Is it really tough to clear CA final exams? It’s your perception that matters. If you think it is tough, then it will be, but if you say it’s not tough, then you can easily clear the exams. It is belief, which you require to clear the CA final exams. Along with this you also require lot of willpower, determination and focus. These words assume great importance while you prepare for your final exams.
Preparation for CA final exams becomes a little easier if you have done your articleship in a very structured manner with full commitment and passion. Practical training does make your theory preparations easier, as you would have applied theory during the course of training.
While you enter the core phase in your exam leave and if you are feeling down, visualize yourself as being a Chartered Accountant. Visualize having CA prefixed to your name, the amount of opportunities you will have once you become a CA. This in itself will inspire you to study.
During study leave, irrespective of amount of leave, give in your very best from day1. Focus, focus and focus- this is what is required. It doesn’t mean that you have to study 24*7. No, there is nothing like that. Have a little bit of fun in between like an occasional movie, sports activities, exercise. These activities will help you will refresh your mind and keep you mentally fit. At times by keeping your mind off from studies does a world of good. An hour or two a day being away from study will help in relaxation of mind. Listening to music, exercise, playing sports or watching TV, occasional outing is really good for mind as it keeps you fresh as you are living the present moment and not in past or future. But when you enter towards the last month of study leave, leisure time can be reduced to 30-45 minutes a day, as time becomes very crucial.
When you prepare for the exams, prepare in such a way that you will be able to revise the entire syllabus a day before the exams. Student must have finished at least 4-5 revisions before he/she writes the exams. At the same time you must have a very clear cut strategy during those three crucial hours. That makes a huge difference in your marks. Attempt the questions which you know the best at first. Once you gain confidence, then you ll be able to do the other questions without much difficulty.
Most of you would be attending classes for various papers. Problem arises when you attend classes of more than one faculty for the same paper. This is not at all required. Attend classes of one faculty for one paper and believe in that faculty. Practice problems from the material of that faculty. At the same go through the problems and questions in the institutes module and practice manual which have not been done in class by the faculty. Do not ignore practice manual and module. Do not do selective study, but cover the entire syllabus. This is because questions can be asked from anywhere. All these factors play a very important roll.
Now coming into the crux of the topic, there are 8 papers in final exam. Method of preparation for each of the papers will have to be approached differently.
Paper 1 i.e. is Financial reporting, there are 8-10 chapters in total as per the study material. Make sure you know Amalgamation, valuation and consolidation very well. These 3 chapters together will fetch you 48 marks. Know your Accounting standards very well. Accounting standards normally come for 36-40 marks. All AS are very important. Make sure you know AS thoroughly. AS 30, if you find it difficult, don’t worry, practice the questions well in the text book and practice manual. It’s all about discounting. The remaining miscellaneous chapters will cover 12-16 marks which are scoring and do not ignore those chapters. It’s simple and the entire marks will be in your pocket. While you write your exams, as a part of strategy, attempt consolidation at the end, after you attempt all the other questions, as consolidation may take around 45-60 minutes. Best suggestion, if you can attempt other questions, then you can leave consolidation as a choice. Most students are not able to clear this paper as they spend too much time attending consolidation and then accuse lack of time/ say that paper is long.
Paper 2 i.e. SFM, to do well in this paper, it is very important that you know the concepts very well. Without knowing the concepts, it will be very difficult to clear the paper. Maintain a separate small book for formulas, as there are many formulas in this paper. This will be very helpful before the exam day. Study the theory very well. Many students ignore theory and attempt problem in the choice question. Theory can be well comprehended from practice manual. By attempting theory in exam, 16 marks can be answered in a matter of 15 minutes. This leaves you with a lot of time to attempt the remaining questions. Derivatives and forex are very important as normally 20-25 marks question arises from this area. Past trend indicates that questions tested in exams are practice manual based.
Paper 3 i.e. Auditing, different from paper 1 and 2 being more of theory, Professional ethics is worth 16 marks in exam and easy to score. Know the clause number well. Standards on auditing cover another 20 marks. All SAs are very important and if it can be quoted, it will help student get additional marks as it leaves an impression on the evaluator. CARO, 3CD, audit and account of company are normally asked for 20-25 marks. These chapters require lot of attention with clause number (3CD) and paragraph number (CARO). Special auditing chapters cover another 15 marks. The balance questions can be answered with the help of articleship training as answers to these questions will not be available in your study material. This is where the institute tests student’s articleship training. It could have an influence on the results of this paper. Practice manual questions are really good in this paper. Material suggested for this paper is Surbhi Bansal.
Paper 4 i.e. Corporate law, Directors again is important as 16 marks are normally tested in this area. Accounts of company and audit of accounts cover another 16 marks. Allied laws cover 30 marks and each and every chapter is really important as equal weight age is given to each of these. The remaining questions can be asked from all the other chapters. Therefore 100 % coverage is very important for this paper. Practice manual and text book are good for this paper. Also Munish Bhandari material is suggested for this paper.
Paper 5 i.e. AMA, text book and practice manual are ideal for preparation for this paper. Understanding of concept is more important. With the help of concept, you can complete about 60% of the problem. Balance can be completed with practice. The more you practice in this paper with proper understanding, the better your grip will be. Most students neglect theory in this paper which constitutes 33-38 marks. Again Practice manual would be sufficient enough to study theory. Even in QT, don’t neglect theory as it is a scoring area. 30 marks can be easily obtained in full. All chapters are important as weight age for each chapter differs from exam to exam.
Paper 6 i.e. ISCA , The institute module is more than sufficient to clear the exams. Other referral books are not required for this paper. Study the module very well. A lot of time has to be spent on ISCA as it is only theory. Revise ISCA on a regular basis. This is a paper where you will feel blank if you have not revised for more than 2 weeks in a row. Regular revision is required. Chapter 2, 10 is important as well as others also. Chapter 5,6,7,8 is comparatively easier to study and lot of marks can be scored from this area. Study this paper with lot of effort. ICAI require more or less you to reproduce the same from material. The suggested answer also shows the same. Do not put this paper for the end. Try to enjoy it and you will learn this paper quickly. Believe in yourself that you can do well in this paper. This paper can ruin your chance to clear your CA. Realize the importance of this paper and do not underestimate it.
Paper 7 & 8 i.e Direct and Indirect taxes- both the papers are voluminous and difficult to complete the day prior to exam. In these papers you must be smart. Know the provisions very well and complete the entire syllabus during your leave and revise continuously. The institute releases a case law applicable for each exam. Study those case laws very well. There is no need to know any other case law than what institute has given. Case laws related questions are normally asked for 30-35 marks in both Tax papers. It’s simple and easy to score if you have revised at least 4-5 times. The problems are asked for about 30 marks each in both papers. If you prepare well then you can easily get exemption in both the tax papers without much difficulty. Wealth tax in Direct taxes is worth another 10 marks. Study the other areas well; tax paper shouldn’t be a difficulty at all. Books suggested are TN Manoharan (DT) and Bangar (IDT)
If you have done your part and put in your best, there is no one stopping you from being a successful CA. Everything lies in your mind. Hard work, focus, determination and the will to do it, is what matters. Go on and give in your best. Have a strategy in mind, systematic study and patience will see you through the exams.
Wishing you all the very best for all endeavours.