I assume every student is now aware of the postponement of CA exams once again. Yes, it has again been postponed by ICAI in an announcement dated 2nd May 2020. Now the exams will be starting from 29th July, 2020.
Having said that, Now CA Students have little less than 90 days to restart the exam preparations. I understand it is not easy for us to study in these tough times. We all agree that we cannot utilize our full potential these days. It has been hard for us to simply sit and study while everybody is panicking around us. There has been a shortage of food and medicine supplies and other essential supplies too and we are having a tough time dealing with it. But we all are together in it.
Now in these tough times, when it is hard to focus on studies, one more announcement from ICAI to further postpone CA exams has impacted us a lot, and surely not in a positive way. But we need to consider it as an opportunity rather than an unfavorable event. We have got an opportunity to step back and take a deep breath. Relax, the world is not going to end, neither you nor your loved ones. Lakhs of medical staff are on duty to save the world. We should not think of the negative sides of this pandemic. Rather look at the positives that we have got plenty of time to stay with our family.
Take a deep breath and RELAX. Generally, after every result, I suggest my students take a short break from studies and go on vacations and RELAX. But in these times, I sincerely request you to stay indoors and stay safe. Focus on what you really want in life. Is it only money? Or Big house? or own flat in the metro city? Or 8 figure salary? Or is it excellence?
Think of what motivates you the most? Money, power, freedom? Whatever be it, you only get to have it once you clear this hurdle of CA exams. You cannot multitask, you have to focus on one thing at a time. So before you start focusing on your goal or artistic career, you have to focus on CA exams. A little story, in 8th class I wanted to become an actor, inspired by the people such as Nana Patekar sir, Naseerrudin Shah Sir, and the likes. By the time I was in Class 10th, I made myself believe that I was a damn good actor. My fever for acting was so high that I used to write and memorize famous movie dialogues. In Class 10th, we had CCE pattern in CBSE, so in my final summative assessment exam of Hindi, I was given a roleplay of Lord Parshuram and the scene was of Ramayan when Lord Ram breaks the bow in Goddess Sita’s Swayamvar. I memorized all the dialogues and played the role so well that I was praised by everyone in the school. This opened my way for acting in school. Further in class 11th and 12th, I participated in many stage programs and was praised every time for my performances.
Then Life happened and I appeared for CPT and my acting bug was taken away from me. After I cleared Intermediate, I got to know about articleship. I had to pursue articleship under a chartered accountant. So there was no place other than my dream city, I would settle for. I arrived at my Bollywood city in the dream of pursuing articleship and acting, simultaneously. In the first week of articleship, I realized this is not going to happen, I have to attend long office hours and then study. So there’s no place for acting in my timetable. But I didn’t drop the idea, I decided to pursue acting once I complete my articleship and clear CA exams in the meantime. But I failed in my first attempt. The dream got delayed. But now I studied more dedicatedly in the second attempt, to go back to my dream city. After clearing finals, I was back and appeared for many rounds of auditions. (Rest story on my Quora page)
So, in short, I want to say that you have to find the motivation to study hard consistently and it should be more than what money can offer. For some, it may be showing off to their relatives, for some it is self-respect, for some, it is for a jealous friend, for some it is love revenge, for some, it is heart-break, for some it may be for gaining some dignity in front of parents, for some it may be to make parents proud, for some, it is just that there’s no option. Whatever the reason may be, you need to identify it and remind yourself every day why you are in it, why you want to do it?
This is the time to introspect. Look within and you’ll find all your answers. Or talk to me and I will help you find an answer. You can motivate yourself to study hard for a day, or for a week, but you need external motivation if you want to be consistent for a long time. These 90 days are offering you a second chance to identify your motivation and start studying.
