So you are now in your higher secondary school level (Form 4 of Form 5), congratulations! While some of you may be happy that you are closer to your days of not wearing school uniforms, some of you may not be that excited because you need to study more subjects and well, sit for the most important examination in your secondary school education- Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)!

For every subject, you will be given the right guidance and time to navigate. The same principle applies to the Sejarah subject, which is one of the most important ones as it is a compulsory subject to pass in SPM since 2013. This fact is not to scare you, but to encourage you on the importance of learning Sejarah.

Be assured that you can certainly do well for your Sejarah paper with the right learning tools, knowledge of the examination format plus syllabus, answering techniques and ample exercises. Continue to read on to learn how to start preparing and finally acing your SPM Sejarah paper!

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Overview of  the SPM Sejarah Paper

The syllabus tested will be from both Form 4 and Form 5 chapters which follow the SPM Sejarah format set by the Malaysian Ministry of Education.

SPM Sejarah Kertas 1 (1249/1)

Students are required to answer 40 multiple-choice questions. The final answers must be circled in the Optical Mark Recognition paper (OMR) with 2B pencils so that the answers can be scanned clearly.

Marks allocated: 40m
Duration for Kertas 1: 1 hour

SPM Sejarah Kertas 2 (1249/2) 

Students are required to answer 2 sections in Kertas 2: Bahagian A and Bahagian B.

For Bahagian A, students must answer 4 short structured questions [40m] and for Bahagian B, students only need to answer 3 essay questions out of 5 given essay questions. [60m]

Marks allocated: 100m
Duration for Kertas 2: 2 hours and 30 minutes

The level of difficulty of the SPM Sejarah paper follows the following ratio:

-Low Difficulty Level: 5
-Medium Difficulty Level: 3
-High Difficulty Level: 2

Tips to score better for objective questions in Sejarah Kertas 1

Though your Kertas Sejarah 1 consists of 100% objective questions, it does not mean you should take this for granted or resort to the typical "tikam and tembak" response whenever you are unsure of the right answers.

It is true that head knowledge is important to transfer all that you have consistently practised and memorized. But how you pace yourself to answer on that day - your exam answering techniques - could be the ultimate MVP to lead you to victory!

Here are some go-to tips that are frequently suggested by teachers and students to ace your objective questions!

a) Look for similarities of issues between question and answer

Sounds like common sense right? But at times exam fever and nervousness may get ahead of us and you might (we hope not!) not be able to immediately recall some terms or events that you come across on the paper. Take a deep breath and start scanning the question. Look for an obvious theme or keyword association that arises from the questions.

Sample question: Apakah tugas Laksamana pada Zaman Kesultanan Melayu Melaka?

A- Ketua Pentadbir
B- Panglima Angkutan Laut
C- Menjaga keamanan kawasan pegangan
D- Mengurus kutipan cukai 

The keyword to focus on: Laksamana (position) which deals with sea voyages. 
The key to answer: Match it with similar keywords/theme (sea, position)

The final answer: B (because it talks about the commander of the navy)

b) Master the elimination method

This method is widely used when you have to choose the right statement pairs out of four different statements. By identifying the WRONG statements, you eliminate the wrong selection and you will reach the final correct answer.

The answer selections will be in this form:

A. I dan II
B. I dan IV
C. II dan III
D. III dan IV

For instance, after studying and analysing the given statements, you have decided to eliminate statements III and IV (100% sure that it is wrong), then the final answer you should pick is A (I dan II).

SPM Kertas 1 Sejarah
You can ace your SPM Sejarah Kertas 1 by mastering the right answering technique for objective questions.
Source: Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash

The key to master structured & essay questions in Sejarah Kertas 2

Bear in mind that both, SPM Sejarah Kertas 1 and Kertas 2 have different marking schemes. For your Sejarah Kertas 2, it is not a straightforward right or wrong answer as it looks at how you answer the questions according to the right structure, keywords and facts in complete sentences and paragraphs.

