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Thanks all the readers for sparing your precious time in reading my articles published earlier on the topics of:

  1. (Mind Setting//Mapping )
  2. (My Experience with Professional Institute)

Based on the comments received and after having a lot of interactions with the students on the issues relating to exams, I feel that it is important that I share with you some tips which will act as an important roadmap to your success in exams. My suggestions to all the students are that don’t ever take these exams lightly just as other exams which you have faced and be serious enough to put some extra efforts in gaining knowledge about the professions for which it represents.

1. Develop Interest -The first thing which each one of you should develop is INTEREST in the subject. Most of the students perform well in the subjects which they are interested in and perform poor in the subjects which they are least interested. There is no subject in professional exams on which you should speculate as to interest and not interest. Since, aggregate place a major role, you need to develop an interest in all the subjects and put similar efforts in preparing for all the subjects.

2. Read to Understand – No doubt majority of the students read the subject but, it is only a few people understand the subject. Effective reading is one wherein you understand the subject. As professional exams require understanding the concepts to great extent, it is important that you understand what you are reading. Always keep in mind 3Rs listed below and practice it till you become perfect –

a) Registration – Read and listen with concentration.
b) Recording - Recording refers to understanding in your own terms and storing it in mind.
c) Recall – Recapitulate whatever is recorded. Most students fail in this because they do not practice this in their approach.

3. Refer books and other resources – It is important that professional students like you should refer lot of books, prepare notes and understand concepts to the core. More you read and understand much better will be the points you recollect in exams and this will help in the presentation of answers. It is important for students of final exams that they attend seminars, conferences etc conducted by the institutes and also get updated with latest amendments taking place in taxation, company, audits etc by referring to various professional magazines.

4. Scanners,RTPs  etc to be used as references – Always use scanners, RTPs etc. as last minute references and not as main part of your study. Preparation based only on scanners and RTPs will not help you in understanding the concepts and also there is a meek chance of questions getting repeated.

5. Practice lot of writing - Most of the students with whom I interact bring out the common problem is that they know the answer but they cannot express the thoughts. This problem is because you do not practice writing skills. Most of the exams can’t frame proper sentences, write proper spelling etc.. This is something which has resulted because of poor writing skills. You know the answer but, lack in expressing your thoughts. There is a thin gap which exists between your brain and your physical movement of a finger due to which you forget. This is one of the biggest dropback in exams which have resulted in failures. Practice lot of writing daily, this will help a lot during exams.

6. Theory answers restrict to points – Whenever there is a theory paper which you are answering, make sure you stick on to the quality of the answers restricting your answers to bullet point. In case of law papers, it is important that you support your answers with relevant case laws, sections, notification etc. Whenever a question asks to bring out the differences, make sure you highlight the points on which there is a difference (parameters) and then explain the reasons for differences. Again to remind, it is the quality of answers which is more important in professional exams rather than quantity.

7. Good presentation skills - Always remember that whatever you have studied will be evaluated in 3 hours of exams and it is important that you make use of the time in more effective and efficient manner. You need to see that whatever you write should not only convince you but also should convince the examiner who will value your paper. Presentation skills are most important in exams and see to it that you always –

a) Write neatly and tidily
b) Always start up new answers in fresh page
c) Serially number the answers according to question numbers
d) Workings forming part of solutions should always be at the end and the main answer should be first.
e) Use pencil and scale to draw lines
f) Clearly specify the headings for transactions for eg. Balance sheet of XYZ company as at 31st March 2010.
g) Highlight the assumptions and notes if any.

8. Spend time on understanding question and revising the answers: Usually, questions will be set for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Spend first 15 minutes of reading and understanding the questions and last 15 minutes for revising. It is only through effective time management which comes by practice you can solve the paper on time. So, practice writing skills first and then fix timer to solve previous year question paper and this will help you out in planning your time effectively in exams. It is only those students who have not followed disciplinary approach fail to complete the paper and they spend almost 45 minutes to solve one problem and will not be left with time to complete the entire question paper.

Exams are the only evaluation process to know whether you have understood the concepts or not. Questions are based on the syllabus which is already told to you. It is only the preparation and presentation which is important for which you need to put some efforts to understand. More than anything else, it is only discipline and professional approach which help you out in clearing the professional exams. So, be confident and keep in mind all the points which have been told above, success will be sure and there will be no more fear and tears in clearing the exams.


The author can also be reached at

Published by

CMA Raveendranath
Category Students   Report

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