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A sampling of Spelling Bee’s new questions

WASHINGTON (AP) – Organizers of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Tuesday announced a major change to the format, adding multiple-choice vocabulary tests to the annual competition that crowns the English language’s spelling champ.

Bee Executive Director Paige Kimble said the changes help reinforce the purpose of the bee _ which is to encourage students to broaden their knowledge of the English language.

The changes also make it easier to nail down the nine to 12 competitors who make it to the final round, which will look the same as it has for years to primetime TV viewers, with spellers taking turns until only the champion has avoided the familiar doomsday bell.

Here is a sample of some of the questions the competitors may face:


1. What is the purpose of defibrillation?

a) removing fibrous matter from vegetables

b) removing bodily hair

c) restoring the rhythm of the heart

d) reducing a fever using medication

2. 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

3. What does it mean to appertain?

a) assume the character or appearance of

b) belong either as something appropriate or as an attribute

c) distress severely so as to cause continued suffering

d) be guilty of

4. Something described as corrigible is:

a) correctable

b) rigid

c) unmanageable

d) filled with air

5. Which of these is an example of onomatopoeia?

a) chrome

b) novella

c) haiku

d) buzz

6. Where would a campestral scene take place?

a) in the country

b) in a city

c) at the beach

d) in a warehouse

7. Something described as punitive is:

a) whiny

b) punishing

c) commonly accepted

d) acting as a shrinking agent

8. When would a prognosis be given?

a) after a disease diagnosis

b) during an operatic performance

c) after a horse race

d) during a guided meditation

9. Something described as volatile is:

a) illegal

b) impressive

c) explosive

d) calming

10. Nomenclature has to do with:

a) religious ceremonies

b) names

c) bones

d) folk superstitions


1. C

2. B

3. B

4. A

5. D

6. A

7. B

8. A

9. C

10. B

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