Dictionary.com Announces Results of 2011 Student Preferences Survey

Students Blend Tech with Tradition, and Crave Speed, Pop Culture and French

Aug 31, 2011, 09:00 ET from Dictionary.com

OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dictionary.com (www.dictionary.com), the leading online and mobile dictionary with over 50 million monthly users, today unveiled the results of its Fall 2011 Student Preferences Survey, which polled thousands of high school and college students on their attitudes toward learning and test preparation. The survey revealed that today's web-savvy students utilize both online and traditional resources for test preparation, emphasize the need to improve their speed when it comes to reading, and still feel quite attached to the romanticism of the French language.

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"We've found that today's students draw from a wide variety of resources – both on- and offline – to create a personalized experience that supports their individual learning preferences," said Shravan Goli, President, Dictionary.com.  "Dictionary.com is adapting with this generation as they redefine education, and will soon be offering new ways to take it beyond the classroom and make it a part of every aspect of life."

Students Blend Traditional and Online Study Methods to Prepare for Standardized Tests

When it comes to studying for standardized tests such as the SAT, LSAT, GRE or GMAT, students continue to rely heavily on traditional resources:

  • 70.6% of respondents listed "books/study guides" as their number one resource

However, online resources are also making their way into study regimens:

  • At 36.7%, "online reference sites and flashcard sites" ranked above other traditional methods such as "tutors" and "offline classes," which ranked at 19.7% and 14.9% respectively

It's also worth noting that as sources like books are increasingly accessed through tablets and other devices, we'll see the continued blurring of the line between online and "traditional."

Need for Speed and Pop Culture Fuels Students' Efforts to Improve Reading Skills

When it comes to improving their reading, speed is the biggest concern:

  • The largest group, 59.8%, listed "speed reading tips" as the most useful for improving reading skills – not terribly surprising considering the amount of information available
  • Relatedly, "comprehension test" ranked fairly high on the list at 42.3%
  • However, students ranked "vocabulary from popular books" as the second most useful at 47.4%, illustrating the importance of context-based learning

Foreign Language: Romance Trumps Economics

While you might think students' preferences for learning a foreign language would be economically driven, with languages spoken in economic powerhouses like China topping the list, results indicate otherwise:

  • French topped the list at 51.1%
  • Spanish came in a very close second at 48.5%
  • At 24%, Chinese actually ranked behind Italian (29.9%) and German (28.4%)

For more information on Dictionary.com's 2011 Student Survey, please visit http://content.dictionary.com/press/Student_Survey.doc. Dictionary.com will also soon be announcing a major new learning initiative.

About Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com is the leading provider of online and mobile language reference products and services.  The company is an affiliate of Ask.com, the leading brand for questions and answers online. Both are wholly-owned subsidiaries of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI). Dictionary.com, LLC, includes Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com, Reference.com and Translator, and serves an average of 50 million unique users worldwide per month (source: 2010 Quantcast data and internal mobile usage data). For more information, please visit www.dictionary.com.

SOURCE Dictionary.com