Chartered Accountant is one of the best professional courses in India and its a great honor to be a Chartered Accountant (CA). Unbelievable marks are scored by most of the CA students. They think that they attempted the full paper; but marks are not up to mark – even 40s were not allotted ! Since Nobody is there to discuss the matter, everyone have their own perceptions and conclusions. Mostly, the same pattern/percentage of result has been declared by ICAI. Those who have failed must require some corrections on their part. Our mind has counter defense mechanism, provided if you have Confidence.
Let us recall a profound statement made by Maharishi Patanjali some 2500 year ago:
" When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. your mind transcends limitation, your consciousness expand in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents come alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamt yourself to be. "
But if you want to become a successful Person in your life, you have to suffer a lot of pain. " No pain No gain".
Facing failure not a shame, but learning lesson from that and getting the way of success is basic of the words “Failure is the first step for Success”
"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently- By Henry Ford"
So here I am writing some guidelines/strategies which are very important in each and every exam to tackle the exams successfully.
UNDERSTAND THE STRUCTURE OF THE EXAM:
One important question you need to answer is – what is the current exam pattern?
In other words understanding of prevailing examination pattern in a proper manner is also very important for a good start to your exam preparation. If you have good understanding of Examination pattern then you can easily plan for exam paper according to your strength.
The most important aspect of clearing an exam should be to understand the structure of the exam. Understanding the structure of the exams, then its become possible to tackle the exam and be successful. Based on the structure of exam planning should be made
SELF STUDY Vs. COACHING
As per my understanding your very first step should be to decide whether to go for coaching or self study. Make up your mind from the very beginning otherwise this question may be converted into a big dilemma later on. It is vary from students to students what they think, either they will opt for self study or coaching. That will totally depends upon your own assessment and caliber.
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DESIGN A STUDY SCHEDULE IN ADVANCE
It is really essential to develop a study schedule before starting exam preparation to help you study effectively without any stress. Prepare a list of Exam oriented important chapters with the help of scanner and design your study schedule accordingly. Also, figure out the length of course content that you need to prepare along with the time required to cover the same.
TIME MANAGEMENT – A KEY FACTOR
Proper utilization of this time is really essential to clear your exam in first attempt. So in this way and to prepare an effective study schedule, time management is very important. You have to allocate most favorable time to each and every subject. Also make appropriate provision for revision of course. Noone will learn you how to manage your valuable time, after all its your precious time. You need to understand your utility of time. So rather asking about it, Keep learning and focusing on time management.
“Don’t Waste Time otherwise Time will waste you.”
ALLOCATION OF NO OF HOURS FOR A WELL PLANNED STUDY
The most critical and complicated questions asked by most of the students.
As per my personal opinion, it would be better for you to decide your study sessions as per your own aptitude/capability.
But, In the beginning it is not necessary that you will have to invest 10-12 hours a day but at least 6-8 hour productive study would be enough. Remember, it is the quality and not the quantity of study that is required.
Further, Quality of time spent on studying is more important and not the amount of hours spend on studying! When you are studying, have complete focus on the subject only and not elsewhere.
SELF AWARENESS OR SELF ANALYSIS
Self analysis is also essential to figure out that everything is going as per your plan. A well defined study plan is not a guarantee of success unless executed in proper way. So you may test your preparation by attempting some previous exam paper under ultimate exam condition or environment.
Later on check the result of your effort and make necessary correction/modification to your study plan.
These kind of regular tests also helps you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. If you are weak in any area, you can remove that weakness easily by detailed study.
HOW TO DEAL WITH THEORY PAPERS
Normally, Most of students are facing failure in professional examination due to only theory papers. The main reason behind this is lack of concentration in theory paper along with poor presentation and writing skills or might be poor english.
For improved presentation and writing skills I would suggest you to refer answer presented by ICAI in their suggested answers/practice manual/revision test papers etc. Careful observation of ICAI suggested answers is very important. Along with good study focus and observation is also very important to succeed in professional examinations.
One more important thing if you are conceptually very clear and strong but not able to present it, then there is some problem indeed, which is required to be sorted out immediately. Good conceptual knowledge with good writing and presentation skill is the key to success.
