Ways of Studying for the Bible Quiz
Translated from Hebrew and expanded by Princess Merav (princessmerav @ hotmail.com)
Filling-in-the-blank for the book of Proverbs:
-Study one verse every day
-Write verses on stickers and place them on a
variety of things: i.e: books, notebooks, desks, tables, cupboards,
etc. Write either the entire verse, or only parts of it with the
intention of guessing the rest.
-Add melodies to the verses. It is easier to
memorize a song than a poem. Use melodies that you are familiar with
such as those from prayers, from your favourite secular songs or be
creative and make up your own. If you have time, you may also choose
to have a different melody for each verse.
-Make a chart. On one side of it write the
first half of the verse and the second part of it on the other side of
the chart. Hide one part and guess it by yourself.
-In the year 2000, this type of question was
asked only in the third round of the televised contest and it only
counted for about 3 points out of 100. If you make the third round,
you automatically get a prize. You obviously should aspire to do your
best, but donít spend all of your time on memorizing verses from
Proverbs. It is more important to read the book enough times to be
familiar with the verses in order to know which book they appear.
Make Comparisons Between Similar Stories and
-Charts about the books of I and II Kings
according to the following topics: Name of the King, Kingdom he ruled,
Good/Bad in the eyes of G-d, Prophet at that time, Wars, Prophecies,
Illnesses, Rebellions, etc.
-Make up imaginary and personal signs in order
to tell similar verses apart from each other or in order to remember
lists more easily. The weirder and more special the sign the better,
as you will remember it with less effort.
-The author of the questions knows that most
people do not like to study the II books (II Samuel and II Kings) as
much as the rest of the material, therefore, most of the questions in
the contest are about these books. You should try to know them the
best. Especially, be familiar with all the names and the things that
they are associated with. It is not enough to know the story and to be
able to describe the person involved. Names are important, even (or
should I say especially) those of the minor characters (i.e: Ritzpa,
Davidís friends and soldiers, Michalís husband...)
-The second round of the televised contest
usually involves comparing two or more stories, people, events which
appear in the entire material... Make charts of people, food, musical
instruments, places, etc. An sample question is: what does a parable
atop a mountain and a golden Menorah have in common and who are the
personalities associated with each story? The answers are
respectively: olIVES, YOthAM and ZECHARIAH.
-Many questions appear over and over again in
different years. Get as many yearbooks as possible (from your areaís
previous representatives or from the office representing the Jewish
Agency) and spend some time in the last month going over the questions
and answers and learning them well. If you realize that you do not
know an answer, go over that chapter again. Also, if you really have a
lot of extra time, try to go over words and expressions in the
Concordance and off by heart say everything that you remember about
each term. But always remember that the best way to study is to read
the text over and over and over... again.
During Your Study Sessions, Stand On a Chair,
Make Exaggerated Gestures, Read Out-loud:
-One of the most common type of question is
identifying in which book a certain verse appeared. There is no
multiple choice. Some people remember things according to the place
where they studied. Therefore, try studying each book in a different
place, especially the prophets, because they tend to sound the same,
especially Yishayahu, Yirmiyahu, Yehezkel and Hoshea. Also, you may
try different melodies for each, different accents...
-Highlight the most important verses in the
Bible. Before the contest you can go over the highlighted ones only.
-It is recommended to review the last chapters
of each book an extra time, because when one studies without breaks he
is usually tired by the time he reaches the end.
-Attend synagogue every week to hear the
weekly portion of the Bible as well as the Aftorah. In addition, many
of the Psalms which are part of the material are recited/sung during
the services. It is easier to remember something that you repeat every
week. You can also introduce your family to the Sfaradi custom of
reciting the Song of Songs every Kabbalat Shabbat (Shabbat Eve)-if
this beautiful book is part of the material of your year- as well as
reciting Eshet Chail (Woman of Valour) at the same time if the last
chapter of the book of Proverbs is part of your material.
-If your eyes are too tired one day in order
to study, ask someone to read to you. You can also tape yourself the
first time you read the material.
Learning Off by Heart:
-Every time a new verse is memorized, repeat
the previous five verses.
-Some people remember better when they start
learning the verses from the end of the passage to the beginning of
it. When reviewing this section, the last verse they studied is the
first they have to recall.
-Even a passage that has been memorized
requires a review by rereading it.
-Do not memorize in one session two similar
passages from different books as it can get confusing.
In The Televised Contest and in the Diaspora
Round (Public Contests where Answers Must be Given Orally):
-If you do not remember or are unsure of an
answer, you may ask for extra thinking time, or that they repeat/
elaborate/ explain/ translate the question.
-If the judges ask you to repeat the answer it
is wrong, therefore, you must come up with a better one.
Most Importantly, Be Happy. The Real Winner is
the One Who has Studied and Who Appreciates the Bible:
-Smile, do your best, donít be nervous, donít
try to impress anyone. People admire you just for having made it to
the Internationals. You are already a winner because you won the
National contest in your home-country, because you got to spend two
wonderful weeks in Israel with like-minded people and because you have
tremendous biblical knowledge as well as learning skills which may
help you to excel in the rest of your education. Your school,
community and home-country are already proud of you and of having the
honour of having a wonderful person like you representing them in the
Holy Land. If you do not make the top 16, be sure to cheer the other
competitors on, make them feel as comfortable as possible,
congratulate them, enjoy the rest of the trip and continue studying
the Bible for your own personal enrichment and enlightenment.
-Read the material over and over as many times
as possible. You are bound to remember many details, even if you feel
like you donít know anything. You will know the answers when you are
asked specific questions.
-Compete in the Bible Contest only because you
love it from the bottom of your heart. Donít allow anyone to pressure
you. Also, aim high and be as ambitious as possible. Donít let anyone
tell you that you do not have a chance to win because every one is a
genius etc. You are as smart as everyone else. Have confidence in
yourself and set high expectations of yourself, but donít be
disappointed if you do not reach them. Most importantly do your best
and be happy with however well you do. Make the best of the
International Bible Contest and do your best, because as soon as it
will be over you will start wishing that you could participate in it
again because you know that you could have done better, gotten to know
-If you miss reading secular books, remember
that the Bible is the best and wisest piece of literature ever written
and that it has been a bigger best-seller over history than ďHarry
PotterĒ. From the Bible, you will learn new vocabulary, new writing
styles... and you can even look forward to next year when you will
have time to read secular novels, but will still come back to the
Bible every so often, because you will miss reading it. The
International Bible Contest will make studying the Bible fun and will
foster in you a love for it, while giving you the best experience in
your life so far.
-When you get back to school, catch up on the
work you missed. It is important to excel there, too. Make time for
school work between all the emails that you must write to your new
best friends (those you met at the Internationals) and between wishing
that you were back in Israel having the best time ever. Best of luck
and may the strength be with you :-)