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Clearing IPCC Exams in the first attempt!!

Sanat Biswal , Last updated: 01 October 2015  

1. Preparation days(Group-1)

After clearing CPT in the very first attempt in June 2013,I was very much confident and satisfied with my efforts as well. But, this time it was a bigger fish to catch and needed more dedication and sincerity as well. The most important question that had to be answered was “HOW DO I MAKE IT THROUGH IPCC IN THE FIRST ATTEMPT AS WELL”?

When I received the study materials and compared the volume and content of the chapters with CPT syllabus I could realize the hell and heaven differences of CPT and IPCC and for the first time I could tell why did people consider CA as a tough course. I made a schedule of how to complete the syllabus in time, keeping sometime in hand for revision and made a timetable to be followed from morning to evening weekly during the preparatory days. I had made up my mind to go for group-1 first. The plans were made to convince myself that my approach was not going out of sight for clearing IPCC group-1 in the very first attempt itself. But, I as it’s said everything always planned out doesn’t necessarily end up well as well.

Gradually I joined coaching as well. The guidance I received from my teachers for each and every subject was superb and I didn’t face much difficulties in learning the concepts. The daily schedule was more rigorous and tiring as compared to CPT and it was from morning till night. Even though CPT was not so tough mentally and physically, IPCC showed its true colors of what CA really i.e. single class not attended would be a huge loss and it was difficult to catch the concepts next time. IPCC phase taught me how to adapt to all situations.

There would be a break of 10 minutes in the afternoon time for lunch in between classes and we had to attend 3 or sometimes 4 classes at a stretch of 3 hours each. We had to let everything in taught for the day and had very less time to revise it back. Slowly I adapted to the changing pace. Apart from the regular classes, which was extremely tiring I had to give the best efforts, back at home to keep the concepts learned intact. A few days break from studies proved to be very fatal and I had to begin the concepts once again. The classes went on for a long duration of time and any festive occasions like HOLI,DIWALI,PUJAS etc. seemed to had lost importance in my life and I couldn’t just enjoy such occasions and had no hangouts or movies and any sort of fun either with friends. My focus was on only one thing and that was IPCC(GR-1) IN THE VERY FIRST ATTEMPT.

I didn’t leave any stone unturned in my preparations unfinished and prepared the concepts very well and practiced tremendously. Meanwhile I had begun to study late night as well and the midnight studies extended sometimes till 2am and sometimes even went on till late night 3am.It was then when I knew the true meaning of burning the “midnight oil” Along with all this was the regular B.Com exam needs and I had to manage both ends properly. Amidst all this I felt a bit sad for missing out on all occasions of festivities and joy in my life, but at the same time I was aware that I was on a path chosen by me and I had to justify my own decision and had to give my 100% efforts, no matter what it demands.

As the time went on came MAY 2014 term exam. I wasn’t ready at that moment as all the plans made didn’t work out well and I was not 100% ready in CAFM paper. So, I decided to drop that attempt and didn’t fill up the form.

Then the remaining 6 months was a breather for me as I had finished the classes and it was time for revision of the concepts learned. Practiced as much as possible in that time and tried to make the best utilization of time. As NOV 2014 approached, the same old feeling of nervousness and tension gripped over me and I was making the last minute preparations before appearing for all that I had worked so hard post CPT.

2. IPCC Group-1 exam(NOV 2014)

It was another period of time as the exams were nearing very close and though I had made best preparations I still needed a few more days to make it even better. I think it was always a need of every CA student to give a few more days in the end when the exams are nearer. I felt as if the time was running very fast and the sand in the jar was falling way too fast than I was expecting.

