Manvi Aggarwal - AIR 33 CA Final Nov 2015 - Gurgaon
Manvi Aggarwal

I am a self-driven person with high tolerance for contingencies at work or in life in general. For achieving my personal goals, I rely on two things: self-motivation and a challenging environment. I am naturally inclined to take initiatives and work on them instead of being stuck in analysis paralysis mode.

My family is one of Chartered Accountant’s. My grandfather started a firm in April, 1966 in Panipat with clients from Chandigarh to Delhi. He was from a very small village in Haryana and his journey to success inspired to work in the same field. He also encouraged everyone around to pursue this degree because he believed that it could change people’s lives and was not bound by social or economic conventions.

My first reaction

My first reaction was one of ecstatic happiness and sheer disbelief. I give the credit of my successes to my mother, who made me believe that anything is possible; my father, who kept me grounded and my younger sister, who always inspires me to achieve more.


Having had a full-time demanding job with Ernst&Young for the last three years, I knew that the CA Finals would be a mammoth task. However, I had not and could not have anticipated how physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting it could be. Intimidated by the huge tuition culture and by the thousands partaking in it, I was baffled. While several of my peers had taken classes by reducing their working hours, I had focused on my practical learning during my article ship. The vastness and the complexity of the syllabus were overwhelming. I was left with two options-to admit defeat before even starting or to give this my all and show not to others, but rather myself what I was capable of.

Keeping in mind one of my favorite J. K. Rowling quotes-“And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life,” I started a seemingly impossible task. I toiled unwaveringly for four months, oblivious to the unlikeliness of success or the doubts in the minds of others. The intense work life which initially seemed a bane now became my strength. The practical application of concepts I was studying had ensured that I was not as lost as I thought. Steadily, but definitely not slowly, I laboured on to what is now one of my most proud moments. Not only did I manage to clear the exams, I was ranked 33rd all over India.

Today, to me, this incident stands as a testament of the power of sheer will, determination and hard work. These exams have not only given me a rank, but a sense of unprecedented belief in myself.


A. Study schedule:
I started studying from 1st July’15 and completed my syllabus the first time by 15th Aug’15. I did my first revision in the next 45 days and my final revision in Oct’15.

B. Strong and weak subjects (How did I prepared them?)
Practical subjects have always been my strong subjects. I prepared for them by concentrating on understanding the concept rather than practicing a lot. For theory subjects, I focussed on writing proper language for the answers and revising the practice manual thoroughly.

Books and e-sources

I recommend Bhangar Books for self-study in IDT and the ICAI material for ISCA.

Mock tests

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to do mock tests but I do believe that mock tests can help a student assimilate the exam environment and help in time management.

Rank and preparation

I wasn’t preparing for a rank at all. I wasn’t even sure that I’d pass both the groups. To keep the momentum going, don’t get bogged down by the sheer vastness of the course; rather try to achieve a small portion of it every day during your study leave period.

Future Plans

I want to work in Consulting (Management or Consulting) or in Investment Banking. I’m also looking for opportunities to work in Strategic Planning roles.

ICAI Campus

I’m preparing by reading and researching about the companies that I’d like to apply to and staying updated on current business events.

Advice to fellow students

Believe in yourself and summarise your learning in a way that you can revise the syllabus on the day before your exam. Please feel free to write to me at in case you have any questions or would like to discuss something.

All the best!