2012 Frequently Asked Questions
The BEE Basics
Where can we find a copy of the rules?
  • The rules in both English and Bulgarian can be found on the website, Please read them throughly and carefully.

What are the grade and age ranges allowed for participants?
  • BEE participants must be within the 4th to 7th grades and must also be between the ages of 9 and 14. Ages to be verified at regional competition via student ID cards.

How many participants may we have per school?
  • There may be up to 25 participants from each school in the local bee. Though the actual number of bee participants is limited to 25, we encourage teachers engage with as many students as they can during the preparation period. The games and activities can be fun for everyone.

Is there a fee to participate?
  • No, participation in the competition for schools and students is free of charge. Transportation cost for the school’s winner and teacher to and from the regional bee must be covered by the school.

Should we divide the students by grades?
  • No, all grades participate together in the local bee. Last year’s second place, national finalist was from the fourth grade - don’t under estimate them.

Pre-BEE test

Must every student take the pre test?
- Yes, every student participating in the spelling bee must take the pre-bee test before they begin studying the word list. It should be scored and recorded per the instructions.

Can we only give the pre test to spelling bee participants?
  • No. You may give the test to all of your students and we encourage you to engage with as many students as possible during during your bee preparations. We will only ask for the scores of those participating in the bee.

Is there a minimum score required to participate?
  • No. Any student within the age and grade range may participate, there is no score requirement.

Can we read the test in Bulgarian or help the students?
  • No, the test is to capture the students’ current knowledge and understanding of the study words provided.

How do we execute Exercise Three of the pre test.
  • The students do not have the 8 words provide on their test as you do on your teacher’s guide. Please read out loud the individual words to the class and ask the students to write/spell them correctly on their paper.

Where do we send the scores of the pre test?
  • Please just record scores of each participating student and hold on to them for now. We will ask for them after the end of the local bees.

What is the purpose of the pre test?
  • The tests are only to be used to measure students’ improvement during the local bee preparation period. A post test will be given after the local bees. The students’ scores (you don't have to provide their name, they can just be student #1) of both tests are to be submitted to the Bee organizers.

Word List

Where can I find the word list for the students to study?
  • The study word list can be found on the resource page of the website.

Will we be provided a word list for the local competition?
  • Yes, the competition word list for the local bees will be provided and will be made with words only from the study word list. All schools will use the same word list for their local bees. These lists are not to be share with the students, they are only to be used by the judges and announcers.

Will any other words be used during the competition?
  • Only if the students exhaust all the words provided.

Your local bee

Will we receive more information regarding the local bee?
  • Yes, as the local bees approach, we will provide a checklist, the competition word list and additional information to help walk you through the steps of your local bee. Also, watch the How to videos on the resource page, as they walk through the steps of a simple spelling bee.

Who decides the date of the local bee?
  • Each school may hold their bee anytime that works best for them during the week of March 26 - 30. If you have a conflict during that week, you may hold the bee earlier during the previous week, but they may not be held later than March 30.

Is mandatory to speak english during the local bee?
  • Yes, most communication should be in English like " Please spell the word..." and "that is correct/incorrect", this way it will be familiar for those students who advance to the regional competition. But the rules are to be read out loud in Bulgarian before the beginning of the bee. This way there is no confusion, especially for guests who might be unfamiliar a spelling bee and the rules. Bulgarian can also be used to communicate other critical information.

Is mandatory to have a native English speaker at the bee?
  • It is strongly encouraged, if possible, as the words will be announced at both the regional and national bee by a native English speaker. Having a native English speaker announce the words at the local bee allows the students to become more comfortable with this pronunciation of the words.

Is the public mandatory during the local bee?
  • Yes, the bees should be open to the public, meaning other students, teachers and parents may attend. We also encourage you to invite your local community, media and dignitaries. This allow students to become comfortable speaking in public as both the regional and national competitions are also public events.

Can the teacher translate or explain a word during the competition?
  • Per the rules, the students can ask for the word to be repeated in English, ask for a translation in Bulgarian or ask to hear the word used in an English sentence. The Bulgarian translation and sentence will be provided as they are on the study list. But the student must ask for these items, a teacher cannot provide without the prompt of the student or provide additional information.

Is the student at all allowed to write the word that is given?
  • No, not on paper, it is a verbal competition. They can write on the hand with their finger or something similar, like in the air, but not truly write out the word with paper and pen.

How many students advance to the regional competition?
  • Only 1 student per school will advance to represent the school at the regional competition.