First I would like to go into the intricasies a bit more.
First let me address a concern raised by one member by name Sonia regarding Padhuka's text for MICS
Yes, MICS is a subject which needs a command over english and not something which one should 'mug up' from Padhukas or some simple text and then go for the exam.Then one would be in for great disappointment. and maybe get 32 like Sonia.Infact, for MICS--- study material alone is great but time consuming and boring a bit if one is taking both the groups.
However, with Padhuka's book one must be careful to use it as a guide only but always lean on the crutch of the study material for everything.Infact if you take any Padhuka's book it says as "Referencer".The person who wrote these books is named Saravana Prasath(along with his his old auditor).He has set a record in CA Final exams which has not been broken till now.I know him personally as he resides near my house and was my senior.I do not know whether he still remembers me in his busy schedule as a CA and educator.
He vouches only by study material and thorough revision.I met him the next day when he got his first rank and he told me he revised all the study materials atleast 16 times!! Now, that is an amazing record in itself.In those days the study materials used to be given in loose with the worst paper quality(the kind only our institute having the dubious distinction to prepare).
In CA success hinges on three factors mainly
1. Understanding the subject thoroughly and with a plan to finish the whole text as far as possible(Text means syllabus content).
2. HARD HARD HARD WORK and committment to gain knowledge however with an emphasis on exam tactics.Ultimately you gotta clear the exam not become a knowledge freak alone.
3. Proper books and resources and a professional attitude to go by.This is no postal BCom course.
Rest like confidence, encouragement from others,etc all depend on one's attitudes,beliefs,environment,personal chutzpah,etc.
So thats the take on MICS and Padhukas book.
One thing some 'simple' books like NS Govindan are to be avoided.Though at the first glance it seems like an amazingly simple book with great flow charts and diagrams but thats about it, the book is a joke beyond that!The english language presentation sucks there.It looks like a translation of the author's mental Tamil into english! with lot of rhetorics and exclamatory marks everywhere distracting the student's attention.
Also, lot of relevant and important portions are given a goby and in the exam the person would be left in lurch.Unless he or she has attended his lectures and did some other 'homework' or is extremely lucky!. (This is for soem wiseacre who would say, "Hey I cleared the exam based on just Govindan Book!")Purely depending on some simple guide and then going for an exam like CA is being childish and immature.It is like saying"Hey I will crack IAS by preparing with just some simple guides"Ask any IAS guy or a gal about this 'tactic' and they would layup flat on their backs and laugh out loud.
However, CA Final is not as tough as IAS.So, one can use soem devices like judicious time management, proper books, right attitude and then BANG..You clear the exam with maybe even a rank.
Clearing CA gives confidence.
Next, Indirect Taxes--Just because I said Bangar and VS Datey dont take me to task.
I would say Bangar is a good book and someone mentioned it is a dry book and too technical.But I personally think the authors have done a great job.Hats off.
Vatheeswaran classes are good but notes go on a different track! Hehe
Same with NS Govindan.Its a waste of time to even pore oever these books in the bookshop.The kind you do before buying.
Bangar+VS Datey for reference(and second read and revision and to clarify)+bare act portions+latest amendments would see you through Indirect Taxes.
Here too knowledge aquisition and CA exam pass must both be seen.
One must have an abiding interest in the subject too.Dont read it to just get a pass--YOU will miserably fail!
Some complain about different caselaws in indirect Taxes.These are people who start to prepare in the last month.
For this there are some tactics:
1. Buy Harry Loraine or some Memory book and follow the mnemonic suggestions they give to remember caselaws.I used lot of them--tonnes of them infact!(I also used charts and mindmaps to remember facts.Every bit helps.CA is like a battle and you gotta have all ammunition to fight the "damn enemy"!)
2. Take one book like Bangar and then memorize only the caselaws the book gives.Do not go through the case laws in VS Datey which I admit is on a higher side and you would be a HERO in Indirect taxes but ZERO in all other subjects!
