VINCENT Casona Bayawa, 22, almost lost all his motivation to study for the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) Secondary Level after it had been postponed several times because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Bayawa, a Cebu Normal University alumnus, admitted that his motivation to study came back just a week before the examination.

To supplement his studies, Bayawa turned to praying the rosary on a daily basis.

On Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, Bayawa, who hails from Danao City, woke up to congratulatory messages after he ranked first in the teachers’ licensure exam in the whole country which was held two months ago.

“To be honest, my LET preparation was not easy. It may sound unreal, but I was able to focus on reviewing one week only before the exam. I have worked as a call center agent since June and I am having my masteral classes every weekend so sneaking time to review was really hard,” he told SunStar Cebu in an interview.

Bayawa said it came to a point where he even prayed to be part of the second batch of takers as he felt that he was not ready.

To make matters worse, Bayawa said he was only granted a few days of leave just to prepare for the exam.

“With God’s guidance and grace, I was able to maximize those remaining days to cram everything with the hope that everything I studied will come up during the day of the exam,” he said.

To calm his nerves, Bayawa said he would eat chocolates while studying. He said the practice has helped him review for major exams even during his undergraduate studies.

“I also take plenty of fluids and eat healthy foods. I was alone during my review as I was staying in the city so I made sure to keep myself healthy. Also, I prayed a lot. My ninth rosary was on the day of the exam. I truly believe that prayer works,” he said.

Bayawa admitted he felt calm during the exam even without taking breakfast and lunch.

“I only brought chocolate and 1 bottle of water with me. I decided to fast during the exam which I won’t recommend for the next takers. I feel weak but I kept myself focused on taking the test. Luckily, I did not lose my composure and remembered what I studied,” he said.

To those who plan to take the LET in the future, Bayawa urged them to never doubt themselves.

“No dream is too big for a big dreamer. I do believe that our mind is very powerful that as long as we believe, we can. You surely can do it. Above all, trust God’s plan above yours. Let God be in control of everything,” he said.