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A conversation with

Pawan Sarda
2nd Rank Holder, CA Final Course

Audio conversation :

Land of the oldest University of India must be proud of their localite Mr Pawan Sarda for accomplishing the 2nd rank all over India CA exam. Getting a good rank is not a new thing for him however getting a rank in a CA exam is definitely super exciting for him. He has been celebrating since the moment he saw his scores, as per him he is not celebrating his rank but the blessings, happiness and support of his parents, teachers and friends. Seeing his academic performance all assumed that he would be going to IIM’s or IIT’s, but just after getting 2nd rank in his 10th standard he knew that he wants to follow his brother’s footsteps who is a successful CA, Pawan’s guiding force and mentor. CPT preparation laid a strong foundation for him by his teachers and mentors, he focused more on understanding the concept than mugging it up. Articleship again gave him an exposure which helped him more in practical training like how to manage time, stress and how to reach deadlines on time, all of this learning made all his preparation easy. Being a big fan of cricket, his first 2 initial months scheduled revolved around the cricket series however his focus was his studies. Taking his thoughts back in time he said: “During the second reading of my subjects around September one point came where I could have given up easily but I pushed myself to ignore all the negativities and went forward with confidence and kept faith in myself. That was the time I realized the power of each minute and areas where I could improve. Last 2 days before my exams were the most crucial days of my life, it was like if I can’t manage these 2 days properly than all my preparation is in vain, so I kept a tight schedule of 20 hours studies in both the days, and I can see that was the best thing I did” Indirect Taxes could have disappointed him as he studied it himself but then again he made it his strength and to his surprise he got the highest marks in this subject. Firm believer of focus, determination and sincerity, he never gives up no matter how big the problem is. With the twinkle in his eyes, his message to the future CA’s is “Never give up and take every failure in a positive way because it opens so many other doors for you. It’s not about passing or failing, it’s about being honest and to learn more and more with zeal”. 2nd All India Topper of CPT exam 2008 thanked CAclubindia for the help he got during his preparation and is proud to be the member of this finance fraternity.

Big fan of cricket and music, guitar player, fond of reading motivational books and loves to hang out with friends, he likes to enjoy every moment of life as he says that we have only one life so why to lose even a minute. Every day is a party for such a lively person but this time surely calls for a celebration like never before.

Thumbs up to this inspiring young man, who has the potential to conquer the world.

I would like to congratulate you from CCI.

Thank you very much!!!

So how are you feeling?

I am feeling awesome, actually I am feeling great because of my parents, friends and teachers happiness which matters more to me.

Your parents must be very proud of you?

Yes they are telling everybody proudly, also everyone who knows me are telling others that I know Pawan , he is my friend, he is my junior, my student… so that feeling is really good.

That’s nice, so celebration must be big, I assume. So how big is this achievement for you?

Personally for me my achievement was when I could study sincerely, I knew that the result could be anything you can’t compare yourself with other people. I have set my own standards for studying for this exam so when I was able to meet those standards in spite of doing other things, like my Articleship spending time with my friends, cricket matches etc and managing all this, is definitely an achievement for me. But this is not a personal achievement, its a team work since everybody’s expectations, blessings, goodwill and everything will be counted. Its not just my own.

Yes ofcourse It is, so when did you decide to take CA as your career?

I have decided it well before my 12th standard, because my elder brother is also a CA. He had already become a CA. By the time I was in 10th standard, I was watching him all the way so I wanted to follow his footsteps. He was my idol right from the beginning. I wanted to live his lifestyle, so I knew that I had to do CA only and this is the course for me. I got 2nd rank in 10th standard CBSE exams and at that time everybody told me that you should go for IIT or IIM or Medical field, but still I thought if there is a decision I have made so everybody should support it and then my family members stood by me so today I have no regrets when I look back at that decision.

Who was your guiding force?

My brother was my mentor, he used to motivate me all the time and from 11th standard I also joined the coaching classes in Nagpur. There I had great teachers who laid the basic foundation and always kept me motivated and inspired. They always told me to focus in the concepts, not to mug up things and that approach definitely helped and thirdly my Articleship was something which I did very sincerely at V.K. Surana & Co. in Nagpur.


There I got nice exposure, so again practical experience helped in CA final exam. Now-a-days we can see that many students do dummy Articleships but then ultimately it ends up harming their own interests.

Yes you are right! So you learned a lot while doing Articleship?

