Plan your own study strategy.

In this article I am going to discuss the confusions, myths and questions of students. Here I would try to guide them to “draft their own Strategy” to prepare for exams.  

Many of the students get confuse about the strategy for study. They are so afraid or excited about the exam that they keep on asking everyone about it and they result with mess. Do remember that a person who himself/herself is preparing for exam, how they can help you on this unless they have experience about it.

Secondly, every person has his own way of study, few start their studies early in morning and few loves learning all night. So if I suggest a person vice a versa the result will be null, neither he will be able to study nor will take sleep.

Similarly, everyone has his own strength/weakness or interest. Some may have grip on practical subjects some may have on theoretical subjects. Again here the subjects need to have extra focus differs for each and every one.

I understand that after result the students, who have not yet appeared for exam and are going to appear in next attempt, get afraid because they see the fail percentage of students. Here, I would like to advice them to not to afraid by this, rather search for the person who has passed the exam and ask his strategy and take the good things out of that.

One more frequently asked question is “Whether I should go for single group or both group?” Answer of this is also within you. Only you know your capabilities, so, if you are above average or believe that you can go for both groups at once then opt for that!

One more question students do ask. Which subject needs more attention? The answer for this is All subjects needs attention but the quantum of attention for each paper differs for each student. Please note That ICAI does not gives us advantage of giving back paper like other professional studies, here we have to bring minimum 40% marks in every subject and 50% in aggregate to clear the group. 

Many students get confused about the material they are using. My advice for them is please "Be careful while choosing your study material before your first attempt and once you choose Trust it and do as many as revision you can do rather than searching for new one”. The reason for above sentence is that, by the time you get your result, you hardly have 3 months in which you have to prepare again so you can’t afford new material with two to three revisions.

Few students have myth that the more pages they fill, the more marks they get. Please don't do this. Understand what exam you are appearing for… This exam will make you Chartered Accountant so please write only relevant thing.

Now moving to our Topic. Strategy to prepare for exams.

So, now I can help you to design your own strategy as no one understands you better than you. For this give some time to yourself, Sit with a paper and pen, make a strategy that suits you. Don’t make it so tough which cannot be continued for longer period and once you are done with it Do Follow it, Don’t cheat yourself.

So before you start for you exams, in addition to your main study material, you should have following as well:

  • Practice Manual
  • Suggested Answers for Last 5 Attempts
  • RTPs for Last 2 Attempts

Now I would like to share my own strategy to make it more practical and advice you to Customize it for you. Bear in your mind that I was neither a meritorious student nor a very intelligent one. Being an average student, my strategy was just to clear both groups one by one.

So as I advised above I too had taken guidance from my senior who had passed her both groups one by one in her first attempts. I gave one group at a time and used material given below:


Mode of Study

Study Material

Financial Reporting

Classes from -CA Praveen Sharma

Study material provided by Classes.

Strategic Financial Management

Classes from                                                                                       -CA Rajeev Shukla

Study material provided by Classes

Advance Auditing & Professional Ethics

Self Study

Handbook by CA Surbhi Bansal.

Corporate & Allied Law

Self Study

Main book of CA Munish Bhandari and Handbook for later revisions

Advance Management Accounting

Classes from                          -CA Sanjay Aggarwal

Study material provided by Classes

Information system Controls and Audit

Self Study

Handbook by Dinesh Madan

Indirect Tax Law

Classes from- CA Rajkumar

Study material provided by Classes

Direct Tax Law

Self Study + Revisionary Classes from VG Sir

Module of VG

The study material given above was the only thing I referred and never felt the need of any other thing. Before I start I shall tell you that I am an Average Student with interest in practical subjects and learning theory was a task for me. But I knew my strengths that I am a hard worker who believes in herself.

For initial days I was not able to do self studies as all day was consumed in Coaching Classes and Article-ship training Therefore I just wanted 4-5 months before exams without any coaching classes and around 2 months without article-ship training to start my self-studies.

So my strategy was:

I started my day at 6 am in the morning and went to bed at 11 pm at night. I took proper sleep as well because it was a long journey and I could not afford restless studies which may make me ill during exams.