Eventually the first exam date was just a week away in the calendar and I gave mock test papers at that time and tried to give 2-3 papers each day so as to find out how much am I able to answer in 3 hours time slot. I was performing ok, and it went satisfactory .Practiced the RTP’S ,previous attempts papers and few other mocks as well. Prior to that I had given mock test papers conducted by ICAI in my branch and I had fared very bad marks in those papers. That had created a setback in my mind that this attempt wouldn’t go as expected. However I had increased my efforts during last few days prior to the exams and hoped for something good this time.

a) Accounts (8th Nov 2014)

Then came the day awaited so much. It was 8th Nov 2014.The first paper being accounts was very important to set the flow for remaining papers. Reached the exam center in time for the exam. As the papers were distributed everyone were busy looking what ICAI wanted us to answer. I found that the paper was ok type and that it can be scored in the range of 60-70 marks if one answers properly following the proper guidelines. I was really nervous when the papers were initially distributed and tried my best to keep my calmness and composure as much as possible during those initial moments of 15 mins reading time. Answered the questions to the best possible extent and tried to complete the full question paper in time. In the last one hour I had both 16marks sq. left and I tried to hurry to complete both sets of questions. No matter how much you practice at home, you make mistakes in exam(silly mistakes), which consumes a lot of time. The same happened with me as well and I made mistakes in the end. But,somehow I managed to attempt 95 odd marks with an expectation of an exemption in the worst case scenario.

b) Law (10th Nov 2014)

The law paper was really tiring for me as I had to do the ethics and communication part once again from very beginning from practice manual. It was very much tiring on my part and I had grasp all the sq. from practice manual in between those 2 days gap from accounts to law exam. I was not confident in other parts apart from ethics and comm. Section. In the exam hall I was hoping for a good set of ethics, comm. Set of sq. for me so as to take maximum benefit out of it. Luckily, the paper was a breather for me in the ethics comm. Section. Answered all such sq. in the same language as practice manual. For other parts I had to struggle really hard to find its answers as I had not prepared well for that. But, the sq. were pretty good. I was hoping for a mere 40 to pass the exam somehow as the exam though set easy was ok for me only in the ethics comm. Section.

c) CAFM (12TH Nov 2014)

I was low in confidence by that time as law paper was creating nerves in my mind and was hoping for a mere 40 marks to pass the paper. I felt a bit low on confidence than before in CAFM by that time due to average law paper. Managed to read somehow during those 2 days gap for CAFM and remembered the basic formulae of various chapters. Tried my best to assimilate as much concepts as possible in that minimum time frame due to a voluminous syllabus. In the exam I prayed to god to give a paper, which can setoff the loss for law paper and could increase my marks above the 50% target range.

YIPPEE!!!!!That was the first instant reaction on seeing the paper when I got the paper in hand. I could find that all 100 marks was in my radar. Even the theory sq. were such sq., which I had read in the morning itself before the exams. I was in a sort of dilemma of which sq. to go for first and couldn’t make up mind to attempt which sq. first. It created an adrenaline rush in my body and I was just waiting for 2pm to begin. Sometimes in such a mood of happiness, we do make huge mistakes. So, I controlled myself and kept my focus on the paper properly. The feeling at that time is unexplainable and I forgot all the past papers and how bad they were for me. As the exam began I answered keeping 1.8 mins for each mark. Finished 70 marks attempt within 2 hours or so. Then  I made a few mistakes time and again in the calculations but adjusted in the end really.

It was like a T20 match for me where I was managing to keep the run rate as low as possible to meet the target in the end. The result was undecided till the last ball. Finally I stopped when the invigilator snatched my paper and I tied up 2 extra sheets taken for the exam. My hand was paining and I tried to rest for sometime. I had attempted 95 marks and was expecting 80 out of it for sure. I was very relaxed while going back and found that I need to score a mere 40 in tax in the worst case to find a PASS in the results.

d) Tax (23rd Nov 2014)

After CAFM I was feeling very relaxed as the paper was fabulous and was much above my expectations. I could estimate a sure shot 80 from that. But, still the battle was not completely won as one more paper was still left. I had prepared DT section well enough to score something but IDT part was still not covered very well. I was tensed for that and was thinking of how to cover up within 2 days for the exam.

