NATIONAL HARBOR, Md – Shiv Dewan of North Canton, Ohio, was not ready to call it quits after failing to make it to the final round of Scripps National Spelling Bee — he asked a judge to take another look at his multiple-choice test to make sure it was scored correctly.
“I thought a specific word meant something but it didn’t,” the 12-year-old said.
Shiv scored a 22 out of 30 on the written test and a perfect six out of six for the on-stage spelling. His total score was 28, and the semifinal cutoff score was a 29 — leaving Shiv out by just one point.
“The final round was definitely stressful, but I did get through so I’m happy about that,” he said.
Shiv is ready for next year’s spelling bee. He plans on preparing by studying rules, exceptions to the rules and the specific letters in each language.
Shiv’s father, Sanjeev Dewan, said he’s happy his son is going through the experience.
“It’s great to be involved with children who work equally hard and plan to be better next year,” Sanjeev said.
Shiv spelled both words in Round 2 and Round 3 correctly. In Round 2, he was asked to spell “pentathlon,” which is an athletic event that comprises five different events for each of its competitors. Then in the third round, he was asked to spell “Nietzschean,” which is a word use to describe something related to the German philosopher who argued Christianity’s emphasis on the afterlife.
Shiv is excited to enjoy the rest of the week to see how the spelling bee goes. He thanked God for the opportunity and bringing him this far in the competition.
Shiv will start the eighth grade this fall at Aquinas Middle School.
All 283 spellers appeared on stage Wednesday morning for Round II, the first oral round. Only four spellers missed their words, and were out of the bee. By the end of Round III in the afternoon, 214 spellers remained. In both rounds, all the words came from a list of 1,000 study words.
At the close of Round III, bee officials combined the scores earned by spellers in Tuesday’s written test and points earned spelling on stage to choose 49 semifinalists. After taking a second written test Wednesday evening, they will compete Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. EDT on ESPN2.
The finals will air Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN. The winner takes home $35,000 in cash, a trophy and other prizes. All of the spellers were given Microsoft Surface 3 tablet computers to close Wednesday’s program.
Reach reporter Ashia Aubrey [email protected] or 202-408-1490. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.