National Vocabulary Bee Finals
There are 2 levels of competition for Vocabulary Bee:
- Junior Vocabulary Bee (JVB): Grades 1, 2 and 3
- Intermediate Vocabulary Bee (IVB): Grades 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8
- A 1st rank winner at the National Finals of the North South Foundation Intermediate Vocabulary contest is not eligible for competing in this and future vocabulary contests conducted by the Foundation (National winners of junior vocabulary bee can participate in the intermediate bee.) A contestant who participated in a higher level bee cannot participate in a lower level bee in subsequent years.
- Vocabulary bees (JVB and IVB) are held in three phases. Phase I is written, while Phases II and III are oral rounds. Contestants are seated by the badge number order from left to right. Contestants are responsible to bring their own pencils and erasers. No parents are allowed in Phase I.
- The vocabulary contest is conducted in multiple-choice format. In all vocabulary contests, pronouncer pronounces words and provides multiple-choices in all phases. The pronouncer and judges face the audience. The contestants face the judges and pronouncers. The judges are in complete control of the competition and their decisions are final. Pronouncer and judges use both NSF material and Merriam-Webster 3rd International Unabridged Edition as sources in conducting the contests.
- Phase I is a written test with 30 words. First ten words are selected from the published list of 1000 words ( contestants can download these practice words after registration and uploading a photo for bee book ) provided to the contestants, and the remaining twenty words are from external sources. All contestants will get the same 30 words.
- All contestants get the same 30 questions in a booklet. The contestants need to complete this phase in 20 minutes. Contestants are required to circle correct letter choice and meaning on the student answer sheet. All answers must be marked on the answer sheet for credit. Only for JVB, to aid the contestant, the pronouncer pronounces each word and reads the multiple choices for each of the 30 words. For IVB, contestants work on their own in the overall allotted time.
- Unclear and illegible circling might be open for misinterpretation. Contestants are expected to circle clearly and legibly. All Phase I sheets should be returned at the end of the contest. It is the responsibility of the contestant to write the badge number on the answer sheet.
- All contestants advance to Phase II. In Phase II, contestants are divided into groups of about 20, and each group is seated in a separate room by the badge number order. Badges contain the group number.
- Phase II contains 3 oral rounds. All words in Phase II are used from the published list. In each round, each contestant gets a new word. The contestant faces the judges and speaks into a microphone.
- The pronouncer will pronounce a word along with the corresponding multiple choices. The contestant will pronounce the word along with the answer in both the letter form (ex: B) and the text form (meaning for the word.) Both the letter and text should match. If there is no match, the contestant is awarded zero points.
- The contestant is allowed 30 seconds to provide his/her choice of the answer. The judges may award zero points to any contestant who ignores a request to start giving an answer.
- The contestant is awarded one point for the correct answer and zero for an incorrect answer. If a contestant gives an incorrect answer, the judges provide the correct answer. The next contestant is given a new word from the list.
- Based on the cumulative scores of Phase I (30 questions ) and II (3 questions), for a total score of 33 , the judges determine a list of up to top 15 contestants who advance to Phase III. Because of potential ties, the judges use the tie-breaker rules outlined below to arrive at the top contestants to go into Phase III. While contestants are divided into groups in Phase II, those selected for Phase III are seated in one room. This is an elimination phase. The words in this phase are selected from external sources.
In Phase III, all the rules for Phase II apply with the following changes:
- (a) If the answer provided by the contestant is incorrect, the contestant is eliminated.
- (b) Contestants who provide the correct answer advance to the next round.
- (c) If no contestant answers correctly in a round, all contestants remain and advance to the next round.
- The First, Second and Third place winners are decided based on multiple elimination rounds in Phase III. The first place winner shall be ahead by at least one point to be declared as the champion. If any of these top three positions remains tied after a maximum of 20 rounds, it is broken as per the tie-breaker rules outlined below. Since the Foundation recognizes only the top 10 ranks, any tie is broken among the next seven places by using the tie-breaker rules outlined below.
To break the ties, the scheme outlined below is followed in the order given:
- (a) Combined Phase I and Phase II score
- (b) Phase I score alone
- (c) Phase I score among questions 26-30
- (d) Phase I score among questions 21-25
- (e) Phase I score among questions 16-20
- (f) Phase I score among questions 11-15
- (g) Phase I score among questions 1-10
- (h) If the above steps fail to break the tie in question, the foundation may use additional measures including date of birth to resolve them.
Phase I (Written):
Phase II (Oral):
Phase III (Oral):
Winners and Rank:
Tiebreaker Rules for Ranks 1-3, for Ranks 4-10, and selecting the top 15 into Phase III:
The following page contains tips and resources for preparation for the Vocabulary 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 Vocabulary Bee tests -- please note that these are examples of words and DO NOT COVER all the words that might come in the tests.
Sample Practice words for Junior Vocabulary Bee: click here
Sample Practice words for Intermediate Vocabulary Bee: click here
- Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis - Published by Pocket Books.
- It pays to enrich word power' column from Readers Digest Monthly(Registration is required to access online Word Power).
- Barron’s SATI Book.
- Vocabulary Cards (set I & set II) from Visual Education. (800-243-7070)
- Online Vocabulary Game
Vocabulary Sites on Web that are not connected to NSF -
The following has a game like approach - http://www.vocabulary.com/
The following gives lists by category and is free - http://www.learn-english-today.com/vocabulary/a_vocabulary-contents.htm
Books & References
Vocabulary implies knowing the “meaning of words” in the English language. It is the next step and perhaps even a concurrent step, while learning to spell, which is required to gain mastery over the language. This Contest is designed to give an early start to a student's preparation for the PSAT and SAT exams. SAT score is one of the important criteria used by the colleges in the US in awarding undergraduate admissions and scholarships. Youngsters can be good at English vocabulary by making a concerted effort over 4 to 5 years. Preparation for the NSF Vocabulary Bee can also help to prepare for the nation-wide Reader’s Digest Vocabulary Challenge
Yes. A child can compete in both Spelling and Vocabulary Bees, if she/he satisfies grade requirements as per NSF rules. There is no lower grade limit for Junior Vocabulary or Spelling bee.
No, a participant can only participate in one spelling bee and in one regional center only. Eligible contestants from the Regionals Contest will be invited into the same bee for the NSF National Finals event
Yes, a child in KG is allowed to participate in the Junior Vocabulary Bee, on an equal basis without any special privileges. Parents should bring young children into the contest with the primary aim of getting them familiar with the Bee. Over the last several years many young children have participated and done exceedingly well in various contests.
Beginner level words are generally used for Junior Vocabulary Bee. Intermediate and Advanced words are generally used for Intermediate Vocabulary Bees. The words used for the Intermediate Vocabulary contests are consistent with the SAT level. This is intentionally done to align with the NSF goal of helping children do well in the SAT in high school.
Online registration via Regionals Homepage is generally available, starting early January. You can also refer to the Regional Contest Calendar or ask your Regional Coordinator about registration deadlines and contest dates.