Facing a new exam format – SPM Bible Knowledge Seminar

Some of the participants in a group photo

The SPM Bible Knowledge Seminar was organised by St Joseph’ Private School Kuching to familiarise students with the new exam format for the SPM subject of Bible Knowledge to be in line with the new syllabus of KSSM. KSSM or Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Menengah was initiated five years ago and in 2021 has reached SPM level.

It was held online on 13 May 2021 and was attended by more than 300 participants from more than 110 schools all over Malaysia. It was a blessing to have Ms Moey Yoke Lai as the speaker for the event. She has the well-grounded experience of more than 40 years in teaching Bible Knowledge (BK). In the past, she has trained different groups of volunteers to teach BK throughout the country. She has sustained the passion to see young people grounded in God’s Word and become transformational agents in our nation. Ms Moey retired as a school principal from government service in 2005 after serving for 32 years. Recently, she just retired as the CEO of Methodist College Kuala Lumpur.

Here are some testimonies from our Form 5 students who attended the seminar:

Testimony by Fayth Lee (F5 Phi)

To start off the seminar, we were given an introduction to Bible Knowledge and why students are encouraged to take up BK as a subject in SPM. Ms Moey described BK as a privilege that has been preserved in our country by God’s grace and as a steadfast testimony of our Christian faith. 

Moving on, Ms Moey began to explain the new KSSM exam format and some sample questions as well as the answering techniques. Compared to the previous syllabus, a new section was introduced to our paper this year, which was a HOTS question that requires us to state our own opinions and make personal implications. At first, I was worried that I might not be able to tackle this section well but Ms Moey’s detailed clarification made me feel more confident in answering questions like these. 

All in all, I am grateful to have attended this seminar as it was eye-opening and a very insightful one. Through this seminar, I was also reminded why I had decided to take this subject in the first place. Studying BK has really changed my perspective of how I look at things and has impacted my spiritual growth in a positive way. Gradually, I was able to find the truth in the Word of God to guide and lead me on in life, so that I may be the salt and light to glorify His name wherever I go. You too will surely be blessed if you read and study the book of Luke and Acts with all your heart!

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33. All Glory to God.

Testimony by Cassandra Chua (F5 Theta)

I feel grateful and thankful to be able to attend the SPM BK Seminar 2021 which was conducted online due to the pandemic. It is a great opportunity for me to know the answering techniques for SPM BK paper 2021 which is a new format for all of us. Through this webinar, I have learned a lot and managed to have a deeper understanding on why I have chosen this subject which is to get more closer to the Lord as to know God better, we need to know his words.

I would like to specially thank Ms. Moey Yoke Lai who is the speaker for this webinar. She shares her experiences and stories with us which inspires me a lot to not only see BK as a subject, but also a way to strengthen my own faith in the Lord. Last but not least, what strikes me the most in this webinar is the sentence, ‘Lord, this world is yours, and I belong to you. Give me strength to study your word through BK!’

Testimony by Bliss Lam (F5 Theta)

On 13 May 2021, from 10 am to 12 pm, Ms Moey Yoke Lai, retired CEO of Methodist College Kuala Lumpur, developed and presented a session on SPM BK 2021 via ZOOM and YouTube. The seminar attracted more than 300 students from over 100 schools across Malaysia. The Principal of St Joseph’s Private School, Father Francis Lim, SJ gave his opening address by expressing his thanks to Ms Moey, teacher coordinator Mr Benedict Lo and student MC Irwin Fong. He concluded with a prayer.

Ms Moey started her first session around 10.20 am by first expressing thanks to the organising committee and her team of teachers who helped in constructing the SPM BK Video Lessons. The session included an introduction of Bible Knowledge, questions and answers from students and an introduction of the new format for the 2021 BK SPM exam paper. Session 1 ended around 11.20am and a 5-minute toilet break was given.

In Session 2, Ms Moey gave a deeper explanation on the BK SPM exam paper which included answering techniques for context and essay questions. Examples were given and explained thoroughly which highly benefited students. After that, Ms Moey answered more questions from participants. Session 2 ended around 12.40 pm. Father Francis gave his closing remarks and ended with a prayer. A feedback form was later sent to participants.

Ms Moey was indeed a very passionate and experienced teacher. Her content was clear and straight to the point. I was very excited and eager to learn her techniques in answering questions and it was definitely worth the time. It was excellent for under 150 minutes, filled with abundant information, the Q&A covered a lot of good ground and Ms Moey herself being present was a great gift.

Testimony by Eunice Wong (F5 Phi)

On 13 May 2021, the Form 4 and Form 5 students of our school were fortunate enough to attend a Bible Knowledge seminar hosted by Father Francis and Mr Benedict Lo, with Ms Moey Yoke Lai as the guest speaker.  Having taught BK for more than 40 years, she was particularly knowledgeable in this subject and indeed, through the sessions during the seminar, we could feel her deep understanding of Luke and Acts as well as her passion for teaching this subject. 

She began with testimonies from students who took BK in SPM.  It was eye-opening to hear about others’ experiences, including their hardships as well as personal, spiritual growth and the joy they found through studying BK.  The next part of the seminar was on the SPM examination format.  I found her introduction to the format, especially the new HOTS question, very helpful.  Before that, I felt quite lost and confused with this new format and to make matters worse, we had yet to sit for the proper examination paper.  Fortunately, her detailed explanations gave us a complete overview of what to expect and focus on while studying.

Another useful session was the Q&A where many participants asked questions eagerly.  She replied to all of them patiently, providing detailed and complete explanations.  It helped to clear a lot of our doubts and clarified any issues we had.  In addition to that, Ms Moey, with her experience in the assessment of BK, also gave us tips to score and study better. 

Most importantly, she was inspiring and showed us a different perspective on the subject.  I, like many other students taking BK, have always seen it as a stressful subject that required a lot of memorisation.  It takes a lot of self-discipline to read and memorise passage after passage and chapter after chapter.  However, while she was explaining the reasons to take BK, it felt as if I suddenly understood what it meant to take this subject.  Contrary to seeing it as only an academic subject, she reminded us that we are actually reading the word of the living God which we should be practising in our daily lives.  This motivated me to take this opportunity to study BK properly and to treat the values learnt as something I will take with me even after I leave school.

Overall, the seminar was definitely worthwhile and fruitful.  We left with grateful hearts, more motivated and confident to study BK.

Testimony by Max Ng (F5 Phi)

I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to hear Ms Moey speak in the seminar. Not only did she clearly break down the new format for us, she also delved into the answering techniques and organisation. Honestly, I was quite intimidated by the 13 marks questions she showed us. I was already worrying about how I would cope with the subject as I’m bad at memorising. However, she showed us how to tackle the questions by using context clues and writing down key points. Although I’m still a bit afraid, I’ve gained a bit more confidence from the testimonies that she read to us, about how certain individuals managed to overcome hurdles and attain excellent results. Even so, at the end of the day, results aren’t everything. All in all, this was a great seminar that gave me plenty of tips for Bible Knowledge.