Spelling test is one of the main features offered by Spelling Bee Ninja for spelling bee training.
Types of Spelling Test
Spelling Bee Ninja features a text to speech enabled module that can provide students with four different kind of spelling tests using natural English pronunciation, in particular:
- Official Tests.
- Personal tests.
- Learning Smart tests.
- Review Smart Tests.
Read this and the following paragraphs to understand the characteristics of each kind of test.
You can reach the spelling test app by choosing “Spelling Test” from the main menu, or the Spelling test button in any spelling words list page or from the Student or Student statistics page, once the app is loaded, the Spelling Test option dialog will appear:
Spelling test options
Let’s see the test options one by one:
Select here the student that is going to take the test, as some SBN accounts allows more than one student.
In case you have a basic or student account, only one student will be present in the list.
Words per test
Choose here how many words you want for this spelling test, the app allows 10, 15 or 20 words per test, the default and suggested value is 10 when learning new words, but you can use more words if you are taking review tests (I.e. using words that you already know).
Through this option you can choose which spelling list use for the test, among the ones you created or imported, to know more about spelling lists, documentation related to spelling lists handling.
The first three options however are handled by the system, in particular:
- Official Spelling test: take an Official Spelling Test, refer to the paragraph below to learn more about Official tests.
- Smart Training (Learn): take a spelling test provided by the Smart Training algorithm in learning mode, to learn new words and fix your errors (see smart training documentation).
- Smart Training (Review): take a spelling test provided by the Smart Training algorithm in review mode, to verify the words you learned (see smart training documentation).
- Personal Tests: after the first three options handled by the system, you will find your own spelling lists sorted alphabetically, spelling tests taken using a custom spelling list are referred as Personal Spelling Tests.
Choose standard if you want the test to use words suitable for your grade, hard if you want some words from higher grades and harder if you want even more hard words (the harder the level the higher your potential score in Official Tests).
Select here whether you want to allow the repetition of the words or not.
Possible values are from zero (no repeats allowed) up to unlimited repetitions per word, we suggest you to allow repetitions when learning new words and take tests with no repetition when reviewing.
When taking Official Spelling tests, fewer repetitions allows you to reach higher scores.
Allow Word Definition
Choose Yes if you want to activate the word definition feature during test. This feature allows the student to check the word definition before giving the answer. Using this feature is recommended when learning new words
Taking the spelling test
After choosing all your options accordingly to your needs, press the “Start Test” button to begin your Spelling Test.
The app voice will invite you to press the Next Word button (or enter key on your keyboard) to proceed with net word.
On the left side you will find some useful information related to the ongoing test: test type, words to go, repeat calls, last spelled word, difficulty level and elapsed time for this test.
During the test you can use the following commands to proceed:
- Answer field: a text field where you have to correctly type the current word pronounced by the app.
- Play button: right on the left side of the answer field, also activated by the enter keyword, submits the content of the answer field as your answer.
- Next Word: also activated by the enter key, will spell the next word of the test.
- Repeat: if repeat is allowed for this test, it will repeat the current word and increase the repeat counter by one.
- Skip: use this button to skip the current word, in case you have no clues on how to spell it.
- Define: this button will pop up a dialog showing the current word definition, of course the word itself will be hidden in the definition window.
- Quit test: quit this test and do not collect the related statistics into your account.
Once a spelling test is finished, Spelling Bee Ninja will update the information associated to the student accordingly with test results, the errors list is updated and the system assumes the student has learned the words spelled correctly during test.
A report card is generated and added to the other tests results by the same student, a dialog will appear giving the possibility to review your results immediately.
Report cards for a given students are accessible from the student’s profile by clicking the “Report Cards” button.
The report card contains your test results and score, on this page you will find, among the others the following metrics: correct and misspelled words, skipped words, number of times the student asked the repetition of the words, total test time and total score.
Also, a list of the words used in the test is reported and the corresponding answers given by the student; the misspelled words are reported in red using a strike font.
The total score is calculated using the official scoring system; check the related paragraph below in this article for further information.
Each student has a statistics page containing statistics about spelling bee training activities, reach out the statistics page from the student card, by clicking the “Statistics” button.
This page shows the number of tests taken by the student, the number of correct and misspelled words, the correctness percentage for each type of test (Personal, Official, Smart Learn and Smart Review) and other useful information.
Words misspelled by the student during tests are collected in a special words list called Error List, accessible from the student’s profile page by clicking the “Error List” button.
Even though some editing operations are allowed (such as removing words), the Error list is automatically handled by the system, the (automatically) added misspelled words are automatically removed once spelled correctly in a spelling test.
