We are in conversation with Pulkit Arora, AIR 3 in the November 2018 New syllabus Final CA examination.
1. Thank you Pulkit for chatting with us. Why don't you tell us something about yourself?
I was born in Jodhpur; I completed my schooling from Ahmedabad and graduated from Scottish Church College, Kolkata. I prepared for Final CA from Ahmedabad. Since I opted for commerce in school, I was crazy about becoming a Chartered Accountant and used to tell people that I cannot imagine myself not being a Chartered Accountant in future. So now, yes, I am living the Dream.
2. I find it very inspiring that you could not clear IPCC in the first attempt yet managed a rank in final CA. How could you manage that jump? Did failure motivate you further?
Yes, definitely. Failure is the biggest motivation you can ever get. I believe that you will get everything what you want if you are truly passionate about it and give your best to achieve that thing. This attitude was somewhere lacking during my IPCC days. So it is all about the right attitude and more hardwork due to which i was able to manage this jump.
3. What was your feeling when you first saw your results? AIR 3! Must be amazing.
Actually, I was on the way to a family function when the results were announced. Due to some connectivity issues, I could not access the site. I asked one of my friends to checkit for me. 2 minutes later, he calls me saying that I have secured an All India Rank 3. Moments later, I receive a call from Delhi. The Secretary of the Vice-President of ICAI had called to inform me that 'Sir' wanted to have a word with me. I was on cloud 9 when he congratulated me. My Parents were there with me in the car at that time. Once the call was over, they got off the car, pulled me out of the front seat and gave me a big hug. It was in that small moment that I realised that all my hard work had paid off.
4. What are the advantages of being a ranker, according to you?
For me the biggest advantage of being a rankholder is that you get to reach to many students and guide them for exams. There are a lot of students who need help and proper direction to perform well in exams. So yes, you get to reach to so many students. Other than that if we talk about jobs then what I believe is getting a rank can help you to reach till interview but after that it is your personality and knowledge which will decide whether you get a job offer or not.
5. Can you describe your entire CA journey?
To be very honest, my CA journey had many moments where I felt emotionally weak. My non-CA friends were partying hard, going on trips and enjoying life to the fullest; meanwhile I was just studying for 13-14 hours in my room. However, there were also moments when I meet successful Chartered Accountants and felt 'I want to be like this person'. It was a mixed bag of emotions. At the end of the day, what I learnt was that you will succeed only if you have worked hard. So yes, any CA journey will be filled with ups and downs but if you are really dedicated, no one can stop you.
6. Give us a glimpse into your study schedule. How was a day in your life in the last 2 years?
Pretty hectic I would say!! I started my tuitions 1.5-2 years before my exams. At that time I was managing studies, tuitions and articleship all at once. After coming back from the office, I used to study for minimum 2 hours and revise everything taught in the class. I would also finish doing the homework diligently.In engineering terms, I was a total Ghissu.
In the last 5-6 months, I studied for 13-14 hours continuously and there is hardly any day in which I studied for less than 10 hours. My take is that only once you study so much, will you be able to revise the full course 3-4 times, which was my target.
7. There is a growing trend where students take dummy articleship to focus on studies. What are your views on this? Do you think articleship helps in the Final CA exams?
Articleship played a great role when I was preparing for my exams. My auditing experience really helped me in understanding the concepts given in the text-book as I could link those concepts to practical life situations. Even while preparing for Direct Tax, I was already clear about most of the provisions. So articleship experience really helped me in linking everything given in the books to practical life situations. I would not suggest anyone to go for the dummy articleship option.
8. With the final CA exam just a couple of weeks away, what tips would you like to give to your juniors?
There is NO SHORTCUT TO SUCCESS. You really have to work hard to achieve the'CA' Prefix. I would suggest you to make notes and plan properly. Do not try to memorize stuff, focus on keeping your concepts clear. If your concepts are clear you would be able to solve any problem no matter how tricky it is. Practice as much as you can, revise again and again and do not forget to give ICAI Mock exams and other test series. It will give a clear picture of where you actually stand and what the key areas are which need improvement.
9. Last question to you Pulkit, Do you eat mangoes? If yes, do you like it cut or do you prefer to stand over the washroom and eat it?
*He starts leaving*
Arey, even I can ask these questions, my name is Akshay Kumar.
A big Thank you to Pulkit for doing this interview. For those appearing in June 2019, I hope your preparations are going on track. Best of luck!!