Yes definitely. I got a lot of good exposure and because of sincere work I got to learn things more than the technical part. I got to learn how to manage time, pressure and how to meet the deadlines so these qualities helped me in studies straightaway. So, CA final exam was just a matter of planning and then mental preparation and then implementation of the plan.

Ok…so what was your schedule that time when you were preparing for exams?

I had got 4 months leave from my office. First one or two months there were cricket matches going on in England and as I am a great fan of Cricket my schedule used to revolve around the cricket series with the focus on the studies. So, I had planned that I would complete my course in 2 months by the end of august and so accordingly I planned to do 2 subjects in 15 days so likewise in 60 days I was able to do 8 subjects more or less, so I had scheduled 2 to 3 sessions. 3 sessions of 3-4 hours each day …and in between the sessions I used to take breaks by listening to songs and watching cricket.

Yes breaks are definitely required!

Yes break was important and finally after the first reading, I started reading all the things again in September. So, for 1 month I targeted to complete the second reading in the complete month of September. But sometimes it was getting very difficult, that was the time when anybody could have given up… but if you hold on… if you don’t give up at that time then it becomes easy later on. So, I had somehow managed to complete my 2nd revision also and in October 1st week we had exam series, daily we had one paper… so in 8 days we had 8 papers in October. So, accordingly after the first revision in September, for the test series I was prepared because I had already done 2 readings in total… and in the test series again daily I went through the portion-one full day and then I discovered the power in each and every minute at that time… the time management was important…so the test series helped me a lot, we got to write the answers and then exam conditions and we came to know how much scope is there for improvement, which career we need to focus on now… so likewise third reading was done and then after the test series ended on 11th October then again we had 20 days before the exams. In those 20 days I finally made my plan for studying just before the exams and the two days which we have before the exams I think those two days are very important, if you study something for 4 months but if you don’t study the same thing just before the exam it could be a waste of time then… because when you go into the exam you should have the confidence that you have read everything, everything should be fresh in your mind, so I had made 20 hour plan for those two days for that one holiday and that another day just before the exam how to complete the entire portion.

1   2   3

So those 20 hours plan I have made and somehow in all the subjects I managed to complete everything all the portions nicely and my target was to read everything 100%, to study 100% of the material, not to leave anything because we cannot afford to leave anything and secondly to solve everything, to solve 100% of the answer sheet because even if you don’t know the answer you can at least write something, there is nothing that you can be completely blank about, so that was my strategy and one more thing was that those 3 hours during the exams are very crucial whatever you study for one or two years that does not count if you do not do well in the 3 hours. So, I had planned that in the 180 minutes in which you have to give 100 marks paper, so you have 1.8 minutes for each mark so likewise you can calculate that for a 5 mark question you have 9 minutes in hand, for 10 marks question you have 18 minutes in hand so while giving the answers we can keep a track of time like, how much time is over, how many marks paper is left and accordingly we give importance to each and every mark that is important because if there is 15-20 marks paper then automatically they are giving the examiner the less chance of giving us good marks and if we solve it completely then definitely we are giving him more chance to give us more marks.

Alright! So any hurdles you faced while preparing for exams and any challenge that you had faced?

I would let you know because Indirect taxes was the subject for which I have not joined any classes and I was dependent on a single book and my own self study, so after the first reading when in September, I sat down for the second reading I felt that everything is so new, as if I am reading for the 1st time so I was a little bit frightened that time because I haven’t joined any classes and I have to do it all on my own and time was limited but then after the test series, I decided to make my weakness into a strength so I daily planned and gave 2 to 3 hours to the indirect taxes and daily I studied after the test series for the last 20 days, so ultimately I ended up getting the highest marks in indirect taxes, that was the one challenge I faced. Among other challenges, I was always somewhere running behind the plan so i used to revise my plan. It is not always necessary that 100% of your plan will be followed so I used to revise my plan every few days, even the daily plans I had, something or the other used to come up but then somehow there was the determination that I have to do it and there is nobody else who can help me. I took this responsibility and finally it was done. Also everybody else supported me very well, my family members, and my friends everybody used to motivate me that it is possible. Everybody had the expectation and the faith that I will do very well in the exams so I had just had to give my own best that was my rank as I told you. What came now is the comparison with others, that was the comparison with your own standard… that is the rank for me.

And how would you summarize your journey?