Let's take a look at the breakdown and differences between the structured and essay questions for the SPM Sejarah Kertas 2.

a) Identify what the questions want via the keywords and different mark allocation

For Bahagian A, every question consists of 10 marks while for Bahagian B, every question consists of 20 marks. The sub-questions normally comprise of keywords such as:

-Nyatakan (State)
-Jelaskan (Explain)
-Mengapakah/Bagaimanakah (Why/How)
-Berikan pendapat/ ulasan anda (Give your opinion/comment)


b) Pay attention to the details in answering and elaboration

You should always ensure that your answers are in full sentences and statements. Never use bullet points or answer in fragmented sentences. Connect your sentences with penanda wacana (Selain itu, Seterusnya, Berikutnya) when you are writing about a new point.

If you see a question with the keyword Nyatakan in Bahagian A and the mark allocation is only 2m,  you can opt to write short and concise answers in the given answering line. However,  for questions with the Jelaskan keyword, you need to string your points in a complete sentence.

For Bahagian B, we suggest that you use this formula to elaborate on your points as the mark allocation is higher. Begin with a Fakta (fact), followed by Huraian (explanation) and Contoh (example). It helps you to make your overall sentence and paragraph more systematic.

SPM Sejarah 2 essay
Essay component is no longer scary when you are familiar with the right elaboration technique.
Source: New Strait Times

Effective ways to prepare and score well for your SPM Sejarah

Now that you are familiar with the format and marking scheme of the SPM Sejarah Paper, it is time to take this knowledge to another level. In order to achieve your desired results, you have to put in a certain degree of effort and input. Here are some ways that you can consider to make your Sejarah learning experience more fruitful.

a) Use suitable visual stimulating tools  for your note-taking

Writing notes is useful for a few reasons. Firstly, the act of copying and writing what you have read increases your concentration and sets you in the right attitude for revision. Secondly, you can also use note-taking as a mini-test to see how much you can remember and write down what you have reviewed earlier.

Note-taking however is best when you include other elements such as mind maps, illustrations, pictures, diagrams to expand on long sentences and paragraphs. Whether we admit it or not, images tend to spring up in our minds at a quicker speed as compared to words when we are trying to relate several ideas and concepts.

SPM Sejarah revision
Studying with visually stimulating notes can be helpful for your Sejarah revision.
Source: The Strait Times

b) Watch historical documentaries or videos

Apart from visual stimulation and consistent SPM Sejarah practice exercises with past year papers, it is also important to instil a passion and interest in History. When you feel good about learning the subject, it helps you to follow the teachings easily, like an engaging story.

As the SPM Sejarah syllabus mostly talks about historical events in a chronological manner, you can certainly watch some historical documentaries on World War II, the British rule in Malaysia and also how the nation leaders paved the road to independence in 1957.

c) Private tutoring at Superprof

The one to one teaching and learning experience is certainly something that you should consider when you are preparing for your SPM. Private tutoring in Malaysia has been increasingly popular among both parents and students in recent years. With so many options that you can find these days, it is best to have a one-stop online learning platform where you can easily choose from experienced teachers from all over Malaysia with flexible teaching options. The answer that fits all the options mentioned? Superprof!

At Superprof,  your Sejarah tutor can teach you according to your learning pace, anytime and anywhere you are. You can also easily contact them and discuss the areas in which you need more assistance with. For example, focusing more on practices and answering techniques for SPM Sejarah Paper 2.

Your lesson plan will certainly be personalized to ensure improvement and satisfaction on your side. What is great about private tutoring is the instant feedback and comprehensive grading that you can also receive from your Sejarah tutor.

We understand that budget is certainly a great consideration apart from teaching methodology.  You don't have to worry about inconsistent tuition fees when you take Sejarah lessons at Superprof because the hourly rate of every tutor has already been fixed. Other potential additional costs (transportation fees/or various packages) will be listed on the tutors' profiles.  The best part? You get to choose the most suitable Sejarah tutor that fits your maximum budget by simply just adjusting the filtering tab at the Superprof website. It is super convenient and super flexible!

Wait no longer and enrol in your first Sejarah lesson at Superprof today!

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