A lot of people do not believe me when I tell them that I studied just for two months before my CA Final exams (Yes I did take coaching for some subjects, namely, IDT, Accounts and SFM, but since they were morning classes, I was either dozing off in the class or sleeping at home most of the times). I would like to share the strategy that I followed that helped me clear the exams by working hard for just two months.
Note: I strongly advise not to study for just two months, I was lucky to clear the exams, you might not be as lucky as me. But, if you have only two or three months to go and haven't started studying yet, you may give it a shot depending on your judgement.
I had taken four months of leave before my exams from my articleship, but the first two months were wasted by me binge-watching TV shows and movies, after all, I had such a long break for the first time in nearly three years :P. And in the first week of March, I suddenly realized that I might have possibly screwed up my chances of clearing my exams. I was nervous, I was scared, I lost sleep during the night, but wasted my days sleeping for 12 hours. Then one day, I happened to watch the movie "Pursuit of Happyness" and I decided not to give up. (Most important life lesson: Never give up, even if you have just a week left to study, just go through the practice manual and attempt the exams, if you are lucky and smart enough, you might even clear the exams in a week or maybe get an exemption. The secret lies in the words "Never give up", even if you have a week left. I have friends who were smarter than me, but they gave up studying at the last moment and failed, they had completed most of their syllabus, but gave up at the last moment due to anxiety.)
Now, I will list down my strategy for each exam. This wasn't exactly a strategy, I just followed my gut and I would advise not to follow this unless you have no other option.
Accounts: Gave it 12 days, studied from the Practice Manual and Praveen Sharma sir's notes. Skipped Consolidation of Accounts and scored exactly 40 (was lucky).
SFM: Had taken classes from Aditya Jain sir, so had a basic idea about most concepts. Studied only for three days, concentrating on the Practice Manual. And the day before the exam, just revised a summary of all the concepts. Scored 67 in SFM ( yeah I was surprised too)
Audit: I was never good at theory, so I broke down the exam into sections that were easier and scoring. Gave one full day to professional ethics as it had a good weightage and was a lot easier. Picked up the practice manual and chose chapters with high weightage and studied only those. However, using my practical audit experience, I was able to attempt the complete exam. Scored 48 (Pretty decent given my prep.).
Law: Law was always my weak point. Never in my life had I studied Law properly. Followed a similar approach to audit, studied the major allied laws and concentrated on high weightage chapters of Corporate law. Only studied the Practice Manual and scored 56 :D.
Costing: I was always good at costing and this was the only subject I had prepared properly. Got 61.
ISCA: I had not even touched ISCA, didn't even have ISCA's book with me on the day of Costing exam. Used the internet to find out important questions from various sources, studied only the important questions and the Practice Manual (as much as I could cover in 1.5 days). Luckily scored 46.
DT and IDT: These were my strong points given my articleship experience. Didn't have to study the whole syllabus. I already had my basics pretty strong. Figured out analyzing past papers, that c. 70 marks of exam can be covered by studying Supplementary, Case laws and Practice Manual. Did just that and scored exemptions in both.
I would again strongly advise you guys:
1. Never give up, even if you have 2 days to study, study as much as you can and attempt the exam, even if you fail, the experience will be important.
2. Do not follow the above strategy unless you have no other choice.