Vocabulary Synapse

Vocabulary Synapse is available for immediate purchase for $7.00 (US).


View a sample section.

System Requirements
Instructions for Purchasing

Vocabulary Synapse FAQs

Additional Information for Education Professionals



Vocabulary Synapse

Vocabulary Synapse was developed by AVE to help motivated students develop an advanced vocabulary, primarily for the SAT and GRE.

The development process focused on the way in which students learn words and integrate them into their working vocabulary. Association of information was a key focus. Because information that is associated to other information is generally remembered better, many words are grouped with others. Groupings include synonyms and close synonyms (e.g. ephemeral and evanescent), words that are generally linked (e.g. flora and fauna), words that are often confused (e.g. censure and and censor), and words that share common roots (e.g. euphony and cacophony).

Definitions and sentences have been designed to make the vocabulary development process as easy and efficient as possible. The definitions give all vital information about each word, and often include mnemonics, connotations, etymologies, and key associations. However, definitions are kept concise and use informal language whenever possible, allowing students to assimilate them quickly and easily.

Vocabulary Synapse keeps sentences as simple and illustrative as possible. These sentences show students how to use the words, while reinforcing the definitions and appropriate associations.

Vocabulary Synapse is available for immediate purchase for $7.00 (US). There are two versions. Vocabulary Synapse contains definitions of words that may be inappropriate for younger students. Vocabulary Synapse Limited does not contain these definitions. Younger students should use Vocabulary Synapse Limited, as should students who may find these definitions objectionable.

System Requirements

You must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader. It can be downloaded for free here. Please check the sample page  to make sure that you will be able to view Vocabulary Synapse.

Instructions for Purchasing AVE's Vocabulary Synapse

1. Once you have decided which version of Vocabulary Synapse suits your needs, click on the appropriate button at the bottom of these instructions.

2. Click the "Checkout" button on the next screen.

3. You will then be forwarded to Paypal to process your payment. Enter the requested information.

4. Once the payment has been processed, you will receive one or more confirmation emails. One of these emails will contain a download link.

5. Click on the link, which will take you to a download screen. Follow the instructions to download Vocabulary Synapse.

6. You should receive the file within one hour. If you do not receive the file within 24 hours, please email help@arvinvohra.com and include "Vocabulary Synapse" in the subject of your email.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to learn all the words?
Despite the methods used to streamline the vocabulary building process, students will need time to learn the large number of words contained. If possible, allow a few months. Please note that this will vary based on the student's vocabulary prior to using Vocabulary Synapse.

Why is Vocabulary Synapse so expensive/inexpensive?
As part of AVE's commitment to fair and universal pricing, Vocabulary Synapse has been priced the same in all countries. Depending on local currencies and economies, the price may seem somewhat higher or lower than expected.

What kind of computer do I need?
Most Macintosh and PC computers will work. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is also required, and can be downloaded for free from Adobe at www.adobe.com. The Acrobat Reader also works on Palm OS (many PDAs) and Symbian OS (selected Nokia devices).


Additional Information for Education Professionals

For most synonym groupings, the rule of 7 ± 2 has been used (i.e. a person can generally hold between 5 and 9 pieces of information in their conscious mind at one time). Most of the groupings contain less than seven words to allow ease of acquisition. However, this rule does not apply in two situations. The first situation involves a synonym list in which most students know a few of the words. In this case, the known words act as "anchor points" to which the new words are associated. A list may contain 10 synonyms, 5 of which the average student will know. The five new words are well under the cutoff of 7.

This rule is also violated at times to prevent students from assimilating the words as a set of synonyms, when doing so would obscure critical parts of the individual definitions. This method is used to encourage students to develop and understanding of the subtleties of the separate words, which is important in situations in which proper understanding of a word involves distinguishing it from its close synonyms.

Formal rules of presenting definitions have been broken frequently. The goal of Vocabulary Synapse is to develop a working and applicable understanding of a word, together with relevant associations, rather than rote memorization of definitions or synonyms. This method facilitates long-term recall, and allows understanding of the word to develop as the student continues to see the word in various contexts. At times, formal definitions are not given at all, and instead a simple explanation of the word is given. For example, "ephemeral" may be explained as "Something ephemeral lasts for a very short time," rather than "Ephemeral means lasting for a very short time." This method is used to create a working, integrated understanding of the word, instead of encouraging short-lived rote memorization.

Several words appear in more than one grouping. For example, a word may be in a grouping based on a word root, and another grouping based on synonyms. This has been done to promote connections between various word groupings, and to thoroughly integrate the vocabulary network into the long-term memory.

Definitions are generally somewhat longer than those in most commercially available vocabulary texts. This has been done to allow a complete understanding of the relevent aspects of the word, and to discourage the use of close synonyms which may miss critical information, and may encourage students to forget the new word. When a student does not understand what differentiates a word from a close synonym, he may view the word as redundant and forget it more easily.

Word roots are usually introduced as English word roots, rather than as their Latin or Greek precursors. For example, the text discusses the word "equivocate" in terms of the "voc" root, rather than in terms of the Latin verb "voco, vocare". This is done to create associations with known English words (e.g. vocal), rather than with unfamiliar Latin words. In most cases, students of Latin will be able to see the connections with the Latin words. In certain cases in which it is deemed helpful, the Latin words have been introduced.

Sentences are kept exceedingly simple, and use memorable graphic depictions when possible. Negations have been avoided to prevent later confusion, and to allow direct, simpe associations. For example, a sentence may say "The uncouth man wore a stinking, sweaty, undershirt," instead of "The uncouth man did not wear a tuxedo." The former associates "uncouth" to a dirty undershirt, whereas the latter runs the risk of associating the word inappropriately to a tuxedo. In situations in which a student barely remembers the word and needs to solve an analogy or sentence completion question, this subtle difference can be very significant.

Students for whom English is a second language will benefit from use of Vocabulary Synapse. However, supplementary training may also be required, since Vocabulary Synapse assumes native English fluency and focuces primarily on the development of an advanced vocabulary. Basic words, particularly those generally learned during childhood, are not included in Vocabulary Synapse, and ESOL students may need to review these words using another source.


All materials © Arvin Vohra Education, 2005