This is absolutely unbelievable. I can consider this the best achievement I have. I want to share with you a little about my journey. You can also read Passed CA G-1 in 2.5 months
1. I overhauled myself, my schedule, my priorities and everything. After clearing 1st group in CA finals in last july, I started preparing for CA finals group 2.
2. I never took the coaching nor did I opened any of those books before july 2015. The subjects were all fresh for me.
3. What I did was went here ICAI http://www.icai.org/post.html?post_id=10175 and downloaded digital copies of study material and practice manual and bought a kindle paperwhite to read the same (Buying books were costlier and inconvenient and digital screen bad for eyes, so). It was the first time I used this technique of studying, paperless. This is how I organised books
1. I Called up my friends to know which subject is difficult and they told me DT, so I started doing digital study material of DT. I completed DT in 28 days (I first completed a chapter in DT and then moved to practice manual and then back to second chapter of DT and then again to practice manual and so on). I also did salary and other chapters which I came to know on exam day, were not in syllabus. Duh!
2. Then I started Costing (I still call it costing not AMA for no good reason). I started with Module 3 (linear programming, Transportation problem etc.) and completed it within 3 days (youtube was of great help along with Study mat and practice manual). Then I completed the Module 1 and 2 except Standard costing due to lack of time, in 7 days. So costing from starting to end took me 10 days. I revised the same in another 10 days from previous year questions compilation from ICAI http://www.icai.org/post.html?post_id=10175
3. After that I jumped onto IDT. IDT is so vast. I stared with Customs and then moved to service tax. Both took me 15 days to complete. After that excise alone took me 10 days. I left the appeals section due to lack of time. I just skimmed over those chapters. ISCA Total time - 25 days.
4. Here comes ISCA. I skipped the study material. I picked up practice manual and wikipedia in hand. I searched the articles from ISCA on wiki and read that way. I never had a problem in IT nor do I learn mnemonics. I just wrote what I knew. I did learn the headings though. Completed ISCA in 10 days.
5. Rest days were spent in amendments, past year questions' compilation etc.
Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going. I followed religiously the following simple schedule -
a. I got up at 5 and hit the gym. Came back at 7 and slept till 8.
b. Got ready to study at 10 and finished at 8 (well I don't have facebook etc. so...)
c. I read non fiction books from 9 to 11 and then I used to sleep after that time (If you are interested in what books do I read, here is my reading shelf - GOODREADS)
A piece of advice or two -
1. Always do study material and practice manual. I have tried them two times and they, alone, never disappointed me. You'll get a boost in confidence that nothing is beyond what you are studying. Yes, 95% paper was from study material.
2. Don't talk much about syllabus. More talking = less doing. Just keep on completing syllabus and you will not find time to discuss anything. When in doubt, just mark and leave. There is no need to clear the same right away. Don't break your flow.
3. Exercise is very much important. This sentence has been said so many times that people only discuss it and consider it difficult to follow the same. It is far more easier to do the same and set up a schedule. Just try it.
4. Don't think. Thinking is not bad, bad is thinking. Don't think about doing your syllabus or doing that chapter. Don't think about completing the syllabus. Don't think about setting chapterwise/ page wise deadlines. Don't think about going to gym. The more you think, the less you would do. Just do the thing, you'll get a boost in your self esteem. Thinking will eventually gets eliminated. How many times a thing has happened the way you thought?
5. When you sleep at night, you get your REM (Rapid eye movement) sleep after 2 hours and few hours after that the assimilation/ compilation of information/ syllabus you studied in the day starts and continues for the next 4 hours. The process involves transferring what you studied in the day from your working memory to permanent memory during sleep (this is why you can recite aartis and chalisas without putting stress on your brain). Don't left the topic midway, you'll feed insufficient information to your permenent memory which makes it unable to reconcile later. Understand the concept clearly, if you can't then leave it because poor information you feed into your working memory will get converted into your permanent memory which will be difficult to modify later. This is the reason that people say that they can never understand this or that topic.
6. Never read more than 2-3 times. Practice makes a man perfect? Yeah, as long as you are going to martial arts or wwe, or... doing diverse questions. I have seen people doing the same question again and again which make them unable to see the reality. Question is something else and you are writing something else. Stop it right there. Get the concept, revise it 2-3 times, leave it. Don't become a stereotype. This is the reason students make silly mistakes.
7. That's all. I am not obsessed with CA. I never loved my subjects. People say love the books, respect them. I don't love the lifeless books, but I respect the author and admire the way that he has written such a knowledgeable book. I never believed anything, never felt the need to boost my confidence. I did what was needed. Simple and straight. I had no fears. Result never mattered to me. If not now, then 6 months after, big deal? Seems absurd but it is the truth. CA is not difficult, it is difficult in your mind. You sleep with that information daily in your mind which is constantly transferred to your permanent memory and ultimately becomes a belief. Try to see the reality as it is and get to know yourself. Don't believe anything. Do you believe that you have two hands or do you actually have two hands? You know that you have hands, you don't believe. This is the difference between knowing and believing. All the best to future aspirants, and I hope that next time, you will surely find your way and discover your trueself and your real worth! And CONGRATS to those who passed and A BIG congrats to those who failed! Failure is a one step backward indeed, I wouldn't say forward. To take a long jump, sometimes you need to take a step back so that you don't fall off!