Exam Preparation Tips – A Systematic Approach

How to prepare for exams? this question generally arise in every student’s mind who want pass CA exams in his /her First attempt. So ICAI has came forward and suggested students regarding the same. Below are the some study tips for passing/Face CA Exams issued by the ICAI for students.

Exam Preparation Tips

Read the Study Material Thoroughly

The study material would help you to develop a strong conceptual base. They give you the parameters within which you have to study. Make it a habit of going through them thoroughly as these will enable to understand the basic concepts of the subjects and develop your ability in understanding different concepts and applications. Besides, do refer to at least one standard text book and solve all the illustrations and problems therein. This will further build your conceptual clarity of a particular subject and strengthen your problem solving skills.

Practice, Practice and Practice

Practice makes a man perfect. Students must practice as much as possible. Many students start practicing from various books without first understanding the subject and the concepts involved. This approach is absolutely wrong. You need to make your base first and then start practicing. The following publications brought out by the Institute will be of great help:

1. Practice Manual for all the subjects

2. Suggested Answers/Compilations

3. Revision Test Papers.

The more you practice, the better engraved will be the concepts in your mind. Don’t indulge in selective reading; no part of the syllabus is less important and leaving any portion could be fatal.

Develop Your Learning Style

Be familiar with your learning style. Everyone learns in different ways. If you know your own learning style, then you have the capability to observe others. Discuss alternatives with friends or with fellow students   you might be surprised at what you find out. Armed with these insights, challenge yourself to try some new tricks. Once you understand the style in which you most effectively learn, you will experience the most enjoyable and welcome feeling that of being in control.

Stay Focussed

It should be clear from the above that CA examinations are qualitatively different and more demanding than the Graduate and Undergraduate examinations conducted by the Universities. The attitudes and approaches of CA students to their educational training should accordingly be distinctly professional.

After committing oneself to an early start, students should take a good look at the syllabus for each subject and understand the major aim, theme, level of knowledge expected and the contents. exam preparation tipsThey may jot down what they understand of the syllabus in the relevant file. A careful survey of the syllabus and study material contents will enable the student to size up, on a rough basis, the total magnitude of study task to be completed within the allocated time for each subject with a compulsory provision for adequate revision, two or three times, before the examination.

There is a plethora of articles spread over CA Journals, Seminar and Conference Books and elsewhere written by teachers, Chartered Accountants and even students on how to prepare for CA examinations. However, it needs to be emphasized  that  there  are  no  magic  formulae,  quick-fix  solutions  or  soft  shortcuts  for  passing  CA examinations or any other examination. Students would be well-advised to examine the suggestions with a critical, open-minded perspective and follow those which they judge to be nearer to their head and heart.

1. Make goals: long/medium and short term and stick to them.

2. Make a time table depending upon your aptitude and the time available.

3. Maintain a strict regimen of study.

4. Understanding the fundamental concepts is more important than making notes.

5. Cut out disturbing factors like T V, Internet, mobile phones etc.

6. Take short break after each hour of study.

Revise and Review

It is very important to study the reading materials at least 3 to 4 times. This would include:

First Reading

This will be more like a novel reading to gain overview;

Second Reading

This will be in-depth study where concepts emerge; and

Third Reading

This will be very intensive reading to fully understand the concept and to underline important points to be revised on examination day.

Visit Board of Studies Knowledge Portal

Make it a habit of visiting the Board of Studies Knowledge Portal. It contains all the educational inputs of the Board  of Studies  like  latest  study  materials,  Suggested  Answers,  RTPs,  supplementary  study  materials, notifications etc. It also contains announcements like relevant list of publications, Accounting Standards and Standards on Auditing etc. applicable for the examination.

Students’ Journal and Other Publications

The Students’ Journal is another form of disseminating important information as it provides quality articles and academic updates that will help you in professional growth.

