I am sure so many of us could relate to this Sentence…
Sounds HORRIFYING for those who are lucky enough not to experience this but are on their journey to CA exams, a NIGHTMARE for those who are going through it, and a BAD MEMORY for those who have been through this, but are now successful ICAI member..
But whatever we may say, the very pattern of our CA exam and the likelihood of this happening to 90-95% of the student is almost certain..Having said this, you should bear one thing in mind, its only the bravehearts who start CA..even as you begin, you know the road is bumpy ride.. when you knew this and still decided to tread along, why should you now fear..
As I start to write on this, I must accept I had a close shave off, with this feeling myself.. While it wasn’t the case where I failed, it was nevertheless the same feeling, as I could appear in only 3 out of 8 papers and missed clearing CA in the first attempt …
As a student, I hardly saw what Rank 2 in class was, whether in regular examination or in the Board examination, where I topped the District and was amongst first 5 students in the SRCC list (it’s a different matter I couldn’t graduate from SRCC)....
God was kind that I got good aggregate numbers in CA Foundation (CA CPT), CA Intermediate (CA IPCC), where on one hand I missed a rank by a few numbers (Sad ?? ), but on the other hand I also got a 40 at both exams in one of the subjects (and I must confessed I rejoiced this more than missing the rank)...
But now here I was, feeling dejected, demoralized, thinking how could this happen to me, is it real and wondering what to do now.. And then came the usual fear in my mind..something which I am trying to address through this Article, and my thought process on those days .. : -
1. IS CA THE RIGHT COURSE FOR ME ?
It’s never too late to question, whether the path you took turned out to be a wrong one..
But before you doubt this, ask yourself, what went wrong ? Was it : -
· Lack of interest;
· Inability to cope up with the humongous syllabus;
· Lack of time; or
· Lack of knowledge
that makes you think this ?
If its time, I think that’s in your control and if you use it judiciously, you can manage humongous syllabus as well. But if its lack of interest or relevant knowledge due to low level of basic knowledge at school level, think of it once again… But then, even before you think of this, there has to be a PLAN B..what would you do if not CA ? Don’t chose an easy way out, because you had a difficulty.. Its very easy to give up a tough road, but the regret later is only bigger ..
2. HOW WOULD I FACE PEOPLE BACK AT OFFICE ?
I would assume most of them are themselves CA or pursuing CA. If anyone in the World can understand you, and your feeling at that time, they are the ones… some of them may want to give you a valuable piece of advise, but may refrain, thinking what you may think..do not hesitate and seek advise.. Personally, I owe a lot to my two Senior Article in the firm, where I worked.. After being dejected and demoralized for 2 weeks with the feeling of losing an attempt, these 2 Seniors voluntarily took me for an outstation audit, where they guided me on how to see through those difficult times.. I owe a lot to them personally…
3. WHAT IF I DO NOT PASS THE NEXT TIME AROUND ?
If you think this, you are ruining yourself, even before you are en-route your road of success.. I would say, think what I would do once I successfully get through to the next attempt.. Many a times, these thoughts would themselves take you to a level where you would focus only on success…
After the initial miss out on examinations, I was determined that the minimum that would suffice my expectation would be a Rank..and guess what, I got one.. It’s a different matter that this time around also I had a 40 in one paper, but that didn’t matter.. FOCUS on what you WANT, and give it your best shots..thereafter, some things are to be left to HIM…
4. SHOULD I APPEAR FOR ONE GROUP OR BOTH.. WHAT IF I AM UNSUCCESSFUL IN BOTH AND CLEAR NEITHER ?
This question only YOU can answer for yourself in the best manner, as its you who knows your own strength and weakness the best, and inputs from others should only add as a support… I must say, when you ask this question from others (including if you were asking me), most of the people would have been equally (if not more) confused, if they were in your position.. While some may have piece of advise (that should be thankfully accepted), please consider this, their strength would be different from yours, their circumstances would be different from yours, so nothing customized can be applied here..
If you think one group is better, go for it.. Trust me in the long run, 6 more months you spend giving exam in 2 attempts would not matter.. Eat only what you can swallow, and your stomach is best understood by YOU..
5. SHOULD I JOIN SOME MORE COACHING CLASSES OR STUDY AT HOME ?
Think what additionally benefit they can give you.. If you didn’t take coaching for a subject earlier and did badly in it, this may not be a bad idea..but if you are reasonable comfort, then I would say (and its personal view) this may be a bad investment for two reason :-
· You would spend considerable part of you study time in only one subject;
· This would eat up due time required for others.
I am personally not a Big Fan of Mass Coaching classes, but I do agree that they benefit you in two ways :- (a) Organized studies; and (b) Sharing of experience gathered by faculties from n number of earlier students, that they bring on table for you…
But be rest assured, they are only as good as your committement is..
6. AM I LEFT BEHIND IN LIFE WHEN MY OTHER FRIENDS HAVE MOVED ON SUCCESFULLY ?
NOT AT ALL.. If you know your stuff, when you get into practice or job, you would get your dues, albeit in due course of time.. If you have the skill, there is a lot of demand for YOU… As an employer I can say, the worst part of growing business is to get good people.. We get people with a Degree, but the degree of their knowledge is extremely low at many times.. So, as long as you are good at work and practical in approach, people would want to hire you..atleast I WOULD, if I were to recruit you..
7. SINCE ITS MORE THAN FEW ATTEMPTS AND I AM YET TO BE THROUGH WITH BOTH GROUPS OF FINAL, SHOULD I SEARCH FOR A JOB ?
If you are in a financial crunch situation (which many people could be), I suggest yes.. But if not , then have a mixed approach.. work for sometime (say until 2-2.5 months before exams) with a firm, where you get knowledge, company of like minded people and start studies afresh.. However, if nothing is working out despite repeated attempts, I suggest you may consider taking a one off break from exams, work in the interim and reflect on way forward in life.. Many a time, getting out of the herd, gives you new ways (may be, new ways of looking at things/ different path)… This would help you take a better call for yourself..
8. FOR THOSE WHO TOOK A JOB AT POINT 7, SHOULD I CONTINUE DOING THE JOB OR GIVE IT ANOTHER SHOT ?
You should try and give it another shot.. I have two examples, of a friend’s elder brother and my own very close friend who did this almost after 8-10 years of giving up.. And guess what, both of them got through the first time around..they probably didn’t had fear at that time, and that’s what made them see through.. Its always good to try again, and again, until you succeed.. As you grow older, someday, you may reflect and say, IF ONLY I HAD TRIED ONCE MORE, I WOULD HAVE BEEN A CA..don’t let this happen to you and do give it a shot.. Fortune favours the brave..
While there could be no fixed solutions, to any of the above point, as one size doesn’t fits all, you may have to apply these to your individual circumstances.. I applied these in my life and got through ..may be it could be of some use for you as well..
I would like to end by saying, to do CA, you need to have only one belief………………….. “BELIEVE YOURSELF AND THAT YOU CAN DO IT”… rest nothing matters and everything else would fall in place…
Arinjay Kumar Jain, is a Chartered Accountant, who is fond of teaching and guiding young students for their careers. An all India CA Final Rank Holder of November 2001, he worked with leading International and M&A Tax specialist firms, last being as a Director in KPMG M&A Tax. He is now enjoying his life as an entrepreneur and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach authors facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/caarinjayjain