One of the biggest challenge for students in clearing Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is learning thousands of new words they have never used. Lots of rote learning, flash cards, repetition and a lot of other methods are used. When I prepared for GRE, I used something that felt much more intuitive and effective than other methods. Today more than 20,000 people are using it.
Learning new words is a lifelong process. It starts when our parents teach us to speak by repeating the sounds they are making, without us knowing what that means. Later, we learn words by their appearance, meanings or their usage. In case of GRE, we learn by what they call ‘Wordlists’. Majority of students learn the words simply by rote learning. They prepare flash cards and keep them in pockets, repeating the words and their meaning over and over again. And it is effective ! ……. for a small duration.
The problem with rote learning is – it does not attach any usage or experience or mental image with the word, hence it becomes difficult to retain the word in memory. My idea was different – I prepared picture cards.
Why picture cards ? Visual learning is a very effective way of learning new things, especially new words. We are able to identify so many people with their names etc because our brain attaches their face with that name. Visual learning is often used for kindergarten kids to learn new words, but we throw the practice away as we grow up. Recent research at Loughborough university, shows that images used with reduced visible text generates greater subject engagement and higher levels of active learning. You can imagine how engaging Facebook would have been without images !
During my GRE preparation I prepared 1000+ words with their relevant pictures. I was able to memorize and understand all the words in a lot less time than others. I wanted others to make use of it, so I developed Pixnary app and website with all this data – A picture associated with each word, plus a usage sentence and a phrase to remember. The app became a huge success among GRE aspirants and I got reviews like these
In one word it’s a ‘Eureka’ every word is explained with a catchy image that fits in your mind. hope i could give it more than 5 stars !
Best app for learning GRE vocab!
Masterpiece!! A Must app For GRE Guys! Aesthetic piece of work! I would suggest everyone to download this app…Thanks a Ton!!
Love you. I don’t know who you are, thank you so much. 1500+ vocabulary I can memorize in just 3 days. God bless you.
It was exciting to see thousands of people liking the idea. So, I went ahead and created a website too – pixnary.com , for those who don’t have a smart phone. The website is even more detailed, it fetches several examples sentences, plus synonyms and antonyms. I added offline download option for people with limited connectivity, pronunciations, an iOS version and so forth.
After 20000+ users’ organic growth, Pixnary is now part of a bigger plan where there will be similar apps for multiple languages, school kids and more. This time not just using words, but GIFs, videos, games, quizzes and much more. The idea is to make learning an experience for everyone, not something you have to tolerate.