STEP 1: Word Lists


GROW YOUR WORD BANK with these Top-Selling and Top-Spelling Products by Hexco!

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.

The following products are arranged by general level of difficulty from foundations to highly advanced.

Spell Buddy - Level: Beginner to Intermediate - 8,000 words

Separated by grade level, all 6 volumes total 8,000 words! Compiled from words given in class and school spelling bees, Spell Buddy is known to be one of the best spelling word lists available. Word lists for the 1st through 8th grades make up the Spell Buddy volumes, and this product is also popular for homeschool study. Buying six or more reduces the cost per printed product to 1/2 price making full set only $87 +S/H. 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 for purchase. VIEW Spell Buddy and VIEW 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. UPDATE: In 2016, we added two more years of words to the 1999 Paideia, and named it 2001 Paideia eMentor. We also added another list called the Paideia 1995 eMentor. (The eMentor versions of the Paideia lists are recommended over the printed versions as these have been more recently revised and edited.)

  • Spelling eMentor - ONLINE! Hexco's eMentor keeps track of errors until all words are mastered; contains audio pronunciations and related word information; 1 year subscription.
  • Valerie's Supplement Classics - printed, back-pack sized with abbreviated definitions and etymology; phonetic pronunciations. Choose 1999 or 2006.
  • Natalie's Spelling Organizer - printed, 8.5"X11" with all of the above plus sentences and extended etymology; Our Spelling Bee Organizers are popular for conducting practice school spelling bees as well as adult spelling bees
  • VIEW ALL PAIDEIA products!

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. In 2018, 69% of all National Spelling Bee finalists used the Blitz List.

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

Webster Detector - Level:  Intermediate to Advanced - over 2,500

New or modified words from Merriam Webster's Unabridged online dictionary which is now used as the official source for words at the National Spelling Bee. Webster Detector comes in eMentor format only and is ideal for students who feel like they have conquered many of our longer lists and who are looking for help finding new words that could appear at any level of a Scripps spelling bee! (Read more)


Quick links on what to study:

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