How to start your spelling bee preparation

Isolate unknown difficult words

Spelling bee training requires a lot of hard work and dedication. It may seem easy at first, but as you start your training, you will realize just how difficult things can get. If you do not know where to start or how to move forward with your training, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will be guiding you step by step on how you can start your spelling bee training and how you can keep it going.

Before you start, we advise you to get our ebook. The book contains a brief history of the spelling bee, a preparation guide for contests, overview on the most popular competitions around the world, complete word lists – from grade 1 to 8, along with additional word lists.

The book also has a comprehensive section dedicated to the SBN platform from which you can learn about the system itself, and how you can make the most out of it. The instruction manual is written and presented in a way that is easy to understand.

spelling bee training book

Step 1: Getting familiar with the competition itself

Knowing about the competition you are participating in is part of the preparation. You need to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the competition. Besides, you should also take your time to go through the words of the previous competitions just to get a basic idea of the difficulty level. This will help you understand what you are putting yourself into and thus, you can prepare accordingly.

Check out the following links to get an idea of the spelling bee you are participating in. If you cannot find the spelling bee you are looking for, leave us a message here.


Spelling Bee of Canada

India Spelling Bee

Mexican Spelling Bee

South Asian Spelling Bee

African Spelling Bee

Japan Times Bee

spelling competition of the world

Step 2: Preparing a well planned spelling bee training schedule

The earlier you start your preparations for the spelling bee, the better. Remember, as a school student, the spelling bee should not be your only priority. You will have studies, extra curricular activities, and other things to attend to. Prepare a study schedule for the spelling bee and set up goals that you need to complete within a fixed date. This will help you make progress in a steady and planned manner. In case you are starting your preparations a bit late, check this out.

Prepare a study schedule

Step 3: Learning the word lists

Word lists are the most important resources for spelling bee participants. Word lists are categorized according to grades or difficulty levels. Start from the lower levels and make your way to the harder word lists. Spell out each word loudly and write them down multiple times so that you do not forget them. Read, write, and repeat – this is the mantra you need to chant to yourself if you want to conquer all the words from those word lists. 

Find the spelling bee words here.

Spelling bee word lists

Step 4: Isolating the difficult words

As you go through the word lists, you will come across certain words that might be unknown to you or difficult to spell. It is natural that you will not be familiar with all the words on your word lists. If you are unable to learn these new or difficult words at your first attempt, it is in your best interest to isolate them. Just note down all the words that are causing you problems. We will be dealing with them in a special manner.

Isolate unknown difficult words

Step 5: Making a custom list with the isolated words

Take the words you isolated in step 4, and prepare a new word list with them. This new word list will be used to master all those difficult words you failed to memorize. While preparing a custom word list, it is recommended to use the Spelling Bee Ninja app’s custom word list feature. That way, you can not only create a printable custom word list, but can also create flashcards directly from the custom list.

Click here to know how you can create a custom word list with SBN

Custom word list

Step 6: Using flashcards to learn the spelling bee words

Flashcards have the word written on one side of the card and its respective meaning on the other. The human mind is able to memorize something quicker if they can store it in their memory in the form of a visual. Flashcards use this ability to their advantage, especially when it comes to spelling bee training. By using flashcards, we will be able to memorize the spelling bee words much faster and with little effort. 

Click here to know more about flashcards, and how you can generate flashcards using Spelling Bee Ninja.


Step 7: Diving deeper into the spelling bee words with etymology 

Etymology is the study of the origin or history of words. Etymology deals with the roots of the words. It helps to trace the words back to their original forms.

Etymology is important for every speller, especially when you come across difficult or complex words. You will see that such difficult spelling words are easier to grasp when you break them down into smaller chunks which in this case, are the root words. 

Not all the words on your spelling bee word lists need to be learnt with their corresponding root words. Just do the difficult ones.

Click here to know more about Etymology and discover some root words.


Step 8: Trying out online spelling tests

You are done with your spelling bee words. Now all that is left is to see how good you are with those words. The best way to do so is to take an online spelling test.

Hop over to Spelling Bee Ninja and take as many spelling tests as you can over there. Be sure to use the custom word list you had prepared earlier in step 5. Use the Spelling Test app and Smart Trainer feature with different word lists.

Click here to learn more about Spelling Bee Ninja’s Spelling Test app and Smart Trainer, and how you can use them to your advantage.

Spelling test and Smart Trainer

Step 9: Determining your spelling bee preparation level

Since you are taking online spelling tests, be sure to check your rankings to understand where you stand with your vocabulary and how well prepared you are for the spelling bee. Check your statistics or report after every test you take. Remember, you need to do better and bring improvement upon yourself with each test you take. That way, you can determine how your preparation is so far and what you should be doing next to bring further improvement. 

Video version of this step by step how to

Pdf version of this step by step how to

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How to start your spelling bee preparation

That is all for your  training. Hope you utilize these steps properly and put in your best effort. Best of luck!