Saturday, July 30

Merriam-Webster's Vocabulary Quiz

Just a little blurb between breaking news stories and startling events in the worlds of Language and Postal Services:

If you're reading this blog, you'll find it worthwhile to haunt Merriam-Webster's games section. Lovely crosswords and other games, usually gadgets retooled to center around words instead of garden creatures or gems. You know what I mean.

But what's really cool, what I really enjoy, is their Vocabulary Quiz! You get ten words that pop up sequentially, and each one has four attendant words: you race against the clock to select the best synonym. It's a real test of vocabulary--many of the words are easy or medium, but once in a while they throw in hard or genuinely obscure words.

On the other hand, if you have a good vocabulary, it's simply a physical test of hand-eye coordination and response times. My first score was 3200 points, pretty good for my age bracket (oh yes, they show you how other people your age did!), the average score being 2730. I improved that to 3800 points, and yesterday I scored 3940, after three tries. A lot of that is luck, of course, when the obscure word happens to be one I know.

That leads me to believe a perfect score would be 4000 points, and the only thing that holds me back is my response time. I'll have to be satisfied with that.


tuzzi said...


I finally hit 3900 !!! BTW...the max score is 4200 and a number of testers have reached that peak !!! I'm (78) and only wish my motors skills were as fast as my cognitive skills.I was searching for any hints on improving my score. Tuzzi

Christian said...

Congratulations, that's awesome! As for hints, I don't know if I could suggest anything beyond learning Greek and Latin roots. I know that's how champion spelling bee competitors parse the big, unfamiliar words on the spot.

Other than that: practice, practice, practice. I think it's marvelous that you're actively pursuing activities (and what's more noble than vocabulary?) to keep your cognition nice and strong!

Unknown said...


I was in the Sierras mountain climbing !!! I have maxed out of this friggin' test at 3980...I need to do all ten within one second to hit 4000 and t5hats near impossible for my very mature reflexes. Thanks for the support,,,tuzzi

Christian Fredrickson said...

Live long and prosper, Tuzzi. We should all do so well.

Princeaeneas said...

Final Score: 3660 Points! on my first go. I can imagine this eating up my lunch break.

Christian Fredrickson said...

@Princeaeneas: I know, right? It's too much fun for such as you and I.