SECTION I: HOW TO HANDLE THEORY SUBJECTS
1. Number of Theory Papers:
The basic classification of examinations questions is
(a) Theory and (b) Application of theory.
Each subject involves study of theory concepts. Also, some theory questions are compulsory in all papers. Hence, due importance must be given to the study of theory topics in all subjects.
2. Approach for Theory Subjects:
The following procedure may be adopted for theory subjects / topics.
a) Refer to the topic in the Study Material and
read through the topic thoroughly.
b) Note down the important points provided in the Study Material.
c) Refer and read through the corresponding topic in the Reference Book.
d) Read the Bare Act for law subjects.
e) Note down additional points, if any, covered in the Reference Book and/or Bare Act.
f) Compile your final notes consolidating the various points covered in the Study Materials and Reference Book/Bare Act, and additional points, if any, not covered in any of these.
g) Revise the same topic by browsing through your final notes a day later, a week later and a fortnight later. This will ensure two aspects:
(i) Continuity of concept when you take up the next topic in the same subject and
(ii) Revision of the earlier topic.
h) Update your notes by reading through Suggested Answers and Revision Test Papers. There might be additional points in them, not covered by the Study Materials.
3. The Reading-Remembering relationship:
It is commonly remarked by a large number of students that they are able to read, but not remember any of the points that they have read. In fact, they remark that every time they read the Study Materials, it is like reading for the very first time.
This difficulty in remembering can be overcome by improving one's memory skills. There are three aspects of memory that one needs to improve:
Audial Memory: "What we hear is what we remember; the more we hear, the more we remember". Memory can be improved by listening to lectures, classes or by hearing one's own voice reciting a formula or theorem. It may be recalled that at a very young age, one remembered the poem "Baa Baa Black Sheep" only through hearing, not by referring any textbook!
Visual Memory: "What we see is what we remember; the more we see, the more we remember". The second aspect of improving memory is through the eyes. Constant and repeated reading of the study materials, use of flow- charts, diagrams and graphs etc. are recommended in this connection.
Motor Memory: "What we write is what we remember; the more we write, the more we remember". The third aspect of improving memory is by writing practice. Underlining the important points in the study materials will not be sufficient. Taking notes and regular writing practice is a must.
In case the student is not able to remember the points during subsequent revision, inspite of the above aspects, his concentration skills during reading must be improved. "How much time one spends" is less important than how one spends that time
Inspite of concentrated study, if there are still problems in remembering, do not lose heart, try again. Please remind yourself that repeated revision is more worthwhile than repeated appearance in examinations.
SECTION II: HOW TO HANDLE APPLICATION-ORIENTED SUBJECTS
1. Approach for application areas:
For handling numerical problems involving application of theory, the following procedure may be adopted.
- Practice all the problems that have been solved in the Study Materials.
- Re-work all the solved illustrations from the Reference Book.
- Solve all the exercises in the Study Material, Reference Book, Past Year Examinations and Revision Test Papers.
- Additional important problems from other sources may also be solved.
2. Importance of Proper Practice: "Practice makes a man perfect".
Nothing can be achieved without proper practice. Hence, the Student should practice all problems as if he is solving them in the main examinations, i.e. in the proper format, with detailed working notes, and without using abbreviations / short forms. Proper practice has two benefits.
It would give the student an idea of how much time he is spending in solving a problem. He can judge his own speed and take steps to improve the speed if necessary.
His hand would automatically move towards solving the problem as if in the main examination, particularly in writing proper formats of accounts and in proper presentation.
3. Special Precautions while solving problems:
Never solve a problem by word of mouth or eyes, i.e. Practice a problem manually, do not audit/ browse it. A Student has to solve only manually in his main examination. Solve problems only by hand; oral / visual solving should be avoided. [Audial or Visual memory will not help here; Motor Memory will not fail]
Practice in ruled sheets / notebooks. Only ruled stationery is provided in the main examination. File these sheets together for further reference. Diaries, one-side stationery and unruled sheets should be avoided.
Use, preferably, one calculator of your own. The Students' fingers will get used to the calculator and he can perform the operations faster.
SECTION III: PRESENTATION IN EXAMS - THEORY QUESTIONS
1. Types of Theory Questions:
By Theory questions in examinations, we refer to questions which involve descriptive answers, as opposed to numerical problems. Such Theory Questions are of two types:
(1) Direct Theory Question and
(2) Application oriented Theory Question.
2. Answering Direct Theory Questions:
Any student who has referred to the Institute's study papers will answer a direct theory question very well. The points which are covered by the Study Papers plus any additional points that he may have noted from various sources would be presented by him in the examination. The primary skills involved are memory, good handwriting and logical presentation. Some precautions to be taken are:
- Give the most relevant and precise answer to the question. If the question is "Enumerate/List out", do not discuss each and every point elaborately.
- Discuss/List out the points given by the Institute's study papers first before proceeding to give any additional points.
- Be brief and limit your answer according to the marks borne by the question, even though there may be many additional points.
- Present the answer in an attractive fashion. Use of tables, flowcharts, and simple diagrams, without consuming much time and space, will be advantageous in terms of marks.
- Do not bluff or write stories/irrelevant answer. If you do not know the answer, attempt any other question (if there is choice) or leave the question unanswered.
- Do not irritate the examiner by writing irrelevant points.
- Do not repeat any points, in the guise of writing more points/items.
- Do not write irrelevant notes while discussing a sub-heading / main point.
- Do not spend time and space by writing introduction and conclusion for direct theory questions and answers.
3. Answering Application Oriented Theory Questions:
Application Oriented Questions generally involve discussion on a point of law / Accounting Standard / Auditing Standard etc. To answer such questions, the following format may be used.
- Synopsis of the problem and the main problem area - The student should not repeat the question here. He has to just give out the brief highlights of the problem, preferably in his own words.
- Recent Legal Position covering the above problem area - Discuss the relevant legal position in brief. Also mention (without discussing detailed facts) any case law that may support the legal position.
- Application of the legal position - Discuss briefly, how the legal position applies/not applies to the given case/problem area.
- Conclusion / Remarks- Give your conclusion in clear and precise words.
The above is only a general format for answering application oriented theory questions. For individual questions, the student may suitably modify the above format.