Posted by: GeekHiker | November 15, 2007

A Test I Actually Enjoy

Fellow hiking blogger Homer-Dog did a post about the FreeRice website about a week ago, and I’m freely riffing on it because it’s a damn good idea.

Simply put: you go the website and take a multiple-choice vocabulary test. For every right answer you get, 10 grains of rice are donated to the U.N. World Food program, paid for by the sponsors who put ads on the site.

Added bonus: the ads are just images at the bottom of the page, not those annoying flash ads that make you want to shoot holes in your screen.

The whole thing has gone viral at this point: only six weeks old and it’s already on the national news (reporter’s commentary here).

As a kid I hated spelling tests, and to this day am dependent on spell-check. But I’ve always loved vocabulary and the fact that English, as crazy a language as it is, gives a writer so many ways to express a single idea. Not that that love shows up very often in this little blog. Heh.

Now I can learn more vocabulary and do a little good? I’m so there.



  1. Oooh I played Free Rice the other day too… what fun! I was up to about a gazillion grains of rice and finally had to get back to work. I was feelin’ pretty good about my vocab skills, what grade level do you think those words are?

  2. Thank you for passing the word. The wife has played it so much that she’s starting to get repeat words.

  3. Charlotte – Hard to say. According to the FAQ the test is progressive, and every 3 words you get right it kicks you up to the next level…

    Homer-Dog – Thank you for cluing me in to it! So does your wife have the entire FreeRice dictionary memorized yet?

  4. That’s pretty cool, who knew I knew so many words! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Awesome! I’ve already become quite addicted to doing this. I need to brush up on my vocab and what a better incentive then knowing I’m helping someone by doing it?

  6. dobegil – isn’t it nice to get the little ego boost too? 🙂

    brandy – It’s terribly addictive, isn’t it? Plus, you get to learn big new cool words, and who doesn’t love that? 🙂

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