can correctly answer in a row. The catch? The difficulty of the words keep scaling higher and higher until it requires every ounce of concentration to get the next word correct.

GRE Vocabulary Flashcards 

Developer Description: Academic research has found that memories are formed by repeated exposure to new information, so Magoosh’s flashcard app uses a spaced repetition system. Words you are learning will reappear frequently (occurring less frequently the better you know them) and words you already know won’t be repeated. The GRE word list is culled to only 250 so that you focus on only the most important words.

High School Vocab Builder: A Vocabulary Guide

Developer Description: This app, targeted to High School students, contains carefully selected words required for high school level English language. The app also contains vocabulary lists that a student should be familiar with to score high in the new SAT examination.

SAT Flashcards: Prep & Vocab

Developer Description: This app can be useful to students prepping for SAT or ACT. It contains all kinds of flashcards to quiz students and help them remember important vocab used in the SATs and ACT.


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