Important case laws are enough.No need for dates or years except a few important ones.VS Datey is used as a prop for Bangar lest you miss something.Or have a nagging feeling that "Oh god, Im just following one bitter-batter guide for this damn exam, will I clear?" Actually Bangar is enough.
3. In TAMIL there is a saying "Karka Kasadara"--Learn anything thoroughly and then own it.(ironically NS Govindan's book has this phrase in the beginning but he has not done a thorough job of it.I do admire him as aperson and an excellent teacher though and at that ripe age(70) he keeps his mind sharp,Kudos to him on this front)
Now Costing--This is termed as the bug bear by all.
But actually it is easy if you cut up.
Isolate the enemy and the enemy becomes weak, this was the fuckin' strategy brits used against us and still lot of conspiracists worldwide use to keep India divided--caste,region(orth-south divide)aryan-dravidian theory(genetics has proved otherwise),religions,politics,etc..
Hmm, I seem to digress here a bit so let me return back to the point.
Consider Costing like the Brits
You should be Gandhi and force the Brit to go hiding.
Start with Operations research.I know lots of you would say..."Hey but OR is uncertain in one exam they ask 35 and one exam they dont ask much"
But start with it nevertheless to GAIN CONFIDENCE.You need confidence to attack the "BRIT" Haha!
Finish first PERT AND CPM.Finish items like Crashing(by the way Padhukas has an excellent method to solve crashing, resource smoothing and resource allocation type of problems).
No need to attend any classes for the same.I mean for OR specifically but spend time to learn it thoroughly--'Karka kasadara'.
Here use scanner and see which chapters are repeated often for OR.First start with those chapters and finish it.
Use--CD Vashist and Saxena to understand.However many problems in the book are wrongly solved and also lot of printing errors are there.
Then use Padhukas to solve Network analysis.However Padhukas alone for OR is no good as one really faces lot of trouble understanding it.CD Vashisht comes handy here.
Then go to sudy material and solev the problems.Sometimes verbatime the problems are lifted from it and asked.So incase some problem came in the exam...SHOOT FOR IT and forget the whole thing about OR and not getting marks/points out of it.Let other students keep jabbing about it.
CD Vashisht+Padhukas+study material+solved scanner(atleast 10 years solved papers)+studying theory portions --'pucca'
Would make you confident.
Over and above this if you have time.Go through WITH solutions manual in foreign books like
Colin Drury or Horngren.
No need for ACMA(CIMA) books.Its a waste of time.
(Remember: HERO in costing and ZERO in other subjects)
Students spend inordinate time in costing.
Costing is fun--Karka Kasadara and own the subject.The subject is yours.Play with your enemy.Let the enemy play to your terms not you to his terms.
Then comes Direct Taxes:
Well this is a bloody useful subject even if someone is an NRI like me.(I wen ahead to finish my MBA from USA after this)
Learn from TN Manoharan.His book is like God for me!
If you start with Singhania and depend on it solely.You would become a what?
Guess?--Yeah, got it right--HERO in Direct taxes and ZERO in all others!!Haha!
However, keep Singhania handy just like the Bangar+VS Datey combo.
Work the tn manoharan book cover to cover.Memorize the contents.Then go to Singhania.You may also substitute TN Manoharan with Bangar's book on direct taxes)
Study plan for Direct Taxes would be:
TN Manoharan+Singhania(for reference and confidence)+seeing the pattern of solved papers+latest amendments
First kickoff in style with wealth tax.Keep preparing notes and memory stuff.
Keep revising or the whole subject would go over one's head with the sections and subsections!hehe
Read deductions chapter daily starting with a few deductions and going on and on till the day of the exam, when the sections become second nature to you.
Finish after that each heading in the heads and then go to assessment chapters.
-------------------------Have fun here too---this is CA's bread and butter!-----
More to come on Group 1...soon...will also update on new syllabus prep stuff...
Wish I could also enter teaching CA students...its fun n frolick!