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Hitting the Merit list of CA Final, May 2015

Rahul Agarwal
1st Rank Holder (CA Final- 2015)


CA Final exam results have released and we are once again glad to bring to you their success stories. It surely motivates everyone!

Meet Rahul Agarwal who hails from Secunderabad, All India 1st rank holder of CA Final May 2015. Rahul who followed the footsteps of her sister Roohi Agarwal (AIR 1 CA Final 2012) is a humble, simple and lovable person. Rahul loves to cook Italian and Continental and believes that if not a CA then he would have ended up being a Chef. He is thankful to his sister & mentors for motivating and supporting him throughout the journey.

Let us find out what was his strategy & how he has achieved this success:

Hello Rahul, first of all many congratulations to you from the whole team of CAclubindia!!

Thanks a lot Sir.

Can you describe your feelings at this moment?

This moment is one of the best moments and the most memorable day of my life when I got the news that I have secured CA Final 1st rank. Actually This is not the first time when I have secured All India 1st rank in CA, in foundation also I have secured 1st rank. But Rank in CA final is a different level all together (Smiles).

What were your first reactions when you heard this news that you are AIR Rank 1 & what were your parents’ reactions when they heard the big news?

I was shouting in joy and my neighbours had actually come home thinking that what had gone wrong and what has happened actually (Chuckles’). My parents stay in Delhi, so I just gave them a call. First I got into the senses. I was not able to type, I was so mesmerised with the feeling. I called up my mom and I could see tears in her eyes. Actually, this is not the first time, they had experienced this as earlier my sister had also secured CA Final AIR 1st rank.

Oh that’s great!! Who is your sister?

Roohi Aggarwal.

Nice!! I remember we have interacted with Roohi when she got a Rank. It’s amazing that now we are interacting with the younger brother of a proud sister.

(Smiles). So, I will not say that it was unexpected. Expectations were very high and even I had expected for the first rank only.

Great! As your sister already got a rank and you got a rank in CPT, so how important this success is for you?

It is very important because I have lived this dream of getting All India 1st rank each and every single day. So, it was like a dream come true for me.

And was it difficult for you to follow the footsteps of your elder sister?

Definitely, there was a pressure to beat that score of that rank. Actually, I couldn’t beat her score. Whenever my sister used to do something, it was always there for me that I have to do better than her. So, this time I thought I would be able to beat her score but I couldn’t do it (smiles).

In this whole journey, who guided you or inspired you? Anyone you would like to thank?

My true inspiration for this professional or academic success that I have achieved is my sister because I have to just follow her footprints and she was the one who actually set this path for me. Apart from her, I would like to thank my teachers, my mentors and my parents- they are the invisible force behind my success.

So how did you achieve this can you share your strategy with us - how did you prepare, what was your time table before and during the exams?

CA Final requires a lot of strategic planning and if you are aiming for a rank or a higher score, even if for passing now-a-days. It is not that you can achieve it in a haphazard manner- I will study this or that. It does require a lot of strategic planning. So, I had planned my two years of studies three years in advance i.e what I am gonna do in these two years to achieve my aim. So, it was not a matter of 4 to 5 months of studies. It was a regular phased manner of 2 years. So, I had actually planned my classes before the study leave. So, last one and a half years before the exams, I have completed all my questions and all. And before exams, last 4 months, it was a rigorous preparation of 14 to 15 hours a day. So, I used to go through the interviews of the past attempt toppers and all and I used to analyze their mark sheets, variance of marks, in which subjects you can score more and which subjects we can achieve more. I used to study 14 to 15 hours a day. CA has 8 subjects and all subjects are like vast oceans, you have to analyze and do a lot of research from past 4 or 5 attempts which topics are there where you can score more or work on your weaknesses. What people lacked is a lot of planning.

Planning is required. To open a book of 700 pages and start thinking which topic do we have to study or how I am going to do it.. its not going to help you, so you have to take the proper guidance of your seniors, last 4 to 5 year’s papers you have to analyze and specially those who are intervening between two exams so people get panic that what they are going to study so I had planned what I had to study in those 18 hours during my revision stages. So I had completed around 4 to 5 times of revision for each and every subject. I also used to download mock test papers, revision test papers and do it at home itself cause of time constraints during exam times. So, that you can get the flavour of the exams because when you study in the exam conditions, when you see the paper, it sometimes looks alien to you because the kind of format is there in the paper when you compare with your books or material.

