Most of us remember the shock and awe when eight spellers each earned the National Spelling Bee (NSB) championship title in 2019. To avoid another year of potential octo-champions, Scripps announced some modifications to ensure the bee will produce only one winner at the 2021 national finals.
Oral Vocabulary Added to the Rounds
Spellers will face a new, oral vocabulary portion known as word meaning. In between the oral rounds, spellers will answer a multiple-choice question during the preliminaries, quarterfinals, and semifinals leading up to the finals. In previous years, spellers answered vocabulary questions in a written test format. This is the first year the NSB will broadcast the word meaning component.
Scripps has also introduced a spell-off option. In the event that a winner hasn't been declared within the final moments of the bee, a spell-off will be initiated to proclaim a champion. Each speller will have only 90 seconds to spell as many words as they can from a preset spell-off list, and the speller who spells the most words correctly will be named the winner.
So, how can you prepare for these new features? Hexco offers numerous study materials to help you conquer these new elements.
- "The Collection" eMentor – contains all words used in the Written Rounds of the National Spelling Bee from 2002-2013. Practice your spelling with real NSB words!
- Vocab Match – New Nat's Notes Workbook and Vocab Match Verbomania Workbook - groups of words/definitions for challenging your memory with the same words found in corresponding volumes of New Nat's Notes and Verbomania.
- Written Round Readiness eMentor – contains a total of 260 multiple-choice questions per volume and is a mix of both spelling and vocabulary to mimic the rounds in the NSB.
Sign up for Hexco's hourly Spelling Quizzing to best prepare for the spell-off. An experienced coach or speller will quiz you from Verbomania, New Nat's Notes, or Blitz List during your hourly session.
Last, but not least, the Crash Course can help launch you to the top. This five-week course is only for spellers who are going to the National Bee. Classes are starting now, and participants will learn how to optimize study time, develop spelling skills, and learn techniques for fielding those unknown words!
Seven of the eight octo-champions used Hexco. Could you be the next champion? Good luck and good spelling!