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My journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant

Sanat Biswal , Last updated: 03 February 2020  

I feel as if it was yesterday when I had decided to hop into the wagon for pursuing one of those professions which very few think of doing. The memory is still afresh when I was in a complete dilemma of what to do in life ahead. The results of 12th was still taking time to sink in, while I had no clue of what to do in life ahead. Then I heard about Chartered Accountancy and what the profession holds for me ahead in life. The prospects surrounding the title bubbled around me for days ahead and I kept looking for everything that my amateur brain could look for.

My journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant

So I took my decision to be a part of it and thus started my journey with the belief that I can do it despite all odds. The initial phases of the journey weren’t easy as I had to understand the basic nuances of Commerce that would give me a deeper understanding of what the course completely encapsulated as well. But the passion never died as classes occupied all the time that I had and the time started slipping like sand in a sandbox.

Time passed by and CPT turned into Intermediate and then Intermediate turned to Finals soon enough. Although the journey till the Finals didn’t have roadblocks and I scaled through all the challenges in one go, the real test was yet to begin. You can follow this link to read my Inter journey.

(a) NOV 2018 

The first Final attempt was due in Nov 2018 and I was in a terrible frame of mind at that time with no interest at all for the exams at hand. The four months following to the exams were perhaps the lowest time in my life and I was barely able to study. My mind was completely in distress due to several issues in life happening at the same time. I knew I had a lot of potential in store, but I just couldn’t keep my mind of unnecessary thoughts at bay to focus at the task at hand. I was finding it difficult to even sit lest study for hours at length. Exams approached sooner than you expect and I had registered for both groups. Had only read for FR properly at that time.

Fortunately the first 2 papers comprising of FR and SFM went well and I was in the hope of getting beyond 50 marks maybe. Relied mostly on my intermediate knowledge for the SFM paper. Hadn’t studied audit at all and had covered up only 50-60% in one reading earlier. As far as law was concerned I didn’t remember anything at all by that time.

I still remember the feeling of coming back home that evening after SFM exams thinking how I study 3 modules of a subject which I haven’t even studied ever in life before that comprehensively. It was the cool breeze and the calm evening setting in, that evoked an old emotion strong enough to give me a feeling that I had felt before when the situation has always been tough in life.

I asked myself a defining question, “Do you want to go live with the feeling of regret or with a feeling of pride that you gave it all that you in one night”?

I looked in the rear mirror and at that moment I saw a glow in the face which clearly said, “Hell Yeah!!! Let’s do it”.

Came back home and made up my mind to cover only Professional Ethics, Company audit and Auditing Standards portion. Read that entire night like a maniac and the time seemed to fly back like a rocket but was position was all stand still and I had the kind of brain like an Einstein that one night and that was all I needed. By the end of that one night I remembered all SA’s and all Professional Ethics portion which had the maximum marks coverage and I felt like I still had more to take in even after that. I looked at the clock and the bed next to me and closed my eyes for a second to ask another qs, “Do you want to sleep or make history forever”?

The same hunger was back and I was ready to take in more. Studied really hard literally that one night and it was around 3:30am before my brain started lagging and begged for sleep. The next day in the hall was terrible and the paper asked qs which no one had a clue about including me.

I asked myself again “Do you want to go back home without a fight”?

It was as if a devil had resided in me one that knew never to give up and wanted to fight at all cost. I tried my best to put all the concentration for the 3 hours that followed, many people left the hall midway, I kept on pushing till the last minute and kept the thoughts at bay and focused at the task in hand.

Post that time my zeal was really low and I thought I won’t be able to study for Law paper at all and that happened. Could read only 1.5/3 modules and the preparation was not at all to the mark. The exam was even dissatisfactory and I left the hall half an hour before 5 pm in disgust and that was perhaps the one time where I had left early than the destined time from the hall for the first time in life. Group-2 was a complete disaster after that and I knew that I didn’t had what it would take to make through in the exams and the exams were a really poor performance from my side.

