I’d like to share some of the very basic suggestions connected with Exam preparation. As suggested by the title of this write-up these suggestions are very general in nature and very easy to implement and you may use them for any kind of exam preparation.
I truly believe that it is really indispensable for all of us to follow the basic rules of the game to register a win. Some time we miss the general essentials or principles to succeed in search of something extra-ordinary. So we have to be careful about the same.
I would, further, like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best for May 2014 CA Examination result which is just round the corner. I hope below mentioned simple and easily observable exam suggestions for CA aspirants of November 2014 exams would be off some help towards your final exam preparation.
1. Use right reference books
Selection of right reference books is really important for good start. One of the essential and indispensible suggestions to start your exam preparation is to collect good reference books well in advance. Here we cannot deny the importance of study material provided by the respective institute. For correct course content and notes preparation one must also refer study material along with reference books.
Along with selection of reference books in advance it is also advisable to collect exam oriented notes from the very beginning and stick to them. Please avoid using new notes on daily basis as they will put break on your exam preparation.
2. Revision is key to success
Revision is an important aspect of preparation of professional examination. One needs to do intelligent revision of the course as many times as possible. No revision or improper revision may become the reason of your failure. A good revision is actually a key to your success in exam. With some techniques you can use this key in the most productive manner. Keep yourself ready to accept new ideas and tricks to succeed in life.
You can use the following tips and tricks for good revision:
a. Prepare a revision plan: Before starting the revision it is very important to prepare a revision plan and keep modify the same as per the situation.
b. Review the revision material: For a effective revision plan I would suggest you to divide the course content in to 3 categories:
First: In the first category you may add all the important topics and frequently asked questions given in scanner. Here also add topics which are imp from the practical question point of view especially in Audit and law.
Second category: In the second category add topics regarding the exam importance of which you are confident and which are easy in preparation and revision. A good revision of this category will strengthen your position in exam.
Third Category: In this category add the balance topics which are not important from exam point of view. Just give them a basic reading and finish them off. During routine preparation give this kind of topics a sound reading in order to understand them.
c. Prepare very small notes for revision: Prepare very short notes of imp topics in your note book and mention the page number of note book on your study material or reference book. Later on during final revision open that page number of your note book and revise the topic quickly.
3. Good presentation is important
It is important for us to understand why good presentation is important in exam? Why this has got so much importance in Professional Exams. Do you think good presentation can create good impression?
That’s the key word – an Impression!! It really counts when it comes to Professional Exams. Now that you have understood presentation let me tell you what it means in Professional Exams. It is the way you have to attempt the exams and present the answers. I would like to go one step ahead and thereby define Presentation as the method of communicating your knowledge to the Examiner in the most pleasing manner. Kindly refer my Article on presentation skills which is available at the link mentioned below:
In examination hall length of answer plays an important role due to time factor. Regarding this you may take reference from suggested answers provided by ICAI.
4. Suggestion for Audit and Law paper
a. How to deal with Audit paper:
QUICK READING APPROACH
First give ICAI audit study a quick reading to understand the depth and figure out the efforts and time required for final preparation. You would appreciate that through this quick reading you would be able to figure out where extra efforts are required in audit subject and plan accordingly.
Make necessary notes or put suggestions or mark strategy for yourself on the study book during first reading. Your main purpose behind this quick study is observation and formation of a plan to deal with audit. During first study ride prepare a plan for final preparation. Also use scanner for making the plan.
SPECIAL ATTENTION TO SA AND AS
Also give special attention to SA and AS. Only good knowledge of SA and AS is not enough but you must understand the technique to apply SA and AS in audit practical problems. For this purpose refer ICAI suggested answers and observe the application of SA and AS to the problem. Another benefit of this task is—it also helps you to understand SA and AS in a much better way.
b. How to deal with Law paper:
i. Use Scanner from the very beginning. It helps you to recognize which chapter is to be given preference. Prepare a list of Chapter wise frequently asked questions from the Scanner and prepare them properly.
ii. Try and develop a sense to figure out excess study material from the exam point of view and cross that material immediately in your book. Study Material provided by the institute is not updated most of the times and full of totally irrelevant material/theory.
iii. If you have time prepare your own notes to learn properly only for important topics along with frequently asked questions solution. Don’t play with the language of law specially Definitions. It is strongly recommended to put the definition in the exact language. However you can take slight liberty while drafting your answer in respect of other law language but the context, texture, interpretation and meaning should not be changed.
iv. Time saving method: As per my opinion in theory paper you should attempt flat questions first. After that attempt practical problems. Like in Audit or Law first attempt short notes or distinctions etc. In the beginning if you attempt practical problems first then there may be wastage of time in reading the problem twice or thrice.
