Dear CA Students,
At IPCC level the subject of ITSM is considered as a difficult subject by most of the students. During my interaction in various sections of Caclubindia many students have asked me about the tips and tricks to prepare for ITSM subject of IPCC. Let me admit that I have never prepared ITSM subject for exam but still an attempt has been made to suggest some general tips and tricks to handle this paper. Indeed ITSM is a crucial paper and it is difficult for students to get away with this paper without proper preparation and conceptual knowledge. I am sure this brief write up would be of some help as November 2014 exams are approaching and it is high time for us to start preparation for November 2014 exams and clear our doubts w.r.t. a subject.
Links for some useful Exam Article for November 2014 Exam
Few Days back I had shared some Exam oriented Suggestions and tips for November 2014 Exam. You may find that article at the link given below. There is another article through which I have compiled some useful information with relevant links for the use of CA and CS Aspirants. This article will also guide CA Aspirants about the applicability of Companies Act, 2013 for November 2014 and May 2015 attempt. This Article contains relevant links for exam files and institute notifications for download purpose. You may find that article at the link given below:
Exam Oriented Suggestions and Tips for November 2014 Exam
Important Information and links for Student of CA and CS
Also refer my articles for the tips and tricks to handle Audit, Costing, SFM, ISCA and Indirect Tax (IDT) paper, which are available at the link given below for your ready reference:
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]
Points regarding Indirect Tax (IDT) preparation Nov 2014
TIPS TO PREPARE ITSM Paper:
ITSM is the last paper of IPCC second group. Please find below some general points which the help of which you can make your ITSM preparation a success. Well this is my personal belief.
1. First of all understand that ITSM is not a very tuff subject and with proper guidance and planning it can be handled easily. I know ITSM is not in the list of your favourite subject and it is not possible to make it your favourite subject in a day. Here I must say once you start working over this subject, this would become your favourite subject and you’ll be able to score great marks in ITSM. You know everything is possible in life. I will try my best to share some relevant ITSM tips.
2. ICAI Study Material is must: As a general understanding ICAI study material is a must for ITSM preparation. Many successful students have shared their opinion that ICAI study material is best for exam preparation and for fetching good marks. Chapter in the study of ITSM has been organized to provide a logical sequence to facilitate easy understanding. It is a fact that language of the material is a bit technical and so is the subject. But regular study you’ll be able to understand the language of Study material. For a quick grasp of the subject during the examination days a summery has also been inserted in the end of each chapter. To know more about how to use study material refer my Article available at the link below:
Institute Study Material is best source for Exam Preparation
3. Reference Book for ITSM: It is important to use right reference book for ITSM or any other subject from start in order to get good result. As per my simple opinion for ITSM you are advised to use the book of Dinesh Madan or Paduka. These 2 are the most preferred book for ITSM exam preparation. The book of Dinesh Madan provides an examination oriented material with Review Questions to analyze the understanding of the topics. It is also available in Hindi.
4. Use secondary source of preparation provided by ICAI: It is highly recommended to use secondary source of exam preparation provided by ICAI. These secondary sources of exam preparation provided by ICAI include Revision Test papers, Practice Manual, Mock Test Papers, Suggested Answers. Use of these secondary source of exam preparation is very crucial to check and finalise your preparation. So take note of this point. You may download Revision Test papers, Practice Manual, Mock Test Papers, Suggested Answers for ITSM from the link given below:
Particularly in IT SM paper, you may find question worth 30-40 marks from practice manual paper and questions are usually repeated. So please take note of this fact.
5. Conceptual Understanding and regular Revision is must: In subject like ITSM Conceptual study and understanding along with regular revision is must. Without Conceptual clarity it would be tuff for you to recall the contents in ITSM subject. With Conceptual understanding one can easily understand the practical questions and solve them easily.
6. I would also suggest you one strategy that a heavy topic should be followed by a small topic. In other words after completing a heavy chapter, start a small and easy chapter. Just to give you an example after completing the chapter of flowchart and Decision table don’t start another heavy chapter. Simply start easy chapters like Data Storage, Retrieval and DBMS. This will help you to retain concepts for a longer period and avoid mixing up of concepts.
7. Revision Strategy: A good Revision strategy is also important in a subject like ITSM. In case of poor revision, it would be difficult for you to recall ITSM concepts and formulas in exam hall. If you fail to revise, your ITSM paper would be a complete disaster. So beware about the same. Hence after completing all the chapters revise all of them one by one in the same order in which you have made first reading.
8. Prepare List of Imp topics: Prepare a list of frequently asked theory questions in previous examinations and prepare them thoroughly. You may prepare short notes of ITSM in your own language and revise them regularly. Also discuss important and crucial topics within your friend circle to ensure better grip on the topic and chapter.
9. Some tips found on Internet: Please find below some tips to prepare IT and SM found on internet. It was posted by someone on Facebook. I have no idea about the author but points are quite relevant:
Tips for Information Technology:
i. Start with easy chapters like Data Storage, Retrieval & DBMS and they have good weight-age also. So do this first.
ii. Prepare flowchart and Decision table as marks covered are 8 to 10. For a good grip in this part, do all illustrations from module and questions of Practice Manual.
iii. After that prepare Internet and Other Technology. Many topics also easy under this chapter and scoring also. So do it properly.
iv. Now do Software and Computer Network & Network Security chapter this chapters is a bit heavy i.e. have lots of topic. So try to cover as much as you can.
v. Now just check the definitions asked in past exams from practice manual and RTPs, and from module too.
Tips for Strategic Management:
i. Start SM preparation from last chapter to first chapter.
ii. Do Practice Manual first as if once you do it around 60-70% course will be covered. From Practice Manual its quite easy to read topics as they are given question format rather than paragraphs as given in modules. And generally questions get repeated, so prepare those questions thoroughly and you will definitely score in subjects.
iii. Now start reading from Chapter 7. You can read from module as its language is easy.
iv. Do all chapter end questions from module because true & false many times comes out of it. So better to go through that. And there are sometime 4 marks filling the blanks, so for it, just go through the quotation given before starting the chapter. Just go through past papers, you will find those one liners in the form of filling the blanks.
Other notable points: Please take note of the below mentioned relevant point regarding preparation of ITSM:
a. It is really important to classify less relevant portion of your study. I would suggest you to refer Scanner to figure out the portion of ITSM subject which is least important from exam point of view. This will help you to save time and energy.
b. Lack of good presentation is one of the major drawbacks for most of the CA students. So workout on your writing and presentation skills.
c. You are advised to practice such numerical questions which cover the technical points, formulas and adjustments of entire chapters.
d. Try and make an effort to complete your paper 100%. In other words attempt full paper of 100 marks to fetch some extra marks as marking is done on step basis.
e. Keep a query diary with you during study time and note your queries in this diary and resolve them same day or next day. Do not keep your query unresolved. Don’t forget to mention answer of your query in the query diary.
f. Prior understanding of Question paper pattern is very important. So before going to exam refer last attempt question paper to understand exam pattern properly. Further the presentation is very important in ITSM subject so you should avoid unnecessary cuttings and corrections.
g. Before answering any question you need to make a rough solution in your mind and then go accordingly. No need to make hurry in papers like ITSM as one mistake may spoil your entire efforts. In ITSM you won’t get amendments very frequently, so no need to worry about amendments etc.
I sincerely believe that the suggestions mentioned above would be of some help in ITSM preparation. Remember ITSM is a different subject and with right approach you can fetch great marks in ITSM as it is a high scoring subject.
CS Ankur Garg