2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee champ offers tips for competitors

SAN DIEGO - Spelling Bee season is officially underway and more than 100 students are expected to compete in the annual U-T San Diego Countywide Spelling Bee on Tuesday, Mar. 25.

Snigdha Nandipati, a 10th grade student at Francis Parker, understands the stresses with entering a Spelling Bee.

In fact, Snigdha successfully spelled "guetapens" to become the 2012 National Spelling Bee champion.

The champ, who hopes to one day attend Harvard University and become a neurosurgeon, offers six tips for the 7th and 8th-graders who will soon compete.

  1. Don't be afraid to ask for any information you need about the word whether it be definition, a sentence, language of origin or part of speech. One extra piece of information can take you one step closer to spelling the word correctly.
  2. Don't rush on stage! Take your time to soak in all of the information about the word before you start spelling
  3. Trace the word on your hand with your finger. For those of you who are visual or kinesthetic learners, this may help you recall the word once you're on stage. It will also keep you from accidentally slipping up and saying a letter you didn't mean to say.
  4. If you're trying to decide how a word is spelled, trust your gut. Chances are you've probably seen the word before, but just can't remember it. 
  5. Keep it simple. If you get a word you don't recognize, try to use the information you ask for, especially the definition and the language of origin. But when all else fails, spell the word the way it sounds. It almost always ends up being right.
  6. Have fun!
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