As you play Vocabulary.com, do you ever wonder why you're being asked questions on words before you have a chance to try to learn them on your own?

It's because the experience of test-taking actually helps you learn, and speeds the rate at which you do so. In a recent study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, psychology researchers Dr. Daniel Schacter and Dr. Karl Szpunar found that "by interspersing online lectures with short tests, student mind-wandering decreased by half, note-taking tripled, and overall retention of the material improved." (Read more about this here.)

We designed Vocabulary.com to take the pacing and frequency of testing even farther. Our test-first-ask-questions-later method is grounded in the idea that your brain learns better when it is active, and if you fail to answer a question, your brain becomes curious, which is key to engaged learning. Next time you're more likely to remember what you have learned. And as you continue to play, frequent retesting on that word means you'll retain it, too.

This puts you on the express track to mastery, with a promise of the least boredom and mind-wandering along the way. Or as student Frankie O. recently described it to us: "Some words I can get them on the first try and keep going. Others are more tricky, but if I keep going I start to understand the definition more...I start thinking I'll play for a couple rounds, then I’m getting all these questions right, and I’m like, 'I’m a master at this!'"