Well, I know no student would ever like to pass CA final in a subsequent attempt, but what if a student fails in his/her 1st attempt. As we all know results of finals usually come in single digit or sometimes double digit. There will be students who will not clear final in their 1 attempt, so for them, this is a short piece of note by me, for strategizing their study in 3 months and gain a positive result.
1) Dealing with the failure: The day when you see your results is the toughest thing to digest if you have failed. Many people including relatives, friends will ask you your result on result day and on subsequent days making it more difficult to digest. It will be a tough phase but go through it accept that and never run from such people. In fact, talking to such people will give you motivation that next time they ask me, I’ll surely give them a positive reply. The second thing is many people will give you sympathy like “Yaar, koi nai next time pakka ho jayega”, “Yeh to ICAI ke tough result nikala, warna toh tu pass tha” stay away from such people. Just keep a leap of faith and pass on your articleship days and start planning what I am going to do in the next 3 months. Always remember you have reached till here, you don’t need someone’s sympathy or support to move ahead.
2) Next 15 days after result: Probably if your second attempt is due, you would be in your articleship period. This is the best time to collect changes, amendments etc. You can also take print outs from your office if you don’t have printing facility at home. After 2-3 days you mind will be a little calm, and at time analyse your mark sheet and check in which subjects you actually need to work hard. Even if you got 55+ in a subject, don’t think that I have mastered it and I can score exemption next time. Every subject needs equal attention.
3) The 3 months’ strategy: If you have worked very hard in your 1 attempt itself, these 3 months are not going to be tough for you. You just have to polish yourself more. First of all, start with the subject in which you scored less marks, so that in that phase you can allot more days to that subject and practice more. Take one subject at a time and finish the same in on go as it will give you a learning curve effect. Otherwise switching between subject will disturb your flow. Trust me try this and it will help a lot in revision phase. Group 1 usually takes more time then group 2. Complete group 1 subjects in the first month, usually it will take 28-31 days. Group 2 will take around 22-26 days to complete depending on the speed you learn things. Once you do this, you will gain tremendous confidence.
4) The Final month (one month before the exam): This is the most crucial period, in this, you have to revise all the subjects. Don’t worry if you have put a good effort in above 2 months, then it will be an easy phase. In this, there is no order to be followed just take random subjects and study. More focus on important chapters and amendments/changes. For eg: the 1st day you studied 2 chapters of SFM, then next day revised Auditing standards and so on. For ISCA subject I would like to give a good working tip, in the final month pick an hour from your schedule and study ISCA at that time every day. This will help your remove fear of ISCA and continuous reading of the subject will help you gain confidence to write the paper.
5) The MOCK Series: It is advisable to study and opt for Mock papers. I am not telling to register for mock and give the exam itself, but pdfs are available online. Download the question paper and try to solve by yourself. Even if you are not able to solve, don’t worry open the solution pdf and see the solution. This will help you to remove the exam paper fear from your mind. Mock papers even contain a new type of questions and adjustment which may also get asked in the exam, so they are always beneficial. There will be 2 mock series paper, solve both of them and jot down important adjustments, tricks traps on a separate sheet of paper, so that one day before the exam you can see them and revise.
After all this the most important, the exam phase:
6) The exam phase: Since you would have already given an attempt the exam anxiousness will be less. Simply don’t panic because this time, you’re a person with experience. Experience will help a lot in a subsequent attempt. I would suggest the following strategy during exam days: Exam Day evening: Since you would have already given the exam, your mind would be tired, so at that time don’t study difficult or lengthy chapters. Try and complete small parts or chapters and don’t study late nights. Sleep at 10 pm and wake up early morning around 4am or 5 am.
Next Day: The time you wake up, get ready and start studying without wasting much time. Have tea or coffee so that you are not sleepy. Take a medium grade chapter and complete it. Once you are in the flow, take on the big chapters and complete it till the night. Avoid late nights. Even if something is remaining do it the next morning. Have proper food, as people in the panic mood don’t have their food and end up having stress and ill health in 3 or 4th paper. It is not a battle, it is just an exam, eat well, stay healthy and give your exam. This will keep you positive and your mind will be calm which will help you give your best in the exam.