When I reached home I got the news that the tax paper has been postponed. The postponement of the exam itself was a booster and it provided me the confidence once again to tackle the exam with ease. I got to the books immediately and started off with IDT first. It was for the first time that we had CENVAT,CST,and EXCISE in our syllabus apart from regular VAT and S.Tax. So, I was completely unaware of the pattern to be asked in the exam and so I also got through the theory part extensively and tried to memorize as much theory as possible. Studied really hard during those 6-7 days gap due to postponement of the exam and in the end I found I had all the theories in memory and had gone through other concepts pretty well. The shifting of the exam dates was a blessing in disguise for me and I was filled with confidence for the tax paper.

The exam was not so tough and was similar to the CAFM paper and the IDT section was superb. DT part was sort of OK. Unfortunately there was not much theory sq. from what I had studied. However,the exam was satisfactory and I expected an exemption in the paper.

The last few weeks was really tensed as the IPCC exams clashed with B.Com exams. I had to give B.Com exams in the morning and Ipcc in the afternoon. I had to attend to both the needs and it kept me on my toes all the time. It was an unforgettable week.

The very next day after the exams, I felt as if I had seen a new sun for the first. The air seemed fresh and I felt I was relieved of a huge burden. It was an unforgettable experience compared to what I had been in the past few days.

3. IPCC Group-1 results(Feb 2015)

I expected a PASS in the worst case scenario and had thought of at least 250+ in totality. But, I was scared of the law paper as it hadn’t been upto my expectations. On the day of the result I was glued to the internet and TV all the time to know when the results are going to be declared.

Then, as the site said IPCC results were declared, I was feeling really nervous and by that time I could feel by heartbeat. When I hit on the results after giving the roll no., it said roll no. doesn’t exist, I was shocked to see such a reply.

‘Then, I found that I had hit in the wrong section. Then I hit the proper section and I had closed my eyes by that time and when I opened, it was the same feeling once again felt in CPT, but even bigger than that. I was feeling on top of the world by that time when I saw a PASS on the results. It was the most satisfying and convincing word for any CA student appearing in any exam, be it CPT,IPCC or the FINALS.I was thanking to god and closed my eyes for a flashback of the efforts that I had put for clearing these 4 papers of IPCC.I was deeply satisfied by my efforts as my results were not ordinary and it showed a total of 281/400.Nothing can give you the same feeling that I had felt at that time. Everyone was happy at home and the news was spread to the near and dear ones within sometime. I got numerous calls of congratulations and from those who had not supported me when I had decided to go for CA. Many said it was the best decision that I had made in my life ever and the success was an extraordinary one. I was patting myself for being so consistent and clearing both the levels in the very first attempt and that too so convincingly. But, all this had not come so easily, I had to sacrifice a lot of things for this. But, when you have a PASS in the results of any CA exam, nothing else comes to your mind apart from the success.

The same old question came to mind, ”KYA CA KARNA SAHI CHOICE THA”??The answer was coming from deep within in a certain YES.

I had never ever thought of 281,though I expected to pass. But, everything came good in the end. I felt really fortunate to be a part of such a profession as it had taught me so much of how to be strong and take bold decisions in various parts of life.

4. Preparation days(Group-2)

The success of IPCC(GROUP-1) by such a huge margin had given me a boost of confidence and I got back to the preparations of group-2 exams. Although previously I had made a lot of plans, this time around I wasn’t so serious and consistent as before but somehow I managed to keep my flow of studies intact. I prepared everything from self studies and didn’t take any sort of coaching as done before. The routine was not so rigorous as before and I prepared everything at my own convenience. I had one thing in the back of my mind,”Group-2 bhi ek hi baar me paar karna he””Dusre baar to mujhe iske liye bethna hi nahin he”,no matter what may come.

