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Strategy to crack CA Exam

Sathish M , Last updated: 07 March 2016  

How to prepare for my CA Examination?

There must be abundant material on “examination tips” available on the internet including the one’s in CCI Forum. Every time we look for some inspiring articles or personalities around us, it helps in creating a strong urge within us to achieve something in life and after all it isn’t a bad idea looking for inspiration. To borrow the quote of Wayne Dyer – “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” So, if you want the change to happen within, you must change your thinking and always keep yourself self-motivated.

I am making a small attempt in trying to give some insights which may help someone over here, to stay positive and perform well in their examination, which is round the corner.

What you need to do before the examination?

(1) When you look at any monumental structure say like Taj Mahal you are awestruck by its beauty. You also need to approach your studies in the similar way so as to build a beautiful edifice. The main thing in this regard is to build a strong foundation, for which a good, comprehensive and realistic plan has to be drawn up suiting your requirements.  

A plan would turn into a success, only if you execute it with finesse. Thus, you need to have a fairly flexible plan to change it at any point in time in order to align with the objectives of passing your exams with exemplary marks.

(2) It is imperative to understand the subject thoroughly so that it can give you conceptual clarity. Some students have the tendency to mug up answers without understanding them, which could spell disaster in the examination, if the question were to be slightly tweaked.

(3) Ensure you underline or highlight the key words and make short hand-written notes of your own in a simple and easy language. This approach could help you during the course of your revision too.

(4) Some of us have the tendency to audit even problems in practical papers from the material. Reading problems is not the right approach; rather one has to keep solving them to know where one is doing the right thing or making mistakes so as to take corrective action.

(5) If you have listened / watched the interviews of rank holders, you may have heard them speaking of a strategy which they used, by simply studying for the exams, right from the beginning of their training period. A consistent effort must go over a period of time, in order to attain success. To reap the fruits of success, one has to sow the seed, nurture it with water, manure etc. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently matters.

(6) One has to get into the habit of solving past examination question papers in an exam environment and try to evaluate your performance. It is absolutely critical to have the speed and control in the exam, so give importance to time management. This could be a precursor for your main examination to work on the deficiencies and build on your strengths.

(7) It is recommended to brush up your elementary knowledge of mathematics, in case you are weak on fundamentals. This is essential to have a better hand eye co-ordination in the exam, to have a smooth flow of your answers.

Your brain isn’t a machine, so give ample rest to your body and mind. Try eating nutritious food so that it doesn’t affect your health. Have a sound sleeping habit and do not strain or stress yourself too much. During breaks listen to some melodious music or play indoor games, engage in gardening or any other activity which can refresh your mind. Meditation for ten minutes daily can help you to control your emotions, stress, impatience, anxiety etc.

How to impress the examiner?

The first day of the examination is one of the dreaded moments for most of the students as they are either facing the professional exam for the first time or they go with huge excitement or they are simply nervous. As you are aware CA examination is more of testing your psychology, and for this you need lot of cool thinking. The performance in your first paper would be a trend setter for the remaining papers. The key mantra is to stay cool and calm.

When you prepare a mouth-watering dish but forgot to add salt or added more salt and served it to the guest without tasting it, what impression will the guest have on the food offered? It could be thumbs down, despite your hard work.  Similarly, all your efforts and hard work gets translated in the three hours which you get in the examination hall and what if you did not put across whatever you studied in the paper.

If your presentation appears inelegant, illegible, illogically structured would that not create a negative impression on the mind of the examiner? In order to win the heart of the examiner, you must be judicious in your approach by writing relevant content asked in the question. Treat him as your guest and leave him with good impression about you, so that you are bound to be given gracious bounties in the form of marks.

(1) Present your answers either point-wise or in bulleted form, so that it creates a good impression in the mind of the examiner.

(2) You can grab the attention of the examiner by highlighting major points either in pen or pencil. Wherever possible you can draw graphs/charts, statements in tabular form etc. which may look attractive.  If you’re English writing skills are not up to the standard, try to improve on it or else it might create bad impression in the mind of the examiner. It is suggested to avoid writing long and unwieldy sentences.

(3) Sometimes in the exams, when we are so tensed, we forget to write the question number for which we have written the answer. This is something which can irritate the examiner and put him off. You must ensure that you write question number / sub question-number at one particular place where the examiner is able to clearly identify for which question / sub-question you have answered. Write the head-line of the question asked which can facilitate the examiner in quickly assessing to which question you have written the answer.

(4) In a law related paper it is important to write the correct provision of the law and support your answers with relevant case laws / Notification/Circular etc., so that the examiner would get impressed by your answer. Do not write a wrong section as this adventure can prove costly, as you must understand, quoting a wrong section is like teasing the examiner’s wisdom. 

Quoting section numbers and important case law certainly makes better impression on examiner. Though it is not practicable to remember all sections and case law, some important section numbers/case law should be remembered. With this idea in mind, this Chapter covers core aspects of various Acts, important case law and section numbers for last minute brush up. Of course this will be useful only if a student has already studied and understood the subject.

How to present case laws in the exam?

The best approach in answering questions based on case law would be in the following sequence–

(1) Brief Facts of the Case
(2) Statutory/Legal Provisions
(3) Relevant Case Law
(4) Reasons for your view and
(5) Conclusion.

What should I do during the course of the exam?

“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.”

1.First solve questions which you know the best.

2.Try doing an ABC analysis for writing the answers in the booklet. For those papers which have choice, eliminate the ones which you will not be answering, so that it saves time.

3.Allocate time for answering each question and stop writing after the allotted time. Leave some margin for checking.

4.Remain cool and do not panic.

What should I do after the exam?

1. We always have the tendency of checking the right answer from our friends or material immediately after the exam and this practice must be avoided. It is highly recommended not to discuss your answers with anyone as it can impact the performance of your remaining papers. However, after the completion of all the papers, you have ample time to review / discuss your answers.

2. One of the toughest battles that you need to practice in the exam hall is to be determined to sit for the three hours and re-collect and write down all the points, and never give up at any point in time. Every single mark counts and that extra minute which you wanted to step out from the exam hall before the final bell, could be decisive.

3. Do not get overwhelmed when you see a very easy paper or a very tough paper in the exam. Take a deep breath; come to terms that you have to write relevant content in the exam, so that you are rewarded with good score.

Concluding remarks

CA Examination is challenging and so you need to have the right mindset with a positive outlook in order to succeed.

I wish you all a very happy preparation cum revision cum examination. Give your best and always think positive and believe in your inner strengths.

Finally to borrow the quote of Nora Roberts- “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. if you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

The author can also be reached at ca.sathish119@gmail.com

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Published by

Sathish M
(Management Accountant)
Category Exams   Report

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