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Cebuano GCLE topnotcher: Long wait was worth it 

May Margaret Sim

May Margaret Sim Sim from Poblacion, Talisay City, Cebu, is the lone Cebuano topnotcher in the August 2023 Guidance Counselors Licensure Examination. | contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines-For Cebuano topnotcher May Margaret Sim, the long wait to the top was all worth it.

Sim, a 32-year-old from Poblacion, Talisay City, Cebu, is the lone Cebuano topnotcher in the August 2023 Guidance Counselors Licensure Examination.

“Dili mo matter if dali or dugay ka nahuman,” said Sim, a graduate of the Cebu Normal University (CNU). 

(It doesn’t matter if you finished fast or took a while.)

“Ihatag jud ka kung asa imong time. It was just a setback to push me to the top,” she added.

(It will be given in your time.) 

Sim ranked 7th in the top 10, garnering a score of 87.40 percent. 

Sim admitted to CDN Digital that when she saw her name in seventh place, she fell to her knees and let it all out. 

Long journey

It was a slow yet worthwhile journey for Sim. 

Before taking the licensure examination for guidance counselors, one should be a Master’s graduate. 

After Sim finished Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of San Jose-Recoletos in 2012, she went to CNU to pursue a Master of Arts in Guidance and Counselling. 

It was her dream to help people and assist them in knowing themselves and leading them to a path that they aspire. 

It was in 2013 when she took her master’s degree at CNU. However, her dream to finish it in three years took a detour.

READ MORE: LET topnotcher shares secret: Never allow pressure to get the better of you

“Two and a half years, mahuman na ‘ta ko sa Thesis 1. Unfortunately, gikapoy nako kay sige’g balik-balik og revise and usab,” she admitted. 

It was 2016 when she married her husband, Jose David Sim. For the next two years, she decided to focus more on her family.

Their family had been blessed with a healthy son, currently a six-year-old wonder. 

In 2018, she decided to pursue her master’s degree again, and a year after that was her scheduled oral defense. However, her thesis was deferred.

She had to defend her thesis twice before finally finishing her master’s degree in June 2022. 

Deactivating social media accounts

Sim attended two online review centers, studied six to eight hours a day, and deactivated her social media accounts to focus more on studying.

“Kung ikaw determinado lang gyud ka, ikaw mismo mohatag jud og time,” she said.

(If you are really determined, you will really give it all your time.)

Days before the exams, she visited different churches and prayed hard she’d finish a topnotcher.  She actually prayed  to land in fifth place.

“Kung mangayo ka, specific. Maong wala ko nangayo nga ma top, nangayo ko nga ma top five,” she said. 

(If you ask, you have to be specific. That’s why I didn’t ask to be on the top. I just prayed to be in the Top 5.)

Sim also admitted that doing her duties as a wife and a mother while preparing for the exam was difficult. 

But she managed to succeed because she really wanted to achieve her dreams.

“I really wanted to have the license,” she said.

Despite taking a long time to achieve it, Sim says the important thing is you reached your goal.

She has this advice to those who have had setbacks, too, in their bid to achieve a dream.

“Kung nahunong ka, pwede jud ka mobalik. Kung nadugay ka, pwede gihapon ka mopadayon.”

(If you stop, you can go on. If it takes you a while, you can still continue.)

Sim believes that everyone has his or her  own timeline. She might have delayed her dreams for ten years, but the wait was still worth it.

Sim believes if she had finished her studies earlier, there was a chance that she might not make it to the top. 

Currently, Sim is a well-being coach in a private company and even though she already got her license, she’s still planning to continue the career that she had already started. 



TAGS: education, licensure exams, PRC, topnotcher
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