How is the NYT Spelling Bee scored?

How is the NYT Spelling Bee scored

The New York Times Spelling Bee has a pretty simple scoring system. At a minimum, a word must have at least four letters. Four letters will get you one point. With Genius level sometimes being over 200, you’ll never get there only with four-letter words.

Starting with five-letter words, players receive one point per letter. This is a huge difference. So a five-letter word earns you five points. That one extra letter between a four-letter and a five-letter word makes all the difference. A twelve-letter word would receive twelve points.

The last way to score points is by finding the NYT Spelling Bee Pangram. The pangram is when you use all seven given letters in one-word. Players receive an extra seven points for doing so. There is guaranteed to be at least one pangram per puzzle. I’ve seen as many as three in one game. When Genius level is low (50s or 60s), it’s almost a requirement to get the pangram.

Strategy wise, it’s worth the effort to figure out how to make a four-letter word a five-letter word. This can easily be done by adding common prefixes or suffixes to words. If the letters are on the board, something like adding an -s, -ed, or -ing will instantly boost your scores.

Good luck!


  1. How can you figure out how many more points you need to get to Queen Bee status?

    • Usually, Genius represents about 70 percent of the maximum total points. So, you use that to figure out Queen Bee within a couple of points

  2. My sister and I worked together, we have the same words but I have more points than her. Is speed a factor?

    • Beginner 0% of the grand Queen Bee total
      Good Start 2%
      Moving Up 5%
      Good 8%
      Solid 15%
      Nice 25%
      Great 40%
      Amazing 50%
      Genius 70%

  3. Tap the yellow progress circle at the top and it will tell you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.