Rank: 36, Batch: Nov 2016
Place: Kolkata, West Bengal
My first reaction
I started seeing weird dreams of failing miserably from the 1st week of January. I was damn scared on the result date because expectations were very high. I used to wonder how will I request my counselor for another set of long term leave. The thing which used to haunt me the most was the fact that everyone in my family were very sure that I will pass and my friends used to play with hypothetical put options on me securing a rank 😛 .
I took leave from the office on the result date. I was lying down in the bed right from the morning. Thanks to the institute to make things worse. The server went down at the time of result. After 2 hours, someone sent me the list of candidates who cleared CA finals. Yes! I made it!! Although it gave me a sense of relief, but I wanted to see my name in the merit list. Since the server was down, I told everyone in my group to look for it. My friends started scaring me by saying “Name not found in the merit list”, when it was “URL not found” 😛 . But finally, one of my friend called me and said that you have done it again. I was so very happy.
I would like to give credit of my success to my parents and my cousin cum mentor- Rahul Gupta, who has always showed me the right path. Apart from this I am really thankful to my gem like friends. Also, my seniors in the office and my counselor in EY has helped me a lot to achieve this success.
I did my internship from EY, one of the largest professional services brand in India. I was deployed in the Risk Advisory division. Although the work which I used to do was totally different from CA curriculum, my experience in EY helped me to understand the key business processes. I was able to study my subjects more practically. Thanks to EY and my counselor for providing me with around 5 months of leave which sailed me through.
After 2 months of my articleship I understood that I won’t be able to do a single tuition properly because my work profile involved lot of unplanned traveling. So instead of depending on tuitions, I started of my own.
Coaching institutes make things easy and help us in developing conceptual clarity. I completed my SFM tution from Sanjay Saraf in 3 batches. I also took DT and IDT Classes. However, I couldn’t attend all the classes. I did self study for the balance subjects.
Subject wise strategy-
- FR- Parveen Sharma youtube uploaded videos for Nov’13 term + study mat + pm + amendment notes
- SFM- Sanjay Saraf Classes (More than enough). Although our term made it sure that tuition books are not enough. I would say, whether study materials are? Because questions were asked out of all the books. ICAI is unpredictable. One should not change strategy based on a single term experience
- Audit- Surbhi Bansal + PM
- Law- Munish Bhandari (Main book)
- Cost- Sanjay Agarwal videos + PM. 116 marks were from PM. Target should be to complete the PM; it is upto you how to do that? I got conceptual clarity from Sanjay Agarwal videos
- DT- Vinod Gupta modules
- IDT- Soni Sir classes and Bangur as reference book
- ISCA- Study mat
When someone suggests you to prepare from ICAI materials only, ask them whether they did it? It is highly impossible to do that. CA finals require smart study rather than sincere study. I made sure that I complete all my coachings before the study leave.
I studied for around 14 hours daily in my study leave (June-Oct). I used to take an evening off once in a week. 3 times revision is more than enough to clear finals. I used to make aggressive study schedules and tried to stick to the target and leave it if undone. One should not complete PM+SM+Tuition notes of one subject and stick only to tuition notes of other subjects. Balanced approach is required. It is like a game, where you need to go to the next level. It starts with tuition, then next should be PM and finally SM. I could do PM only after tuition notes (that too for 2-3 subjects only), coaching materials make things lucid. Ultimately, our exam performance will depend on what we have done 30 hours before exam. It is impractical to do everything. So, one should try to cut short time in every next revision.
I didn’t appear for mock tests because I felt that I could prepare better at home in that time. Also, my friends who appeared for the mock tests did not find it very satisfactory. Many of us remain unprepared during that time. Its better to download the question paper and solve it on your own post last revision.
Rank and preparation
After securing rank in IPCE, just passing in Finals would have been a failure for me. My target was to secure a rank in finals. I used to talk to rankholders and ask what strategy they adopted.
I had lot of problems in personal life a year before finals. Also, it was difficult for me to manage studies with college and office. But I always used to say myself that this is the last lap. If not now, then when?
Right now, I am planning to do job and gain industry experience. Depending on the job profile I will plan my future studies. I am very much enthusiastic for further studies. I also want to do MBA from Ivy League or ISB, after gaining few years of work experience.
I am brushing up few important topics. Also, I am trying to keep myself update with all the current affairs.
Advice to fellow students
For those who have been a good student- If you fail in finals, all your achievements will go in vain. You can only make it better by clearing in next attempt. But you missed that best spot, where you have been till now. For those who have been treated as underdogs- Be the tortoise and win the race! Tell those nerd students, what have you done in your life till now? This is THE time to show up!
I have seen people getting too serious and committed to office, trying to explore too much during the articleship period. You will always remain that unqualified senior of that firm. My seniors have always said me that 1st attempt is the best attempt. Articleship is a part of CA course. We are not doing job. Although our bosses try to take the most out of us, even they understand that we have a lot to study. But why will they show unless you show some resistance? 3 years of articleship is the most difficult period. It require us to remain balanced to all our obligations.
Few options available-
- Dummy+Studying hard for finals= if you are planning to study for 10 hours from the very 1st day, you will die out of frustration few months before exams
- Dummy+CFA/other course= what are you doing here? you are partially doing CA and one other course. Interviewers are smart enough to find it out
- Articleship+Other course= If you are able to manage other course with artcleship, then you can certainly manage to get a rank without that other course! Target should be to get a rank in finals, than doing any other course. Other courses are always an add on to your resume, but your basic targets should be achieved in the first instance. You are in the most crucial period of you life. This lays the foundation of your career
All the best!