How to Crack CA Exam in First Attempt | May 2017. The recent May 2016 final results indicate that approximately 12,500 students qualified in this attempt. More than 20,000 pass each year. Considering that about 120,000 students wrote, it does not appear to be a great pass percentage. However pass percentage it is not 2 or 3% as many students believe.It is estimated that only 60% of the students would have taken up both groups seriously due to lack of time or decision to complete group wise. It is nearer 15% of all serious students. The percentage of result should improve as we see smarter students every year joining CA.
Once the exam leave starts, students should do well to concentrate their studies only for examination purpose. In this article one has tried to provide the few study preparation tips and examination techniques when writing the examination.
How to Crack CA Exam in First Attempt | CA IPCC and CA Final
Article by CA. Madhukar N. Hiregange
Preparation Dos/ Don’ts
(1) Deciding whether to study for both groups or only 1: This is vital decision and we find that 60% of students go for both in a hurry without considering the vastness of the syllabus and depth. They end up having shortage of time to practice problems independently or to revise. Unless one has been studying much prior to study leave and is academically very good, (Most of us are above average) the decision to do group wise can also allow one to clear within 4 years of joining- which is indeed creditable. Do not decide due to pressure by parents/ relatives who compare with friends in other disciplines they are getting settled.
(2) Proper analysis of syllabus: Before starting studies of any subject, it is relevant to see the syllabus and new amendments with regard to the same. Concentration on the amendments and new topics included in the subject may yield some advantage. If taking tuitions the coverage of the whole syllabus is important to confirm.
Unless one has been studying much prior to study leave and is academically very good, the decision to do group wise can also allow one to clear within 4 years of joining.
(3) Where to study? Study in a place where you feel comfortable, relaxed and where you can concentrate properly. If you can, study early morning. If there is disturbance at home etc, head to a library or any place where you find a quiet ambience. Avoid places where there would be interruptions / noise. To get more interest on studies putting charts and follow charts and goal/ aim on walls also some motivational posters.
(4) When to Study? It is ideal to start as early as possible and spread the learning effort. If not done well – do not wait for results– start studying that subject immediately. We can get 2 months time additionally. One can also start while going to office at least for a couple of hours.
(5) What to Study? The suggestions from friends, ICAI, Coaching class teachers at times confuses us on what to study. It may be remembered that paper setter get only the ICAI material. If study material felt too heavy, then a good commentary (not notes/ Xerox of classes) should be used.
(6) Which subject to start? At times the easiest subject is started off. If one were to choose the most difficult first, that subject would be given more weightage and also ensured to be revised more thoroughly. Less pressure also in end as one may not be so confident.
(7) Avoid Distracting device: Your own mobile phone maybe a source of constant interruptions especially with challenges of WhatsApp, messages all the time. Ideally keep instrument in another room in silent mode. Disabling the internet is an action which many students are actively doing today. TV/ Computer could also be distractions which may be sparingly used only in breaks.
Remember what Lord Krishna said to Arjuna- your job is only to concentrate on doing and not bother much of the result. This philosophy may be appropriate.
(8) Time allocation for each topic: One is required to analyze the time allocated to each subject and how such time is utilized for the purpose of studies. Further in writing exam analyzing the time requirement for each and every question (theory and practical). Allocate time for the mock examination of ICAI or get a small group and do on own. You would come to know where you stand, whether able to complete the paper. Many students are unable to complete and therefore if only 80 marks attempted have a major disadvantage.
(9) Planning: Make a written plan of time giving enough time for exercise, short gaps, food/ refreshments on daily basis. Time to revise at regular intervals – every day in the evening for 30 minutes. About 3 hours revision at the end of a week. At times this plan is getting revised or avoided to be followed. Decide your strategy independently based on your strengths and not on what helped another.
(10) Open mind while studying: Students should have open mind for understanding the concepts, so that proper analysis of the same can be done and get a good view over the concepts hiding behind the legality. Linking it to everyday life or some audit experience also helps if one is undergoing internship.
