How I started my Masters Degree in Philippine Normal University

How I started my Master’s Degree in Philippine Normal University

I was intently listening to the Resource Speaker when my classmate told me that we should get a Master’s Degree. The person on the podium that time was a successful professor from Philippine Normal University. Her every word was full of wisdom and inspiration for graduating students like us.

“After we graduated in this course, we should take the Licensure Examination for Teachers first.”

“Yes, and after that, we are going to work in a public school” my classmate responded.

“Then, when we already have enough money, let us enroll for a Master’s Degree,” I told her with an affirmation that we really must enroll.

After a year teaching in a private school, I decided to contact a friend of mine. She graduated in Philippine Normal University. I know she would be of great help for me.


It was on the 23rd of April when I, together with my friend Meliza, went to Manila to make an inquiry in Philippine Normal University. 

How did I start my Master Degree in Philippine Normal University

A sense of excitement gushes forth within me by merely seeing the old university from the window of the train. It always feels good that once again, I would be a student in a university.

We took off at UN Avenue Station and crossed to the other side of Taft Avenue. We walked towards Save More Supermart and passed the university belt. Philippine Normal University (PNU) was just beside Technological University of the Philippines (TUP). 

The building’s facade was painted subdued yellow. The digits 1901 was painted near the top of the building, indicating the year it was established. There were a few people inside the university. We saw different images of PNU taken from different angles enclosed in a glass case. There was also a large monitor which showed prominent people who had made significant contributions to the university. On its right side was a corridor that led to the different offices. On the other side was a stairway used to go to the upper floor. We walked in the direction of the Admission Office. In front of it are bulletin boards which display information for both graduate and undergraduate students. We asked the staff inside the Admission Office about the requirements needed to submit for a Master Degree. After a week, we went there again to submit our requirements and to undergo an interview.

How did I start my Master Degree in Philippine Normal University

How did I start my Master Degree in Philippine Normal University


One of the requirements to be admitted to the university is to pass the GCAT. So, what is GCAT? It stands for Graduate College Admission Test. I took the exam on May 15, 2010. Meliza and I agreed to meet at the train station at exactly 7 in the morning that day. 

How did I start my Master Degree in Philippine Normal University

How did I start my Master Degree in Philippine Normal University

We arrived at the university at 7:45 and that time I already felt butterflies in my stomach.  Since Philippine Normal University was my friend’s Alma Mater, we did not find any difficulties in looking for the assigned room. It was on the second floor of the building. Finally, we were at the doorstep of Room 206. There were still few vacant seats.  The proctor instructed us to check for our name first on the door. Our names were there so we proceeded inside the classroom. We prepared Mongol no. 2 pencil and our examination permit .

The proctor checked all the examination permits and gave us the test questionnaire. It was composed of general and cloze test in English and in Filipino, reading comprehension, math and logic test. I taught history and I was able to answer questions on general category easily. I still remember my answers there such as the Ikebana and other tourist attractions on different countries.  It took me a long time to answer the cloze and reading comprehension test. When it was Math and the logic part already, I felt so nervous that I whispered a silent prayer that God may guide me in answering those. I did not pass the test right away after I finished it, instead, I used the remaining time to review my answers. I checked all the items to make sure I did not skip any number. That has been always my technique in taking an exam. If I cannot figure out what is the correct answer, I just make a wise guess.

It was exact 11 AM when I passed my test paper. When I went out of the room, Meliza and I chatted about our answers on the test. I kept on asking her about some items in Math such as how many weeks are there in 3 years and some questions in linear equations. Math is really my waterloo. I don’t know why but numbers really do make me dizzy. After that, my friend and I agreed to go to Quiapo church to pray. That day went fine to both of us.


May 22nd was the date when we found out the result of our GCAT examination. The proctor who had been there with us while taking the GCAT gave us the telephone number and the website of PNU if we could not go to the university to check the result. I grimaced slightly in disgust when I thought about the information he gave us. The PNU website was not always updated and it was a bit difficult to contact them through a phone. I did try all those things when I was inquiring for a Graduate Degree but it was futile. I thought that the best way was to visit the university. Since my younger sister will be going to PNU on that date, I just asked her to check the result. She left home early in the morning because she had to buy some stuff to Divisoria. After that, she went to PNU to check the result and also do some school activities there. She arrived 8:00pm and I was doing my online job that time. I heard her hurried footsteps from the living room. She was beaming with happiness when she told me that I made it, I passed my GCAT exam. I was overjoyed and speechless. My worries about the result had gone. My parents soon forgot their anxieties and were also elated to the good news. I enrolled there May 28th and that was the start of my MA life.