Eventually it is possible to use the whole error List for a spelling test using the “Spelling Test” button from the page, but our suggestion is to take Smart Tests and let SBN decide which words are the best choice to fix your errors.
Official Spelling Tests
Words used for the test are taken from the official SBN words database containing thousands of words for each difficulty level.
An accolade icon on the left of the page, under the Test Type label will indicate that the ongoing has to be considered official.
Official Tests will lead to official scores and are recorded among the Spelling Bee Ninja world rankings.
If a very high score is reached in an official test, SBN could release on official certificate of achievement.
Rankings and Certificates of Achievement
Official scores are calculated using a dedicated scoring system named SNJFIX1, check in the paragraph below the details on how the scoring system works.
The main factors considered when calculating an Official Spelling Test score are in general:
- Correct answers / misspelled words ratio
- The difficulty level set in the test options (standard/hard/harder)
- The number of words
- Repetitions count
- Word definition coun
As specified in the scoring system specification, the maximum score a student can reach is 1100 for students of every grade.
Also, remember that the spelling test time, although registered by SBN and reported in the report cards, is not considered for final score calculation, this is because in Spelling Bee competitions, usually, students are not requested to give the answer in the shortest time.
Giving the answer quickly often leads to errors and taking the right time to think about the answer way more important than speed to master spelling bee.
Students achieving a score equal or higher than 800 are rewarded with an official Spelling Bee Ninja Certificate, check the image below to have an idea of how it looks like:
Each certificate has its own serial number and unique internet address, delivered under the form of high-resolution graphic files, ready to be printed, saved on local drive or shared with friends.
Only the owner of the account can access to the certificate file from the related report card page.
Official scores are registered in the Spelling Bee Ninja world rankings.
Ranking pages are public and accessible through the “Rankings” link in the top menu of the app.
Rankings are grouped by difficulty level: one to eight correspond to the respective school grade, then comes high school chart and a world top 100 regardless the grade.
If a school has been specified specified in the account, the school rankings will be also available at the bottom of each chart so students from the same school can compete and have their own school rankings.
How Official Spelling Test score is calculated
Official scores can lead to publishing and awards.
Let’s analyze more in depth the scoring system actually in use on Spelling Bee Ninja.
The code name of the scoring standard is “SNJFIX1” (Acronym for Spelling Bee Ninja Fixed Version 1).
It is a fixed scoring system. This means that, as for school grades, there is a maximum score that cannot be exceeded.
The maximum score achievable with SNJFIX1 is 1100 (One thousand one hundred).
The time taken to complete the test is not considered by the system: no matter if the spelling training session will take 10 minutes or one hour for the student to complete, this is because stress is not a good friend when learning.
There is a penalty for misspelled words and skipped words.
A skipped word is not considered as bad as a misspelled one but skipping words will limit bonus points (this to encourage the student to try hard to understand and also because a misspelled word is easier to remember than a skipped one).
Out of a total of 1100 points achievable, 800 are determined by the percentage of correct words (or correctness factor), So this means that spelling correctly all the words proposed by the test will earn 800 points.
The 300 remaining points are shared between Execution Factor (max 180 points) and Courage Factor (max 120 points).
Execution Factor assigns more points when the spelling session has been completed in the cleanest possible way (ie using the least possible aids like definition, repeat etc.)
Both these factor offers a further bonus when the limit is reached (maximum execution factor reached and maximum courage factor reached).
Please note that a higher courage factor increases the risks of committing errors during the test, losing points eventually brought by the correctness factor and the execution factor.
Each misspelled word will cause a penalty of 33 points.
Here follows the pseudo code algorithm used by SNJFIX1.
note: in the following notation += means incrementing the variable by the value that follows example x+=3 means x = x+ 3.
correctnessFactor = corectPercentage * 8; //max800
executionFactor= 0; //Max 180
if(noWrongAnswers == 0 noSkippedWords == 0)executionFactor+= 40;
if(neverAskedRepeat )executionFactor+= 40;
if(neverAskedDefinition )executionFactor+= 40;
courageFactor= 0; //Max 120
if difficultyHard:courageFactor+=20; else
if difficultyHarder:courageFactor+=30; else
if repeatMax3:courageFactor+=10; else
if repeatMax2:courageFactor+=20; else
if repeatMax1:courageFactor+=25; else
if 10Words:courageFactor+=10; else
if 15Words:courageFactor+=20; else
//zero aid bonus
if(courageFactor == 90)courageFactor+=30;
wrongFactor = 33 * wrongAnswers;
FINAL_SCORE= correctnessFactor +executionFactor+courageFactor-wrongFactor