And what is the most important thing one should keep in mind during the exams?

During the exams, the most important thing is that you have to keep yourselves calm; like we had with FR paper, it was very, very lengthy. So, you have to adjust according to that paper. Many faculties have said that it is of a 4 and a half hours paper. So, immediately, seeing the paper, I adjusted my target of attempting 100 to 80 depending on the length of the paper. So, I found even those 3 hours I find most crucial time -because what happens is- when you do the same question at home it becomes easy, there are many people who make blunder in those 3 hours and panic. So, those 3 hours are really very important how much strong your concept is. But, if you don’t practice the question papers, it becomes very difficult even in those 3 hours.

So, those 3 hours, you will be able to plan if you solve as many papers as you can at home. So, that those real 3 hours doesn’t become difficult.

So, as you said that it is one the most important thing that how one should keep himself calm. So, what did you do to keep yourself away from stress – I am talking about both mental and physical stress.

What people do is they don’t take proper sleep during the exams and then it reflects in their paper as well. So, it is very important to be physically sound as well. So, if you study like- you sleep around 4 to 5 hours a day, then it will reflect in your exams as well. So, proper sleep is also required. You have to be physically sound. I used to ensure that I sleep 6 hours a day. I used to sleep during the exam times and half an hour TV I used to watch. I didn’t think much during the exam times. If you start thinking when paper comes in your hand, this paper is very lengthy, I prepared for this concept – his concept has not come then it becomes difficult so during the exam time in those 3 hours if you divert your mind to something that what will happen if I don’t click this...then it becomes very difficult. So all the papers are discrete. One paper shouldn’t have impact on your other papers once it is finished.

As you have mentioned earlier that you used to take guidance and inspiration from the past toppers interviews, so I must ask this question – Have you also read your sisters (Roohi) interview on CAclubindia.com?

(Smiles) I not only read Roohi’s interview but every interview after Roohi’s attempt, 4 to 6 people’s interview, whatever was there in CAclubindia, all those interviews– I tried to get maximum I could get from those interviews to make my strategy. All the interviews were of great help in making my own strategy and understanding what is important and what is not.

During this whole journey, did you face any hurdles and would you like to change anything in this whole CA study pattern or structure?

CA CPT, IPCC and Final I would correlate with T-20, one-day and test matches. So, from CA CPT to CA final, there is a lot of shift. When you come from CPT to IPCC, there is a sudden shift from those objective-type questions to IPCC and when it comes to Final, they are actually testing not only your concept but your mental strength also gets tested. So, in these 5 years of entire CA curriculum, I have become mentally, physically and intellectually sound. I can take anything in my life left apart from academics. So, I see when I have cleared CA as a hurdle, I can do anything in my life.

What are your hobbies apart from studies?

Apart from studies, I like watching TV as well as cooking. Had I not become a CA, I would have definitely become a chef.

Wonderful! What is your master dish?

I like cooking Indian food, Continental and pasta.

Are you a member of CAclubindia? And apart from interviews, did you get any other help from CAclubindia.com?

Yes I am a member of CAclubindia.com . From CAclubindia I use to get these RTPs and all past exam papers, these interviews, whenever I had a query, I first use to go the CAclubindia site, whatever I could get from there. It really helped me alot and not only me, students can find very useful content on this website which will help them in their career.

So, now that you have secured a rank in CPT and also in CA Final, what is your next big plan as they say the journey has just started?

Ya true, it has just started and I have to think about it a lot because CA is the course which provides you the diversified opportunities compared to other professions, so it becomes difficult to decide as well when there are a lot of options. So I have not decided anything yet, I have to take guidance from teachers and mentors to take any decision on this.

We once again thank you Rahul for this wonderful conversation with us and for our members.

Thank you so much Sir!!

Also read : Interview with - Deval Bhadresh Modi

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