This is one of my favorite topics to talk about. I do not like ‘gyan’, so I would not talk about work hard, motivation, positive attitude – you have heard more than you want to hear about these.
So what I am going to talk about is some of my experience while preparing for the exams and the common mistakes one should avoid.
1. Waiting until the Preparation Leave: Well this is a no brainer but the most common mistake. You need to start early and spend time on the entire syllabus. Last 2-3 months are not enough to study well.
In theory, one must always go for both the groups; you get a chance to score a merit; something you would cherish all your life and not to mention the setoff, just in case. If you start late then it becomes progressively more difficult to aim for both the groups.
2. Ignoring ICAI’s Study Material: ICAI’s commitment at least in theory, is to stick to the concepts/course in the study material it provides (I know this is debatable but that’s not the point of my writing at the moment), so ignoring the material entirely would not to do any good to you.
I understand, some of the materials are mediocre at best, but still flip through them once, when you study the subject first time. Mark out if you find something interesting and testable on the exams. This might give you some easy 5-10 marks on exam and all of you know, how important these marks are.
3. Overreliance on Coaching: With due respect to all the coaching providers; they are doing a great job but your exams are your responsibility. The most stupid excuse you can ever give for failing the exams is the lack of support from coaching classes.
“They did not complete the course on time “ ….“they did not clear my doubts” – Nobody cares guys, it is your responsibility and you cannot delegate it.
4. Overanalyzing Scanner: Okay, you found that pattern- yes they are asking for a question on Valuation every third attempt – brilliant!
Now, relax and leave the prediction job to the pro(s) and we think about the task on hand. Do not try to predict or outsmart ICAI. “Kyunki CA bhi kabhi article tha” (….okay, it was a bad one).
The scanner is there to help you understand what the important topics are and what type and level of questions, ICAI prefers to ask and not to predict how the exam paper would look like in the next attempt.
5. Not solving the practical questions like exams: Are you one of that rare breed that likes to study practical papers without solving questions and only seeing solutions given in the books? Then stop it.
Only solving in the classes or “yes I draw rough accounts”, also doesn’t count. You need to start solving the questions on your own completely and in a reasonable presentation format because that’s how you are supposed to be doing it on the exams.
6. Trying to substitute key topics: There are certain topics in each subject without mastering them, you cannot clear the exams and this is true howsoever hard you work on the other topics.
So never try to think that you can score on the other topics and substitute for the important ones. It doesn’t work. So even if you are finding these topics difficult, you have to get them.
7. Not doing at least one mock exam: This is something most of the people do not try. You should try to solve minimum one mock exam, at least for the practical papers. It would give you a very good idea for time management on the exam. Take the mock exam like the real exam with the aim of scoring maximum you can in 3 hours rather than trying to solve everything.
Look forward to your feedback.