Archive for the ‘Events & Info’ Category

Education Matters: In College, Working Hard to Learn High School Material

The New York Times recently published an article highlighting the failings of many New York high schools (and, undoubtedly, many across the country) to adequately prepare students for college courses. Many students find themselves failing the required CUNY placement tests, and thus placing into remedial reading, writing, and mathematics courses. With good reason, students wonder why they are in this position after passing Regents exams and graduating high school with sufficient grades. It doesn’t help but call to question how we define secondary education success. While Mayor Bloomberg has improved the high school graduation rate, up to 61% in June from 46.5% percent in 2005, the rate does become less impressive when looked at next to the percentage of high school graduates that need remediation in these three core subjects when they enter CUNY community colleges: 22.6% in 2010 (2,812 students), up from 15.4% in 2005 (1,085 students). 74% of NYC high school graduates enrolled at CUNY’s six community colleges take remedial courses in at least one academic subject.

But what’s perhaps more troubling is that the problem doesn’t end there. Students who require remediation in all three subjects, likely discouraged,  are at the highest risk of dropping out.  To respond to the large number of students in academic need and to prevent dropouts, CUNY has developed the Start program, an intensive semester focused on remedial  reading, writing and mathematics. The program has proven successful and given students the much-needed help they require. Of the 300 students enrolled thus far, 241 stayed the duration of the semester, and 159 of these students after taking the course, passed all three remediation tests.

CUNY is taking the right steps to help students facing all too common of a problem: not being prepared for college level material. As the Times article points out, it calls to question what Regents exams, which so often drive school curriculum, are actually measuring. Unfortunately, in many cases, it seems the tests do not accurately reflect what students need to know for college success. So how do we better prepare students academically for college? NYC’s chief academic officer, Shael Polakow-Suransky, says the solution isn’t adjusting passing and “college ready” scores, it’s  “to give kids more challenging, rich and authentic work.”

What’s your take?


College Admissions: The Pressures of College Entrance Exams

In an increasingly competitive college admissions environment, college applicants are feeling the pressure. With more students than ever applying to college and competing for a limited number of spots at universities, it’s not surprising that college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT cause a good amount of stress. But it’s important to keep in mind that YOU’RE MORE THAN A TEST SCORE!

While there’s no use denying that SAT and ACT scores are an important piece of your application and student profile–they’re not everything.  Four years of hard work and good grades (hopefully) in high school  are not erased with one standardized test score.

That being said, the SAT and ACT are tests that can be mastered through hard work and time commitment. (more…)


Vocab Videos: Vocab Film Festival Winners!

As you may know, Vocab Videos latest contest, The Vocab Film Festival, has officially come to a close. The Festival was a tremendous success with students, filmmakers, and entire classes submitting their very own vocab videos and photos–we received more than 100 submissions! The Vocab Videos team would like to give a BIG thank you to everyone who got involved, whether it was by making your own entry or voting on your favorite submissions and nonprofits organizations. Our four amazing affiliated nonprofits–Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Harlem Children’s Zone, Urban Word NYC, and Year Up–earned more than 3,000 votes!

Because we had so many AWESOME submissions, choosing our grand prize winners was an extremely difficult decision, but the votes are in! A panel of judges including members of the Vocab Videos team (who know their vocabulary!) and a special guest judge in the film-making industry helped choose the big winners. Drum roll please…..check out the impressive winning entries (more…)


Vocab Videos: Links to Student Worksheets on Your Home Dashboard!

Vocab Videos is continuously looking to improve its online platform by adding new features and updating existing ones. Digital worksheets provide space for students to write sentences, synonyms, mnemonic devices and other ways of remembering vocabulary words and their meanings. Now, links to a user’s completed worksheets are available right from their home dashboard making them more accessible to users.



The Vocab Film Festival: Closed but Not Over…

As of June 1st, the Vocab Film Festival is officially closed. The Festival invited students and filmmakers to create their own vocab videos, and participants proved more than up to the challenge. We received 100+ video and photo entries! A BIG thanks to all who participated either through submitting entries or voting on their favorite videos & photos.

But even though the Festival is no longer accepting submissions or votes, a big portion of the contest has yet to come–the GRAND PRIZE CEREMONY! Student and filmmaker finalists are competing to take home the top prizes; a special judging panel will be deciding on the winning finalist entries (with the exception of the People’s Choice Award, which is based solely on votes), and it will certainly not be an easy decision.


SAT Vocabulary in Style: Get Your Vocab Videos T-Shirt!

Vocab Videos T-shirts are Now Available!

Learn your SAT vocabulary in style in your Vocab Videos tee! Tell everyone how “sinister” or just what a “maverick” you are! The tees are a fun way to express yourself and show everyone just how smart you are, all the while helping everyone around you become a little more knowledgeable about vocabulary.

And the best part? A portion of the proceeds are going to a wonderful cause. $1.00 from the sale of each shirt will be donated to charity. Proceeds will be distributed among the following nonprofit organizations:

*Harlem Children’s Zone

*Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston

*Urban Word

*Year Up

(Find out more about the charities above)

Words have power. Use them for good!

