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3 Stages of revision for CA Exam success-Attention!Students!

Mythreya , Last updated: 03 February 2010  

Most of the students manage to complete (atleast) once the portions relevant for their attempt. But this is not enough. One needs to do intelligent revision of the same as many times as possible.

One Malayali friend of mine cried to me literally like a small kid, “I did lot of hard work, yet I failed many attempts(3 attempts to be precise)” I replied back in Malayalam(I’m not a Keralite but I can manage Malayalam) “Karayendaam!(Don’t cry) …Lets have a cup of coffee in the Coffee-shop and go for a movie and then Just read one posting(this posting) which I will email you and then you will know!”.I thought this is a better approach than to console him by words.

I took my friend to 3 Idiots movie with a hidden intent to motivate him! I have fwded this email to him also. He felt so relieved seeing the movie and am sure by now he would have read the email.

Such students keep spreading this “disease of diffidence” to everyone. If they are diffident its ok, it will go with them but it also affects everyone who hears these sob-stories. In fact, his room-mate from Alwaye, Kerala left him to his sob-stories and joined another room-mate! Even your own friends will desert you if you keep ranting too much. Be confident and you will attract people, be diffident and you will cry alone in this modern-day world! (Please also note that Research studies done in Laboratories show that negative emotions have found to shrink brain size considerably and affect your intelligence level so it is imperative for a CA student to be positive or risk writing the exams with a smaller brain!(literally!). My own sister who is a research scientist in USA tells me this)

I have taken pity on this person and am giving this posting but this will help not just him but everyone of you, so take heed to the advices which I proffer below.

Here I should say that one must sit and analyze where one has gone wrong in the past attempts. I would say that these students who wail loud and complain at the first drop of the hat ICAI for their fate have not done revision in an organized and systematic manner.

Also, the height of foolishness is to repeat what you have done and expect different results each time. This is the definition of insanity.

Revision is the magic-key to CA success. But you must know how to do it, herein lies the catch.

Have an open-mind here. Don’t start with the thought: “It’s not gonna work for me” If you start with such thoughts, I advice you to stop here itself and close this window/change screen and do something else. I would not side with people who have no confidence or openness in them.

Coming back to the topic of revision: The magic number I have seen for this exam from my personal experience and also of my friends who cleared CA exams is: 3. Yes! If you are able to intelligently revise 3 times any subject that subject ceases to be a problem for you in the exam.

There was one Yogi-siddha in Andhra by name Kavi Yogi Vemana(In every posting of mine,I will try to include some “wisdom-sayings” of great people from all regions to inspire one and all):

He says thus in His Vemana-Shatakam:

Anagananaga raga matisayilluchunundu,

thinaga thinaga vemu tiyyanundu,

sadhanamuna panulu samakuru dharalona,

Viswadhaabhiraama, Vinura Vema!


As you sing (again and again), the melody (raga) excels

(That is why great singers do great Riyaaz)

As you eat Neem-leaves (again and again), it becomes sweeter

With practice, things become perfect

Beloved of the Bounteous, Vema, listen!


Now, I use the word “Intelligent revision” and not merely parrot like all: “Revision”

There is a reason behind this usage. Intelligent revision contains 3 stages which I narrate below"

After studying the portions once, one naturally tends to get lot of queries and doubts in mind.


So a wise student does not rack his head too much on such doubts and difficulties. He or She makes a note of it either in the study-material itself (I recommend putting a question-mark symbol “?” in red ink next to the portion read and then cutting it with green ink once the doubt is resolved) or separately in a note-book. Keep this pending for your First revision. Students get stuck (or think they get stuck) and start wasting time in pusillanimous queries. This has to be reserved for later.

First Revision (Refer stage):

The first revision would incorporate these “Question-marks”, or in other words, the grey areas which you have not understood. You can get it resolved by thinking hard, referencing, verifying with other students/friends, contacting some professor in his or her free time, etc.

This in itself will form a study, in fact an embedded study for your subconscious mind. You will not forget it in the exam.

During this revision phase mark as “IMPORTANT” in red-ink again areas which you feel is important for exam. (Use ABC analysis for this).Do this chapter-wise for all subjects. It’s not going to take much time. Students commit a mistake of doing this in the study phase itself but they can go wrong. Unless they finish the syllabus at least once, they will not know for sure, which areas need concentrating. So this categorizing assay must be renegade to this revision stage.

Second revision (Read Stage):

This is done after the doubts are all resolved. The notes which one has prepared or if one has not prepared the notes—directly from the materials which one has for studies, studying the important areas—Marked “Important” as mentioned in the first revision phase.

One can draw mind-maps, prepare charts to stick on wall to remember, employ mnemonics in this stage to remember things.

Third revision (Research Stage):

This revision phase is where you dig a little deeper (“Running the extra mile”). You might be feeling dissatisfied with certain things in what you read. Dissatisfaction is good, because it shows you have been applying your mind in analysis and not blindly reading and mugging things up. So these areas need to be dealt with by making a small in-depth analysis, reading further, clarifying with extra material like say Bare Act in the case of Legal subjects or compiler or other notes just for some portions in the case of other subjects.

However, one is advised not to waste time on this too much.

So, once this third stage research stage is done. You have done some jolly-good professional justice to what you have read. So, you can wrap-up by revising fast the portions once.

Anything over and above this (say fourth or fifth revision) keeps adding value and inking concepts perfectly in your mind. Also, see to that you allot equal time to all subjects and keep all the subjects in your mind when you are in the final third revision stage and not waste much time in researching.

Now, tell me dear students do those who wail out loud and complain that they have failed the exams, have read like this? Please analyze. 99 out of 100 cases they would not have and yet they spew the venom of diffidence, discouraging others, etc by their wailings. They might be perfectly innocent and not know what they are doing and just ranting about their failures but then fire burns your skin whether the perpetrator attacks you with a smile or with a frown!

So, stay away from such people is all I can advice to students. You are your own best judge! I can afford to help my dear depressed friend, but you have to study and clear the exams and you are carrying your own burden on your head to be bothered about other people’s sob-stories too much.

Maybe if you care for them you can do all of them a favour by forwarding this article for their reference.

Best wishes


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