May 2, 2013

Spelling Bee Bump

From now on, kids will be tested on the definition of words as well as the spelling.

Scott: For hundreds of students each year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee can be the epitome of s-t-r-e-s-s.

Announcer: …

Competitor: May I have an easier word?

Scott: And now a huge change is coming to the 86-year-old competition. A vocabulary test has been added that will surely kick the challenge up a notch. For each word, competitors will not only be asked to spell it, but now give the definition.

Paige Kimble: Spelling accounts for 50% of your score and vocabulary accounts for the other 50% of your score.

Scott: The competitors heading into the national spelling bee will have to cram for the vocabulary portion.

Arvind Mahankali: It does bother me a little.

Scott: Four-time finalist Arvind Mahankali and his parents found out about the new rule through email just a few weeks before the competition.

Srinivas Mahankali: I’m nervous because it’s a new thing. I would have preferred that Arvind has more time.

Scott: Arvind has finished third in the nationals for the past two years, and already spends as much as three hours a day studying for the spelling bee.

Kimble: Every time you learn a word, you learn it by looking up the meaning, making sure you know the meaning.

Scott: And now, he is rethinking his strategy.

Arvind: I would like to be first place, but the most important thing is just trying my best.

Announcer: We have a champion at the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee!


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