Exam day morning: Don’t keep lot things for this morning, mainly focus on revising important stuff and amendments. For DT/IDT you can revise case laws, sections etc. Leave well before the time for exam hall, so that your reach in time and revise few things there too. Don’t just go and keep on talking to friends and listening to rumours. Go there, straight to the class, open your materials and revise. Talking with friends is of no use and will unnecessarily panic you. Remember papers are not tough, these rumours make them tough. Always have faith, as you have done hard work you will get a positive result for sure.
7) 15 minutes of reading question paper: This is the most important time to strategize how you will write the paper. Don’t keep on reading question deeply, just glance over all the same and remember which type it is. In around 10-12 minutes of completing glancing, you’ll come to know which question you know, and which to leave for option. Always keep a pencil handy and what all things in question paper you know just tick it. Another advice is always try to attempt compulsory question 1st, since it is like a power play and also constitutes half of the passing marks i.e. 20 marks It will also give a good impression in the minds of examiner, as many students are afraid of compulsory question and under perform in the same, but the key to passing is that question only and the question are of 5-6 marks and usually are not lengthy as 8 marks question. Even if you don’t know or unsure about questions still attempt the question 1 first. After that, it’s your choice how you will opt for the question. Opt the questions which you know the best. Try to achieve 40 marks of the paper in 1 and a half hour of the period. Keep pace with you writing and if you don’t know some question don’t waste much time in that and go ahead and solve what you know first. If you get confident in first 15 mins, the game is yours, you will be able to manage the paper smoothly.
8) After exam: Avoid discussing the paper with your friends, quickly depart from the centre and reach home. Don’t study immediately. Take rest, have snacks. The ideal time to start studying is 7 pm. Even if your paper has gone okay or bad, don’t let it affect your next paper performance. Always keep a hope that I will get 40, in next paper, I will bring 60 to cover it up. This keeps the confidence maintained, because if you get broke in between the papers, then it will be difficult to come out of that situation.
9) General notes: The main key for revising is preparing short notes for every subject which are handy in revision during exam days. Subject wise notes which are required to be prepared as follows: -
a) Financial Reporting: List of AS numbers with names, Formulas contained in chapters like EVA, Goodwill, and trick or adjustment which you found out in PM/Mock series/suggested answers etc.
b) Strategic Financial Management: List of formulas contained in the whole subject, and trick or adjustment which you found out in PM/Mock series/suggested answers etc.
c) Audit: List of section no of company law, List of SA, List of ethics clauses, a list of forms such as ADT 1, ADT 2, and so on.
d) Law: List of section no of Company laws, allied law, a list of case laws appearing in PM answers.
e) Advanced management Accounting: List of formulas in OR and Costing.
f) ISCA: List of head points for every answer of all chapters.
g) Direct Tax: List of section no, Summarize the case law in 4-5 lines of Selected Case law books. Nowadays you can get summarization of case laws in short from online authors too.
h) Indirect tax: List of section no, Summarize the case law in 4-5 lines of Selected Case law books. Nowadays you can get summarization of case laws in short from online authors too.
Institutes material is the BEST to study. Study from PM, RTP’s and Mock papers. Do the last attempt suggested to find your mistakes if you have done. Always read the monthly journal given by ICAI, President’s message and BOS Chairman’s message is very motivating.
Author’s Note: I also failed in the 1st attempt, but didn’t lose any faith, studied harder next time and cleared in 2nd attempt. I always wanted to write an article after passing, so I did it. I had no support or guidance, but Failure is the best teacher. Developed techniques and worked on my weak points and got a favorable result. I don’t want the same happen to other students and so I wrote this article.
The author can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading the article, and all the very best for your attempt. I wish you come out with flying colours.