I am writing this article on the basis of my 3 years experience in CA IPCC. I have mentioned some tips & tricks which are purely based upon my experience. The following points are purely my opinion & not a standard code of conduct. This is what I believe a right approach to crack the examination.
Now you must be thinking who I am?
I am Harsh Arora, cleared IPCC in NOV 2016, scored 451/700 marks with 5 exemptions. In ITSM paper I scored 67 marks which are higher than the marks of All India Rank #1 (64 marks) and also scored 77 & 71 in Accounting and Cost FM respectively.
Now let’s begin.
Points to be noted:
• You will find a lot of people saying CA IPCC is really tough, pass percentage issues etc, but if you prepare it with the toughness or fearful attitude, you will actually make it tougher. Although it is not, provided you have followed the right approach. So ignore all such rumors.
• The syllabus of IPCC consists of 7 subjects where you find 3 numerical, 3 theoretical & one hybrid subjects.
• The syllabus is really vast.
• After every 6 months, the institute makes additions, amendments & deletions in the study material & practice manual.
• The first attempt is considered to be the golden attempt since you get 9 months to study.
• Attempt after attempt your confidence goes on declining.
• Results are announced around after 2 or 2.5 months of your exams.
• You get only 1.5-day leave before the exam for preparation.
• You have to score at least 40% individually in each subject & 50% in aggregate for passing.
• You may opt for single group or both depending upon your level of preparation.
• You are required to apply for examination admit card immediately after the announcement of previous attempt’s results. The application shall be submitted within a period of 20-25 days after the results along with prescribed fees.
How To Study:
• Best Study material: Institute’s Material. Read & practice Study Material & Practice Manual as much as possible.
• Reference books can be taken. For theoretical subjects, you can avoid the bulky Study Material but not Practice Manual. For practical subjects, you may read the concept from any book but try to solve maximum questions of Study Material. Practice Manual is a must.
• Take coaching from a good teacher where you can clear the concepts thoroughly.
• Revision is the key to success. Properly revise what has been taught in the class.
• For practical subjects, Prepare a mistake book where you can write down all the mistakes that you have committed while attempting a question.
• Once you are confident that you have understood a concept really well. Pick up the practice manual & start solving questions.
• Mark all the questions along with the problems you faced while attempting.
• While reading theory subject, don’t just read. Take a Copy & try to draw Charts so that everything can be recalled just by having a look at it.
• Make summaries of every topic you read.
• For practical subjects, Use a copy where you can write all the formulas or concepts or special points of any topic. I call it “Concept register”.
• Study daily.
• Make deadlines to avoid procrastination.
• Have a look at the topic you studied recently on daily basis & do cumulative revisions.
• While revising, you can record your own voice of the text so that if you are on travel or else, you can listen to it.
• If you are unable to understand any important topic properly, you can memorize it without understanding. Don’t hesitate to cram a bit in that situation. It is preferable to use near exam only.
• Every subject is unique & should be separately planned. Don’t make a similar plan for all subjects.
• While studying, a constant flow is a must. This can be maintained if you study at a constant speed. So maintain a good speed.
• Don’t spend very much time on unnecessary topics.
• Before picking up any chapter, figure out the weight age & the super important areas of it.
• You can’t memorize each topic thoroughly hence direct your efforts towards the topics which are actually important.
• In theoretical portion, don’t try to cram every single line. Read, understand and write it in own language but it should be interpreted in the same sense.
• Practice manual is a special book. It should be read around 1-5 times depending on the availability of time.
• Amendments in law based subjects are always considered important from exam viewpoint, especially in tax paper. Place special emphasis on them.
How To Clear The Exam:
• Institute asks around 50- 90% of its questions out of Study Material & Practice Material. Solve each & every question of them. In case, you are short of time covering practice manual is a must since the majority of the questions are asked from this book. In theory subjects, the examiner expects the same answer by the student as given in the institute material. At least try to mug up all the KEY WORDS of each subject & write them in the exam. Higher the key words higher the marks.
• Around 10-15 marks of the paper is asked from the latest RTP. Cover it thoroughly.
• Even if you have not finished your SM & PM, must solve at least 3 mock test papers & past 3 question papers. This will help you when you are sitting in the exam hall for writing and you know the manner to answer any question. It will increase your confidence, avoids silly mistakes & helps you to maintain a good speed & making right decisions while attempting provided you have analyzed & learned from your mistakes in the mock tests.
• Presentation skills matter a lot, especially in a theory subject. It can help you to get additional 15-20 marks. Once should try to make his paper look different from the other. Start every question and sub part from a different page, draw margins, write the question no. or the sub part no. on the center of the page. Try to use bullet points while answering theory questions. In addition, for practical papers, all you need is to draw proper formats, Rupees Sign (Rs.), working notes (most important), neat and clean handwriting (as far as possible). It should be something like examiner did not need to find anything. Everything should be very clear, concise & to the point. Follow the way answers are presented in practice manual.
• Write what is actually asked.
• Avoid thinking about the results while attempting.
• Attempt 100 marks paper (most important) even if you don’t have the answer, write at least something related to the topic.
• Answer the questions in a sequence you feel more comfortable in. don’t pick a question in which you are not sure to answer. This is helpful in creating a good first impression in the mind of the checker.
• In the initial 15 minutes, make a strategy like which one to answer first & do all the calculations & solve complex points so that you don’t need to think in the middle of attempting it.
• Be calm, relaxed. Don’t panic.
• The paper you find very difficult, can give you good marks since marking is lenient in those exams & vice versa with the very easier ones. So don’t lose hope or overexcited.
• Don’t discuss the paper with your friends after the exam.
• Once you are completed your paper, go back to your home, just forget about your past performance. Focus on the next paper with great enthusiasm.
• After the exam, reach home directly & try to study the next paper as quickly as possible. Try to utilize those 1.5 days properly because it is really hard to cover the whole syllabus in one day.
• Try to avoid your phone, quarrels, and negative incidences during exam days.
• Take a good care of your diet & health. Avoid junk food.
• Don’t solely depend on one exam for exemption. Have a back up too. Don’t discourage yourself & lose hope if it is not your day.
• If you are aiming for just passing marks then you will surely going to fail. Aim for a much higher percentage or a rank.
• Last but not the least, Write the exam as if a CA is writing not a CA student. Hope this article will fuel the engine of your success and you come out with flying colors.
ALL THE BEST
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The author can also be reached at Harsharora436@ gmail.com