Mahilum Shelamie: Journey to Success in the Special Professional Licensure Examination (SPLE) 2023 Interview


April 2023 Special Professional Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers Board Passer: An Interview with Mahilum Shelamie

Mahilum Shelamie, a triumphant TSOK (Teachers Specialists Organization in Kuwait) board passer, shares her journey of preparing for and conquering the SPLE.

Here’s an up close and personal interview with Mahilum Shelamie:

How do you feel about receiving the news that you passed the board exam?

Honestly, up to this moment, I can’t believe that I passed the board exam. Despite the numerous challenges I faced as an OFW, I almost gave up several times. This was my third attempt; the first two board exams left me feeling depressed and inadequate. I felt like I had disappointed my family.

On the day the results were released, I was at work. I saw messages in our group chat with a list of passers, including the top notcher. Initially, I didn’t pay much attention because I didn’t expect my name to be on the list. However, as they kept sending photos of passers, I started to feel nervous. I was filled with uncertainty, and I had many “what ifs” running through my mind. I was especially worried about a mistake I had made during the exam when I accidentally wrote my major instead of the subject on my scantron paper.

Despite my apprehensions, I decided to check the results. Before doing so, I went to the restroom, bowed, knelt down, and offered a sincere prayer to God. I asked for His guidance and acceptance, regardless of the outcome. When I saw my name on the list, I cried and knelt down in the restroom, thanking God for His blessing. I still feel overwhelmed by the news.

Have you received such recognition before? Please give details.

While she hasn’t received material recognition, the reactions of her family upon learning about her success were priceless.

What is your job here in Kuwait? How long have you been OFW?

As a receptionist at Gulf Monty’s Bakery in Kuwait, Mahilum Shelamie L has been an OFW for one and a half years.

Who do you attribute your success to?

She attributes her success to her family, the children she serves, and, most importantly, God, who guided and had faith in her.

Who has inspired you to take up SPLE?

Inspired by her family and current partner, she decided to take the SPLE to pursue a teaching career.

What were the reactions of your family to this board’s passing?

Their laughter alone couldn’t express their happiness, but I know they feel blessed and proud. Some of them were even moved to tears.

To what extent was TSOK helpful in your success story?

She says without the support of the TSOK team, she might not have achieved what they have today.

What is your plan for the future or your dream after passing this exam?

She plans to complete her contract in Kuwait and return to the Philippines to become a teacher.

Is this your first licensure exam? Do you plan on taking other exams, and what would it be?

This is not her first licensure exam, and she remains open to taking additional exams if circumstances allow.

What message would you like to give to the upcoming board exam taker?

I encourage them to believe in themselves and to place their trust in God. I’ve always held onto Psalm 16:8, which states, “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.” This verse provided me with strength throughout my review and continues to do so. Additionally, Isaiah 60:22 reminds us, “At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.” Trust the timing and believe that everything is possible.

How did you know about the SPLE?

She discovered the SPLE through online research.

When did you decide to apply: after graduation or after finding a job? Why?

She decided to apply after graduation due to her strong desire to become a teacher and her experiences as a youth leader in a religious institution.

What did you expect from the SPLE regarding the content of the exam? How different is it from college entrance exams?

She expected the SPLE to require diligent study, and while it differs from college entrance exams, she approached it with a similar mindset.

What questions were easy to answer (e.g., solving, logical reasoning, abstract reasoning)?

Logical reasoning questions were more manageable for her.

Did you attend a review center? Which review center? (a.) If yes, how did it affect your preparation for the SPLE? (b.) If not, how did you prepare for the exam in terms of resources and review materials?  

She attended review sessions with Carl Balita and Sir Melvin, supplementing her preparation with educational videos on YouTube.

How many of the things you reviewed appeared in the exam?

About 60% of the General Education topics she reviewed appeared in the exam, while only 10 or fewer topics from Professional Education were evident.

How many weeks or months did you prepare for the exam?

Mahilum Shelamie L prepared for the exam for about two months.

How much did preparing for the exam cost you? Is it worth it?

While she didn’t focus on the cost, she believes the preparation was worth it.

Do you have a daily study routine? (a.) If yes, what is your daily routine, especially the specific time you study? (b.) If not, how did you manage your time, especially for reviewing?  

I created a study schedule.

How did you balance your work and review? How did you manage your time?

She followed a study schedule to balance work and review, utilizing spare moments to read materials even during work.

How did the SPLE affect your time with family and work?

Balancing time for family and work was challenging due to SPLE preparation.

Did you have any strategies in studying for the exam that helped you understand your notes better?

Strategies included reading and re-reading notes, double-checking answers on Google, and facing difficulties in preparing for complex terms and lessons.

What difficulties did you face in preparing for the exam? How did you better remember complex terms and lessons? Did you improve your memory in any way?

She did not specify but she did experience difficulties in the exam.

How stressed were you in preparing for the exam? How did you manage your stress?

She managed stress by not forcing herself to review when not in the mood and playing the guitar instead.

Have you procrastinated on your review? How did you manage procrastination? How did you motivate yourself?

While facing procrastination at times, Mahilum Shelamie L motivated herself by affirming her capabilities and destiny.

How important is preparing for the SPLE (or other exams)? Can you say that you are well prepared? How so?

She prepared for the SPLE with doubts but expressed the importance of preparation for exams.

How did you act during the exam? What were your thoughts during the exam?

During the exam, she experienced mixed feelings of nervousness and excitement.

Where did you gain the strength that helped you pass the exam?

Strength came from her family, loved ones, co-workers, and faith in God.

Did you search for and use guides and tips in your preparation? How effective were they?

I didn’t use any, I believe.

How did passing the exam benefit you in terms of your work, your life, your family, and yourself?

Passing the exam benefited her significantly in all aspects of her life, work, family, and self. She expresses immense gratitude for the positive impact.


Here’s the full list of passers:




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