Siddarth Sankaranarayanan Iyer
Rank: 17, Batch: May 2017
Place: Kalyan, Maharashtra
My first reaction
My first reaction after viewing my result was ecstasy. I pumped my fist in the air and was yelling with joy. I do not want to sound pompous but I would like to give credit to myself for pulling off this feat. I also thank my parents, teachers and professors at my coaching institute and my internship firm for their immense and consistent support and guidance. Saving the best for the last, it has to be God to whom I bow down in gratitude for this blessing.
I pursued my internship from CVK & Associates, Mulund, Mumbai. Internship is one of the finest parts of the curriculum to know the behavioral aspects in the industry. A good articleship exposure will hone one’s interpersonal skills because you interact with a lot of people. Most importantly, it teaches you to multi-task and to handle pressure. The practical application of knowledge that we possess goes a long way in shaping oneself while preparing for our examination.
I sincerely started my preparation for CA final from October, 2016 (7 months prior to examination), but the groundwork had already started thanks to regular studies and attending coaching institute. I would be lying if I say I was not regular in my studies. Moreover, I had a rock-solid timetable prepared exclusively for the first time for CA Final and that helped me keep track of my last 7 months. I attended my coaching classes regularly and I owe a lion’s share of my success to them for the amount of practice that they subjected us to.
In my view, it is necessary to join a coaching institute for the sheer expanse of the portion of CA Final and for assessing oneself in a competitive environment along with understanding the concept and logic behind the topics we study.
A. Study schedule:
I prepared a timetable from October, 2016 to April, 2017 and stuck to it, come what may. I first touched upon lighter topics and finished them early to gain confidence. In the months from June, 2016 to November, 2016, I studied for 2-3 hours daily. During my study leave, I clocked 12-14 hours of study on an average, and in April, 2017, I had to put in 16-18 hours to revise properly. I took up one single subject and finished it in go, and then took up the next. I had kept DT, IDT, AS, IND-AS and SA towards the business end of the examination.
B. Strong and weak subjects (How did I prepare them?)
I do not have a strong subject to talk about. And if I have to choose one weak subject from amongst all, it would be ISCA. Never hate a subject; I gave equal importance to all subjects. Having said that, I studied ISCA more ferociously. I did not want my overall marks to get affected by ISCA. Hence, I kept on revising ISCA till the moment I entered the exam hall.
Books and e-sources
I kept my study simple- Trust what you are taught and have faith in your methods. I studied from ICAI’s Study Material and Practice Manual for all the theory subjects including DT; and for the practical subjects and IDT, I studied from my coaching classes’ notes, ICAI’s Study Material and Practice Manual. I did not refer any author’s textbooks or videos hosted by them. I also had gone through last 10 attempts’ RTPs and Suggested Answers to have a better clarity and understanding of how to present answers and for the purpose of practice and time-management.
Yes, I took the mock test conducted by my coaching institute. It was a test in simulated conditions and provided a hands-on experience of how to face the exams. One should have taken at least one mock test before the final exam. It acts as a reality check for people who get complacent, and provides the rest with a boost to study more and fortify the areas where one lacks.
Rank and preparation
Yes, I was preparing for a rank in CA Final. As my studies approached February-March, 2017, I was confident that I had completed everything once. So, I was of this opinion to go the extra mile and aim for a rank. Keeping a rank in mind gives immense direction and purpose to your efforts and the goal becomes clearer than before. I kept on revising and kept my calm in the penultimate month and the momentum just built on therefrom for May.
I intend to start my career in corporate world in financial consulting or financial research into equity and debt markets.
I am in the process of building up the required skill-set to attend interviews and I am gaining a lot by networking with different people.
Advice to fellow students
To be outright frank, CA is not difficult. It is made difficult due to the vastness of the portion and a deficiency in ourselves to not be consistent in studies. The earlier you start, the more comfortable you get, because that gives time to make mistakes and check whether a particular pattern of study works or not, else change the study pattern. One has to be sincere and consistent from some point in CA final and that point should come sooner than soon. Trust what you are taught and have faith in your methods. Have a roadmap and a clear goal. Study with a rank in mind because, when you aim for the stars, you might at least get to the trees. You have to keep your priorities right and try to be away from social media in the study leave. Clearing in the first attempt with a rank is an amazing feeling, and I want you all to experience it. Best to you.