I started my day with theoretical subject I kept my noon and evening for Practical subjects and again night for theoretical subject that’s how I could manage four subjects in a single day. (Taking up practical subjects during noon had also kept me far from sleep at noon)

Now I had made strategy which was divided into three levels of Revisions:

1st one was to be followed till one and half months before exams. (Suppose for Nov. attempt, this strategy was to be followed till 15 Sept. 2016)

2nd one was to be followed till 15 days before exams. (Strategy has to be followed till 15th Oct.2016)

3rd one was to be followed till exams. (From 16th Oct. till Exams)

1st Level of revision:  Before starting even my first revision I did some rough work. I took unsolved scanner and marked the frequently asked questions (Institute wants student to must know few concepts) for all the subjects and highlighted their answers in my own study material.

When I started my self-studies, the first revision took longest time even for the subjects I took coaching classes and I understood that it was next to possible to revise entire syllabus before exams. So, In my first revision I focused on understanding each and every concept and its application.

Then moving forward to my second revision, I came to understand that in Costing and Accounts there are many question which are 60% same with 2-3 different points which examiner wants to test, I marked those points in the question (which helped me a lot during my 2nd and 3rd level of revision). So, I highlighted those points in the question and also gave stars to frequently asked questions as per scanner.

For Practical Subjects: Now as I suggested to include Practice Manual in your study material, I started solving them with my 2nd revision. Rather than solving the manual all together, I preferred to solve it chapter wise along with my main study material. For example, revising Holding Companies, firstly I completed it from my main study material then by practice manual then by RTP and Suggested Answers. That’s how I revised a single chapter completely. The same way I prepared SFM.  

For DT, VG Sir’s module is more than sufficient to go with and for IDT, Notes and the classes of Rajkumar Sir was enough. I just kept on revising them again and again. And for these two subjects I did not feel the need of practice manual. Though RTP’s and Suggested Answers are must.

For Theoretical Subject: Preparing theoretical subject was the biggest task for me as these were my weakest point so I had to put extra efforts. So as suggested above I already had highlighting the frequently asked question in my study material for Audit and ISCA only (taken question from Scanners and answer from my own study material) and by doing this, I had selected portion to be read in each chapter. Then I started reading or learning only that relevant portion everyday and gradually I was able to read entire book on a single day so basically I was revising the entire theoretical subject every day. For Law, I was not required to highlight important questions as it was already done in Munish Bhandari Sir’s book and I opted for main book of Munish Bhandari for this level of revision.

2nd Level of revision: Now we have half cooked food that means we are aware of all the topics of all the subjects, we know the important portions and also we have gone through the Practice Manuals, RTPs and Suggested Answers. Now what we have to do is Revision, Revision and Revision.

Under this strategy, For Practical Subjects: rather than going for all questions, I preferred to solving only important question as starred by me in my 1st strategy.  

For Theoretical Subjects: My father had advised to learn by writing which makes an image in your mind of what you read so now this was the time to start writing the relevant highlighted part of the chapters. That was all I did for theory. Yes, for case law, RTP and Suggested answers helped me a lot as it gave me an idea how to write answer of case laws. And yes, now I shifted to handbook of Munish Bhandar for preparation of Law.

3rd Level of revision: Now as exams are just few days far. The level of stress is at its top. While reading one subject, I was worried about the other one. Still I had to keep stress free and follow the strategy.

For Practical Subjects: Now I preferred solving important/tricky points only(marked earlier) rather than solving entire question plus 1 or two important question per topic. Always Remember, Always solve the numerical, rather than auditing them. What many student do is, they see the numerical and say…haa, ye aata hai.. haa, ye ho gaya.. and during exams they get totally confused ye kaise hoga? So please always solve numerical.

For Theoretical Subjects: Followed similarly as during second level of revision. Kept reading and writing. Believe me this will improve your writing speed and you will not leave any answer because of shortage of time.

That’s how I prepared for my exams and used it as live example for you all. My intention is to make you people stress free and plan your studies well to face examination. Though I tried to summarize it yet I filled four pages, but trust me I did not wrote a single irrelevant word.

Lastly ending up my article with lines….
“Ruk jana nahi tu kahi haar ke, Kanto pe chal ke milengi rahe bahar ki”

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