BOTH GROUP Vs. SINGLE GROUP
It depends on your preparation and availability of time along with your capability to handle both group at a time. Most of students get confused whether to give both the groups or one group at a time. No point in discussing with friends or taking advise from others. Remember you and you only are the best judge. You are fully aware of your strengths and weakness. If you can cope up both groups at a time, excellent otherwise even one group is fine.
I want to draw your kind attention, it's better to give one group rather giving both group and facing failure again and again. Opting for both group is not a guarantee for success. This is not for those students who are preparing for rank. This is strictly for a average kind of students.
“In the middle of difficulties lie opportunities”- Albert Einstein.
EFFECTIVE METHOD OF STUDIES
Please understand the concept underlying the problems. The institute will not ask any irrelevant questions. All the questions are based on the concept. This correction you need to be made during the time of study. The surprise questions has the same concept but with the better question which may be outside from the ICAI module, suggested answer or scanners. The clarity in the concept will help you for dealing such type of questions.
Following steps to be followed :-
Step No. 1
Understand the concept underlying the problems
Step No. 2
Read the problems and try to solve it by using the concept rather than referring to the solutions. If you are going to refer directly to the solution, it means that you are not allowing your brain to work. The same is the situation of those who under gone for coaching classes. This will enhance your thinking process and the same practice will surely help you for finding the solution for surprise gift i.e. questions given to you by the institute.
The above practice will consume your time. But if you are not doing in the above manner , you cannot handle the surprise questions in the exam. At the exam hall , your feelings are like a pressure cooker.
Step No. 3
Refer the practice manual, revision test papers, scanners and suggested answers for Past years, this will give you variety type of questions.
Step No. 4
Making a good notes of concept
Step No. 5
Good time management skills
Surprise and lengthy questions requires good time management tact. First steps towards this are to allocate the time according to the mark allocated. Write the question that you feel more confidents and comfortable.
BOOKS TO BE REFERRED FOR STUDY and COVERAGE OF STUDY:
First of all, here is basic questions with answers that will beneficial for every students.
To whom before are we giving examinations?
Which books are to be followed for getting success in examinations?
But Obvious, All ICAI's materials like
Revision test papers (to the extent available),
Suggested Answers (to the extent available),
Mock test papers (to the extent available),
Practice manual etc.
After doing all you can also refer some good reference book like padhuka and suchitra prakasan. Personally, I recommend you to refer padhuka.
One big question, How to write in CA examination?
First of all, try to learn writing pattern/style of ICAI in various papers then only you can able to answer in a good way. After all ICAI will be awarded you marks. So, simply follow them along with your add on.
No wonder if you find the same or almost same question in your exam. Do pay attention on the content and presentation of answers.
One another big question, should we cover all syllabus and attempt all questions in examination?
Personally my opinion is covering or attempting all syllabus / questions is not a guarantee for success in exam.
So, First identify relevant topic along with mark allocations. Even if any papers has total of 15 chapters then also you need not to cover all chapters. Just 10 chapters will do your work if you Keep the following points in your mind.
a) Learn and understand the concept of chapters
b) Solve/ Read from all ICAI materials which has been mentioned in above question no 2.
c) Refer others books from various authors.
d) Practice to write answers without referring solution and assess your answer level with the answers issued by The ICAI.
I am trying to convey that whatever you will cover , try to cover it in the best possible manner that will able you to secured a good marks in the exam and believe me this is not a impossible task, practically I had applied it and got very good marks.
One should go for in depth study at first reading; it would make you to learn all the topic of the subjects. None of the topic should be escaped by saying “it can be done at a day prior to exam or I will leave it or it’s too tough to prepare”. I think in such a case you should ask doubt and understand the topic from your teacher or friends.
PRACTICE BEFORE THE EXAM:
Practice makes perfect.
Normally, students study before the 2 or 3 months prior to exams and think its quiet enough for them, but they need to practice a lot for completing the exam successfully. Students who are going to appear in an exam should make sure that he/she practices before the exam in the same environment in which the exam will be conducted.
LEARN FROM MISTAKES:
Everyone do make mistakes, but one who learns from that mistake can see the success.
Unfortunately, students studying prior to 2 or 3 months before the exam and by then they don't have much time left to do revision for the exams and as a result they are not be able to score as per their expectations. Make your proper plan which consisting coverage of studies and also get time to do revision for mock up or modules. By the time of proper revision, you will start to feel lots of confidence in you and will not make mistakes in exam.
