NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Lauren Coccari has never been the best test taker.
In the Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort, it turned out to be her downfall.
The 14-year-old Sissonville Middle School student made it through both oral rounds Wednesday, but her score on a computerized test wasn't high enough to keep her in the competition today.
"Well, I'm just glad that I got through the two oral rounds, but I'm just better at spelling on stage than taking tests," Lauren said, admitting she was a little sad.
Of the 281 spellers in the competition, 42 missed words in one of the two oral rounds Wednesday.
That means 239, including Lauren, spelled two words correctly, but for the past few years bee officials have used a format that has no more than 50 spellers advancing to the semifinals.
All of them took a computer test on Tuesday and could earn up to 30 points. Those who survived both oral rounds on Wednesday got another 6 points.
Only 41 students advanced. Each had a total score of at least 32 points, and several earned perfect scores of 36.
None of the four spellers from West Virginia made the final cut.
Spellers didn't learn their computer test results until about 4 p.m. Wednesday. When Lauren's parents, Gene and Stephanie Coccari, received her score, her father said they knew Lauren's chance of advancing was a longshot.
"The test was her downfall. She's not a good test taker; she never has been," her mother said.
"But you know we're proud of her," her dad quickly added. "We figured she would do well in the second and third round. It's been a great experience."
After taking the Tuesday test, Lauren had said she wasn't sure how she had performed. She thought the newly added vocabulary section was the toughest.
Scripps announced the addition of that aspect of the competition only seven weeks ago. Bee Executive Director Paige Kimble said it would help advance the mission of the bee: to help students learn more about words they would use for a lifetime.
In a press conference Wednesday she said she had received positive feedback about the addition. She thought the vocabulary portion would especially help the millions of spellers studying for local competitions.
As the oral rounds started on Wednesday, "periphery" spelled relief for the Coccari family.
Lauren correctly spelled that word in the morning session.
"Yeah, that's an easy word that I know," she said moments after the round wrapped up.