Thursday, 2 July 2015

CA Final Preparation Strategy for May 2016 Exam Session

I'm assuming you go to work for your articleship training and will probably get 4 months off before the exams. That gives you 6 months from July to December for studies along with office. And then 4 months from January to April 16.

Phase 1: 6 months with office

1. Try not to waste time in travelling to coaching classes. If you need help with a subject, try to arrange for online classes which you can view and learn from at any time as per your convenience.

2. Study a minimum of 4 hours every day. Divide it into 2 hours in the morning and 2 at night, if that might seem easier to accommodate.

3. During the weekdays, try to read your books and understand the concepts as you won't have a lot of time to practice. And then on the weekends, practice every practical topic that you prepared during the week, studying for as long as you can, making the most of your day off.

4. Balance a practical subject with theory, and try to study at least 4 subjects every week, focussing first on subjects which you haven't read much before.

5. Make short notes while studying theory subjects. Reading theory when you are tired will make you feel sleepy. So, jotting down all points that may form an answer to a question on a topic, in one or two key words, will help you prepare a handwritten resource that you will easily be able to revise from in the end.

6. Prepare from whichever book you may find convenient, but do not pick a book based on its size. I've found Padhuka's books to be much bigger in size in comparison to its counterparts in the market, but it covers the syllabus quite exhaustively, which is important.

7. Do not forget to read the official ICAI study material.

8. Put different markings on questions based on how difficult you may find them. It's important to classify topics and questions into:
a) those that you may need to do multiple times before you understand the topic fully,
b) those that you need external help to understand,
c) those that you have understood but would want to revise a few times,
d) those that you just generally leave out because you think they may not be too important.

Phase 2: 4 months' study leave

By the time our study leave begins, you should have:
a) read all subjects at least once,
b) classified various topics as explained above, and
c) made short notes for theory subjects.

2. January: Do the practice manuals from cover to cover. Understand them, learn them, worship them, but do not leave out a single question. Classify its questions the same way as you did while reading your primary material. You can do all 8 practice manuals (PM's) in 1 month. 4 days each for 7 subjects, excluding ISCA. 3 days for ISCA. You will be done with the PM's in 31 days. If you take more time, you could be wasting time. Be ninja!

3. February: Go back to all the markings in your primary material, revise concepts, practice questions that you find difficult, do topics that you may have left earlier.

4. March: 31 days. Do all 8 practice manuals again. Cover to cover.

5. April: Study at least 4-5 previous terms' Suggested Answers and refer to the Revisionary Test Papers/Amendments. Fill the little gaps in your preparation.

6. During all of this, do not forget to take out time to exercise. Go and run for 20 minutes a day if nothing else. But exercise. You'll put on a lot of unhealthy weight otherwise. Exercising will help you keep fit and sleep well too.

If a nitwit like me could do it, there is no one in the world who cannot. You're much smarter than you think you are. Just believe in yourself and be awesome. Good luck.

-Sarthak Ahuja

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