THE DAY AND THE WAY I CLEARED CHARTERED ACCOUNTANCY
Yeeessssssssssssssssss I am a CA !! I shouted… This was my first reaction when I heard that I have cleared both groups of CA Final in Nov’2012 attempt. It was 21st Jan’2013 and I was in my GMCS class. Everyone in the class was so nervous that day. In fact, discussions started happening as soon as the result date was announced some weeks back. We were sitting in the class but our mind was hovering somewhere else. Everyone was busy in his or her own thoughts (maybe prayers or something). I was a bit silent that day and was hoping that something positive should happen. Suddenly, around 11.30 am, my friend got a call from her father that results are out and she has cleared both the groups. She just shouted and within seconds everyone in the class knew that results are out. Everyone was busy on their phone trying to check their results. I gave my roll number to one of my friend who then called his father to check the result from office. He was on phone and told me to wait till his father was checking. I was just looking at him hoping to hear something positive. And guys, when he said that “Anurag, tera ho gya clear”, I just shouted. The ICAI faculty looked at me with the obvious action that “Anurag-Be silent…Heart-attack aa jaega baaki logo ko aise chillaoge toh!! I just ran myself out of the class and called my father.
I could not believe it to be very frank and I was totally over the moon. I called my father straight away for giving him the news for which he was waiting for. When I informed him he was so shocked (i mean happiness wala shock!! u know). He was so happy when he finally saw the result in front of his eyes.
Well, these things are so hard to explain but wonderful to feel. I cannot forget that day. Every single student doing CA works hard in every way possible and believe me we all will see ourselves as a CA one day.
Friends sometimes to achieve something different, you have to do something different. Many students find it tough to handle both groups. Infact, it is. After all, this is the biggest challenge which stops us from getting this honorable degree. I just want to share my experience with all of you of on how I managed 8 papers together.
Firstly, when we are aware of all the topics in each subject, then I believe we can go through previous year’s questions papers to understand what type and level of questions are coming in exams. This helps us to plan and prioritize for each subject in a different way. This is what I did and then made different plans for every subject. Each one can have its own preference when it comes to strong or weak subjects.
As per the format of the question paper in Final exams, out of 7 questions, we can leave 1 question. We should be very careful here as this makes a huge difference.
I like to divide the subjects into two parts- Theory and Practical subjects.
I had my preference for theory subjects and I wanted to score in Audit, Law and ISCA. From the very beginning I knew that if I want to clear CA final, I have to score in these 3 subjects. For theory subjects, ICAI Practice manual should be referred as it covers a whole lot of variety of questions.
Audit- This was one of my favorite subject. One should refer Practice manual for Audit. Give special focus to Ethics chapter. A Question of total 16 marks containing 4 or 5 sub-parts comes and it is based on case studies. Please don’t try to mug up. Try to revise as much as you can and understand the concepts. Then, we can easily write the answers in our own words.
Law – Special focus on case studies is a mandate in Law. Director’s chapter is very long so I made short notes in my own handwriting to save time and cover the whole chapter at the time of revision. I used to study case studies from Practice Manual for chapters like Directors, SEBI Act etc. Quoting sections is not necessary if you can’t remember the section numbers.
ISCA- In this subject, you need to go through each chapter very carefully. Underline the important points in the book. We all know we cannot retain everything thing when it comes to ISCA, but the key to success in this subject is the number of times one can revise before exams. Then, we can write the answers in our own words. The more you revise ISCA, the better you will be prepared to write in exam.
Accounts – Guys, I missed around 1.5 months of coaching classes of accounts when I was going through articleship and missed the classes of Holding & Subsidiary chapter. I tried to understand the concepts but I was not confident. So, I prepared rest of the chapters in a good way. One can score easily in accounting standards and in topics like Gross value added/Net value added, Valuation, NBFC etc. Practical questions based on Accounting standards are very important. I was comfortable with AS.
SFM- This is one subject that I consider to be very vast and tough in its own way. Actually, I did self-study for SFM and really at one point of time, I found myself unable to grasp the concepts properly. But then, I had only one choice i.e. to struggle and just study as much as I can. One can prepare chapters like Dividend, Bond, Lease, Capital Budgeting, Merger & Acquisition etc to score good marks as these chapters are less difficult and vast as compared to Portfolio, Forex & Derivatives. For Forex, Portfolio and Derivatives, one should go through the concepts & formulae and practice 2 or 3 questions from each topic. Practice Manual can be referred for theory questions.
Costing- For me this was the worst part. I never liked costing but I knew I had to somehow study and get the passing marks. Theory and Operational Research part are scoring. We should attempt each question in the best possible way. I don’t have anything special to share when it comes to costing as I was very bad in this subject. J
Direct Tax & Indirect Tax – Both these subjects are kind of mix of both worlds. Every topic looks important for exams but one cannot cover the vast course of DT & IDT especially one month prior to exams and in that one day gap available between the exams. I did self-study for IDT. Try to study the important topics and go through the latest case studies and amendments. Quoting section numbers. Just try to go through the gist or summary of the acts covered and practice the practical questions related to every important topic. For DT & IDT, one should be careful and read the latest/updated practice manual or any latest notes because some amendments keep coming in DT/IDT in every 6 months. One practical question of PGBP comes in the exam and I chose to leave that as I was not sure of solving it.
In DT, Wealth tax is very important as first question which is mandatory in the paper comes from wealth tax.
Friends, I would like to list down a few points –
1. I sometimes feel that success is guaranteed when we mix our hard work with some smart work. Make your own rules for study and follow them blindly and passionately.
2. Reference of Revision test papers and past year questions papers have immensely helped me in noting down important chapters and topics. I was able to plan well in advance that how I will go through each subject.
3. Have faith in your method and style of study. When you start to believe in yourself, everything becomes possible. Just keep one point in mind – YOU HAVE TO CLEAR NO MATTER WHAT AND HOW.
4. Ignore tension as much as possible. Take some breaks between studies and do what you want to relax your body and mind. Effective study is the much better than efficient study.
5. You know guys, if we know our strengths and weaknesses in terms of subjects, we can plan accordingly and put proper efforts towards those subjects/topics in which we are most likely to score and also improve ourselves on those in which we need confidence.
6. Whenever you feel lost and hopeless in life, just think of that smile on the face of your parents when they will hear that you have cleared CA. My parents are my biggest motivation and I was able to achieve this because of thier support and good wishes.... Do it for them..Give your best efforts everytime to see that smile and to give that proudest moment of your life to them !!
I do not believe in number of attempts. No one knows what’s your destiny has in store for you so just leave some things to God. Don’t pressurize urself if you didn’t cleared in your first attempt. Asli duniya toh CA clear karne ke baad hai yaar n life mein humein kuch chances toh milne hi chahiye……Hai na !!!
BEST OF LUCK !!
CA ANURAG PANDEY
(I can be reached at email@example.com)