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CA Final SFM Tips for students appearing in May'17 Exams

sree harsha , Last updated: 30 March 2017  

Thanks for all those views, likes, follows, comments for my previous articles 'The Ultimate Guide to CA-Final' and 'Subject wise tips to people appearing for Group-1'. If anyone is reading my article for the first time please refer my previous 2 articles as I won't be repeating things mentioned in my previous articles as current article is a continuation to my previous articles. Before I start about SFM I am mentioning some issues which I realized while writing my pre-final exam for FR yesterday in the revision exam batch I joined:

1. While preparing have a hour wise schedule coolregarding the no. of pages or topics to be covered because if u don't maintain the same u are going to end up not studying some topics .I faced the same situation as I am not able to revise the whole FR in the given time of 4 days preparation for us.

2. If the paper was easy don't feel overexcitedblush because the job is not done yet during the 15 minutes of reading I realized paper was easy so I started thinking that I will clear exam in this attempt and about the trips I planned after the examangelcut after 3 hours. I know answers for 94 marks paper but I eventually wrote only 68 marks sad but that's how the mind works so be alert during exam.

3. The 15 minutes reading is very crucial just like the 3 hour exam time, you have to find the out the sequence of answering, choice, and should be able to read the whole question paper at least 1 time in those 15 minutes so develop the habit of speed reading.

4. We are not supposed to write anything on the question paper but marking is very crucial especially for practical subjects so what I suggest is write roll no. on the first page of question paper and don't mark anything on first page, mark on remaining pages and if an invigilator or center in-charge comes near you, turn to first pagesurprise. 99% of cases no one will question you especially in final unless you land in some trouble like talking with others during exam etc.

5. Get an additional paper even before finishing the main booklet and write 'rough work' on the top and write the answers roughly for questions which you are not sure of striking off will have a bad impact on paper valuer.

6. We have 180 minutes in total so leave the last 30 minutes for re-checking, contingencies so we have to finish the exam before 150 minutes i.e. 2 hour 30 minutes, every 1 mark you have 1.5 minutes so we have to finish a 16 marks question in 24 minutes, 8 marks in 12 minutes and 4 marks in 6 minutes and 5 marks in 7 minutes.

7. Get a digital watch instead of analog watch because even seconds become crucial during last 30 minutes.

Above matters may sound small but it does matter at least for me. These small matters will have an impact and will land u in that painful range of 150 to 199 marks and missing it by aggregate.

Paper- 2 : Strategic Financial Management:

The favourite subject for students interested and wanting to make a career in finance at the same time it is also a nightmare for some students…the problem with SFM is the scope of asking questions from remote conceptsindecision due to huge number of concepts like in Nov-16 a problem is asked in portfolio about systematic and unsystematic risk…everyone will study the theory question which is important but they won't have at least a look at the practical problem leading to loss of marks plus there is no fixed weightage in SFM frown like FR in one attempt they will ask huge amount of marks from portfolio and derivatives and in another attempt there won't be much weightage. The following points are crucial in SFM:

  • Maintaining a short notes on formulas for revision
  • Coverage of all the chapters
  • Solving the problem and not auditing
  • Reading theory

I am repeating the same thing again.Whatever reference book you follow the following are mandatory:

PM+5 Suggested Answers+3 RTPs and MTPs+ problems in institute SM

Chapter-wise Weightage & Analysis:

As per the trend of last 5 attempts I am dividing the whole syllabus into 3 parts:


Dividend Decisions,  Mutual Funds, Mergers, Acquisitions and Restructuring, Foreign Exchange Exposure and Risk Management and all theory chapters like Money Market Operations etc.

  • You will get questions for around 70 to 75 marks from the above chapters.
  • So you have to get a minimum of 40 marks from these chapters.
  • Most the above chapters are easy compared to chapter mentioned in other parts and they won't trouble you much during preparation and reading them will give value for your time and effort in terms of marks.
  • Don't skip any chapter from the above mentioned chapters otherwise your going to land in trouble
  • The first question u write in exam should be 7th question which is theory to save time, and chances of committing error is less compared to problem and out 5 questions 3-4 questions are directly from PM so no contingency will be there.


Project Planning and Capital Budgeting, Leasing decision including cross border leasing, Security Analysis, Portfolio Theory and Asset Pricing

  • You will get questions for around 40 to 45 marks from the above chapters.
  • So you have to get a minimum of 20 marks from these chapters.
  • Most the above chapters are lengthy and involve more no. of concepts and it will take more time and effort.
  • Out of these in portfolio one 16 marks question is being asked from portfolio so don't skip it at any case.
  • Capital Budgeting is already covered in IPCC so if you don't have time at least do PM which can be done in half day.  



In recent attempts this chapter is being ignored by paper setters and they are asking 1 theory question and they are clubbing futures and options with Forex problems i.e. currency futures and options…preparing derivatives completely takes the maximum amount of time than any other chapter in SFM so like IND AS in FR those who skip derivatives are definitely at risk including me. The last time they asked it for good amount of marks is in Nov-13 I reckon hence 'Derivatives is like a hidden Land Mine' devilwhich can blast in any attempt, the only remedy for those who skip it is to prepare the remaining chapters perfectly.

Happy Readingsmiley.

I'll post my tips for the remaining subjects on the following dates:

Auditing : 3rd April
Law : 7th April

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sree harsha
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