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Spelling Bee : Preparation
General Info | Rules | Preparation | FAQ
The following page contains tips and resources for preparation for the Spelling Bee conducted by NSF. NSF is committed to encourage children to improve their language skills and encouraging the same. The links below provide some sample words for the Spelling Bee tests -- please note that these are examples of words and DO NOT COVER all the words that might come in the tests.

Sample Words
Sample Practice words for Junior Spelling Bee: click here
Sample Practice words for Senioir Spelling Bee: click here.

    Books & References
  1. Spelling Bee Preparation
  2. NSF Online Spelling Bee Game
    Since 2003, NSF launched an Online Spelling Bee game. Click here for more details on the game.
  3. Merriam-Webster word of the day
    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/mwwod.pl
  4. Webster's Spelling Bee Dictionary
    http://www.amazon.com/Websters-International-Dictionary-English-Language/dp/0877792011
  5. Nat's NotesTM from Hexco (800-725-2627) (only for Advanced level spellers)
    http://www.hexco.com
  6. The Spelling Rules Book from Hexco (800-725-2627)
  7. Dictionary.com Word of the Day: (C) 2002 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC.
    http://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday/
  8. For Beginners: 71 Revised "Orton" Phonograms For Correct Spelling
    http://www.riggsinst.org
  9. Tips & Strategies
  10. Spelling Bee Strategies (From Building Spelling Skills Grade 2)
    • LISTEN AND SAY THE WORD CORRECTLY.
      Don't leave out or mispronounce sounds. Write the sounds in the correct order.
    • THINK ABOUT WHAT THE WORD LOOKS LIKE.
      Think about how the spelling pattern looks. Write it, look at it, and decide if it looks correct.
    • LOOK FOR SMALL WORDS IN SPELLING WORDS.
      e.g. Spin - pin, in Cupcake - cup, cake
    • USE RHYMING WORDS TO HELP SPELL A WORD.
      If you can spell book, you can spell look.
    • USE RULES FOR ADDING ENDINGS.
      Drop silent e before adding a suffix.
      Double the final consonant before adding a suffix.
    • THINK ABOUT WHAT THE WORD MEANS.
      Some words sound the same, but have different meanings and are spelled in different ways. Match the spelling with its meaning.
    • USE OUTSIDE HELP.
      Use charts, banners and lists. Ask someone for help. Use a personal spelling dictionary.
  11. Dr. Tadipatri's TOP TEN TIPS for Spelling Bee:
    • Never get discouraged seeing long or tough words and never get discouraged if one or more words are misspelled in any spelling bee. On the flip side do not be overconfident if you get the first three or four words correct. Stay focused during the entire session.
    • The spelling bee, like any other academic exercise, is a long term and steady process. Do not expect overnight results.
    • Remember to ask as many questions (that are permitted) as possible so that you can get to the spelling. Despite all questions, if you cannot come up with definite answers, try to make a most educated guess, based on the information. Never be content with a wild guess.
    • The meaning of the word is very important. It helps eliminate the homonyms. It may also help in the formation of the word. If possible, try to break up the word, based on the meaning and any other information.
    • Language origin is another important factor. This tells about the word formation and its etymology
    • Part of speech and sentence usage give a confirmation of the idea about the word. Sometimes this may even correct the notion one may have about the word.
    • The final goal is to combine 4, 5 and 6 in the spelling preparation. Try to concentrate on all - meaning, language origin and part of speech.
    • Try to follow how others attack the words and implement any good techniques, you may observe in others. Learn form their mistakes. One can learn as much from others' mistakes as from others' good techniques.
    • For parents, try to be a part of the process and encourage your children. However, at centers where parents are allowed to watch the kids in session, please make sure that you do not show immediate reactions of “Yes!!” or “Oh hoL” as this can spoil the child’s concentration.
    • Have a long term goal and realize that irrespective of winning a trophy, the knowledge one gains in the process will be a life-long companion.
  12. Create your own database!
    Another useful suggestion from Govindan family whose children Ramesh and Mallika have been participants in spelling and vocabulary bees:
    "We found it valuable to make a database of the list words provided for the regional and national competitions with their definitions, pronunciation, and language of origin, and then study from it. This way the children not only learned the words but also improved their vocabulary. We also did the same with the list words for the vocabulary bees. Children themselves created the databases (i.e., looked up the meanings and typed it into the Excel program), which provided them additional practice. The task became a lot easier when we installed the Merriam Webster Dictionary on the computer".
  13. Tips during the contest
    Make sure the pronouncer fully agrees with your pronunciation of the word. You can eliminate most misunderstandings right here.
    For example: If the pronouncer says ?except' and you say ?accept' he/she will be able to correct you right away. If you are still unable to get to the right pronunciation, you can ask for the word to be put in a sentence eliminating discrepancies.
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