Introducing the Bible Knowledge Subject for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) - St. Luke & Acts
Got Bible Knowledge in SPM?
Yes, Bible Knowledge is offered as a subject in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, or SPM. Students can opt to take this subject at the schools they are in. It is not limited to missionary schools. As far as I know, there is presently no qualification or prerequisite to take up this subject.
If you are taking this subject, the exam will cover only two Books of the Bible. They are found in the New Testament and are by the same author, St. Luke, the Apostle-Physician.
In Form 4, students will study the Gospel according to St. Luke. In Form 5, they will learn from the Acts of the Apostles.
Grading & Marking Scheme
Bible Knowledge is among the few examination papers where the grades are a constant. Most subjects are tailored according to the aggregate, i.e. the grade range varies according to year. This intimidates many students and, thus, developing the infamous perception that Bible Knowledge is hard.
The marking is based a lot on what you read in the Bible. The critical and analytical aspects on which you would be tested on revolves around factual interpretation of the text. For example, you would be asked to describe a person, Governor Festus, maybe.
Which Bible Versions Do We Use?
The official text used in teaching is the Good News Translation, or the Good News Bible. This is because the language is easier to understand, especially at the Form 5 level.
While we acknowledge some Churches use the King James Version (KJV) and the New International Version (NIV), Good News is the commonly used Bible version for students. However, you may use any other translation if it aids your understanding of the particular verse.
What Medium is Used?
In teaching, we use the English Language. I encourage my students to converse in English, even though their oral grammar and vocabulary aren't up to the par of Queen's English. The idea is to get them comfortable to use the English Language. With practice, they may improve.
In the written exam during SPM, the language used is still the English Language. I understand this may be intimidating for many, especially the Bahasa Malaysia speaking students.
How do you score? What strategies to employ?
If you want to score an A+ in Bible Knowledge, you need to be familiar with the texts. You need to understand the passages in the two books of the Bible.
The strategies you may employ include:
- Writing a reflective journal on each chapter or section a day
- Regularly reading the two books
- Discussing about the content of the two books, and the lessons
- Draw mind maps
- Print out maps and draw out the journeys or events
- Extract the points in the many speeches of St. Paul.
- Practice on the exercises in the textbooks