(b) NOV 2018 Results 

I had no expectation from the results this time at all and was prepared for the setback too early as well. Nothing gave me the comfort to expect anything from the results. I tapped on the results page and it kept circling and I found it reflected a “PASS” in group-1 results. It was a complete surprise to me of how come I managed to scale through despite lack of any sort of preparation. I had tears in my eyes and remembered that time during the exams when the situations looked out of favour always but I was prepared for it and especially that one question that I had asked myself that same night.

(c) May 2019 

A feeling of complacency took over me especially after Nov 2018 results and I took the exams very casually and didn’t study for the exams with any form of mental strength at all. Appeared for the exams again with a feeling of low self-confidence and no positivity and thus the outcome followed the same way. The results came out a bit late due to late commencement of exams and I remember it was just before Independence Day the results were out and I had secured merely 139/400, a performance which didn’t speak any length and breadth of what I truly am. I didn’t cry surprisingly as I knew that was not me who appeared for the exams. It was merely someone who didn’t have any clue of what he was doing in life at that time. I was really down to a new low in life and I experienced what it meant to be a failure when everyone has questions for you. I was unable to redeem myself back again and maybe it was because I had failed for the first time in my life in academics ever. While talking to a friend I realized how much my result has had an impact in that attempt, as one friend said that he held the opinion that me not clearing the exams was itself an evidence of the level of toughness of the exams itself. That thing was the spark that I needed for the phoenix had yet to rise from the ashes.

(d) Nov 2019

It was back in September 2018 when I started the preparations from the scratch again and I was very slow in my progress initially. But this time I felt a different power in me never felt ever before. I was waking up very early around 4 am every day and surprisingly never felt sleepy through the day while preparing for the exams. I could relish the power of visualisation at that time and I could visualize myself writing this exact piece of article after clearing my exams. Such was the power at that time my study hours touched its peak of 16 hours straight several days and still no tiredness at all. I was feeling as if I was drugged with an overdose of positivity and self-motivation. I even hit the gym early at around 5:00am when no one was awake at that time at all. The days approached really fast and I found that I needed some more time for costing and begged just for an additional day from any source through god and it was really tight on my part to cover all. Had covered IDT late and I was doing classes in September and October month till last week. People revise their syllabus during the last month leading to exams and here I WAS STILL DOING MY CLASSES IN OCTOBER MONTH WHEN EXAMS WERE COMMENCING IN NOVEMBER 1.

But the belief was such and confidence was sky high I knew it was a matter of time and test of perseverance, you hold the line tight in your grip and you will be there at the highest peak soon enough. I kept on grilling and drilling deep with each day. On the day of costing exam I woke up to the news of costing being postponed, my happiness knew no bounds. It was as if god personally was blessing me this is your chance for redemption make it count. I was back to books soon enough and started Capital Markets. The exam was a pure struggle for 4 hours and I kept scrambling for pages in and out in search of glory. Again the preparation was merely for a day and I had not read the Capital Markets paper earlier well enough. After the exams I knew an exemption was in the offering. Studied for DT and IDT with same intensity, both the papers were decent enough. I was expecting a pass in the least. The final paper was costing which always needs more practice and efforts to beat the stress. The paper was a mind twister and I had again no clue of what to write and how to write. Despite all that I managed to keep writing with whatever I knew and the 3 hours passed with me taking two additional as well. The paper went okay and I was satisfied with it.

(e) NOV 2019 Results

On 16/1/2020 I checked for the results just the time it got announced and I HAD A PASS with 3 exemptions in it and one paper falling short of 7 marks. Everything flashed back that night with the years of struggle and sleepless nights that followed to attain the qualification. On the day you make it you will definitely remember those who held your back and who pointed at you when you were troubled.

The best lesson I learnt about in the entire span of time to be patient with everything, you will definitely see failures in life and you will be completely low in motivation and may feel like quitting. It’s always hard to go through such a feeling and no one wants to face it ever. But that’s the exact time when you build your character and it’s only you yourself who knows the best way to bounce back. Just find the right reason to do so.

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Published by

Sanat Biswal
(Chartered Accountant)
Category Career   Report

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