5. Importance of Study material
No one can deny the importance of study material provided by the Institute. It is highly recommended to refer study material provided by the Institute along with other reference books. One can say that it is hard to study from the study material. So please find below some tips and tricks regarding how to use study material:
i. Underline whatever is important in study material. It is better to have a dirty study material with lot of underlining than an untouched study material. By underlining and referring from the notebook you have prepared, it helps during revision time.
ii. If you don’t understand a line or two underline it and ask someone who can understand. There is no need to feel shy. Put a question mark next to it, and then sqash the question mark with your newfound understanding.
iii. Use colours in the "black and white' study material to underline important points or write something. Use your colour scheme. It aids memory.
iv. Don’t consider Study material as a task. Learn to use discretion and judge properly. Repeat the study material again and again to keep it in memory and never fear the study material as it is your friend so learn to play with it.
6. Importance of scanner
In Professional exams like CA or CS scanner is one of the most vital tool to succeed. So after your initial preparation don’t forget to check your preparation from scanner. In my opinion every question of Scanner should be on your figure tips. This is very imp for your own confidence. Try and complete your Scanner with the help of suggested answers of previous examinations.
For CS preparation it is also worthy to note that in CS the percentage of repetition of previously asked questions are a bit high as compared to CA so it is advisable that during study time note the imp topics or make short notes for them. It would be very helpful for you during last time revision. Prepare short notes for frequently asked questions and revise them properly.
7. Workout on your basics and follow conceptual study:
For quick and successful revision at the exam time it is very important to have clear idea of concepts and basics. If your concepts and basics are not clear then revision will take extra time. So as per my suggestion work very hard at the time of usual preparation for a better result bcoz revision process is just to remind you what you have prepared during usual preparation of your subject and chapters.
8. Understand the importance of time management:
If you are not interested in understanding the importance of time management, then this kind of professional study is not for you. A good time management is required at every stage of your professional life. Follow your revision schedule regularly without fail. Always think about how to use your time in the most efficient manner. In short never waste your time as it is money.
9. Manage study with work and job
There are many students who are taking coaching or doing job to achieve their professional dream or success. Indeed it is not easy to manage both Study and Job or coaching. But there is no other choice left for them.
But as per my personal opinion it is not impossible to manage your job or coaching with studies at a time provided your time management complements your time schedule of job or coaching. I will try my best to share some input to handle your study along with coaching classes or job.
a. Avoid Gossip: I would suggest you to use time found during coaching or job. Never indulge yourself in gossip and other time wasting activities and make best use of available time.
b. Morning Studies: Students should utilize their morning time for studies. I would advise you to get up early in the morning and utilize your morning time for study. I know some of the students prefer late night study which is always in your hand. But it is very important to use morning time for studies.
c. Study during Commute Time: If possible, utilize your commute time for giving quick reading to the topics and later on when you revise that topic it will take less time to be on your tips. I have seen lots of students to utilize their time while travelling in bus or Metro train. Select simple and interesting topics to study during your commute time.
d. Pre-Conditions for Successful Study with Coaching or Job
Let me sum up the discussion by mentioning some of the pre-conditions for successful study with coaching or Job. These pre-conditions are:
i. First pre-condition is belief in yourself and prepare yourself for a hectic schedule for better result.
ii. Effective utilization of time is must for this.
iii. Pre-planned schedule for the day; like what to study and when to study.
iv. You must plan your vacations and holidays well in advance from study point of view.
v. Stick to the basics of study because you don’t get time for experiment with your study.
10. General Points to be kept in mind
In addition to the points mentioned above, please find below some of the General Points to be kept in mind for good exam preparation:
a. Analyse your mistakes as it is very important. It is necessary to learn from your mistakes as this quality will help you to become successful in life.
b. Keep working on your skills, capabilities and vision for consistent growth.
c. Never afraid of failure as you can learn so many things from failure. In other words failure is the best teacher in life provided you have the guts to accept your failure and ready to learn from your failure.
d. Give a little bit time to every subject per day and Try and increase your study time day by day
e. Prepare a list of questions which you consider tuff or a bit time consuming. Prepare a handout yourself with solution of these questions and give them a reading on regularly basis with a time gap of 2-3 days.
f. Mental strength is very important. So prepare yourself mentally and physically for Examination cum War.
g. Take very good care of your health. Consider your health as a subject. Remember if you fail to perform well in this subject you are going to fail.
For my other exam oriented article and exam tips kindly refer the link mentioned below:
I sincerely hope that the above points and suggestions regarding your exam preparation will help you during your exam preparation. You are requested to please share your opinion.
CS Ankur Garg