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Mine tells me at least 25,000 word families, then goes on to inform me that
that score lies outside the range where the test measures accurately, so I
have no idea what that really means, and that my score is better than 80%
of those who have taken the test.  My GRE score, many years ago, was 96th
percentile IIRC -- so at that time my vocabulary was as good or better than
96% of people trying to get into graduate programs in humanities fields.
Either the group taking this test is VERY skewed to the far high end of the
spectrum, or something is wrong with the test, or I have forgotten a HUGE
chunk of the words I knew 20 years ago and haven't learned any new ones in
the interim.

Adam

On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 8:51 AM, Mechthild Czapp <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I am not sure whether I agree with the site: it tells me that I know only
> 16800 word families (2nd language, you know), but I normally do not have to
> resort to dictionaries when reading (both fiction and nonfiction) in
> English.
>
> On 29.03.2012, at 14:39, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets wrote:
>
> > On 29 March 2012 15:22, MorphemeAddict <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >> I got almost 2/3 what I got on the previous test.
> >>
> >>
> > That's because this test is talking about "word families", which
> basically
> > are words and their derivatives (it gives the example of "nation",
> > "national", "nationalise" and "international" being the same "word
> family",
> > meaning it would count as 1 in their count). I myself got an "you know at
> > least 19,600 word families" result, which is much less than what other
> > tests gave me. But even if we consider each word family to contain an
> > average of only 3 dictionary words, the total is much higher than
> whatever
> > I got with other tests.
> >
> > So this test isn't comparable to other tests. Better compare your result
> it
> > with the one metric that it is comparable to, i.e. their own estimation
> of
> > the number of word families a native speaker knows. According to them, a
> > native speaker of English knows an average of 20,000 word families. In
> this
> > case, I rank comfortably within a native speaker range, which fits with
> my
> > experience of being able to read about any non-technical English book
> > thrown at me without having to resort to a dictionary. Also, that result
> is
> > a minimum only (the site itself says "at least" 19,600 word families).
> Who
> > knows how much higher the actual figure might be :) .
> > --
> > Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.
> >
> > http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
> > http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/
>