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Changes To The National Spelling Bee

(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

mattleman_125 Education Reports
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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If you know how to spell guetapens, last year’s winning word in the National Spelling Bee, that’s great. But, if you’re a contestant this year, you have to know what it means.

The Bee began in 1925 and has been held every year late in May or early June – open to those who have not yet completed 8th grade, and are nominated by their schools.

The new rules involve more than spelling, but a commitment to increase vocabulary, learn concepts and develop good word usage. The new format will include a multiple choice computer-based test to be completed in 45 minutes, which will help organizers identify competitors.

Other changes involve the elimination of contestants in rounds two and three if a word is misspelled. Spellers take turns and the last remaining contestant is the winner.

The Bee is exciting. Watch ESPN live on May 30th.