5. IPCC Group-2 Exam(May 2015)

The exams approached really fast and the time went by really fast. I was trying hard to complete the syllabus in time and I even had my final year B.Com exams coinciding with the IPCC exams. I t was really tough this time to manage everything again.

a) Advanced Accounts(12th MAY 2015)

The advanced accounts paper was ok and I could attempt a full 100 marks paper in time. Though it wasn’t easy to go for 100 marks but, I was confident on all questions other than 16 mark question attempted. The first paper from group-2 was a breather and it provided the necessary boost of confidence for the audit paper.

b) Audit(14th May 2015)

The audit paper preparation was not quite upto the mark prior to the exams and I had just been through its concepts once and had kept it till the last few days before exams. I tried my best to cover up the question from practice manual itself and it was an extensive study session between advanced accounts paper and audit paper. I was on a mission to make my best preparations for audit paper before the exam and to make up for the mistakes made in the past for leaving audit till end. Actually self study can be boring sometimes especially for the theory papers and I was exactly facing such a situation. However the exam went pretty well and I found nearly all the sq. straight from the practice manual itself. I was relieved as the paper turned up to be an easy one and I was really happy that the efforts showed some results.

c) ITSM(16TH MAY 2015)

The main hindrance was still the ITSM paper as its was the last challenge before me for clearing group-2.I knew the battle was still half won and I had to make sure I get through the ITSM paper convincingly as well.

But, the scenario for ITSM was pathetic with absolute zero studies for it before the exams. I blamed myself for being so careless and keeping the theory paper till the end. I kept saying that this was merely an exam and I needed to show a positive attitude to get through it. I had proved myself twice before this exam, once in CPT and IPCC(Group-1) when I had faced a similar situation before as well.

Keeping my hopes alive I prepared really very hard and covered as much concepts as possible from practice manual. It was a tough time for me and I tried to avoid all sorts of distractions and kept saying myself everything will be fine ahead. I went above my limit of studying and promised myself to not let it go at any moment. The preparation went on well and I could complete both IT AND SM sq. just in time, but not so convincingly though. Meanwhile I had even my final semester exam on 16th morning as well. I managed it and kept my focus on ITSM at 2’o clock on the same day. The ITSM paper was very easy as all the sq. were asked from practice manual once again, but this time I had to struggle very hard to extract the answers to those question from my mind .

I was not connecting properly with my mind as I was constantly forgot the answers remembered a few minutes back. I was feeling really nervous if I could make it through when the clock struck 3:30pm.I found out that I had to be calm as that the only remedy at that point of time. Half of the students had left the hall in disappointment and the remaining half were in similar situation like me. It was a pathetic feeling, but CA is all about this.”

"JO DARR GAYA,SAMJHO WOHIN HAAR GAYA”.ICAI wants to test how strong is your temperament, whether you have all it takes to make it to the other end or not. I was ready for anything and was not in a mood to quit either. When the question are asked which are known to you around 30-40% and time is running out really fast, you can feel the heat and the pressure of making it through the exam properly. I somehow managed to answer as much question as possible and just attempted some question for namesake even I didn’t knew a single word about it.

Overall among all the papers, the ITSM paper was not upto the mark and I was not confident about it. But, I knew I had given my possible best efforts before the exams and perhaps if not ICAI, then god would have mercy on me to let me through the exams with a clean result. Keeping that hope in my heart the next 2 months passed away.

6. Results (31st July 2015)

I didn’t check the results first, but instead my brother had all my details. In my life all my brother has always checked the results that always mattered first. So, I  wanted him to check first.

Guess what!!!It was again the result that I expected. A total of 192/300 was what he told me over the phone. I had no words to explain at that time. A lot of my friends had not cleared even the first group and had to sit for another attempt. While I had cleared both the groups successively in the very first attempt itself. I recollected the past memories of 3 years that had gone by and the dream that I had set to be a CA one day, and when I assessed my performance graph so far it was more than convincing.

I had scaled half of the journey so early being from a science background and very much on my efforts with an exemption in all of the 7 out of 7 papers faced. It was exactly where I wanted to be 3 years back and where I stood at that time 3 years after that.

The best thing about CA is the feeling you get when you see your name displayed among a few people who have made it through the exams when compared to many who couldn’t. It ‘s the feeling that nothing else can take in its place.

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Published by

Sanat Biswal
(Chartered Accountant)
Category Exams   Report

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