But before starting again, you should RELAX and take a break. But sir, how would I do that? I have been relaxing all these attempts. I was not even studying all these days and all these months. I was relaxing or was sort of relaxing. So how, what you suggest, is different from what already I do? No, you were not relaxing all these days. Definitely, you were not focusing on exams, but certainly, you were not relaxing. Relaxing is what you call the time period between 20th May to 20th July and again from 20th November to 20th January ( or maybe little lesser than that)
Remember that period, no worries, no anxiety, and no stress. That’s life. What you are living now is just a worrisome life. And it is not exactly life. It is just that Kat Rahi hai. But you need to take the steering of your life back in your hand, from your fate. So step back from studies and mail me if you want.
So finally here are your relaxing tips:
- Cutback on studies and remove all your books from your study table. Put them in a cartoon and pack it. So that now you can’t see even a single book or notes in your study room or on your study table.
- Clear your existing playlist and download new songs and taste genres you haven’t tested earlier. It will help your brain to develop new reflexes. And don’t listen to songs online.
- Stop using your Smartphone and laptop for at least 2-3 days. Cut back on video lectures too.
- Now GO TO SLEEP after having your lunch today. Or say whenever you feel like sleeping. Go to Sleep and sleep like a baby for 15 hours at one go. Do this for atleast 1-2 days till you feel you have had enough sleep.
- Now is the time to detoxify yourself from these three poisons- Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram. Deactivate Facebook and Instagram, and delete WhatsApp application. Just do it. You will thank me later for this suggestion. Trust me you will take a sigh of relief, once you take this bold step.
- Now analyze your sleep pattern, how much sleep do you actually need? 7 hours, 8 hours? I think not more than that.
- Now focus on your health. And trust me only way to do that is waking up early. Wake up early and practice yoga and meditation (easier said than done) so for this, you can contact me for what shall be part of your meditation and yoga session. And if not able to wake up early, meditate in the evening between 6 to 7 PM.
- Now take up one activity or say take up one passion which you were really good at or are really interested in learning. Start with a new painting, or write small story, or write a new poem, or sketch or guitar, or cooking, or psychology, or chess, or signing, or dancing, whatever may it be. Practice your passion for 2-3 days continuously. And while you’re at it, don’t catch any new addictions like TV Series or like.
- Remember we agreed on not using smart phones and laptops at all, so after 2-3 days or atmost a week, you’ll realize you are missing something or someone.
- Now at this point we have to decide in life what we want in life. Ask yourself what will you do after clearing ca exams? Where would you go? Job and money? Is that it? You don’t want to be successful or what? But sir getting a job is success, right? Yes, definitely but what after that?
- Slowly after a week you’ll realize, you miss something. You are missing your books, isn’t it? Yes, because you are addicted to your books. You are addicted to learning and that is what will lead you to success.
- Forget about the time dimension and whenever you feel like it’s the time, pick up one subject and one topic which you’re missing the most and want to study further in detail. Only take out that book and study that one particular topic, not because it will be tested in exam, rather because you want to know about it, you want to study.
- Slowly and steadily, you will miss all other subjects and you’ll start realizing that studying is easy and interesting.
Now start studying because it interests you and not for the results. For once, we will study for excellence. We will study this attempt not for clearing but for building basic block of our knowledge. And trust me the attempt in which you think of studying for building basics and not focus on exams, will be your last attempt. So, by cutting back on studies and Internet for atleast a week, we will be charging our minds and body for studying with better focus and interests. I cannot insist more on importance of meditation on your studies and lives.
So wake up early tomorrow and take a yoga mat and go to terrace and just sit silently for 10-15 minutes without thinking of anything. Keeping your mind, quiet. This is meditation. And don’t worry about neighbors and family that they will judge you. Yes, they will judge you but after a week of your consistency, they will be jealous of you. And cut back on facebook, insta scrolling. Focus on your art, your passion and after a week slowly your mind will ask you to study and not waste time on anything and at that time, start studying to build your knowledge empire and not for exams.
CA Exam is not just an exam, it is a mind game and every other attempt ICAI tends to win it. But only few are able to defeat ICAI and those are called Freshly Qualified Chartered Accountants. Train your mind.
The author can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The author is Nov'17 qualified CA and is currently guiding CA students in exam preparations. He is successfully running online guidance/counseling sessions from last 1 year and can be contacted via mail)
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