(11) Free online e-resources of ICAI: The ICAI has in 2013 successfully uploaded the e-lectures module wise for the IPCC as well as Final students. This Learning Management System has a comprehensive coverage and also exercises and instant evaluation. Students who are not going for coaching would find this of immense help. Those who have attended the coaching may have doubts at the time of revision; they can log in with their SRO number and revise those Chapters which are needed. Subject wise CDs are also available for those who do not have access for a nominal fee per subject.
(12) Practical problems: Further, all practical problems are required to be practiced sufficiently from practice manual. Though we start with intention somewhere down the line this is stopped and problems are only read.
(13) Making notes: Some books provide summary of chapter. However, the practice of preparing simple short notes or flow charts, etc.may make the study interesting. This may help them to remember the things quickly and properly more so when daily/ weekly revision is done.
Revision helps students to understand the provisions better way, first time understanding differs once students start reading once again.
(14) Understanding common mistake made: On the Board of Studies (BOS) website every year, the Head Examiner’s comments on question-wise errors is hosted. This may guide one to avoid the errors.
(15) Explaining the topic to others: A powerful method of study is to explain to others. One would then quickly come to know the gaps in ones knowledge. It is every important to do group studies atleast twice before exams with serious friends.
(16) Remembering/memorizing key words: Examiners look for key words and phrases due to paucity of time while correcting. Therefore it after completion of studies it is very important to remember the key words.
(17) Revision at regular intervals: It is very important to remember whatever read, which requires regular revision of the subject. Further revision helps students to understand the provisions better way, first time understanding differs once students start reading once again. The law is based on the Act and Act is based on English. When students read second or third time the better understanding of the law can be understood, which helps a lot for exam.
(18) Exam practice – mock test: The students once in a 15 days or month should take mock test of each subject, so that they can the capacity of answering and memorizing of whatever studied. Further mock test brings confidence in attending final exams. It is suggested to take mock test for each and every subject and wherever students feel they are not pakka with things they can once revise the topics, this helps a lot during 3 hours of exam time
(19) Taking care of health: Finally during exam leave or exam days taking care of health is very important, like having proper food, good sleep else in exam hall mind may become blank. Regular exercise [ indoor/outdoor] and meditation if one knows may also help.
Cracking the Exam
(1) Come out of fear: In case students have fear about the subject, it is very important overcome from such fear by reading/analyzing more on such subject. Further fear makes us to lose confidence and which may also make us to forget the things already studied. Hence it is very important to control the same, certain portion of the fear may be unavoidable, but proper preparation reduces this aspect. Some students do a 20 minute meditation daily which has helped them in being calm.
(2) Analyzing question paper: Students should analyze the structure of the paper. How the questions are raised during previous years, how much importance given to theoretical question and practical questions,how much concentration is required for each topic etc., This 15 minute or more time of analysis helps a lot to properly choose the order of answering. Quickly decide what should be there in answer and also that it should not be long. (maybe use bullet points) Best answer first makes one confident but do not start slowly. Keep time in mind.
The practical questions can be answered in better if the students are clear with theoretical understanding.
(3) Maintain good time management strategies: Allocate time for each and every question based on marks allocated to the question. Further, if for any question time is exceeding it is better to leave that answer which is partially done and concentrate on other question. It is well said that 4 average answers are better than 2 full answers to obtain good marks.
(4) Good presentation and supporting working notes: Try to answer each practical question in three parts (facts, provisions and conclusion). The practical questions can be answered in better if the students are clear with theoretical understanding. Further how to present the answers, students should see the practice manual and revised test paper issued by the ICAI. Further the study material contains few examples which help students to understand the concept properly and also to answer practical questions. Further, it is good if precise points with correct headings are written with underlining if time permits.
(5) Presentation of paper: Good hand writing increases the quality of the answer and ease for of evaluation. Answering the theory questions first in practical subjects is at times neglected. All practical papers will have minimum 20 marks of theory.
(6) Not able to forget previous paper: At times the performance of the previous paper is nagging us. Ideal not to discuss the paper with anybody till examination end and do not see the paper once home.
These a few gleanings from the understanding of the examination &evaluation process while considering that the evaluators are also human beings with limited time. One can see whether all the suggestions are relevant to one and which of them to adopt. It is easy to advice. You could apply at least those where one is totally convinced.
Finally from us to you at BOS -All the best for coming out with flying colors in the forthcoming examinations in May 2017.
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