Home Guide English Grammar Spelling How to Compete in the Scripps Spelling Bee

How to Compete in the Scripps Spelling Bee

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Do you have a competitive feeling? Do you have A+ grades in Spelling? Have you won other spelling bees? Then you are ready to compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee!

Compete in your school bee. When you compete in your school spelling competition, you are sent to the regional spelling bee. You need to have competed in a regional spelling bee, and won, on or after February 1.

Pick up a Merriam-Webster dictionary and start reading. Try to memorize the tougher words in the dictionary. Those words are more likely to be asked than easy words, such as versatile. That word is simple to spell, so it is unlikely to be asked.

Go through the 2011 spelling list for grades 1-8. They can be found on Google Docs. The words in my school spelling bee were found on that list. Look up the words you don't know.

Try studying for two hours a day, every day. That should ensure a high placement.


  • Have you won another Scripps Bee? Then you are not eligible.
  • If your class enrolled in the spelling bee, you can go if you meet the requirements.
  • You can't be in a grade higher than the eighth grade.
  • You can't repeat a grade.
  • You have to have grade-level education.
  • You can't earn an equivalent to a high school diploma, or one.
  • You must not have completed nor ever been enrolled in more than six high school–level courses or two college–level courses on or before April 30, 2011.
  • You must not bypass or circumvent normal school activity to study for spelling bees. The Scripps National Spelling Bee defines normal school activity as adherence to at least four courses of study other than language arts, spelling, Latin, Greek, vocabulary, and etymology for at least four hours per weekday for 34 of the 38 weeks between August 30, 2010, and May 21, 2011.
  • You have to be under fifteen.
  • You must have won a final local spelling bee on or after February 1, 2011.
  • You must not have been disqualified at any level of a sponsor's spelling bee program between June 2010 and April 2011. Further, if the speller becomes disqualified at any level of a sponsor's spelling bee program before April 2011, the speller will be disqualified from competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and may not seek advancement in the Bee program through another sponsor and/or enrollment in another school.
  • You, upon qualifying for the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Washington, D.C. area, must submit a completed Champion Bio Profile, a Certification of Eligibility Form, a signed Appearance Consent and Release Form, and a hard copy photo. The speller will notify the Bee, at least 24 hours prior to the first day of competition in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, if any of the statements made on the Certification of Eligibility Form are no longer true or require updating. The speller's sponsor will provide access to the necessary forms.

How to Dress

You must wear black, white, and/or grey to the spelling bee. You want to dress for success, not for a party.

If you are a female, you should wear a skirt or dress. A white button down blouse and a black or grey skirt with a matching sweater or vest would be nice. And some black flats and skin color hosiery if allowed would be great. Or a knee length, button down, black dress with a grey cardigan and black flats with skin tone hosiery would be wonderful. If you'd like a pinstripe look, wear a white blouse with black pinstripes and a black skirt. A black draping sweater on top and hosiery. Just do NOT wear pants. Those are boyish and unprofessional on young ladies. Wear your hair in a tight bun or a French Braid. A chignon works great. If you wear jewelry, wear stud earrings and a chain with a small pendant, or pearls. Just don't overdo it.

If you are a male, wear a suit. A black one, with a white button down, cuffs, and black loafers. A black tie is the best decision. Just nicely brush your hair back, and you are set.


Don't laugh at all.

Never clap on stage. It makes you seem self-centered.

Repeat, spell, repeat. Ask questions as needed.

Spell in as little time as possible.

Don't be too upset if you lose. Be proud of how far you went.

Use your manners like a proper lady or gentleman would.

Don't be a sore loser.


At the hotel, study, study, study!

Go to sleep at 8:00 P.M. And wake up 3 hours before it starts. That gives you time to study, eat, and get ready.

Eat a big, healthy, delicious breakfast. Try to inclyde a whole grain, a fruit, protein, calcium, and a vegetable. This is brain food. Avoid sugar.

Relax. This is a vacation.


Accept your prize with grace. Don't be so excited that you mess things up.

But do be excited. You can't just sit there accepting all of the money and prizes! It's impossible!

If You Lose

Don't just sulk about. To get there is amazing.

Be sad a little. Just don't bawl. Only a little. You were amazing.


  • Try to follow the guidelines.
  • Read other wikiHow articles on Spelling Bees.
  • Let yourself know how amazing you are.
  • Encourage other spellers.