Attempt Past Examination Papers/Mock Test Papers

Past papers are an essential tool as they help you understand the pattern of questions. Even though, it is not always feasible to go through ever y answer in ever y paper you are about to take, at least take time to grasp the format – for instance, the number of questions, what is compulsory and optional, and the likely structure and marks given.  The Institute’s Suggested Answers, Compilation, Practice Manual and Mock/Model Test Papers may be ver y helpful for the students as they can go through the best possible answers of any problem. Not only these publications provide you the appropriate solution to any particular problem but also enable you to have an in-depth analysis of that problem by highlighting Examiners’ Comments as well. There is no reason not to repeat past papers as much can be learned this way. It is easy to think that once you have worked your way through the paper and marked it from the back; this will fetch much higher marks at another attempt. You would be amazed. Practice with as many different papers as are available. Try to arrange mock examination test on your own.  Give yourself time to read through the questions before you start working out how much time you can allocate to each one. And set the same strict time limit for the whole paper, from start to finish, as the original examination allowed. It is hoped that this practice will do wonders in the preparation for your actual examination. You can also write the mock tests conducted by the various branches of the institute which would help you to simulate the examination conditions and further the marks awarded would help you to gauge your preparation for the examinations.

Time Management

A judicious management of time is a must as preparation needs to be sustained for long. This becomes even more important during examination hours as you have to put the best answer in a given time framework. This is quite challenging and calls for a very intelligent strategy to handle. Reach examination hall well in time. Plan your time so that equal time is awarded for each mark. Keep sometime for revision as well. Always attempt to do all questions.   Remember that six average answers fetch more marks than five best answers.   Therefore, it is important that you must finish each question within allocated time.

Moment of Reckoning: Presentation of Answers

It is not enough that you prepare well, it is equally essential that you present your answers well. Following points deserve a special mention:

1. Avoid coming late for the examination.

2. Relax before the examination; mind works well when it is in a relaxed state.

3. Attempt those questions first which you are confident about.

4. Budget your time wisely; Utilise the 15 minutes reading time to the fullest advantage to prepare mentally as to the strategy to be followed in attempting the paper; reserve at least last 15 minutes for revision purposes.

5. Give working notes to each practical question properly.

6. Give your assumptions wherever necessary.

7. Be precise and to the point and do not indulge in unnecessary details.

8. While answering questions involving application of law/standards etc, briefly state the facts, the legal position, your analysis backed up with case laws, if any and your conclusion.

9. Write legibly; avoid spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

10. The tendency of giving long answers to short answered questions and vice-versa should be avoided.

11. Make sure, as far as possible, that your answers are reasonably complete and comprehensive, that you have met all the requirements and tied up all loose ends and there are no irrelevant discussions and details.

12. Adopt a blend of conceptual, professional and practical approach to attempt the questions and problems.

Examiners should get the impression that you have prepared well for the examination and tried to reach the standard of knowledge expected of you.

1. Be brisk in writing the running matter portions of the answers, in making the computations, in doing the figure work and in presenting the Accounts in prescribed formats.

2. Leave margin for the examiner to enter the marks.

3. In computational questions on Accounting, Management Accounting, Costing, Taxation Laws etc., give detailed working notes as part of your answers. Also, wherever relevant, spell out the assumptions on which you have based your answers.

4. In case of essay type answers, it is desirable to give a brief introduction and quickly proceed to discuss the main theme and at the end, present a short summary or conclusion.

5. Wherever a question gives scope for alternate answers and you are aware of the possibility, you must do and justify that.

6. Don’t ever resort to unfair and objectionable means during the examination time like consulting reading material or other students, trying to peep into other’s answer books etc., which may land you into trouble. A decent and dignified behaviour by each one of you will enhance the esteem and image of the entire CA student community.

7. Carefully read the Institute’s rules and instructions on examination and comply with them.

8. Do not make any distinguishing mark/appeal in the paper.

9. Do not panic. Coolly attempt all questions and under no circumstance leave the hall in between.

Credits : ICAI

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