 How I Started My Masters Degree in Philippine Normal University


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Ana Rose Alvaro

Ana Rose was born and raised in the Philippines. A full-time teacher and a part-time student. She loves her simple and yet adventurous life with her wonderful family, great friends, and supportive boyfriend. Roads and Pages serves as her outlet to share what she loves to do the most in her life. Those are spending time with people who matter the most, reading books, and traveling one country at a time.


  1. Hi. Thanks Ana for sharing your experiences you had during your application for graduate school. I felt your excitement when you knew you’ve passed the GCAT exam. Can you also share your experiences and tips how you finished the program? I am now currently studying my MA in Early Childhood program in PNU as well. Thank you.

  2. Congratulations! So, I came across your site while looking for blogs about “PNU Masteral courses” and I found it very helpful! Thanks!
    I am considering to have my Masters in PNU too because it is the only university (except UP) that offers the course that I want. Could you share some tips on taking the GCAT? It has been two years since I graduated and I am not that confident on taking entrance tests again especially Math too! 🙂 Thanks!
    Anyways, I wish you all the best on your Masteral journey!

      1. Geez! What is happening to me?! Hahaha. I said it correctly the first time. I cannot delete or edit my comment so here I am apologizing again. 🙂 Thank you again!

    1. Hi Aelisha! Thanks for dropping by here. I already graduated from my Masters Degree. I took GCAT last 2010. I am not really that good in Math, so I am very thankful that I passed it. Just do your best, collect all the review materials that you have and don’t forget to trust in yourself. You can do it! 🙂

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  6. Always aiming to improve ourselves is one goal we should never put aside. The gift of education is really important. I, too, took master’s degree but sadly when I got pregnant, I wasnt able to continue. It has been one of my regrets.

  7. I always believe in the quality of education at Philippine Normal University and the graduates it produces. I often find the students there too passionate. I have seen them grow and spread their wings outside the classroom. They truly love teaching. They find it as their vocation. I also see that passion in you.

  8. Congratulations! I can almost imagine how you must have felt when you found out that you passed the GCAT. I was also extremely happy when I found out I passed the entrance exam for MBA-Regis at the APS. Unfortunately, due to unavoidable circumstances I was not able to finish my Masters. I wish you all the best so you can finish your Master’s Degree. I heard it’s really important especially for those in the academe. Cheers!

  9. Congratulations! This is a great step in life and you should be proud of this achievement, While it might be a stressful time it will all be worth it in the end. I wish you all the best and plenty of success.

  10. Congrats on your MA, have you completed it? I just attended the Education summit last Nov 3-4, and I found out that public schools are receiving better pay than their private counterparts (unless top tier school).

    Good luck in your career!

    1. Sonnie,

      It is my understanding that the term top tier school when it comes to salary for teachers is BS. For instance, my kids attend Xavier School. The teachers there swear that most of them receive entry level salaries as opposed to public schools.

      It sort of burst my belief that top schools with expensive tuition can pay higher wages, better than average that is. For most teachers, and I think Ana Rose can confirm this, wages in public schools are better, but for one to get into public schools, sometimes (or more often) one needs a padrino.

      1. When it comes to salary, a public school teacher earns a bigger amount compared to those who are teaching in private institution. I am just not sure of those teachers in top tier schools. Aside from that, public school teachers also have its monthly allowance and receive a lot of benefits as well.

        1. Ana/ Robert,

          If top tier schools treat their teachers that way, they will soon lose them to public schools. But a friend in public school says “mataas nga sweldo, dami naman trabaho. matagal bago mag increase at malabo din career growth”.

  11. Congratulations on you Masters! Good luck as well with it. I’m also pursuing my post-grad degree and the anxious feeling of not knowing the results once killed me too. I was nervous at the time since I only tried to apply in one school. Hahaha. Anyway, I’m both stressed and happy with the journey. I hope you’ll succeed in your chosen path! 🙂

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