Rank: 46, Batch: May 2016
Place: Kolkatta, West Bengal
My father is a businessman and my mother is a social activist. She is an inspiration for me to keep improving myself everyday. I have 2 amazing elder sisters, both of whom are Chartered Accountants & Company Secretaries and have always supported me and helped me in becoming whatever I am today.
My first reaction
I was overwhelmed after first seeing my result. Clearing CA in the first attempt in itself was a dream come true and to get a rank along with it was absolutely unexpected. I was extremely nervous about the results and could barely eat that fateful morning. As luck would have it, the website froze right as the result was declared and when I couldn’t view my result, a million possibilities were running through my head. It was an emotional roller coaster and it was totally worth it.
The entire credit would go to my parents, who supported me throughout and encouraged me to push my limits and cheered me up every time I felt lost and hopeless.
I did my articleship from RADS & Co. and I strongly believe it is the best firm to do your articleship from. Based in Kolkata, it has 3 partners, all of whom are approachable and superb mentors. The work in RADS was very diversified and I believe that gave me a lot of exposure to learn new things. We also had activities such as presentations, group discussions in the firm on various latest topics which definitely improved my knowledge of the changing environment in our field. Now towards the end of my articleship I can say without a doubt that going to RADS was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I did take coaching for one subject but barely attended 10-15% of the classes. I believe self study is all that is required for CA. No matter how good your memory is, you will not remember something you learnt in coaching 1-2 years before the exam so coaching would be a sheer waste of time, resources and effort.
My preparation strategy was very simple – Follow the Institute Study Materials and Practice Manuals. If you do these properly, nothing else is required. You could also refer to a few terms’ RTPs but your main focus should be on following the latest Practice Manuals and going through them at least twice. I started studying from January 2016 to appear in May 2016. During those 4 months, I put in most of my time into completing and revising the Study Materials and Practice Manuals. My target was to complete the syllabus once till mid February, revise it once till the end of March and then touch all subjects in reverse order during April. Needless to say, I missed a lot of deadlines but roughly stuck to the schedule.
I considered ISCA to be one of my weaker subjects so for that I used to study a little bit of ISCA every day – reading and re-reading the chapters helped a lot.
I did not attend any mock tests or attempt to solve any papers by myself at home. I think they could have helped me to pin point my weaker chapters/sections but I preferred completing the syllabus as many times as I could rather than test my preparation and then revise selective topics.
Rank and preparation
I honestly was not expecting a rank but I was definitely preparing to clear all papers with a comfortable margin and not just aiming for 50%.
I plan to enter the corporate world for a few years and then maybe shift to practice later.
For ICAI Campus, I have been following the latest finance news from around the world and also keeping tabs on the latest Annual Reports of various companies which I am interested in.
Advice to fellow students
My only advice would be – Stick to the Institute issued material as questions are almost always only set from within the material issued by the Institute and try to complete the syllabus more than once, focus on understanding the basics rather than trying to mug up everything.