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My take on ICAI's move to collect feedback from candidates on exam

Tejas bhagat 
on 09 November 2019


My Suggestions to ICAI for changes in Examination in format as required by ICAI 

My take on  ICAI s move to collect feedback from candidates on exam

- Tejas Bhagat (CA finalist) 08.11.2019

System/Structure of conducting Examination

3 level structure should be maintained with emphasis on analytical & basic understanding of subjects at CPT level, Knowlege based evaluation at IPC level and professional skill-based evaluation at Final level. Final exams should not have questions which require students to by heart answers. For e.g.- questions like diff between ind as & as, definitions in law, audit. Similarly the criteria should be maintained for IPC & CPT "strictly"

Format/structure of question paper:

MCQ based questions should be avoided at final level. Consideration for time required for each question should be made in Practical papers. It should not be expected that students 'know' answers right away while considering time limits especially at CPT and final level. Questions should not have terms/words/jargons used other than that referred in study material. In Papers like SFM or FM question structure should be in a way to 'provide' details & not confuse reader as students read it in time bound situation. Questions that involve multiple assumptions should be avoided. For MCQ questions students should be allowed to take away question papers with them.

Evaluation process of answer sheet:

All questions attempted by the student should be considered. The questions in which students score the least should be considered as extra (optional). However, in case if mandatory question, scoring should be considered irrespective of marks obtained.

Methodology for awarding marks including step by step marking:

Step by step marking should be must especially in practical subjects. In step by step evaluation answers written should be cross-checked with model answers & not vice versa. In questions involving 'decision making' final answer should not carry more than half mark weightage. In questions involving interpretation of statues, marks should be awarded for 3 attributes:  Principle used, supporting given & conclusion arrived. Each of these steps should be awarded marks seperately even if the other attribute is wrong. Answers written by students in "own words" should not be given lesser weightage. If the answer has substantiate reasoning even if keywords in model answers are not used it should be awarded marks "fully"

Existing system of verification of answer sheets:

Existing system of verification should be discontinued. If it is to be continued, cost of verification should be reduced to Rs 10/paper and should be borne by ICAI from examination fees taken. Refund should be awarded in all cases of changes in marks including reduction in marks.

Re-evalution of exam sheet:

Re-evaluation should be done in same manner & with same standards of original evaluation. It should be made by different evaluator than who evaluated the original sheet. Apart from re-evaluation it should consider all points as covered in existing re verification system including verification of OMR sheets. Re-evaluation should be strictly time bound with result of reevalution to be declared within 1month after last date of applying for reevaluation. Period for applying for re-evaluation should be maximum 7 days from date of result. (ICAI must make available model answers to students during this period) Further ICAI should certify that the re-evaluated copies are fairly checked and it is liable for legal consequences in case of any minor or major default in evaluation. Provision for legal consequences should be added in the Chartered accountants act. It should include personal liability of re-evaluator, BOS president & ICAI president. Student would be declared "passed" if the legal procedure reveal mistake on part of reevalutor or ICAI.

Supply of certified copies to students: Certified copies should be provided only on application & completion of re-evaluation. Costs should be refunded if there are changes in marks including reduction in marks. Certified copies should be accompanied with the changed result if there is any change upon reevaluation.  OMR sheet should be accompanied with the certified copies. They should also accompany with seperate standard certification statement that ICAI, ICAI president, BOS president & re-evaluator would be personally liable for legal consequences in case if fault in case of default in the result.

Procedural changes if any:

Student grievances in respect of examination should be considered neutrally but seriously. If any student is aggrieved by result and proceeds to take legal action, ICAI should mediation and avoid disrepute. ICAI officials like president, secretary or grievance committee should take direct recognition of such rare cases. They must consel and explain the mistakes by student in the papers emphatically but in a unbiased manner. If the student is still aggrieved student should would be open to legal methods. ICAI should try & maintain maximum discrepancy. Student wise, regionwise, centrewise results before reevauation if any demanded by ICAI committee members or student committee at branch level or regional levels. Such lists should be made available in public domain.

Regulatory changes if required:

Chartered accountants act and examination regulation should include provisions of reevalution and liability of ICAI and its officials for legal consequences in case of proven discrepancy in result. It should procedure for student to apply to requisite court of law & whether civil courts entertain such grievances.

Any other matter:

Model answers to examinations should be declared immediately after examination ot atleast week before declaration of result. ICAI should drastically improve its exam related study material like Revision test papers, Suggested answers and compilations. The answers to questions mentioned therein lack quality and are devoid of proper steps. It should be understood that students do not have access to model answers of examinations and if any mistakes including lack of proper steps would confuse the student and aggrieve him to apply for further re-evaluation.

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