One thing that CA students love to discuss the most is – “How to clear CA Exams?” Everyone seems to have the best answer but considering the pass percentage, I think the success mantra is yet to be unearthed. I shall now share some tips that worked for me.
For subjects for whom you are taking coaching, try finishing one-time in depth study during the coaching tenure itself.
Ensure that you go through the following publications of the Institute:
a. Revision Test Papers (RTPs)
b. Practice Manual
c. Modules (For subjects like Management Accounting and ISCA)
No wonder if you find the same or almost the same question in your exam. Do pay attention on the content and presentation of answers.
Make Study Plan:
1. Calculate the time (in terms of months) available with you before the attempt.
2. Assess time requirement (in terms of days) for each subject according to your expertise and interests in each of them. Unless you are hard-pressed on time, keep around 12-15 days (of 10-12 hours each) for each subject. Allocate the time according to the “Leaves period” and “Office-going” period.
3. Keep around 5 days for revision before exams. This also acts as a cushion in case you are unable to meet your study timelines.
[I shall be putting another article soon on which books one can refer for self-study]
4. Now make a study plan comprising of the following:
a. Individual Subjects
b. Study Period (From and To)
c. Revision Period
d. Contents to be studied (For example- Study Module, Amendments, Notes etc.)
e. Status (Studied thoroughly/ briefly/ not studied)
The objective here is to ensure that each subject gets due share of time. Also those contents which could not be studied thoroughly may be given adequate importance at the time of revision.
You may either study single subject at a time or take a theoretical and a practical subject together.
Learn but don’t waste time cramming theory subjects:Every time you are studying a theory subject, keep in mind that cram-learning is not required. You only need understanding of the topic along with memorizing only headings (could be in the form of Mnemonics). This way you can save some time.
Focus on all subjects not just few:It is the tendency of few students to focus more on few subjects like Accounts or Financial Management more than anything. They practice numerical problems day in, day out. Rather the objective should be to first take all subjects to a level of say 60 marks. This is because each subject carries equal weightage of 100 marks and each one subject is capable to deny you the successful result. Only once you attain this, you may work to attain expertise in particular subject(s).
Take Power Naps throughout the day: Some people prefer studying till late and some prefer starting early in the morning. Both have their share of merits and demerits. We all would agree that almost throughout the entire day we have numerous thoughts running in our mind which spoils our concentration. But after every sleep, we find ourselves at peace, with our mind calm and relax, not having such multiple thoughts. Here comes the biggest key to my success. I shall sleep six hours at a stretch in night and take 15 minutes power naps- four times a day. I would take these naps whenever I felt lack of concentration.
Utilize Brahma Mahurat:As they say, 4 o’clock to 6 o’clock (morning as well evening) has been called “Brahma Mahurat. Ensure that you plan your study timings accordingly to ensure you utilize this part of the day to enjoy best concentration.
Energize yourself during unproductive hours:Ensure that you do routine chores like bathing, eating etc. only after a study session. This way you can utilize this time to recreate yourself (say by listening music) and get ready for the next study session.
Want a rank? Here’s how:We all desire to get a rank, but how many of us deserve it? Well, my formula has been to study with the following approach:
First Reading- Rough reading to get familiar with the content(including numerical sums) in terms of length and difficulty.
Second Reading- Detailed reading while highlighting important points for learning. Solve practical questions (with proper presentation) on your own. Mark questions with special adjustments(with difficulty/ tricks)for next reading. Make separate notes, if required.
Third Reading- Learning the contents as highlighted, Practice sums with special adjustments. No need for using proper formats as it takes time. List down relevant topics in order of priority for final reading based on their importance and difficulty.
Final Reading-During the exam days, revise the topics as per the attached priority.
Please do pour in with your feedbacks so that I can improve my future write-ups.
Thanks for being a patient reader!
[The author is a PCC Rankholder and has qualified CA Final exams. He can be reached at email@example.com]