I cannot express how much I am not looking forward to doing this. Photo courtesy of d3b…*. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.Those of us who are approaching our final semesters of college might be thinking of taking our education even further after our wonderful undergraduate years. This seems to be the path that my professors have been recommending me, and since I’ll be a senior next year, I should probably start thinking about graduate school. And as we all know, graduate school means another standardized test– the GRE.

I hate standardized tests more than about anything in the entire world. I just suck at them. I over-analyze, I get anxious, and I just generally don’t do well on them. I thought the SAT was bad, so you can imagine my complete excitement of preparing myself for the GRE.

However, I stumbled upon a Lifehacker article about an iPhone/iPad app called IntelliVocab that helps you study vocabulary that is most commonly seen on standardized tests. I downloaded it and have played around with it a bit, and I’m liking the look of it so far. Best of all, it’s free until the end of June so even if you’re not convinced it will be helpful, go ahead and grab it while it’s free.

The app has several different ways for you to study. One mode is Practice, which will give you a word with multiple choices of a definition. If you miss the word, the app remembers and will ask you the word again, but in a different context, such as fill-in-the blank. This mode also has a pronunciation function so that you can hear the word pronounced, in case this can help you study. Another mode is Test, which gives you 30 questions to answer in a limited amount of time. The third mode to study with is just a straight dictionary style which just lists the words and their definitions, so that you can spend your time learning the words before you quiz yourself again.

My favorite part of this app is that it will ask you to define the word in multiple ways, in order to ensure maxium retention. For instance, I missed the word “abjure” like ten times before I finally got it down (“to recant, renounce, reputidate under oath”). However, IntelliVocab asked me to give the definition, the reverse definition, a synonym, an antonymn, and to use it in a sentence. These different ways of asking me how to remember the word helped me remember and really learn what the word meant.

The app also has a progress page where it keeps track of how much progress you have made over time with a nice little chart. You can program in the date of your exam so you know how many days left you have to study. The app even lets you know what percentage of the words you have mastered.

When you’re having particular trouble with certain words, you can also go to the word list section on the app and click on the word for a detailed description of the word. It will give you a definition, a list of synonymns, antonymns, several ways it can be used in a sentence, and the level of difficulty of the word. Seeing all of this information can give you more to go on when mastering tough words.

The GRE version of the app has 694 words and, according to Lifehacker, was the most useful version. There is also an SAT version (which I just recommended to my younger brother) and a Business version. However, Lifehacker found that the SAT version was pretty good as well, but the Business one only had 236 words and wasn’t found to be comprehensive enough.

I think this app is a pretty good way to get started studying for the GRE, especially in the summer. Classes will be starting up sooner than it will feel like, and so while I’m waiting for something in line or have a few minutes of spare time, instead of playing Fruit Ninja, I’ll practice my vocabulary and become that much more prepared for the dreaded standardized test that is the GRE.

What other tools do you use to help you prepare for the GRE? Let us know in the comments!

[via Lifehacker]