> Buy a Vocab Videos t-shirt!


LAST Month of the Vocab Film Festival: Fun Learning SAT Vocabulary+ $20,000 in Scholarships & Prizes!

Check out this piece on the Vocab Videos SAT vocabulary contest, The Vocab Film Festival:

The Vocab Film Festival: Finally Students Have Fun Learning SAT Vocabulary—Vocab Videos Contest Offers $20,000+ in Scholarships & Prizes
As featured on:
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The Vocab Film Festival has been running since February, and has received numerous video and photo submissions illustrating the meanings of key SAT vocabulary words. Students, teachers, and filmmakers, alike, have found clever ways to help participants and fans understand the meanings of words. Check out one of our winning student video entries (more…)


Vocab Videos Flashcards on Your Phone: Mobile Flashcards Available through Study Blue!

Vocab Videos has recently partnered with Study Blue to bring Vocab Videos flashcards to your mobile phones! Now, you can study on-the-go with Vocab Videos digital flashcard sets that coincide with each episode!

Click on the links (more…)


Vocab Videos on Myxer!


Look at our Vocab Film Festival widget below, and check out our Myxer channel to watch more of our videos and to get Vocab Videos on your phone!

Myxer: Privacy Policy | Terms – More from Vocab Videos


FREE SAT VOCABULARY VIDEOS: Vocab Videos FREE Subscription Plan

Vocab Videos is pleased to announce that it has recently launched a FREE Vocab Videos subscription plan! Now, visitors to our site can register for a free one month account and receive access to more than 150 Vocab Videos and a portion of our study materials! We wanted to give everyone the chance to see what we do over here at and how our videos can making learning vocabulary fun!

ATTENTION EDUCATORS: See bottom of post!

By registering for a free subscription plan, users can access the following features:

  • Vocab Videos Study Guide: Our study guide provides suggestions on how to get the most out of Vocab Videos. Learn how to best utilize the videos, absorb vocabulary efficiently, and employ our review material most effectively. The guide will help you to craft your own individualized vocabulary regimen.
  • Video Library: Our free account provides access to 8 episodes and over 150 Vocab Videos! Become familiar with engaging Vocab Videos storylines and meet some of our  hilarious characters. You’ll can’t wait to see what happens next!
  • Digital Quizzes: Test your new vocabulary knowledge by taking a Vocab Videos digital quiz after each episode! SAT–style questions offer preparation for standardized tests. At the end of each quiz, detailed quiz results show quiz performance and what questions were answered correctly and incorrectly; results can be downloaded and printed.
  • Downloadable Worksheets: Worksheets can be used to maximize comprehension and retention. They provide space to write sentences, synonyms and mnemonic devices, and to build a more clear understanding of the meaning of the words.

If you like what you see, we make it easy to upgrade to a 6-month or 12-month premium account! A premium subscription plan includes  total access to ALL 500 VOCAB VIDEOS + our extensive suite of study resources. In addition, to our entire video library our premium subscription level offers access to:

  • ALL Digital Quizzes: Take a total of 25 digital quizzes, one for every Vocab Videos episode + cumulative quizzes that take some vocabulary from each episode. Detailed quiz results chart your quiz performance and what words you answered correctly and incorrectly; results can be downloaded and printedQuiz results are stored to the user dashboard, so you can constantly monitor your progress.

  • Digital Flashcard Maker: The digital flashcard maker allows you to create flashcards for additional vocabulary words or for ANY academic subject – flashcards will be saved and stored in your personal Vocab Videos account. Flashcard maker features include:
    • Add an image or movie file
    • Study in quiz mode—“flipping” cards to review
    • View cards in table mode (option to hide the question or answer column)
    • Download and print flashcard sets to review on-the-go

  • Digital Worksheets: Like downloadable worksheets, digital worksheets provide space to write sentences or mnemonic devices to build a clear understanding of the word. Once they are entered, sentences are stored on a personalized study sheet. Print out worksheets for review on-the-go.

  • Vocab Videos Glossary: A searchablealphabetical glossary of all the words featured in Vocab Videos along with their definitions. The glossary allows users to keep track of words they’ve mastered, and to review definitions even when they don’t have access to a computer.
  • Vocab Videos Definition Groups: These category lists group words by common themes. This valuable reference allows for an even more comprehensive understanding of the vocabulary. Definition groups are useful for helping grasp subtle differences in meanings and when to use particular words.
  • Vocab Videos Crossword Puzzles: Crossword puzzles by episode offer a fun form of review. Users can print these out to study on-the-go.

EDUCATORS: Don’t forget, you’ll want to consider a school or classroom package to introduce Vocab Videos to your students! Classroom packages provide individual student and teacher accounts for Vocab Videos.

Teacher accounts allow you to monitor student usage, view quiz results (questions students answered incorrectly), and download review material to incorporate into your curriculum. Sign up for a free teacher demo account on our Educators page, or contact us to get started with a classroom package:

Email: [email protected]

Call: 646-216-9187 ext. 202