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Institute Study Material is best source for exam preparation

Ankur Garg , Last updated: 28 August 2014  

Dear Students,

It is a fact that good exam preparation is dependent on right books. Selection of right book can create the path of success for you. So as per my opinion be careful in choosing books for the preparation of your professional exams. In professional exams like CA, CS or CMA Study material is provided by the respective Institute. At the same time it is a sad fact that many student tend to avoid use of study material provided by the institute. Many students are not aware about the fact that study material provided by the institute is prepared after lot of research and with a vision to provide thorough knowledge of the topic or chapter. In the same way Institute expects demonstration of that knowledge as provided in the institute study material.

Through this write up I will try to touch upon 3 important aspects of institute study material which are as follows:

1. Importance of institute study material from exam point of view;

2. How to make best use of institute study material

Importance of institute study material from exam point of view

Importance of institute study material from exam point of view cannot be denied keeping in view the quality of content and frequency of questions asked exam from institute study material. You may easily find practical questions in exam directly from institute study material. So it is better to refer institute study material at least once.

In all my recent student articles as listed below, stress was given on using institute study material.

Tips to handle Costing subject in Professional Exams

Tips to handle Strategic Financial Management paper SFM

Suggestion for CA Final and IPCC Audit paper November 2014

Suggestions to handle Information System Control and Audit [ISCA]

You may get success in any kind of exam by mugging things up but that is not the sole object of entire examination system across the globe. Here we need to understand that it’s just not the question of passing the subject. Real purpose of exam is to gain knowledge which in case of CA, CS exam can be gained through institute study material. To understand the subjects and thorough study refer Institute Study Material. In that way Institute Study Material is a must for exam preparation. Honestly if you use Institute Study Material, there would be no need to run behind suggested answers, Guideline answers, solved scanners, practice manuals, etc.

As per my understanding there are basically 3 source of exam preparation as far as books are concerned. These 3 sources are as follows:

1. Primary Source of exam preparation

2. Secondary Source of exam preparation

3. Residuary Source of exam preparation    

Primary Source of exam preparation includes Institute Study Material for all subjects whereas Secondary Source of exam preparation includes Reference books available in the market. Residuary Source of exam preparation includes ICAI suggested answers, ICSI Guideline answers, solved scanners, practice manuals, Revision Test Papers  etc. Each source of preparation has its own importance. Nowadays lots of good reference books are available in the Market and student tends to purchase them for exam preparation. But that does not mean that you can avoid Primary Source of exam preparation i.e. Institute Study Material.

How to make best use of institute study material

You may find many article on “How to make best use of institute study material” on Internet or in Caclubindia. Recently I have come across a wonderful CCI article written by Vidhyashankar which inspires me to write this article. Accordingly I have used some of the points used by Mr. Vidhyashankar along with my own points.

Many students’ complaints that it is very hard and time consuming to prepare from institute study material keeping in view the highly detailed contents and tuff language of institute study material. As per my opinion this is not a very big deal to handle. I will try to help you out in this matter. Kindly observe the points and approach as mentioned below:

1. You are advised to use the study material of Direct and Indirect Tax for very limited purpose keeping in view the regular amendments in Tax. However you may keep referring practical questions and some of theory topics which according to you not a part of amendment.

2. Give Institute study Material a quick reading with a completely relax and chilled mind to understand the depth and figure out the efforts and time required for thorough study. You would appreciate that through this quick reading you would be able to figure out where extra efforts are required to deal with the subject.

3. Keep a note book during quick reading and make necessary notes in whatever handwriting you have and make scribbles, whatever small words or numbers while learning. This will imprint concepts on your subconscious mind. Put suggestions or mark strategy for yourself on the Institute study Material during first reading. This task helps you to deal with the subject later on during final exam preparation. Your main purpose behind this quick study is observation and formation of a plan to deal with the subject.

4. During first reading of Institute study Material prepare a plan for exam preparation. While reading Institute study Material you may use scanner for making the plan. Remember after giving quick reading to Institute study Material you have everything in your mind like what is important along with basic idea of the topic and chapter. 

5. You may also create diagram on the study book of a particular topics. This will help for quick revision of the topic when you open the study material. Use a mind map to summarize the whole chapter or a big concept. Use mind maps a lot and learn how to draw a mind map, it helps greatly. Also note study material also contains summary at the end of every chapter. I would suggest you at least give some hours to study material and you will love them.

6. Remember one thing there is no point keeping your institute study material new or untouched. During your first reading underline or highlight whatever is important in study material from exam point of view. It is always better to have a dirty study material with lot of underlining rather than keeping it as a new book. This underlining in the study material and points noted in the notebook you have prepared will help you a lot during revision time.

7. During first reading there may be a possibility that you failed to understand a line or topic. In that case simply underline that topic or line and ask someone who can understand that topic or line. It is better to discuss it than only. Always get ready to seek help from your friend, teacher or anyone who could help you and please don’t feel shy. Simply put a question mark next to the topic you failed to understand and then sqash the question mark with your newfound understanding. Also read that understanding in brief so that later it can be referred by you.

8. During first reading also use highlighter of different colours in the "black and white' study material to underline important points or write something. Hence it is advisable to use your colour scheme. It aids memory.

9. During first reading it is really important to classify less relevant portion of your study material. It is not possible to read 100% study material. So you have to learn to strike of the least important theory in study material. Give first reading to the topic and strike of the portion which you think is irrelevant for exam. This will help you to save time and energy at every stage of your exam preparation. Don’t consider Study material or any other book as a bible. Learn to use discretion and judge properly.

10. Use VAK attack to learn from study material. VAK attack neuro linguistically means Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic. In medical terminology the representational systems we tend to use, to understand anything, most frequently are:

a. Visual (V) seeing

b. Auditory (A) hearing

c. Kinesthetic (K) feeling

So simply see, read and feel or try to understand. It is also important to repeat the study material again and again to keep it in memory.

11. Have dictionary during study. Try to learn atleast 10 new English words as a hobby from the study material. Don’t say, "I don’t know English properly and the language is tough". Always remember unless you venture into new things, neuron connections in brain are not made and you don’t grow intelligent. Don’t fear the study material, play with it like an old mate!


When you start reading from Institute Study Material, you will realized that there are many good points in study material which are good enough to prove that Institute Study Material is best for exam preparation with deep understanding and knowledge of a particular topic or chapter. You may find notes of different authors very exam oriented and crisp from exam point of view but conceptual and thorough understanding is possible only with Institute Study Material.

It is also a fact that Institute study materials have lot to improve. But that is the problem of Institute. Just because language of Institute study materials is tuff, or not properly presented like reference books, worst paper quality used or print with lot of errors, we should not maintain distance from Institute study material. Kindly appreciate in few subjects like Auditing, ISCA, SFM etc. Study material is still considered as more than enough. I sincerely believe that this article will encourage you to refer Institute study material and also help you to understand how to use study material in order to gain deep knowledge and good result. Kindly share your views.


CS Ankur Garg

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Ankur Garg
(Company Secretary and Compliance Officer)
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