It was end of July and I was coming from burning heat of Delhi. I was more excited to escape the Delhi heat than actually going to a foreign country (China in my case and Beijing to be precise). When I landed and I was more than glad. I was stunned by the infrastructure around me (but that story has to wait).
Next day, I left early to the university and I will not lie, I had mixed feelings. There was resistance. There was fear and there was excitement. Excitement to learn a foreign language (mandarin/Chinese) and nervous to be part of foreign students and Chinese in general.
I reached the university and it immediately hit me, it was vast. I thought how the hell I am going to reach my class. How the hell I am going to get through this vast university?
I had with me the map of the university (which the university sent as part of the admission package) and started searching. It was old and difficult to understand. I was struggling!!!
I decided to take help and stopped a Chinese girl (common observation tells you that women are good with language and I thought the girl would know some English), but she didn’t speak any English. I tried with few other people (boys/men as well), only with no real information. With their thick tongue, they have limited ability to speak the words clearly and my ears were not yet accustomed to their accents. Now, I was really scrambling!!!
This is when it hit me, I planned for this!! Yes, I did!!
I took the little piece of paper from my wallet and I started showing and then I got clear response. It was body language but I would take it… this is what was written in it:
1. 你好， 我要去B 号楼，1号门。请你帮我。
Translation: I want to go to Building B, Gate 1 for my Chinese Class, Please guide me?
This one sentence that I prepared, with the help of a friend, was so powerful that it helped me navigate through the entire university to reach my class. I wasn’t on time, but I was there.
I couldn’t emphasis this more. I planned for contingency in this case, and planning for every and any project is the first task and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
For a course like Chartered Accountancy, notwithstanding what stage you are in (CPT/IPCC/Final), you must have a detailed and flexible plan.
I think one of the reasons of huge failure rate in CA is failing to plan.
Good, Flexible plan is directly proportional to you passing the exams smoothly.
(In the image above Jaspreet and his friends struggling with how to approach the course)
In the image above is an example of how the students are struggling with the planning of the course. The course is so vast that if you don’t plan, you just shaved of 20% of your chances of passing.
I think the whole CA course should be approached with clear strategy… I have my own and I call it the “2/5/3 approach”
My 2/5/3 approach is:
20% Planning, 50% Preparation and 30% Presentation
Unfortunately, planning isn’t easy. But it has 2 basic characteristics:
1. It should be ‘flexible’
2. It should be ‘nimble’
Flexibility in a plan is a necessary evil. It makes it an art and science. You have to customise it according to your capability, your time constraints and your daily routine. You have to customise it according to your “life”. You could be perhaps at the beginning of your course and is actively taking classes or at the stage where all your classes is over or somewhere in the middle. The key is to deliberately and methodically plan according to your circumstances.
The second character is equally critical. If it’s not nimble, you are probably doing it wrong. Let me first explain what I mean by nimble.
Nimbleness means it should be able to move/adapt quickly. It should be modified according to your movement through the course and such nimbleness is critical for your success.
The plan is an active document which requires continuous update. Continuous update will give you immediate feedback as to where you are lacking and where you should concentrate on. This feedback will keep you in line with your goal of completing the course on time and never let you divert.
I have decided to call Jaspreet and his friend and help them. I will focus to understand what their circumstances are and how can they focus on completing the course on time and clear it in the first attempt. If you want hear, how I solved their problem and what I think they could do to improve their chances of clearing the exams then find me here.
Also, tell me what exactly are you struggling with? How exactly you want me to help?
You can find me here as well.