Do proper planning to get success in exam with high score and negligible mistakes.
While exams time students lose their confidence/temperament due to unwanted fear or thinking. A good study routine and adequate preparation are essential factors for becoming confident. Challenge your negative thoughts with your ability to perform well in exams.
Yes, its true, if you failed in this exam then don’t worry you can get rank in next examination, by preparing hard with confidence to crack exams with a rank. Here I have given examples of peoples who were failed in their first attempt but got rank in next exams.
1. Nitin Gupta – Failed in CA Final, May 10 – Got Rank 1 in CA Final Nov ’10
2. Sujoy K. N. – Failed in CA Final, Nov ’09 & May 10- Got Rank in CA Final Nov 10
3. Sonia Rakheja – Failed in CA Final, Nov 09 & May 10- Got Rank in CA Final Nov 10
4. Shailee Chaudhary- Failed in CA Final Nov 14 - Got Rank 1 in CA Final May 15
“Never confused a single defeat with a final defeat”- F. Scott. Fitzgerald
OTHER IMPORTANT POINTS SPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT ABLE TO ACHIVE THEIR GOALS:
1. Many students can't complete the paper due to slow writing speed. So boost up your handwriting speed.
ii. If you failed more than three times, I prefer you to replace your all the old books with new books preferably new authors.
"No One Can Motivate You If You Are Not Willing To Do Yourself"
i. Make a habit of reading student news letter and journal of ICAI at least for taxation and Law matters.
ii. If you are facing unwanted failures then must obtain certified copies from ICAI and check your answers with suggested answers. You will find deficiencies.
"When you blame others, you give up your power to grow."
i. Just count the days you have, rather counting the number of days you have wasted. Follow "what can be done approach"!
ii. Forget all other works for the day. Just say to yourself "let no thought enter into my mind other than study"
iii. Give no place for Interruption during serious and concentrated study. For this you need to switch-off your mobiles at any cost. i know it is tough but not impossible.
iv. Please keep these points in your mind while studying --
a) Eat less food, heavy food induces sleep
b) Avoid conversations with friends, specially unnecessary talks.
c) Vulgar thought should not be encouraged
d) Avoid Roaming to relatives, friends, pubs, parties etc. for time being
v. Pray to your soul to increase your concentration and make most out of every Day. If possible do meditation, breathing exercises, chanting and yoga. These have profound impact on your mind and help you to maintain focus and improve your concentration.
vi. While Studying have faith in yourself that you can complete assigned work with in allotted time
vii. Arrange your sitting area and surrounding environment should be peaceful with out any disturbance.
viii. Give yourself proper breaks during studying. This would keep you physically and mentally fresh. Ideally studying in the early mornings is great as our mind is fresh. I advise students to study in gardens or in open spaces probably in terraces or balconies so that they can enjoy the early morning sunshine, fresh air along with their studies. One can take short nap in afternoon after lunch to rejuvenate themselves for the next session.
ix. In exams days don’t unnecessarily stress out yourself. Take adequate rest. Also eat nutritious food and fruits. These would keep you alert and fresh. Avoid spicy, oily and junk food.
x. Also remember one thing. Once you are thorough with your first paper, please don’t discuss with your friends. Most of the time we waste precious moments in discussing our papers. What is done, cannot be undone. Study for the next paper.
xi. Revision is the vital step that you must fulfill. Keep revising whatever you read in whole week in Sunday. This will lead you to crack the CA exams for sure.
xii. Avoid overwriting. Where they become inevitable, strike off and write again. Clarity is more important than neatness.
xiii. Always leave left hand page for showing workings, assumptions and notes. Workings are a must for the answer to be valid and should be fairly elaborate. Present them parallel to the question concerned. Use last page of the booklet for rough work.
xiv. State necessary assumptions and notes wherever possible rather than wherever you feel essential. It is not a serious error if you write some extra assumptions, than miss some important ones.
xv. Underline key words in your answers. This is a must to enhance of your point being noticed by the valuator.
"Risk toh Spiderman ko bhi lena padta hai.
Main toh phir bhi CA Student hoon”
"Mehnat itni khamoshi se karo, k Safalta shor macha de"
Finally want to say, be confident and nothing can stop you to get success.
Further, if you will need any kind of help, please ping me thru mail or facebook.
(Author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)