Spelling and Vocabulary
Elements of the Contest
Each year, the UIL Spelling and Vocabulary Contest is based on a different vocabulary list provided by UIL and consists of a three-part test:
- Part I: A fifteen-minute section of 30 multiple-choice items focused on vocabulary and proofreading, and...
- Part II & III: The hand-written spelling of 70 words pronounced aloud to contestants, as well as a tiebreaker section of 20 additional pronounced words.
Spelling Overview Video
Eighty percent of the test will come from the UIL “Word Power” list that changes each year. Twenty percent will come from outside sources, such as commonly used words, proper names/words in the news, and words that are representative of important elements of the English language.
The “Word Power” list is a free digital download found on the right-hand column of this page.
The final authority for all words is The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition: Fiftieth Anniversary Printing (2018) published by Houghton Mifflin Company. No online version, compact paperback, or any other edition will be accepted. A word’s definition and not its etymology will be the sole determining factor for correct spelling.
State contest Director
Sample Test & Key
(Not based on current year's spelling list).
2021-2022 Word Power updated June 4