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As exams are near and all of you are busy with preparation, I would like to share with you some of the points which you should be very careful at time of exams. It is not the efforts in form of time, references, preparation etc which you do before exams which is important but, how you manage and utilize 3 hours of exam time is very much important. Most of you might have not practiced the way you need to appear for the exams; you don’t set alarms and do mock exams to test yourself as to how to utilize time and make good presentation of answers. Remember, you are writing one of the competitive accounting professional exams recognized across the globe and which opens yourself to one of the greatest challenging careers. You need to be serious and also studious both at time of preparing and writing answers in exam. Since, time limit now is very short and it is not time to work more towards preparation, I would like to share with you some of the points which most of students often do in exams which they are not suppose to do and that may lead to poor results.


  1. Always don’t underestimate yourself – What ever your preparation may be don’t underestimate yourself. Be always confident and don’t go with what has happened in the past.
  2. Don’t strain yourself physically and mentally – Presence of mind and physical fitness is very important as you need to be very much attentive and confident for 3 hours. So, don’t strain yourself too much both physically and mentally before and during the examination time.
  3. Don’t discuss your performance with your friends – Every day after writing exams, access yourself and don’t discuss your performance with any of your friends.
  4. Don’t compromise on sleep and balanced diet - Always remember before and during the exams have good sleep at least for 5 hours daily and have a good timely meal and a balanced diet.
  5. Don’t yield your ears to rumors - Many of the students have shared with me different sort of rumors like change in question paper pattern, important questions etc. before the exams but, my advice is that don’t yield your ears to such rumors. Professional exams are conducted by institute with high professional standard and if any changes are there then please refer the official website of the institutes for the information.  
  6. Don’t ever be late to the examination hall – Always be 15 minutes before schedule time in examination hall. You get sufficient time in searching for your registration number, hearing to the important instructions, making yourself comfortable and removing stress to some extent before the exams.
  7. Don’t carry pens, pencils and calculators with out being checked earlier - Always carries spare pens, pencil and good quality calculators to the examination. Check it before you leave for exams.
  8. Don’t start writing immediately on the answer book – After you get the answer books please check whether the papers in the answer books are neat, stapled, ruled lines are drawn properly, number of pages etc. See, whether on the front sheet all fields for which you need to give information is provided or not.
  9. Don’t change your handwriting and pens every now and then – Many students quite often change their colour of ink while writing answers, this is not advisable unless if it is for the reason that you need to change the pen. Please get the signature of invigilator for any change in colour of ink. Also, make sure that your handwriting is uniform all over the answer book.
  10. Don’t start the answers immediately after getting the question paper - Spend some time in looking at the questions and understanding the questions, make proper choose of questions which you are familiar and confident to answer and read all the instructions given on the question paper. Question paper is usually set for 2 hours 35 minutes and you need to spend at least 15 minutes to read and understand the question and 10 minutes to finally revise your answers at the end.
  11. Don’t ever leave the compulsory question unanswered – If the question paper says that one of the questions is compulsory, make sure that you don’t leave that particular question unanswered at any cost.
  12. Don’t waste too much of time in remembering the answers – If you are struck with any particular question or adjustments or case laws then don’t waste time in remembering it, leave some space and start answering the other questions and when ever you remember, you can still come back and complete it .
  13. Don’t ever continue answers for new questions in the same page – When you have answered a question and if there is some 3/4th page still left, then don’t continue your next question answer there itself. Always start your answers for next questions in new page.
  14. Don’t ignore the instructions stated in the question paper – If the question states clearly – workings form part of answers, make necessary assumptions where ever required, don’t do unwanted discussion etc then, please read the instructions and act accordingly.
  15. Don’t ever start your answers with working – In case of problem related questions, always remember that while starting the answer don’t start with workings. What it is asked for in the question should come first and working should be part of answer. For eg. If in accounts the question asks to prepare a balance sheet. the you need to show the balance sheet first and then under working notes mention the various working which you did for getting balance sheet figures.
  16. Don’t violate rules and principles set by profession – Since, you are writing professional exams always remember you should not violate any rules, principles, guidelines put forth by the institute or accounting profession. Your answers should not violate the basic rules and principles put forth by the profession and institute. For eg. Presentation of Balance sheet, one should follow the principles as to how assets are listed (priority wise).
  17. Don’t ever do incomplete presentation -  For example if the question asks to pass journal entries or prepare a process accounts, then clearly mention in whose books accounts are prepared, company name, date, debit, credit, amount etc clearly. In case of journal entry don’t forget to give narrations at end of each entry.
  18. Don’t forget to mark your answers with relevant question number – Most of the students does this mistake, they don’t write clearly and legibly the question numbers and subparts of question number for which the answers pertain to. Remember one thing, you are writing answers for examiners to understand and take little extra care to win the examiner to your side with good and neat presentation.  
  19. Don’t use too much marker and highlighter to mark your answers in your answer books – It is good to use highlighter wherever it is important. Too much use of the highlighter and markers may not be liked by the examiner and so avoid using too much of it. Also, use only light and pleasant colours while highlighting.
  20. Don’t compromise on quality of answers - It is always quality of answers which is more important in professional exams. So restrict your answers to simple points and try to justify your answers with good quality rather then quantity. Quote case laws, section, rules, standards etc where ever it is necessary.
  21. Don’t write answers for your purpose of understanding – Always keep in mind that you are writing answers to convince the examiner and not for yourself. So, keeping examiner in mind, try to answer questions with good presentation, relevant and clear information and with good quality.
  22. Don’t ever leave the front page of the answer book without filling the question numbers which you have answered – Especially in case of CA students, make sure that you fill the relevant question numbers which you have answered on the front page of answer books. Make sure you enter correctly your role numbers – in words and figures where ever necessary and subject code properly on the first page.
  23. Don’t be careless while tying tag to the additional sheet - In case you borrow additional sheet don’t forget to tie the tag properly and cross check the same at the time of revising your answers at the end.
  24. Don’t worry about the exams after you come out of the examination hall – After coming out of exam don’t start self assessment and get in to discussion with your friends on the answers to each and every question. Even at home don’t refer notes or solutions for the questions to which you have already answered. Start a fresh and concentrate only on next exams and prepare for it.
  25. Doesn’t be pessimist always be optimist and see good side of life - Exams are process of evaluation of what you know and what you don’t know. It is not last in life and if I fail that doesn’t mean that I don’t know anything and I am unfit to do any work. I can still come up by improving the grey areas. Always be optimist and put the efforts and finally can reap the benefit of success. So, don’t loose hopes in case if you couldn’t fair well in one paper. There are still hopes to get exemption in rest of the paper and can carry forward for next year.


These were some of the tips which I thought of sharing with you peoples who are very confident going for exams in few days from now. All of you are born with one or other strong attitudes and skills capitalize the same and work towards  the goals and it is sure that all of you will achieve the success in your life.


Wishing you all the best and hoping to meet you as my professional friends in next few years.


Thanks and regards,

CMA Raveendranath Kaushik

MA, MPhil, MBA, PG Tax Law, AICWA

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CMA Raveendranath
Category Students   Report

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