Lifestyle & Belief

Spelling Bee vocabulary test added to rules for 2013 (VIDEO)


Spellers from Illinois (left to right, Devora Klionsky of Chicago, Christopher S. Rupprecht of Chicago, and Michaela M. Minock of Peotone) wait for their turns during the 2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition on June 3, 2010.


Alex Wong

Oh, great, now you’ll have to actually define “perspicacity” instead of just trying to spell it.

Organizers of the Scripps National Spelling Bee announced on Tuesday that they’re introducing a vocabulary test into this year’s competition.

The vocab test will count for 50 percent of a speller’s overall score. The score determines which spellers advance to the semifinal and final.

“This is a significant change in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but also a natural one,” Bee director Paige Kimble said online.

“It represents a deepening of the Bee’s commitment to its purpose: to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.”

That portion of the event won’t be televised.

Here’s one sample question:

What does it mean to be intestate?
A. be under strenuous circumstances
B. be without a valid will
C. be in the middle of a test in school
D. be in possession of a large amount of money

The correct answer is B. D’uh.

Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego won last year by spelling “guetapens.” For those who don't know, that's a device used to ensnare something, usually an animal.

Rule changes for the 86-year-old event don’t end there, however.

If you misspell something in Rounds 2 or 3 of the preliminaries, you’re eliminated. That wasn’t always the case in previous years.

After Round 6, no more than 12 spellers will be named as finalists. In previous years, the rules neither addressed the number of spellers to qualify for the finals.

That will allow event organizers and TV broadcasters to better predict how the televised portion of the event will proceed, the Associated Press said.

“Previously, we just knew that we were going to spell until we had a reasonable number of children to bring into the finals,” Kimble told AP. “Now we have some definition around how that happens.”

The 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee will take place on May 28 to 30 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

More from GlobalPost: Snigdha Nandipati wins Spelling Bee with ‘guetapens’