Here are some of the strategies and tips which helped me get AIR 1 in CA Intermediate Exams May 2019:
Use ICAI Material - Study Material, Old course Practice Manual for practicing questions, RTPs of 2 attempts, Suggested Answers of past attempt papers.
Doing all this is sufficient to score well.
Using multiple books to study (especially theory subjects) can lead to various problems like – confusion in the language and formats to be used and more time required to complete the syllabus. Using a single book ensures that one has limited points to study in the final revision, and it becomes easy to remember things.
Number of revisions:
Try to do the syllabus at least 2-3 times before exams. The main thing is that you must be able to finish the syllabus in the 1.5 days you get in the end. So if you revise only once taking, say, 15 days for a subject, you would not be able to complete the syllabus in 1.5 days. So revise multiple times, first in 10 days, then 5 days, then 3 days, so that you are in a position to complete it in 1.5 days in the end.
Hours to give:
There is no rule of thumb as to how many hours to be studied. Divide your available days/months into a number of revisions and among all subjects. For e.g: a subject is allotted 7 days. Now divide the subject into 7 days so as to form daily targets. Now study for whatsoever hours required to achieve the daily target- 7 hours/10 hours/15 hours. But ensure that the target is challenging, achievable, and in line with the overall study plan. Targets should not be formed in terms of “I have to study these many hours today”, but should be as “I have to complete these many chapters today, whatever hours may be required”. Also keep buffer days (5-8 days) at the end of your plan for any urgent/unexpected event which may occur and you can extend your plan of study without panicking.
Try to give many mock tests. They provide a purpose of studying- If you know you have an Accounts paper 6 days from now, your study would be much more effective than it would have been if there had been no paper.
Giving the paper would prepare you for the exam environment – how to complete paper in 3 hours, how to manage pressure, how to plan to attempt the paper. It helps you to know where you stand, and know your mistakes and correct them. As once you have committed a mistake in a mock test, and have been penalized for it (in terms of marks), you would remember that mistake forever and not commit it again in the main paper.
Make notes containing formulas and concepts and some other observations or guidelines, so that after reading these notes you can directly move on to practicing questions.
There are so many questions to practice that it is not possible to do all questions before the exam in 1.5 days. So from the first revision itself, classify questions. I followed the practice of crossing questions which were either too simple or repetitive (like there are 4 very similar questions, if 1 is done, then other 3 need not be done)
This would substantially reduce the number of questions that need to be done in the final revision.
Try not to study too many subjects in one day:
Study only 1 or 2 subjects in a day. I would prefer that start a subject, complete it in a few days, and then start with a new subject. Too many subjects at once will reduce focus. Doing 1 subject will also help to know how much time you are taking to complete 1 subject.
The reading time in the examination should first and foremost be used to decide which questions are to be attempted and which question has to be left. This decision cannot be left for later and must be taken before starting writing. Else one may end up attempting the lengthy and difficult question and leaving the short and easy question.
Presentation of Answers:
The answers should be written in such a way that the examiner has to make minimum efforts in reading and marking the answers. So write in points/bullets. Highlight important words by underlining, or making box around them, so that the examiner’s focus directly goes to the highlighted portion, and he does not have to read the entire answer. In Theory subjects, write the main heading, double underline it, leave a blank line, and then write the explanation of 3-4 lines. Neatness is important. Although writing is not very important, it should at least be legible.
All the best!