Tip 1: Keep your cool! You’re not going to be able to spell well if you’re nervous. When you keep it CCC (calm, cool, and collected), your brain becomes less jumbled and is relieved of the endless sea of thoughts.
Tip 2: Study your languages and their differences! French likes to use silent letters. “Escargot”, “chassis”, “rapport”, are all pronounced with silent letters. Scripps’ discontinued Spell It! even told us
“The letter k rarely appears in words from Latin, and its sound is nearly always represented by c as in canary, prosaic,
Tip 3: This was covered in the first episode of the podcast but READ, READ, READ. Reading gets your brain recognizing words and the patterns that they can take. Scripps has a specific book list that they recommend aspiring spellers read.
Tip 4: Be prepared to make sacrifices. Your friend wants to hang out? You’ve got to tell him that you can do it some time else. If you truly want to make it, you’re going to have to put in 300% effort.
Tip 5: Be prepared to let loose sometimes. Contrary to what other people say or believe, the spelling bee is not the bee-all (see what I did there?) end-all. If you do good, you do good. But if you do bad, don’t let it consume you! You’ll have chances to be good in other stuff!
Tip 6: Try typing your words into the computer. For me, when I typed my words into Word Club or an Excel or what not, I was much more likely to remember that word. Maybe you’ll become Erin Howard.
Tip 7: I know it’s tacky but use this site. It is a great resource for anyone who aspires to become a speller!
SECRET TIP: Watch videos of different bees! For example, if you’re at the school bee level, watch videos of different school bees! Scripps gives out the same pronouncer guide (which you obviously can’t access) to each school. So if you watch different videos, you can compile a list of the words you KNOW are at the school bee level and study those (Hint hint: you might even figure out what the off-list words are).
You’ll see in the videos below that the first word of the School Pronouncer Guide is “gel”. We’re not allowed to do it so you can start creating that list now. 🙂