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The Magical Element for clearing CA Papers, which apparently, no one prepares for.

Was just passing through after my class, and overheard two people on my way out saying “arrey yaar tujhe pata hai, yeh baar result sirf 6% aaya hai…boss apna kaise hoga? “ And I started to feel,

The student without even attempting the exams, without even putting a show of his own, sunk into the feeling that he might not clear.

And that is the moment, something that Sir Albert Einstein quoted struck my mind,

“Imagination if bigger than knowledge.” Knowledge can take you from A to B, but imagination, can take you everywhere.

It is this imagination that one needs to have, that, one WILL clear through. It is this belief, this faith they need to have in themselves, and the logic is very simple, if one doesn’t believe in himself/herself, why should anybody else believe in them?

In my life as a student and as a professor, I have never come across a student who doesn’t study. Everyone gives the best on their part and still only a few clear. Did you ever wonder why? Because, only a very few believed in themselves that they will sail through and it is exactly those very few, who managed to clear.

So, is it only about what you study and how much you study? And the answer is NO, it’s NOT

Consider that three hours paper as the second innings of a cricket match. The innings where you have to chase 100 runs, and the overs are 3 and MS. Dhoni is the last batsman.  And the moment you convert things, the first statistics, that you pull out, is the average runs per over. You realize that Dhoni needs to put in 33.33 runs to an over, and he is the last batsman, the pressure is mounting.

Imagine, Dhoni losing his confidence at such point of time. Maybe the bowler (i.e. the question) or just the pressure to score so many runs pull him down. Do you think, if he loses his confidence at this point of time, would he ever be able to bring a victory to himself and histeam? Ever?

Whether he is capable of doing that or not, is a secondary question, but does he feel he can do it or not, is what is more important.

The exam scenario is exactly the same. You need to believe in yourself that the task is achievable for you. Positivity is what has changed a lot of things, for a lot of people. The best example that comes to mind is our father of the nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It was his belief in Satyagraha that turned India into a free nation.

Thus, one has to understand, than anything else, is to believe in themselves that they are able to crack it. The most important factor post the BELIEF, is to be ABLE enough to achieve what you BELIEVE, and that is something which is in your hands.

A lot of people who might be attempting for the second time, would feel at the time of studying, “yaar yeh toh aata hai, yeh bhi kiya tha last attempt mein.. etc .

But, if you knew everything, why couldn’t you pass then? Because, the way you have studied isn’t right to put you across the border. Keep one thing in mind, papers are never to be predicted. The more you predict your paper, lesser the chances of getting through. So don’t try to study selectively, but make you sure you study smartly. I am going to put down a few tips for studying that will be helpful.

For each and every paper, the study material, practice manual and compilation is really important. That is the minimum coverage you need to take up.

For numerical papers (Accounts/Financial Reporting, Financial Management/Strategic Financial Management, Cost Accounting/Advanced Management Accounting), make sure you practice all the questions from the above three books as a minimum practice. While solving the questions, in a separate sheet of paper, write down all your mistakes and learnings of that particular question. This will help you understand the WHY’s of a particular paper and the sheet will act as a Do’s and Don’ts paper which can be taken up one day before the exam. Apart from this, the questions which you got really stuck on, mark that for further practice.

For all other theory papers, did you ever feel during the papers, “arrey yaar aisa kuch dekha toh tha kabhi, but yaad nai aara” This is because, you read it probably just once, which helped you retain that you did something like this, but not enough to retain what it contained and for this, you will have to draw up your own notes. Going through everything repeatedly is very important and this is not possible if the paper is voluminous. When you summarize and draw your own notes, you will automatically develop some understanding w.r.t how to summarize a topic and writing it by yourself, will help you register and retain. Summarizing will help you reduce the size to approximately 1/10 the original size. After you are done with making notes of a particular chapter, make sure you go through the questions of that particular topic from study mat. , practice manual, compilations and see if there are answers to all questions in your notes. This will ensure that the notes you built are rock solid, in terms of content.

By following the above steps, the first solving/reading would be pretty lengthy. But if this is done, rest assured, the revisions would sail through very easily.

The first 15 minutes.

In the first 15 minutes of reading time, make sure you find your 40 marks worth of paper, and you will find it. Even in the most difficult of the papers, there is around 60 marks worth of paper which still can be attempted. So institute always gives you passing marks. Just locate that first. It will bring in a surge of confidence in you. It will assure you that you have at least passing marks worth of paper. The next stage, find 10 more marks, and that won’t be very difficult since you are confident that you have 40 marks of paper with you. So things, which could have been dicey at the first glance, Now, with the confidence of possess, you will find them manageable,  and the moment you do that, the next 10 marks worth of paper would be a cakewalk. If you manage to see around 60 marks worth of paper in the 15 minutes which can be achievable, you can be relaxed


Presentation is one important factors as well, to clear exams. Writing 100 marks worth of paper is the first key step. In the answer books, you have to mark the number of questions attempted. That, my dear friends is the first strike for the examiner. Keep in mind, that the marks won’t be awarded itself, someone is going to check the papers. So, instead of playing the paper, play the person going to check the paper. Imagine, the examiner is already seeing questions not worth the marks all this while and then your paper comes up and you still do the same stuff. Don’t you think he would be irritated?

You can choose to write any question you desire and also in any manner. Your initial questions should be one you are really confident about. Mistakes made in the initial questions would be considered Crimes, but Crimes made in the later questions, might be considered Mistakes, if the initial paper is top notch quality.

Don’t try to increase the length of the answer for the sake of increasing it. The examiners understand that you are trying to bore him. So, don’t do that.

In the numerical questions, any number, which is part of the final answer, but not part of question, should be in your working notes. Always show the working notes first. Working notes help the examiner understand your level of understanding. Keep the final answer short enough so he can locate the final answer with ease. Please his eyes so he can please you with marks.

For theory questions, make sure you underline phrases, words, statements which are highlights of the answer. Make sure the examiner notices it at the first glance. Again, the more comfortable he is reading your paper, easier the flow of marks.

Two halves are better than one full. This is the case with soups in any restaurant you go to. Also, the Mumbai cutting chai works on the same principle. So does the CA papers. Time is the one of the most precious luxuries during paper. And I am sure, the importance of 1 mark and 1 minutes can never be understood better by anyone else than a CA aspirant.

In the paper you have 1.5 minutes/mark. So, if there is a 6 mark question, you need to be done with it in 9 minutes and if you are not, leave some space and move to the next answer. Writing a 6 mark question to the best of your ability might help you get full marks, but you might end up not writing another 6 mark question. Thus, out of 12 marks, you would score 6 marks. Imagine if you write two questions of 6 marks and manage to score 4 in each, you score 8 marks out of 12 as against 6 marks earlier. That is a profit making scenario

The remaining 30 minutes (180minutes – [1.5minutes * 100marks]) should be spared for those questions, which if you would have had time, could have been solved. Also, the questions which are incomplete, can now be completed.

I hope the above tips would help you. If I have to just put it in one statement : -

Prepare everything, leave nothing!!!!!!

All the very best for your preparations, Happy learning

The author can also be reached at piti.nimeet@gmail.com


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