After 10th standard when I entered into CA right from 11th to 12th I had my CPT classes, so that time I just had a feel of CA, what is it all about. But then I got 2nd rank in CPT also in 2008. But later we discovered when the Articleship began that this is a real CA, CA is not just about training and scoring marks in exam. Articleship and practical training is the real part of CA. So then we also had ipcc exams in May 2010 so again then I got 8th rank. At that time I discovered that within two and a half months you can do ipcc portion very well.


And other than that, my CS course was also going simultaneously in December ( 2008,2009 and 2010) I had my CS exams and I always had very little number of holidays so at that time I discovered that in very short amount of time if we would focus we can do a lot, it’s not just about studying it’s about everything but what you need is proper focus and sincerity, you need to be involved in what you are doing. These are the things I learnt during student’s life. And other than these, at the end, the CA final journey was awesome after ipcc experience I had just joined classes for 3 subjects, practical subjects-Accounts, SM and Costing and for others I discovered that self-study is only going to be the way and because everybody else thinks that classes are very important but I think self study benefits you more.

Great! So what are your hobbies?

I like to watch and play cricket, I am a big fan of cricket. Other than that, I play badminton, I am fond of music, I like to play guitar, keyboard and I also like to sing.

Oh!! you play guitar…

Yes, I played guitar in the CA events also. We have cultural events. I like to read motivational and inspirational books, like to go out with friends, watch movies… I like to have fun basically. Its not just studies because I believe we have just one life, so whatever you have to do it is your responsibility.

Yes you are right.

Take it in the right way and then if you do the right thing at the right time and in the right way then nothing can go wrong.

Are you a member of CAclubindia and was it helpful?

I have been following it regularly and whenever i don’t get any notes so i access CCI and share the file section and that has definitely been a great help.

Great! and what is the message you would like to give people who are preparing for exams for CA?

I would like to tell them to do their Articleship training sincerely. Secondly, not to give up… It seems easy to give up. At that point of time if you hold on then lot of events are waiting for you, there are lots of positive things which are waiting for you. And then I have even seen my friends fail in exams but then if you take the failure in the right way then it can be a bigger success than passing in the exams. So do not be disheartened by the failures because it is not just about how many marks you are getting whether you are passing in the 1st exam or not but it is about what qualities you are developing. So, I want to give them the message to be honest to themselves, not to show off to anybody what they are, but then be truthful to their own selves.

Absolutely! So, what is the next thing for you after this achievement?

After this I haven’t yet decided finally what to do now. I am just 21 years old, so i am thinking of doing MBA course that is one of the options among many and then I have my GMCS course which will be completed in February. Then I will think whether to do MBA or not.

So the celebration is going on or you have some plans to celebrate.

Definitely, the whole month will be a celebration!!!

Wow!! You are sounding quite excited.

Yes. It is a very eventful thing which has happened. It’s not just about me, it’s more about the happiness of my family members and my friends.

Your brother must be very happy.

Yes definetely. My brother is very happy. He cried with happiness yesterday.

It was great talking to you, once again I would like to congratulate you from our CAclubinida Team, All the best for you future.


  Also read : Interview with - Roohi Agarwal
Interview with - Pavan Pal Sharma

Comments on this Interview


CA. Roopali Kadam
[Scorecard : 1453 ]

09 March 2012

" Congratulations.."


Ca k.vinod
[Scorecard : 28 ]

08 March 2012

" " congrates""


Ca k.vinod
[Scorecard : 28 ]

08 March 2012

" " Congratssssssssss Bro. ""


[Scorecard : 76 ]

08 March 2012

" i have no word to wish u more than congratulation.............There is one suitable proverb on the above interview "coming events caste there shadow before""


Pravin Prajapat
[Scorecard : 136 ]

03 March 2012

" Congratssssssssss Bro. "


archana bakshi
[Scorecard : 227 ]

18 February 2012

" a hearty congratulations pawan...read ur interview..please do a favour.. please tell me how many hours did u sleep while in ur ca final???"

CA Usha Rani Challa
[Scorecard : 139 ]

13 February 2012

" It has been a great & wonderful achievement Pawan. Hearty Congratulations and wish you all Success in your professional career too."

abhimanyu bhatia
[Scorecard : 20 ]

11 February 2012

" sir , i am abhimanyu i am in 12th standard i would like to do CA pls tell what is a procedure of doing it . or which institute is best for coaching"


Deepesh Khandelwal
[Scorecard : 126 ]

09 February 2012

" " congrtz budie.." "


Deepesh Khandelwal
[Scorecard : 126 ]

09 February 2012

" " congrtz budie.." "