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STEP 1: Word Lists


If you are an advanced speller or an aspiring advanced speller, make sure you have a foundation of at least 8,000-10,000 words. Once the annual Graded and Spell It lists are under your belt, you will likely want to keep going.  Here are products to help you learn more words as well as a summary of each. If any of these are of interest to you, just click on the links below to learn more or buy. If you already own most of these products or feel you would like try learning more about words instead, click here.

  • Spell Buddy - Level: Beginner to Intermediate - 8,000 words
    • Separated by grade level, all 6 volumes total 8,000 words. Spell Buddy is comprised of words used in class and school spelling bees. 6 or more are 1/2 price making full set only $87 +S/H if you buy one of each; Set is ideal for families -- younger spellers can utilize the lower grade volumes while more experienced spellers can use the higher level volumes.  Coach's manuals with sentences and full etymology are also available. VIEW Spell Buddy and NEW Spell Buddy eMentor.

  • Paideia - Level: Intermediate to Advanced - 7,500 words (3,000-4,000 per volume)
    • In recent years and until 2006, the Paideia was the annual Scripps’ list of practice study words containing the NSB rules and approximately 3,000 to 4,000+ words arranged by category. The 1999 Paideia contained 3,404 words; the 2006 Paideia contained 4,118 words. Since Scripps methodically replaced about 20% of their word list annually and often added words, it took approximately six years for a word to rotate onto the Scripps’ list and then off again. Studying from these two lists, which were released seven years apart, ensures very little overlap of words on Paidea lists and few are found in the Scripps current word list.  You can get the 1999 and/or 2006 Paideia in any of the following formats. UPDATE: In 2016, we added two years more words to the 1999 Paideia, and named it 2001 Paideia eMentor. We also added another list called the Paideia 1995 eMentor.
  • Verbomania - Level: Intermediate to Advanced - 13,000 words
    • Historically, about 50% of the words given in Round 1 at the National Bee can be found in Verbomania and this is our tried and true standby for spellers who are going to the National Spelling Bee for first time, or, for those who have been to the National Spelling Bee, but who want to increase their chances of getting past the early rounds. This book is also appropriate for spelling bees leading up to the National Bee. Verbomania a a good, vocabulary enriching list of 13,000 words with other related word information.  This word list is available in 3 unique formats for word foundation building, and additional a multiple-choice product is available for those who want to test their knowledge of the definitions in this book once they have learned the words. 
      • Verbomania - print format
      • Verbo eMentor - online software; keeps track of errors until all words are mastered; audio pronunciations and related word information is included; one year subscription.


  • New Nat's Notes - Level: Advanced - 18,000 words
    • Annually, this product contains about 50% of all off-list words used at regional and National bees. With 18,000 words, New Nat's is our largest, challenging set of words specifically geared toward those aiming for the highest reaches of competition.
      • New Nat's Notes - print format
      • New Nat's eMentor - PC software; keeps track of errors until all words are mastered; audio pronunciations and related word information; 1 year subscription

  • Blitz List - Level:  Advanced - 6,000 words (3,000 per volume)
    • Each volume contains 3,000 words that were never seen in bees at the time of publication.  Only a few words in these volumes have appeared in bees since the first publication leaving many more that could appear at the National level. This volume is recommended for students who have already completed New Nat's Notes and/or for spellers looking for a unique list of challenging off-list words.

      • Blitz List - print format; choose volume
      • Blitz eMentor - online subscription with 1 year access; includes audio, choose volume


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 Quick links on what to study: