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Top tips & custom lists from 2017 National Spelling Bee champ Ananya Vinay

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Ananya Vinay cover image.png
Can you spell marocain? That’s the winning word from the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee, which was won by 7th grader Ananya Vinay— who also happens to be an avid Quizlet user.

Since she credited Quizlet with being such a big help in getting ready for last year’s Bee, we asked Ananya if she would be willing to make exclusive study sets to help this year’s batch of super spellers, and she was gracious enough to say yes. (Thank you, Ananya!)

Study with Ananya's sets

Just in time to keep up with the contestants of this year’s National Spelling Bee, Ananya is sharing her own study sets on Quizlet that helped her take home the 2017 title. She's already released a beginning/intermediate set and will be publishing an advanced set on May 23rd — so make sure to check her Quizlet profile then!

So you can study just like Ananya did, each set will be equipped with the word, pronunciation, part of speech (i.e., verb, noun, adjective, etc.), definition and memory tips, as well as a representative picture and audio recording of the pronunciation.

Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 10.30.30 AM.pngA preview of one of Ananya's sets.

Ananya’s top tips

Learning words by studying them on Quizlet is great way to get ready for any spelling bee, but winning takes more than rote memorization. Here are Ananya’s other tips for aspiring champs:

  1. Don’t discount the power of definitions. Many students who are looking to quickly ace a spelling test focus only on the spelling and pay no attention to what the words mean. Understanding definitions, origins and roots is vital for making complex words stick in your brain long-term.

  2. Practice (and organization) makes perfect. Ananya created a grid for each set of 250 words she would study in a Quizlet set. She divided them by phonetic pronunciation, part of speech, language of origin, definition and a column dedicated to “Ananya Tips” – an interesting tidbit about the word that would help her remember it. For instance, for “mnemonic” she wrote “This word comes from Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. Her hair was as long as her memory.”

  3. Timing is an individual game. Once Ananya spent an hour with a study set, she only needed to review it two or three more times to fully commit it to memory, but just because this method worked for Ananya doesn’t mean it’s a universal tactic. Everyone memorizes and learns at their own pace, so figure out what works for you and stick with that groove once you find it.

  4. Spell things out for yourself – literally! For words with certain language origins, Ananya gave herself language hints within her study sets. For instance, for the word “lokshen,” a Yiddish word derived from Russian, Ananya reiterated in her notes that this word is spelled just like it sounds because the “k” sound is spelled with a “k” in Russian. For “haiku,” she noted that the rules of Japanese are kept fairly constant, with the ī sound spelled with “ai.”

Do you have other good tips for using Quizlet to help get ready for spelling tests? Share in the comments below! And good luck to everyone participating in this year’s national bee. 🐝


  1. MinkyCharmGaming915


  2. MinkyCharmGaming915

    so cool

  3. samduman17 PLUS

    first high fiver! I wish I had the time to do spelling bees!

  4. jmoney4l

    i wish i had brain like hers

  5. CheeseBrain111


  6. akristoffersen


  7. sumistudies14


  8. zoejtodd

    wow thats impressive

  9. jmayoiscool

    mys student joel wants to sign up but how do you sign

  10. Michael_Stremciuc

    those are some super helpful tips
    thank yu anunyia have a good tay

  11. cooperw21

    that is cool

  12. camrynivory


  13. MelodieLoya


  14. digit67


  15. Viyaasan_Janahan


  16. umanzjey000

    Not bad

  17. maudeviolin


  18. jnguyen678



    20th comment

  20. arthurjuarez0970


    Clap clap
    clap clap clap Clap
    clap clap clap
    , clap
    clap clap Clap clap

  21. Kittencat345


  22. milesbutler23

    Cool. Looks like I am going to become a better speller now!

  23. ChiragC22

    um... dab?

  24. Itsme_Itsme_Itsme


  25. RosemariaRoy

    she's soo smart!!

  26. xXzachmartinezXx

    Amazing stuff!

