Well begun is half done and it is quite important that we write the first paper of our exams extremely well. I have made an attempt to describe strategies which I adopted and which enabled me to score 95 (PE1), 98 (PE2) and 80 (Final).
1. Learning Concepts: Though branded as a practical subject, theoretical knowledge plays a significant role in determining how well do you perform in the subject. Students make an attempt to solve the maximum number of problems without giving much thought to understand the concept. This could be quite dangerous. Even one may solve hundreds of problem but there is always a chance that you get the 101st Problem and in case you have not understood the concepts, it would be a real difficult situation. The focus should be on the number of concepts you learn rather than the number of problems you solve. Once you have a thorough understanding of concepts, you can solve any problem from that specific area.
2. Where to prepare from?
Students tend to ignore study material but my own experience with this subject is that one cannot afford to ignore the Study Material. Some problems and explanation given in the Material are of very high standards which help us to have a broader understanding of the subject. Please do refer study material atleast once.
Apart from Study Material, do have a standard reference book at hand. I followed Shukla and Grewal for my PE II and MP Vijay Kumar for Finals. Both books were equally good and were designed for students of all stratums. If you have attended tuitions, you can follow your tuition notes as well.
These should be backed by Compilations and Previous year papers. Once you solve questions from previous year papers, you have a feeling of the standard of questions that appear in the examinations.
3. Accounting Standards:
Students at PE II (now PCC/IPCC) are expected to have a working knowledge of accounting standards and Students at Final level are expected to have advance knowledge of same. Start early and the best option is to read the accounting standards directly in their bare form with the supplementary text (generally provided in a Appendix form in the study material). You can also buy a good book on standards to solve practical problems. Again previous year questions from Accounting standards are excellent source to practice practical questions.
Make it a point to remember the Accounting Standards Number and some basic definitions. Being thorough in Accounting standards not only helps you in Accounts but also in auditing.
4. Key/Important Chapters:
These are the chapters which have carried the maximum weightage in the examinations. Make a study of the previous year papers to have a understanding of the same. During my PE II, partnership accounts, single entry system, insolvency, branch accounting carried a huge weightage. Similarly in finals consolidation and amalgamation carried about 35 marks. The trend may not be continued but having an understanding of critical areas helps you a lot to maximize your score in the subject.
Presentation in the examination is the key at the end. You may have studied extremely well but if you are not able to present what you learned, it makes no sense at all.
a. Working notes are a must. I used to start the answer with a working note. There is no such rule that you start with working notes. All your assumptions and workings must be presented together at one place as working notes.
b. Avoid using abbreviation like P & L a/c; instead write Profit and Loss account.
c. If you feel that you are running short of time, there is not need of drawing lines and tables. You can simply fold the paper and mark you margins (I did the same in PE II costing and still managed 80 out of 92 attempted). So there is no correlation between drawing lines and scoring marks.
d. Answer to theory questions must be brief and to the point.
e. If the question has figures like Rs. 10,00,000/-, truncate the last three zeros and write on the top of the answer : “Amount in ‘000”. So if you have to pass 15 journal entries you save a lot of time.
f. Use effective use of Calculator functions like M+, M-, GT etc.
g. If you are passing journals, write complete narrations.
h. Prepare multi column ledgers in p’ship accounts etc to save time.
6. Always remember that you get marks for every step you do correctly even though your end answer may not be correct. So just don’t leave a problem because you can’t solve it completely.