Home Guide English Grammar Spelling How to Memorize Words for a Spelling Bee

How to Memorize Words for a Spelling Bee

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Make up creative ways to memorize the words. For an example, the word arithmetic. It sounds fairly hard, right? Well, think of the word this way: A-rat-in-the-house-might-eat-the-ice-cream. Take the first letter of each word and you get: "arithmetic." Now, when that caller with the bulky voice yells, "ARITHMETIC!" you'll know exactly what to spell.

Study daily up until the competition. As soon as you get the packet/brochure/sheet with the spelling words listed on them, start studying. Whenever you have free time, before you go to bed at night, it doesn't matter. But not having to cram three days before the Spelling Bee really does make a difference...if your brain learns the words slowly instead of rapidly, it will give you time to process the information--plus, your brain doesn't enjoy having to handle so much stress which is caused by impossible words and very little time.

Pick an area to study. A nice, quiet room with good lighting would be an ideal place. Choose a day where you have nothing else to worry about, time, and your ready-to-think brain. Also, make sure there are as little distractions as possible. (TVs, the neighbor's dog barking, music, etc; should not be heard/seen at this time.)

During regular chores/activities, think about the words. This can be done in any way, really. Like, while you are walking the dog, spell the word c-a-n-i-n-e in your head. Or, when you are doing the laundry, d-e-t-e-r-g-e-n-t. You should probably do this after your study--don't try to guess how to spell a word, you may misspell it. (English has some very weird rules that are sometimes not followed.)

Relax before the competition. You've studied, you've worked, you've done everything you can--now it's time to shine! Study as little as possible during this time, you probably just want to kick back and watch a movie. (Try to watch Akeelah and The Bee, it has some good tips.)


  • Don't overwork your brain trying to memorize these words--spelling is, believe it or not, supposed to be fun when you do a Spelling Bee!
  • If you don't remember a word, pronounce it. Many kids choke just because a word sounds long...usually, though, it's spelled how it sounds.
  • Take pride in your studying, even if you accidentally misspell something in the Bee. You may get angry, but hey, you made it this far!
  • Don't worry about memorizing every word in the dictionary- that simply isn't possible.
  • As an alternative, you can learn word roots and spelling rules from different languages. Both will help in a spelling bee.

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