Guide to Self-Study and Getting a Rank in Chartered Accountancy (CA) Exams

  • CA|Exam|
  • 6 Min Read
  • By Taxmann
  • |
  • Last Updated on 26 December, 2023

Getting a Rank in CA Exams

As the saying goes

“You become what you believe” and “Whatever you think, you will manifest it in your life”.

Getting a rank in Chartered Accountancy (CA) Exams is a milestone which everyone wishes to achieve but, like anything else, it requires consistent hard-work, perseverance and commitment to achieve it. But even before that, one must believe that he/she is capable of doing it. When a person sets a definite goal in his/her mind, half the battle is already won. After all, a man can do anything, if only he sets his mind at it.

One of the most crucial parts of CA exam is the last few months of study period which not only tests one’s patience but requires him/her to make proper plans and act accordingly. In this period, one must focus to firstly cover all chapters of study material to have an in-depth idea of the content. Secondly, one has to focus on its revision with the help of summary notes made by him/her at the first reading of the subject. Then, it’s time for giving mock tests in an exam like environment (whether arranged by CA institute or any other source or one may clone the same environment at home). Lastly, the final leg of revision comes in during the last one and half days before the exam.

To cover these steps of preparation, some tips and tricks which one can follow to make the preparation smooth and aim for getting a Rank rather than just passing are enumerated as below-

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1. Make Summary Notes

When someone senior advises one to make own summary notes, it is because he/she realised its imp Now the point to stress upon is how to make such summary notes. Before beginning, one must understand the purpose behind preparing such notes – like for quick revision or for last day preparation. In each of those cases, the summaries would be a little different.

    • For quick revision, the summary should cover each and every concept in Nothing should be left as this will be the base from which one will recall concepts as well as remember concepts which one has forgotten after its first reading of the subject.
    • For last day preparation, one should prepare a separate summary which should be very short and be just like index of any chapter covering headings of all the topics and very short detail of each topic to recall the content. This will even help in revising everything in 1-2 hours before exam at the time of travelling from home to the exam centre.

2. Mind Mapping

It means one should know each and every topic of each and every chapter such that one has the index of the chapter created in his/her m This will help to interlink concepts properly and one will also be able to know to which chapter the question relates.

3. Three Layer Study

One should read every theory subject in 3 layers-

Layer 1 –  where one reads the concepts in detail.

Layer 2 – where one reads the summaries and charts for quick revision.

Layer 3 – where one reads the mind maps and indexes of the chapters and tries to remember the section numbers for different law provisions.

This approach shall help one to remember the maximum topics of every chapter in a particular subject.

4. How to Learn?

Many students say and believe that they are not good at learning. For them, a simple advice is to understand that learning is an art which can be learned. For helping to learn fast, one can use techniques like–

    • Mnemonics – For learning some of the topics of subjects like Auditing where every point looks the same, mnemonics are of great use. Remember to not use too many of those, otherwise one will end up learning only them and not the topic for which they are made.
    • Make a story –One can arrange events in a logical flow in his/her mind while learning some of the topics such that it can help in remembering all those points sequentially.
    • Start from the scratch – While learning a topic of say 8 points, one should read the 2nd point and then recall from the 1st point. Similarly, while reading the 8th point one should recall from the 1st point and gradually come to 8th point recalling all points in between. This approach ensures memory retention of topics.
    • Use of numbers – Mind works faster with num Say if one is learning a topic comprising 5 points, give each point a number from 1-5 and start learning through recalling numbers; through this process the relevant point will automatically strike the mind faster than just learning those points without any number.

5. Choose a Mentor

One should choose a friend or a senior with whom one can consult all the problems and hindrances in the preparation. It is this mentor who comes to someone’s aid becoming a guiding angel at a time when one needs his/her the most.

6. Use of YouTube

One should subscribe to the renowned teachers’ YouTube channels for each subject so that he/she will not miss any amendment classes or revisionary videos uploaded by them for preparation. Those who switch off their phones during exam preparation are doing a big mistake because they are missing the chances of getting useful information or useful notes for their smooth Obviously one must ensure that this should not make them distracted from studies.

7. Two Additional Notebooks

One practice that is unorthodox at first sight but very useful is to make two separate notebooks apart from the notebook which one uses to practice sums/make notes. Those can be named as –

    • Definition Notebook – where one should write relevant definitions for every subject at one place which makes it easy to le Definitions are important for scoring good marks and it will enhance the introduction part in any answer.
    • Mistakes Notebook – this is very important for practical Write down all mistakes of each of the subjects at one place and make sure that one should read those mistakes 4-5 times. Many of us understand our mistakes while solving sums but don’t keep track of our mistakes leading to repeating the same mistake while solving that sum again.

8. Noting & Planning

One should note down all those things which have been planned to be done in a week or even in a day and make sure to revisit that page and ensure that work is done according to the laid plan. CA exams preparation is 30% planning and 70% So, make sure to give enough time for planning things properly.

9. Focus on Writing Style

In the last phase of preparation, one should prepare to make the answers more meaningful and complete. To elaborate, make sure that the presentation of the answers is up to the mark. One should also ensure that he/she has practised to write a theory paper at least once before the exam to know what should be the answer pattern and what one has written to cross-check and rectify in advance.

Some points to remember-

    • Write answers para-wise
    • Include references and section numbers as many as possible and are relevant
    • Conclusion should be in affirmative language of the exact question asked
    • Underline those words where one wants to draw attention of the exam One should give time to underline only if one is able to complete the paper 5-10 mins before the time.

10. How to go about Amendments?

One should study each subject in its entirety before jumping on to its amendments and by that time the brain will have an image of the book from where one has already So, any amendment should be incorporated in the notes itself and try not to read those from any separate pages as it can lead to confusion. For major amendments (running into more than one pages), one can use separate pages and stick those in his/her study material.

The above-mentioned points will not only save time and effort of reading but will also help in retention of most of the important points of every subject. ‘Study Hard’ should be replaced with words ‘Study Smart’. It will now depend on an individual how he/she is squeezing most out of these points and applying it in exams for better scoring. Getting a rank does not depend on luck; and it would be fair to say that it is surely a by-product of efforts one puts in while studying. Lastly, to conclude, with a quote:

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must act. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso

Dive Deeper:
How to Crack CA Final in the First Attempt
How to Crack CA Inter in the First Attempt
[FAQs] Chartered Accountant (CA) – Preparation Related Questions

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