James John Britto R - AIR 1 CA Final Nov 2015 - Chennai
James John Britto R

Hi. I’m James John Britto R from Chennai. I secured the All India Rank 1 in November 2015 CA Final Exams. I did my schooling in Don Bosco, Egmore and then went on to graduate from Loyola College, Chennai. Simultaneously, I pursued CA and CS. My dad is a practicing chartered accountant and mother is a home maker. I have an elder brother who is a doctor.

Since school I had a liking towards commerce and accountancy. As we all know, one of the best career options for a commerce stream student is CA. After I joined the course in June 2010, I really started liking it and wanted to excel in it.

My first reaction

I was completely taken by surprise. Though I had always dreamed of a rank, I was not expecting AIR 1. When the President of ICAI called, I blanked out for a minute. I was on cloud nine. I would like to credit my success to God the Almighty, my parents, teachers, friends and well-wishers. All of them played a commendable role in my success.


I’m doing my articles with M/s Sharp & Tannan in Chennai. It is a mid size, reputed firm. Articles helped me a lot in my preparations I had the opportunity to see many theoretical concepts practically. Subjects like FR, taxation and audit were made easy when I could correlate with a client.

I’m thankful to the partners, managers and seniors at work for their inputs which helped me a lot in achieving this feat.


I had attended coaching for certain subjects. But it isn’t necessary that all should join coaching institutions. CA is a self study course. With hard work and determination, I think one can crack the course, even without attending coaching classes. The biggest advantage of coaching is expert teaching and opportunity to compare yourself against your peers.


My strategy was simple – PLAN, EXECUTE, REVISE. You can visit my blog – jamesjohnbritto.blogspot.com for more on my preparation methodology.

I stuck to one book, had trust on my faculty and prepared the same way I prepared for my 12th Grade exams. I got four months of study leave and had to finish all the subjects within that period. I had been attending classes during my articleship in a phased manner. I spent more time on subjects for which I did not attend classes. I would not call them my weak subjects, but I had to put in extra efforts. Say subjects like ISCA I had to read 3-4 times to understand the concepts and remember them. There aren’t any short cuts.

Mock tests

I took ICAI series 1 mock test at SIRC. They are absolutely necessary. We need writing practice and there is no better way to get it than by taking mock tests. They make you exam ready.

Rank and preparation

I always dreamed of a rank. But I did not do anything special to get a rank. It just happened. Having a target score or a rank, definitely pushes you to work hard. You need not study 20 hours a day to get a rank. I studied about 10 – 12 hours a day during study leave and ensured that I slept for a minimum of 8 hours a day.

Future Plans

I’m evaluating my options. I’m more eager to enter the corporate world.

ICAI Campus

I’m presently talking to my seniors and credible sources in the industry to understand the various options available and make an informed choice.

Advice to fellow students

Students must be confident, determined and committed to the course. They should not be worried about the pass percentage or the number of attempts people known to them took to clear the course. They need to be passionate about the course. If they have the passion, there is nothing that is going to stop them from being successful. All must aspire for a rank.