I submitted an article named ‘constructive preparation for examinations’ in this forum on 27th January 2011. That article was published under the ‘Student’ category. Though it does not relate to any particular subject, there were reasonable views by the students. My other articles on Companies Act, Income Tax, etc., were reached well to the students as well as professionals.
Constructive preparation of a course is crucial for winning the examinations. Successful standing in the profession either in employment or in occupation is far more important than just preparation to win the examinations. Preparation for the course is indispensable. Effective preparation, keeping in view of both examination and the profession is very important. In fact, the chartered accountant course is a binary, composed of practical as well as theoretical aspects. On successful completion of the course, the chartered accountant supposed to possess adept skills of the profession. The entry level professionals are indifferent to industry demands. This is mainly due to their mediocre performance and lack of enthusiasm for learning. Of course, their quench for other professional degrees might be the strong reason for this indifference. The successful standing in the profession requires equipoised preparation for theory and practice. As we know the Chartered Accountancy course is more pragmatic, the entry level professionals as well expected a great deal of dexterity.
I interviewed several freshly qualified candidates for Finance positions at various levels for a large construction company, an ITES company etc. The discussion with them revealed many astonishing facts. I interviewed just not 10 or 20 candidates, but in hundreds. Those who claim experts of a particular skill sets are failed to convince the interviewer. It is better to avoid false experiences. Moreover, further pursuance of parallel professional courses may only dilute the focus. Coverage of vast skills are not the order of the day. Focus of skills is order of the day. Adam Smith principle of specialization holds good very much to our profession even today. Focus of skills on a particular area of interest will fetch more than aimless expansion skills in entire professional domain.
THE CARDINAL RULES MUST BE BORNE IN MIND BY THE ENTRY LEVEL PROFESSIONALS
Avoid want for more:
The professionals are tending to crave for more now. This want for more is diluting their effectiveness for preparation as well as the kick-off of their career. The candidate shall desire for specialization of a particular subject at very inception of their career. It is better if he / she has a notion of specialization in the student days itself. This requires proper counselling of career opportunities as well as passion for specialization of a particular topic. The passion or obsession for a specialization dominates brilliance. If we are obsessive or passionate for a particular topic, the same may put you at successful standing in the profession.
This desire for specialization should stem from the student days itself. The candidate shall select the right path carefully according to his / her interest, keeping in view of opportunities available in the market. Possessing a strong peripheral knowledge of the course provides auxiliary help to the specialized knowledge always.
Get ready for accepting the change:
The science remains same forever but ‘our scientific knowledge’ evolves on each discovery. The technology may change from to time on each new invention. The technology invented now may become obsolete next year.
The finance profession is a kind of dynamic technology consisting various accounting and regulatory tools. That changes according to requirement of the regulatory bodies such as RBI, SEBI, etc. Besides regulatory, the reporting standards, accounting standards, taxation laws, corporate laws are ever dynamic. This pose a greater challenge to the profession as well as the professional. He / she should keep abreast of his specialized knowledge up to date, to stand in the profession.
shape up or ship out is a phrase used in North America suggesting someone to improve their performance or behavior or face being made to leave.
Be a solution and not a problem
An employer hires their employees to be part of their solution. On the other hand, the employees think that a better job opportunity may alleviate all their problems. The one who consider the employment as a gateway for a bright career instead of looking it as a problem solver will succeed better.
Command over English
Good command over English is highly significant for all professionals. Good English is just not possessing grammar or vocabulary. Though grammar and vocabulary are indispensable for good English, the ability to express oneself explicitly with brevity is imperative. Good command over English means peripheral knowledge on literature, religion, science, arts, legal, management, commerce etc. along with strict pronunciation skill of either British English or North American English. Acquisition of this peripheral knowledge of English is possible only through voracious reading of books relating to literature, fiction and non-fiction novels, management, self-help etc. and watching various English movies. Besides management skills, the command over communication and peripheral knowledge over vast area of subjects is important for managing things at the helm.
Proper appearance and demeanor are paramount important besides communication and professional skills.
Last but not the least. The professionals at the helm are required to make decision making. Proper decision making is possible only with right kind of information in the hand. The ability to process of information available on hand skillfully is wisdom.
SPECIAL RULES TO ASPIRING PROFESSIONALS
The success as a student is paramount important. At the same time acquiring the skills required for the professional should also achieved simultaneously as demand by the professional course. This requires development of certain traits, which are given below for the benefit of aspiring professionals
Our muscle also has a memory. What we memorized in the brain are executed through the trained muscles for the purpose. Example: hand muscles memorizes writing, typing, playing tennis, using a mobile, gaming on tab or a smart phone, dialing a telephone etc. Muscle training is essential for memorizing writing skill by the muscle. This helps a lot in the examinations. I do not mean muscle workouts or muscle workout equipment. I just mean training to our muscles on a daily writing practice.
You should prepare thoroughly, that means at least 4 to 5 times each topic both theory and problems.
Practice neat presentation:
You have to practice the presentation of solution in a neat and clean format. You should observe an improvement each time you do.
Practice time bound completion of solution:
As the time given in the examination would not allow you to think at length and present. So, you should thoroughly practice the problems and its presentation to deliver quickly at the examination.
Avoid multiple sources of preparation
Avoid preparation from multiple sources. Stick to the best book or notes apart from suggested / guideline answers. However, you may keep the other books for reference.
Pattern of question paper
Understand thoroughly the pattern of question paper. You may know this from past question papers, suggested / guideline answers or model papers in case of new syllabus. Check for the compulsory questions in each part. Be cautious during the examination, the Institute may change the pattern of compulsory questions.
Once, you receive the question paper, confirm the question paper is same as the pattern that you know.
During the examinations:
Reach the examination hall well in advance. Know about the hall in which you are writing the exams. Read the common instructions of writing the answer sheet beforehand i.e. much before writing the answer sheet.
In the examination hall, complete the formalities, write your roll number, examination particulars etc. Better to write this information before you receive the question paper.
Tough question paper
Do not lose your confidence when you asked to solve the tough or new questions. Remember, you are not the only one do not know answer to such tough or new questions.
Making the choice is very important than preparation for your examinations. Solving the problem is not that important than solving them with good presentation on time.
Avoid choosing the problems that needs to solve at length even if you know them thoroughly. It may consume most the precious time. For example, transportation problem in operations research may consume more than 30 minutes for an average student.
- pleading the examiner;
- striking offs;
- unwarranted page breaks;
- too much line spacing;
- coming out of the examination hall before the scheduled time;
- discussion or argument about the problems that you solved or answers that you written after coming out of the examination hall until you complete your last exam. On finding your mistakes in the examination written, may demotivate yourself and may impact the next examinations; etc.
Handing over the answer sheet
Before handing over the answer sheet check the numbering of answers are proper or not, roll number quoted on the answer sheet as well as on additional sheets, other general information quoted, etc. If time permits review the presentation made on the answer sheets.
Try to remain in the examination hall till last second of the examination.
The result is the final assessment of your efforts that may or may not certifies you as a successful student.
- Do not disappoint much about the result;
- In case of negative result, make an unbiased / fair assessment to know the reasons for failure and take constructive steps to overcome reasons;
- Never hide your failures before your parents, friends, faculty or other well-wishers. This will categorize you as untrustworthy person and may lose moral support;
- Never give up