Spelling Bee changes: Kids will now get vocabulary test
WASHINGTON (KABC) -- Contestants at the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee will now have to know more than just how to spell a word. A major change will require them to pick from multiple choice vocabulary tests.
For prime-time TV viewers, the competition's final round will look the same as it has for years, with spellers taking turns until only the champion has avoided the dreaded bell.
But the changes will make it easier to nail down the nine to 12 competitors who make it to the final round.
Executive Director Paige Kimble said the changes were driven by the desire to reinforce the competition's purpose, which is to encourage students to improve their spelling and broaden their knowledge of the language.
The vocabulary tests will take place in private rooms and will not be part of the television broadcasts, but they will count for 50 percent of the point totals that determine the semifinalists and finalists. A sample question provided by the Spelling Bee reads as follows:
"Something described as refulgent is: a) tending to move toward one point, b) demanding immediate action, c) rising from an inferior state, d) giving out a bright light."
The correct answer is d.
The change adds a wrinkle to the televised semifinals, as even the best onstage spellers could find themselves eliminated from the finals if they perform poorly on the multiple-choice test.
Vocabulary has been a regular part of the bee during its 87-year history, but it's always been the spellers asking for the definition to help them spell the word.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- Mandela death: So. Africa prepares for burial 40 min ago
- Help Garth stuff busses full of toys in Ontario 16 min ago
- Unemployment falls to 7 pct, 203K jobs added
- Girl killed while walking in IE crosswalk
- Los Angeles Co. social workers go on strike
- IE domestic-violence murder suspect at large
- New cold front to bring chance of rain, snow 17 min ago
- 4 local brothers are all members of LAPD
- UCSB meningitis: Student's legs amputated
- US teacher shot dead in Libya's Benghazi
- abcnews: Brutal elevator attack shocks Chinese city 2 min ago
- 2015 Ford Mustang still has plenty of muscle
- Man arrested in Paul Walker wreckage theft
- OTRC: Keri Russell, husband Shane Deary separate
- Latest weather with Garth Kemp
23 min ago