Rank: 23, Batch: May 2016
Place: Mumbai, Maharashtra
It all started when I was in HSC when I thought of doing CA. To be very clear, it is not because of my dad that I am pursuing CA (most people might think so) but I always liked challenges and CA was one of them. Being good with numbers, I thought CA would help me polish my skills and have an all-round exposure to various aspects of commercial world.
My first reaction
I had decided to go office that day as I thought that my involvement in work would help me deviate my mind but my parents wanted me to stay back (reason unknown yet) and I stayed back to see the most happiest moment of my life, it wasn’t the rank but that sparkle, pride and honor in the eyes of my parents when they saw the result that made the moment so special for me. We all just ended up shouting for a moment to just see the neighbors in our house next moment wondering what just happened and then we were just numbed for the next few couple of minutes.
Many people are a part of this success, starting right from my parents (the pioneers of my success) to Maa Saraswati (the goddess of education and skills). My parents handled my tantrums during the last four months which has actually made this success possible. There are whole lots of people without whom this success would not have been possible: my friends who trusted on me more than I trusted on myself, who encouraged me when I had actually lost the hopes of giving examination (some of them even included people who were preparing for exams themselves). My professors, my seniors during articleship all have an equal share in the success and then if anything remains, I would really like to give myself a credit for the same.
I had (and am currently) pursuing my internship with BMR & Associates LLP (‘BMR’), a Tier-I boutique consultancy firm. BMR has provided me not only with theoretical but even a practical exposure to various aspects of taxation (direct taxes). The various assignments at BMR help me various skills including researching skills and having a problem solving approach to each problem. Not only exams but it has helped me prepare for next important stage of my life.
My preparation for CA final primarily covered the books which students usually fear, the material provided by the ICAI itself: the modules, the practice manual, the supplementary books by ICAI and RTP and also some books from various other authors (but only for the purpose of revision).
I would not say that it is necessary to join a coaching institute, but such institutes obviously help you to understand things better and faster (only if you make an attempt to understand). If a person has a scientific attitude (i.e. questioning mind) and a will to study, then I think self-study is more than enough. It is my belief that preparation for CA final examination should not be from the perspective of just giving an exam but learning something new.
A. Study schedule
I would not, prima facie, recommend the strategy I followed for exams because it was not the right kind of strategy as far as timelines were concerned. I bunked a few lectures and started studying seriously very late: around January. Not that I am saying I would have done better if I started earlier but I think if I started earlier, I wouldn’t have had so much of stress during those four months. Although I was able to have two revisions, I would recommend to start early so that you can have two revisions or more but most importantly without any stress. Studying more number of hours is not important, but studying with concentration surely is and taking short breaks, watching some refreshing movies, some comedy shows, talking to friends is a must.
B. Strong and Weak subjects (How did I prepared them?)
I wouldn’t bifurcate the subjects into strong and weak subjects but I had a bit of confidence on my practical subjects (especially costing) which was broken during the last month on exam because I was too stressed. So even if some subject is strong, don’t solve it when you are stressed or else the confidence shatters more. As far as theory subjects are concerned, I concentrated on understanding them rather than so called doing ‘ratta’.
Books and e-sources
Books as I already mentioned were institute books for all the subjects. The institute books are amazing for understanding and provide a lot of insight into the subject and the topic. I used to refer the books of other authors only after I had completed the institute books in the first instance and its never too late to start institute books; I myself started referring them from January onwards and still able to complete the portion. I think classes are just for understanding purposes.
I did not attend the mock test but I surely took the papers and went through them. Although, some of the practical papers actually broke my confidence because I couldn’t answer them properly but those papers actually helped me stand up again and brush up my understanding of certain topics.
Rank and preparation
To be honest, I never prepared for rank although people expected it from me which stressed me more and more. My whole and sole motto was to clear and more than clearing to gain a knowledge and understanding of what I am studying.
I do not have any clear plans as of now but I would want to challenge the way people perceive a CA, i.e. I want to change the mindset of people that CA means audit and if not audit filing returns.
Haven’t started preparing for campus interviews as such.
Advice to fellow students
The first advice for exams will be don’t panic and have faith in yourself. Don’t just isolate yourself from people around as it keeps on killing you more and more.
CA is a very prestigious profession so respect it and join the course only if you want to learn something, not just for obtaining a degree as it will be an insult to the profession itself.