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Education Plus

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Firefox add-on for GRE vocabulary building

Vocabulary-building for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) usually involves a lot of cramming from wordlists in the many GRE training kits. And self-evaluation usually involves taking as many as one can of the hundreds of vocabulary tests both online and offline apart from the full GRE adaptive mock tests.

Now GREedge, a company specialising in delivering GRE coaching through mobiles and PCs, has come up with a software called ‘wordtracker’ which adds a toolbar to the Firefox browser and highlights words as the student browses the Internet.

“Most students do not like ‘mugging’ and we also believe the retention is low if a student just ‘mugs up’ words for the test. Instead, building a vocabulary while doing everyday tasks like surfing the Net makes the learning easier,” says Anand Kannan, managing director, GREedge.

The software highlights the so-called ‘GRE words’ in the page and on mousing over the word, it displays the dictionary meaning, usage, synonyms and antonyms of the word.

Occasionally, an ‘evaluation’ pops up asking a simple question relating to the word.

Wordtracker also allows the student to ignore a word in future windows or to mark it as a ‘favourite’.

The student can also write his or her own usage of the word to help remember it better. The details of words searched for, studied and marked are all stored in the student’s account at GREedge’s server and they can be looked up at any time and tests can be held based on these words.

“We give the students feedback about their performance and encourage them to make flash cards, if necessary. The whole vocabulary-building experience is obtained without the need to get off the computer which is often a problem for students of these times,” says Pavithra Vikram, manager, Research and Development.

The product compares favourably with other vocabulary-building software tools available online, Ms. Vikram says, due to the flexibility it allows the students to set their own pace and customise the learning experience.

The beta version of the software is available for download at www.greedge.com/wordtracker.

SHYAM RANGANATHAN

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