“A bad plan is better than having no plan at all” – Mikhail Tchigorin
Well, I’m student of Chartered Accountancy at Mumbai. I recently cleared the CA-IPCC (November 2012). I’d like to share with you guys about an important aspect of our Study preparations we often tend to ignore while aiming for success in our exams. Personally, I’ve never been too bright a student all my life. I used to balance out my marks in the class by the ‘law of averages’. Now, as the result for the November 2012 IPCC came out couple of months back, I was struck by the fact that many of my friends, despite being incredibly good at their studies all their life, failed to clear the exams. A part of my surprise stemmed out of the fact that most of them managed to complete most of their papers in time, while I always lagged behind, and consequently they seemed better prepared. So, the question remains, why despite all their hard work, all their knowledge, all their speed, didn’t they clear?
When I ask this to most of my peers, they are like Mate, it’s a different ball game. I’d prefer to reason this out. I believe that most of the problems we face in our exams and consequently, our results are simply a result of lack of a plan…, a strategy. We often come across many interviews of successful toppers who stress the importance of having a strategy in place while studying. There’s a grain of truth there, and I can attest that. We aren’t talking about topping the exams, but customizing their thoughts and plans as per our strengths and weaknesses certainly assures us a fairly good performance.
Being a Chess Player, I certainly understand the validity of having a plan in place, whatever we are doing. It doesn’t really matter that whatever we may have in our minds may not be the right one. However, as Mikhail Tcigorin aptly pointed out, it certainly is better than having no plan at all!
“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them” – Albert Einstien
Personally, as I said, I wasn’t that bright a student with just 60% in HSC and 105 in CA-CPT. Well, before the IPCC exams, it never exactly felt sweet whenever someone asked me about my academic record for, it almost invariably turned out that they had scored much more in CPT and invariably in HSC too. So, I reasoned that I need some plan of sorts to overcome my deficits and clear my exams. I came across many strategies enumerated by the esteemed toppers, but I realized that they simply weren’t my cup of tea. I had my own limitations and it was not possible to cover such a vast subject in such a short time span as I knew it was way above my limit. I needed something that was within my limits. My aim wasn’t to Top the exam, but just clear it in One straight attempt (Both Groups).
I did a SWOT analysis. I realized that I was well off with the subject Accounting, although I hated Math. Besides, it’s common knowledge that Accountancy is one subject where we can score heavily provided we are accurate! I wasn’t really bad with the other subjects, but I had my own weaknesses. That coupled with my willingness to iron out my faults signified the Opportunities I had to be a better performer. I decided to play on my Strengths. I decided that since Accounting in both the groups together accounted for 200 marks of our total marks, I concentrated to score the maximum marks in this particular subject and devote just enough strengths in other subject as is necessary to shore up my total marks. This, simply put, was my Strategy.
Accordingly, I divided my study time as per my plan. For eg. If I schedule an 8 hour/day study day for a week, I devoted 3 hours DAILY for just Accountancy, and did some other subject in the other 5 hours, new subject ever day (for those 5 hours). I struck to this pattern for some 3 months leading to the exam. The result in the exams was exactly as I had planned. I scored 80+ marks in Accounting subjects while scored between 40 & 50 in all others, thus comfortably clearing both the groups, in my very 1st attempt.
Now I know many of my friends here think that clearing the exams comes just naturally (to them). Nevertheless mates, I’m talking about that someone with a as low a % as me. If could do it, in my first attempt, anyone can! I once read about my idol Rahul Dravid that he wasn’t blessed with the natural flair of, say, a Sachin Tendulkar, bit he was the one who quickly understood his limitations and found a way to play within them!
I’m not professing that you follow the exact same plan as I had done. You yourself know where you stand. You yourself are the best judge for yourself! All I ask is that do a SWOT analysis for you and recognize your own Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats and create a Strategy based on them. Keep faith in your plan for more important than believing in something is simply Belief itself! Your past academic performance doesn’t really matter, it’s what are you NOW which matters!
Thanks for your time. Feedbacks are welcome.
(Myself Priyadarshan Banjan am currently working as an Articled assistant in Virar, outskirts of Mumbai. I plan to come out with a regular series of articles in the near future encompassing various subjects. Your feedbacks stand valuable to me. Thanks in anticipation!)