  27. edrong178

    i can spell words

  28. Yori21

    what does plus mean

  29. TheAmazingKMAProob

    It means you payed Twenty dollArs for great superpowers :)

  30. Thefreakbeast4


  31. AngelaLu18

    It's amazing

  32. MJP200513

    Tennis ball against the wall

  33. ManickAdrianDGS


  34. MystaryPi

    *clap clap clap clap*
    That's super cool

  35. AmyMichigan

    *Slow clap* kewl

  36. darinahuang05

    these words...
    no offense but r too easy to spell...

    like the word marocain, even if u dont know what it means or have never seen it before, its still pretty trivial to spell

    i mean, these words arent even really hard at all

  37. emmagloriajong

    Dude, it’s about the stress and tension up there. Just to see if you can handle it. Anyway, depends on how much experience you have in the English language for you to justify the difficulty of those words. This article is a great helper. Thanks!

  38. dylanmirhashemi123

    o my o wow

  39. gkcrow PLUS


  40. longiansam


  41. jschoi22


  42. VaishaliJSrinivasan


  43. HarryPotterIsMyLife3


  44. Harrison_Baker16 PLUS

    Go Rohan THOOOOOOO


  45. Lu_Rob

    Wow! Great job!

    Feel free to follow for some fun streams!


  46. AndDoUrJob

    This Is A Gr8 Nu

  47. alyquizkitty

    The set sounds pretty cool. I'll make sure to check it out sometime! By the way, great job to Ananya for winning the spelling bee-I almost got there as I was in the regionals last year, so kudos to her!

  48. JohnDoe196


  49. Samantha493

    I wish I could spell as well as her. I can barely spell anything. :(

  50. simi63636

    how can you win with the word marocain I mean like I just asked a 7 year old to try to spell it and they got it right.

  51. yellowjaye4

    This is a handy article, and I use all of these tips myself! I'm going to compete in this year's National Spelling Bee. :) To those who say that "marocain" is an easy word to spell, it isn't really. So much of how you choose to spell a word is based on language of origin, and "marocain" is from French. If you heard that word and didn't know how to spell it, yet you knew the rules of how to spell words from French, you might be tempted to put an e on the end or spell it "mairocain." It's harder than it looks when you have done a bee before, and as someone who has one 3 spelling bees (and got 2nd in one and 4th in another), take it from me.

  52. yellowjaye4

    Not trolling or anything, I just get annoyed when people say it's easy lol.

  53. Steelykids TEACHER

    Those look like some pretty hard words. Have you watched "Akeelah and the bee?" It is a fun movie about a girl and a spelling bee. You should watch it!

  54. Gabalab2018


  55. simokapl

    Thank you Ananya! I’ve been to the NSB before and really look up to you! This list will be a great addition to my study resources!

  56. Trenton_Kapp

    Clap clap clap clap clap! clap! and slow clap clap. clap clap clap

  57. norahmandoliner72


  58. Cleeby

    #blacklivesmatter #metoo

  59. ka-lop

    yay congrats yay! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP also im not good with my grade words

  60. owmc3045

    all these comments are top notch. lots of mature people over the age of 9 posting meaningful comments

  61. awesomesuperhader

    wow, amazing. ;)

  62. awesomesuperhader

    wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow

  63. coolman1874

    thats pretty cool

  64. Alexander_Grusin


  65. Bryan_Rhoads8


  66. FlossingHamilton

    The people don't know, what she knows.

  67. tannerp99

    Do You Know Dae Way

  68. tannerp99

    to be the champion at national spelling bee

  69. cadenceis

    how is everyone's day? im bored in class so

  70. Unogood

    Spike u thought

  71. futp60


  72. futp60

    i won 5 times in a spelling bee



  74. Louis_Woodcock

    lol what a nerd

  75. yes_i_am_very_human

    thats pretty swell
    s w e l l
    s w e l l
    s w e l l
    eddsworld is pretty s w e l l

  76. john_cooper404

    if you're gonna have a national spelling bee use words like "generalissimo" or harder words

  77. Abstractart123


  78. john_saw

    Also, the Scripps-Howard website (search Google to find has information). Try YouTube to see further information and video clips from previous years. In addition to: "Akeelah and the Bee" (movie/documentary-like)-- I suggest the movie/documentary: "Spellbound". I also recommend the website: "phontitristy".

  79. amazingangelina08 PLUS

    WOW great job! 😀

  80. KaileyMarshall_Stark

    wish I could commit words to memory like that, wow!

  81. rEEsE_bAcKuP

    Great job, Ananya!

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