John S. is a high school sophomore and a Vocabulary.com Savant. When he's not playing the Vocabulary.com Challenge, he likes eating pizza and vanilla ice cream, hanging with his cat, Precious, playing basketball with friends or on his high school team, or just riding his bike around town listening to music.
Vocabulary.com: How did you find out about Vocabulary.com?
John S.: Last summer, I went to study for the SATs. I had a tutor who gave me words but I already knew some of them. And I didn't like keeping track of all those flash cards. I still have school to do — I don't want to spend all that time making new cards. So I googled "vocabulary" and found Vocabulary.com.
VC: What was your first impression?
JS: I thought it was cool that it just taught me words that I didn't know. It was personalized to my level and it was fun to do also. When I use it, I'm making the best out of my time because it only tests what I don't know.
VC: How often would you say that you play?
JS: I'd say I'm playing about four to five times a week now, for 15-20 minutes at a time.
VC: Do you get addicted? Do you plan to stop, but then end up playing "just one more round"?
JS: I always do that. During the school year I plan to do ten rounds a day. But it becomes longer. It's pretty cool that I can get up to 50,000 points in a day.
VC: Have you tried learning interactive Vocabulary Lists?
JS: I just made one, actually. First I entered SAT words I got from a list — it was about 400 words. As I was working through practice tests and reading books, I kept adding words. I shared the list with people — and they liked how it was constantly being updated. Now it has 700 words on it. (See John's List here: ULTIMATE SAT Vocab List.)
VC: How many of your friends are playing the list?
JS: About ten of them. I didn't tell too many, but they think it is a pretty good use of their time.
VC: Have you noticed a change in your vocabulary?
JS: Yes, because when I get something wrong, the game starts asking about that word more often and I start to really get that word. And now I totally remember that word. It feels good knowing the words. I see them when I read The Economist. Or I use them when I'm talking in class. I like using the new words.
As a thank you to John for speaking with us, we made this short video on how to play with Facebook friends. (Having trouble watching it on YouTube? Check it out on Vimeo here.)