Viv's BON Database (Version 3)


What's new in version3.58?

For students with over 300 expressions on their database, it is now possible to jump 100 expressions (either from the front or in reverse order) when testing. This makes it possible to test over 400 expressions in four separate tests (100 expressions in each test. In the teacher's copy of the program ($10 - see Advanced Database Options), the same database can now be used for preparation for the Cambridge First Certificate in English, Cambridge Advanced and Cambridge Proficiency in  English examinations. The help files for these sections have also been updated.

Previous changes

It is now no longer possible to create blank records when adding words to the database. The past test results window now shows colour-coded past scores: red = fail mark (less than 60%), blue = pass mark (60%-89%) and green = excellent pass mark (90%-100%). Reverse order testing is now possible in all sections. This means that sections with a lot of entries can now be tested in two parts. After completing half a test, you can record your score, then return and complete the test starting in reverse order.  The 'See all BON' and 'See all middle of your notebook' sections do not now show the examples which come with the database, which makes testing easier for people who have just started using the database.

Revising, editing and adding expressions

For students:

When you use Viv's BON Database for the first time it will ask you to type in your first name. You only have to do this once as the program will remember your name and use it every time you use your BON Database. There is at least one expression, as an example, in every section. Firstly decide which section  you want to add expressions to in your BON database. Click once on this section in the grey section boxes. Write the word or expression and press 'Tab' or 'Enter' (If you're not sure how to add expressions, press the F1 key and the BON Database help for this section will appear. Click on the 'X' in the top right-hand corner to close the help page. Now write the word or expression which you will see when you test yourself and press 'Tab' or 'Enter'. If there's a box for a hint sentence, write one including the word or expression in the first box (sometimes this is automatically copied to the 'Hint' box. When you press 'Enter' or 'Tab' the program will automatically change the word or expression into asterisks, with one asterisk representing each letter. Press 'Enter' or 'Tab' again and repeat the process for as many words or expressions as you want to add to this section, then click on the 'Finished' button. You will then return to the blue 'Add Words' page. Note: You don't have to write a 'hint', but it will be easier to remember the expression if you do this. The first two boxes shouldn't have more than 70 characters and the 'hint sentence' mustn't be longer than 100 characters. You don't need to save anything - the program does this automatically for you.

On the blue 'Add words' page there are also buttons which let you see all your expressions (in alphabetical order) and print out all the words in your BON Database.

To search for a word or expression, press enter until the cursor is in the column  you want to search. Now click on the "Look up a word" button at the top right of the screen (or press 'Ctrl + L'). Type the word you want to find in the 'locate' box, then select 'any part of a field' ('qualquer parte do campo' in Portuguese) and press 'Enter'. The program will automatically locate the word or expression you are looking for.

Testing words

If you press 'Enter' when you start the program (or click on the 'Test Yourself' button), you'll go to the green 'Test Words' page. Click on the section you wish to test, or select 'Test all'. Choosing 'All middle of your notebook' or 'All Cambridge exercises' will only test these expressions. Type the expression asked for and press 'Enter'. If you don't know you can press 'Enter' without typing anything. Sometimes the expressions will be in alphabetical order, the program will tell you this. If you are wrong, the following will happen:

When you've finished pay attention to your percentage. If you've scored 60% or over you can either record your test result by pressing 'Enter', or click on the green 'You've finished' button to leave the test page without recording your test result. Scores below 60% are fails and I recommend that after recording your result, you see the words you got wrong and re-test yourself until you pass. When you return to the 'Test Words' page, pressing 'Enter' (or clicking on the green button on the right) will open a list of all the expressions you got incorrect first time (if you got them correct in a second attempt, they will still be in this list). You can use the cursor keys (<- ->) to hide the words on the left and only see the context sentence and your incorrect guesses. You can also print out these words if you have a printer connected to your computer and switched on. To do this, just hold down the 'Ctrl' key and press the letter 'P'. When you've revised the words you got wrong, press 'Escape'  (Esc) to return to the 'Test Words' page.  Now you can either test words in a different section, or click on the blue 'Revise, Edit or Add' button (or press 'Tab' twice) to add more expressions to your database. If you try to test the expressions in a section you have already tested, first you have to delete your previous guesses. You can do this using the red 'Delete your guesses' button, or from the test page where you will get to the choice of revising the words you got wrong before or automatically removing your previous test guesses.

You can test all the words in your database by selecting the 'Test all words' button, and see your past test results using the button above this.

You can only test in reverse order if you have already tested a section. On the message 'You have to delete your previous guesses...' select 'Cancel' and a button will appear enabling reverse order testing. The program will tell you when you have reached the point where you finished testing previously.

If you have over 300 expressions on your database, you can now jump 100 words when testing. To do this, answer the first question in the test. Along with question two, you'll see a button with 'Jump 100 words' written on it. Clicking on this button will move you forward to question 100. Another button will appear allowing you to reset your score if you want to. This feature is also available when testing in reverse order. 

For teachers:

See 'Advanced features for Viv's Vocabulary Database' for how to create a back up copy. Using Windows Explorer, change the name of the copy of the "Viv's BON Database" in the 'Vocabulary' folder to the name of one of your students (e.g. "Fred's BON Database"). Right click this file and select 'Create shortcut'. A new file of only 1KB with the same name will appear at the bottom. Cut and paste this file onto your desktop. Double clicking on this file will automatically open up the 'Viv's BON Database' program. Go back to the 'Backup' folder, copy the program file and paste it into the 'Vocabulary' folder. Change the name to the next student's and create a new shortcut. Make as many copies as there are students by repeating this process. If you like, you can create personalized shortcuts for each student. If you right click the shortcut on your desktop and select 'properties' you can change the icon (or your students can choose one) for each student, making it easier for students to identify their file. I keep all my students' BON Databases in a folder on the desktop.

I recommend using the program several times with the students before giving them a copy to take home with them. It's essential that if students use this program by themselves, the context sentences are checked for mistakes regularly. This can be done if the students send their new additions to you as an e-mail attachment. To do this, just drag the cursor down the grey boxes to the left of the words until they become black. Then press 'Ctrl' + 'C'. The words, meanings and context sentences can now be pasted into Word, Excel or Google Sheets.

After testing, I usually check the words students' didn't know, then finish using the program by selecting the 'Finish using Viv's BON Database'. The next time students use the program, I start by reviewing the expressions they got wrong previously by selecting the green button on the 'Test Words' page, then I get the students to delete their previous guesses using the red button. After this, clicking on the blue button takes the student to the 'Add new words' page, where they can add more words and finally test all the words in their database. When testing sections, you only need to delete past guesses periodically (when returning to test a section for the second time). In this way words the student didn't know in previous tests of other sections get revised several times before being deleted. You can keep track of your students' scores and the last time they tested a particular section by opening the 'Past test results' page.

Advanced features for Viv's Database programs

Help writing context sentences