Arjuna: Hey (Hari)Krishna, the very thought of CA Exams itself gives me grief and I feel dejected, therefore, I will not Apply for the Exams!!.”
Krishna: Hey Partha, CA is also just a course. You too can clear it with ease.
Arjuna: Keshava…Hey Keshava! Wherever I look (on the Internet), I see nothing but good for nothing advices to clear the CA Exams. You being the almighty, show me the path to clear my exams with flying colours?
Krishna: Hey Savyasachi, here you go;
- Don’t Prepare Just for the Exam:
It may be a paradox, but never prepare for exams for the sake of exams. Clearing exams is actually the easy part. Once you are a CA, your Employer/Client, peers, society at large has high expectations on you. If you ask me, that is where the real exam starts! If you prepare only for the sake of exams, you will have a rude awakening once you start your practice or join employment. Learn the subjects keeping in mind the application of those subjects in the real world.
- Don’t Study it like a Theory Subject:
I still remember locking horns with my friend arguing how Company Law is not a theory subject. There are no theory subjects in CA. May be except for ISCA(no disputes there). Always prepare for all the subjects as they are practical subjects. Solve questions and case laws to understand the sections better, than learning the sections. Its good to go thru the bare act once before you start the preparation, but don’t get struck there itself.
- Imagine as if you are a CA already:
Maybe I am teaching a lot of Law of Attraction these days. But this really helps. When you are studying, imagine as if you are already a CA, and you are trying to help your clients manage their Compliances, update their Books as per Accounting Standards, or helping them make strategic decisions such as “Make or Buy”. This not only makes learning those subjects interesting for you, but helps you retain the core matter of the subject even after you qualify.
- How can I use this practically?
In continuation to the above point, whenever you learn a new Section/Standard etc, try to find atleast one situation where you can apply the same. This may be in your Articleship, or in other subjects. This builds the reasoning skills and make you a better CA once you start your Career.
- Stop Mugging the Book:
I have seen my friends who could remember every sentence in the Revision Test Papers and yet could not clear the exams. That is why CA is different. Like any other disciplines, how you apply the knowledge is more important than acquiring the said knowledge. Again, as I mentioned above, always learn with an intention to apply that in your career.
- Remembering Sections are not so important:
Agreed that, by remembering the sections of the law you may impress the examiner, but I do not see any practical use for the same. Instead, concentrate more on arrangement of sections and what they project as a whole. It will be easier to retain what you learn this way.
- Learn the intent:
Try to learn the intent behind the subject, especially in Tax and Law. If there is any restriction, like in Sec 2(22)(e) of Income Tax Act, or the different rates under section 194 for individuals and others, try to understand the intent of the law maker behind that section. This makes you understand the concepts better and keep yourselves updated with the amendments as well.
- Articleship is Very Important:
One of the key distinguishers in CA as compared to any other professional courses is the mandatory internship known as “Articleship”. Learning while you are working is, according to me, the best kind of learning. You get to experience all the things what you need to learn right in your office itself. Off late the trend of “Dummy Articleship” is on a rise. Most think that they can use the time available to better study and prepare for exams rather than working your Articleship. But this will not only make you void of the practical exposure required for clearing CA but make you less prepared for your post qualifying career as well
- Coaching may not be always appropriate:
When I was pursing my CA, coaching was an option only for those who were with silver spoons in their mouth. It was only available in Metro Cites and was pricey as well. Now that CA has gained traction and the general public is also aware of the course (on a funny note; I still remember one of my uncles asking me why I enrolled to CA? I could have been better off graduating BA!!!), there are a lot of Coaching centres mushrooming everywhere. In addition, the collages themselves are trying to integrate the CA course into their regular graduation classes with an attractive promise (kind of) of completing both courses together. However, and this is purely my personal opinion, coaching may not be the right approach to CA. or atleast, do not depend entirely on the coaching. I know I have repeated this a lot through this letter, but it’s very important that you learn the subjects thru practical experience and your own understanding of the same.
- Always Good to take both groups together:
Although you have the option to take one group at a time, and its tempting to study for 4 subjects rather than 8 at a time, I suggest you take both the groups together. The advantage with this approach is that your strong subjects help you to gain the average required to clear the weaker subjects as well. This will also help you clear your exams in first attempt, as I did