Subject wise tips for May 2019 CA exams by CA Final Nov 2018 Rank 1 Shadab Hussain

First of all, I would like to thank you all for all your wishes.

Of late, I have been getting a lot of calls regarding the strategy that I followed during my exams.

I am sure you must be having a certain strategy to follow for your exams and I studied according to my mine. Here, I will share the strategy that I had used during my exams.

I will begin with my overall strategy. First thing which I did was, I ensured to complete all my classes 4 months in advance. I finished all my coaching classes 4 months before the exams so that I have ample amount of time for self-study.

During this time for self study, I gave Mock tests and other test series.

I'll assume that all the students who are planning to prepare for the May 2019 exams have completed their coaching. I'll share what my study schedule was.

I studied regularly for 12-13 hours every day. I studied for 3 hours in the morning and then took a break. And followed the same pattern for the rest of the day.

I took some leisure break wherein I went for brisk walk to avoid fatigue and lethargy. It is very important to take care of your health during this time to manage stress. Take proper sleep and go for walks.

Now, we will see how to prepare for each subject.

Financial Reporting

I'll take the Financial Reporting subject first. In this subject, the most important chapter is Consolidation of Accounts. Most of the students are doubtful whether to study this chapter or to leave it considering the length of the chapter. 90% of the students leave this chapter and bank on the rest of the questions.

While 90% of the students leave this chapter, the truth is also that only 10% of the students pass the CA examinations.

My take here is that I understand that the Consolidation chapter is difficult but it is the same for everyone. When we already know that a question from this chapter will be there in the examination, why not face it. With a little more courage face this chapter and complete it. Do not leave it.

If we see the paper pattern, one question of 16 marks from Consolidation of Accounts and Amalgamation each. And one question of 8 marks from Valuation. 8 Marks for EVA and GVA and 8 marks from Employee from Employee Benefits. This covers almost 56 marks. Therefore, I request you all to at least strengthen these chapters for the Financial Reporting subject.

Strategic Financial Management

Now, coming to the next subject, Strategic Financial Management,

In all subjects, I have referred the Practice manual, Revision test papers, Study material and the Mock Test. For SFM in particular, it is very important to cover the Study Material and the Practice Manual.

I studied the Mock Test papers of previous years as well.

Also, refer to the notes of your coaching classes, it is very important for conceptual clarity.

The 7th question, is a theory question in SFM, for which I referred to the Practice Manual, where the summary of the chapter is given in the first two pages of chapter. While revision also I studied the same and it helped to write well in the exam.


Now, coming to Law. The unique thing about this subject is that all the questions are new in the exam. The pattern has completely changed, therefore please do not be dependent on Practice manual.

In this the most important chapter is the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, which became applicable from Nov 2017. If you study the pattern, all the questions were case laws. Even I was afraid how to go about it. But since I was a curious student, I resorted to Google to find more information.

There I stumbled upon the website of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India. Forget the solutions of PM and SM. I checked the case laws given in the PM and SM and looked them up on the website. I found that the IBBI publishes a report quarterly for students, professionals and others where it displays all the important case laws. I studied them to stay updated. It is important that you stay updated with them too. All the questions that were asked in the previous three attempts were from that report itself. And secure the 10 marks in the paper.

I never waited for amendments. For November exams the amendments till 30th April were applicable. So, I browsed through all the government websites such as for updates on the company law and others. I printed all the applicable amendments and printed all the notes.

ICAI issues a monthly newsletter. I downloaded all the newsletters and kept myself updated. I was months ahead of other students due to my proactive approach.

I took Munish Bhandari's classes for law. You can refer to his book as well. All the teachers in my opinion are good. You can take your pick.

For Audit, I did complete self study. I studied the entire thing from the Study Material. I also studied the Annexure which had covered the IndAS part. Only because of the Annexure I could attempt the question in the exam. I request you all to cover the same.


For the Standards on Audit, I referred to Pankaj Sir's book. Where I only studied the SAs because ICAIs material was very lengthy for SAs.

There's one point I'd like to mention here, that most of the students feel that there theory is a weakness. It is because we don't write it enough. I would suggest that for both Law and Audit, please write and practice all the theory subjects. ISCA especially.


Now coming to Costing,

For questions I referred to the Study Material and the Practice Manual. And for conceptual clarity I referred to Sanjay Aggarwal Sir's notes. For the theory, I used the same strategy as I did in SFM. I studied the first two pages of summary given in the Practice manual.

I focused especially on the OR because it has a dedicated 40 marks and it comparatively easier than the rest of the costing. For relevant Costing and Standard Costing refer to the Study Material first and then go to the Practice manual. It will help you in writing and conceptual clarity.

Indirect Taxes

For IDT, I referred to Manoj Batra Sir's book. For theory part, I referred to the Bare Act given in the CBEC. After Section 59, everything else is theory for which I referred to the bare Act. I used to make a summary in the print outs of the Act itself for easy reference. I watched YouTube videos as well.

Direct Tax

For Direct tax, refer to the Question Banks. You can take it from any teacher. I referred to Vinod Gupta Sir's book but I took the coaching classes from Resonance.

If you see the DT question paper, there is a compulsory 16 marks case law question. You'll get an update on the BoS website named as ‘Judicial Updates for May 2019'. It will have a lot of new judgements but do not rely solely on that.

My friends who appeared in the May 2018, got a question from the Judicial Updates released for May 2017 students. From there I realized not to rely on just one update. And I downloaded all the updates from VG Sir's website. There all the previous to latest updates are available. This is how could secure the 16 marks of case law.

For PGBP, I made notes and referred to them during revision.


Lastly coming to ISCA,

You will have to work really hard for ISCA, write and memorize everything. I referred to Amit Tated Sir's lecture and notes. I also watched Swapnil Sir's YouTube videos. And referred to the Study Material and Practice Manual.

That's all. 

On a final note I would suggest you to be proactive for the exams. Subscribe to websites like to stay updated on the latest news and articles and to clear your doubts. It will help you a lot.

I wish you all the best of luck for your upcoming exams. And remember, I am also an ordinary student just like you. With the right amount of planning and studies you can be successful as well.

Thank you once again for all your wishes. All the very best to you!

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Shadab Hussain 
on 05 February 2019
Published in Students
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