Options for different kinds of CA failure students

Ganesh Vaideeswaran , Last updated: 22 February 2018  

The term CA failed students is too generic to comment. It could fall into any of the following categories :

  1. A student who has failed in his IPCC a couple of times
  2. A student who has failed in his IPCC more than 4 times
  3. A student who has failed in his CA Final a couple of times
  4. A student who has failed in his CA Final more than 4 times

The reason for classifying students as above is - if a student has failed either in his IPCC or CA Final just for a couple of times, there is no instant reason for him to panic or feel frustrated as 70% of the CA students fall under this category.

With the results of these exams being as mean as it is, this is bound to happen.

However, if the student has not been able to clear the exams (not even a group to give him some comfort) more than 4 times then one has to look at viable alternatives. Since the action plan for categories 1 and 3 are similar, am combining the same to avoid repetition.

CA IPCC / CA Final failed a couple of times

The student has to do the following in such a case :

  1. Get his certified answer copies from the ICAI and get the same reviewed by a qualified person (probably a qualified chartered accountant or a rank holder).
  2. He needs to identify a mentor who should be able to identify his weak areas and guide him on how to go about his preparations with a special focus on his weak areas.
  3. He has to write multiple mock tests to ensure that the corrective action planned has been implemented. For this purpose, he has to get his answer sheets evaluated by a qualified person.

Once a student does the above, the probability of his passing the exams gets much better.

CA IPCC attempted more than 4 times

If a student has religiously followed what has been suggested above for students who have not been successful in their IPCC for a couple of times but still has not been able to achieve the desired results for more than 4 times, then it is time to think of Plan B.

It is really important to understand that having a Plan B is not a reflection of a student’s incapability but rather an assertion of his understanding of the ground reality and taking appropriate corrective action for his success.

There are innumerable cases where students have done this and been very successful in their career and life. After all its not for nothing did Sir Winston Churchill state 'Success is nothing but going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.'

A student who falls into this category must have completed his B.Com by this time on the presumption that he was pursuing the same along with his preparations for his IPCC. Thus he must have spent at least 3 years by this time on CA (including CPT) and hence needs some immediate dose of confidence to ensure that his Self Esteem stays put.

The need of the hour here is some short-term Certification Courses that do not exceed 12 months duration but at the same time gives him the shot in the arm to kick-start his career meaningfully. The CMA from the US and the CIA from the US are two programs that immediately come to my mind.

These are short-term programs (a candidate can expect to complete the same in less than a year if he is committed) and enjoys global recognition. With many MNCs setting up shop in India these courses are picking up in demand and is expected to soon become well sought after.

With the focus on Application, Analysis and Evaluation more than mere Remembering and Understanding, these courses precisely meets the needs of the industry today in the global scenario.

CA Final attempted more than 4 times

Similar to CA IPCC, Plan B becomes essential for students in this category also. In addition to the CMA and the CIA programs detailed above, the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) of the USA also becomes a very viable option for a student who has cleared both the Groups of his IPCC but not able to clear his CA Final.

Again with just 4 papers to be completed, a committed student can complete this program in 6-12 months time frame. With the flexibility to write the exams paper on paper (similar to the CMA & CIA) this program gives is a real boon for students wanting to earn a global certification in finance and accounting.

Annexure gives a summary and comparison of the CMA, CIA & CPA for easier understanding.


Salient Features of the CMA, CIA and the CPA of the US


Data Points






Certified Management Accountant

Certified Internal Auditor

Certified Public Accountant


Governing Body

Institute of Management Accountants, USA

Institute of Internal Auditors, USA

Institute of the Certified Public Accountants of the USA


No. of Papers





Exam Format

1) Online
2) 75% Objective & 25% Descriptive questions

1) Online
2) 100% objective questions

1) Online
2) Objective, Task Based Simulation & Descriptive


Paper Description

1) Financial Planning, Performance & Control
2) Financial Decision Making

1) Internal Audit Basics
2) Internal Audit Practice
3) Internal Audit Knowledge Elements

1) Auditing
2) Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR)
3) Regulation
4) Business Environment & Concepts (BEC)


Questions Type

1) 100 MCQs in 3 hours - 75% weightage
2) 2 Essay Questions in 1 hour - 25% weightage

1) IA Basics - 125 MCQs in 2 hours & 30 mins
2) IA Practice - 100 MCQs in 2 hours
3) IA Knowledge Elements - 100 MCQs in 2 hours

1) Except BEC all Papers - 50% MCQs & 50% TBS
2 BEC - MCQs 50%, TBS 35% and Written Communication - 15%


Passing Score

Scaled score of 360 out of 500 with a minimum of 50% score in Objective format.

A scaled score of 600 out of 750. Actual scores of passing students not declared since all are considered equal once passed.

Scaled Score of 75 in each paper.


Exam Centers

Multiple Centers in India

Multiple Centers in India

UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon and the US only


The frequency of Exams

Almost throughout the year in Pearson Prometric Centers across the globe.

6 months in a year - January, February, May, June, September, and October.

Almost 280 days in a year.



Can take up the exams before Graduation but for certification, the student must be a graduate.

Can take up the exams before Graduation but for certification, the student must be a graduate.

Varies from State to State. Pl. consult an Expert for this.

Published by

Ganesh Vaideeswaran
(Director, Grey Matter Academics Pvt. Ltd)
Category Students   Report

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