Blitz List and the National Spelling Bee

A finalist and semifinalist favorite, the Blitz List is sure to challenge you with some of the most difficult words in the dictionary! Over the last decade, a fair percentage of words seen at the NSB had not been on any published study list, and a large number of these words have even escaped many advanced spellers — until now. Collectively, "off-list" words, or "words from nowhere," have reached as high as 35-45% of all words given at the NSB, and Hexco was the first to recognize the growing need to record and identify very difficult words that had never been used at the national level. Since our first volume, which was released in 2011, some of these words have been seen at the national level, and we have since released volumes 2, 3, and the newest volume 4! Each volume contains 3,000 words.

Blitz List eMentor helps students master all the words in Blitz Lists 1, 2, 3, and 4! This one-of-a-kind spelling portal was engineered by Hexco and effectively replaces our popular Spelling Mentor. Its improvements include an attractive and responsive online interface combined with state-of-the-art memory capabilities, and it is excellent for those who want to learn a large number of words quickly and efficiently.


  • 2011
    - Number of words from nowhere: 35%
    - When Hexco recognized the high percentage of these types of words in 2011, our word wizards started organizing advanced products to fill this niche. Blitz List 1 was released later this year.
  • 2012
    - Number of words from nowhere: 44%
    - Percent of words from nowhere on Blitz List 1: 17%
    - The first- and third-place winners fielded words from Blitz List 1 to secure their positions.
    - Blitz List 2 was released later this year and was available to those going to the 2013 NSB.
  • 2013
    - Number of words from nowhere: 45%
    - Percent of words from nowhere on Blitz List 1 and 2 (in total): 17%
    - In 2013, the top four all encountered a word from one of the Blitz Lists in the last few rounds. This caused the Rubicon for the third- and fourth-place winners but enabled the first- and second-place contestants to advance.
  • 2014
    - Blitz List 3 was released.
  • 2015
    - 64 words at the NSB were found in the Blitz List.
  • 2016
    - 114 words at the NSB could be found in Blitz List 1, 2, and 3. The Blitz List had over 20% of the spelling words in the written round and 50% of the words in round 7.
  • 2017
    - In rounds 7-17, the Blitz List averaged 55% of the words given.
  • 2018
    - 79 words at the NSB could be found in the Blitz List. Half of the words in round 9 could be found in the Blitz List. 69% of NSB finalists used the Blitz List.
  • 2019
    - The Blitz List had 55% of the words in rounds 13-18 at the 2019 NSB, and it averaged 48% of the words in rounds 7-10.
    - 52% of the words in round 8 could be found in one of the volumes.
    - In 2019, 11% of all spellers had the Blitz List. This number increased to 50% of semifinalists, and 88% of the finalists studied words from Blitz.
  • 2021
    - The Blitz List had 33% of the words in round 11 in the finals at the 2021 NSB.
    - 17% of all 302 words were in one of the Blitz Lists!