A skill to help students prepare for their GRE exam. Repetition is a proven method for learning vocabulary, so we wanted to integrate this skill into Alexa, so it becomes very easy for anyone to simply practice words anytime they want.

What it does

Users can ask Alexa for GRE words, and Alexa will speak and display a random GRE words, upon random selection from 5000 GRE words.

How we built it

We used AWS lambda serverless architecture to listen to requests sent to the Alexa skill. The lambda function runs code to choose a random GRE word, and reads it out to the audience. We used APL templates to create the visual display and used APL for Audio to add light music in the background.

Challenges we ran into

Incorporating serverless architecture and integrating with APLs brought a few surprises, but navigating through these problems was both challenging and fun.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud that this skill is very lightweight and still expected to meet the criteria that students would want.

What we learned

Alexa templates for visual display are very handy, but they have their own limitations when creating the UI, so it is a good idea to check them out ahead of time so you can design the app accordingly.

What's next for GRE Prep

  1. 'Add to list' feature, which will require support for databases and user-sessions.
  2. Mnemonics to help students learn vocabulary faster.
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