Hey guys! Congratulations to one and all not only those who passed CPT & CA Finals but also to all those who attempted. Chartered Accountancy is not just a mere course for acquiring skills and a bright career, it goes beyond. It is a journey which offers continuous learning both at a professional as well as a personal level.
Clearing the CPT is just an opening gateway. The real learning begins now. Preparing for IPCC and Final examination not only requires dedication and determination but also the right mental approach.Do not get bogged down by the hype that Chartered accountancy is a difficult course. It is not impossible. All it requires is planning, dedication focus and positive attitude. And voila you are all set!
Here are a few points that you need to consider for your way ahead:
Plan your studies in advance:You may feel that your IPCC exam is after 9 months or your final exam is after 3 years of articleship and thus you have time. But don’t relax and sit back. Plan well. You will not realize how time will fly by. Know the syllabus and portion well in advance – subjects, topics, time required for each respectively. Ensure that you have all the study material well in advance so that you don’t have to go around searching at the last moment.
Revise every day for atleast an hour: In case you have enrolled yourself for coaching classes, ensure that you revise on daily basis. Initially it may seem that the portion is not much, but as and when days or months pass by, you will get a feeling that the portion is mounting. It may thereby be unmanageable to study due to the last moment exam pressure and you may end up dropping your attempt or appear for your exams unprepared.
Aim to attempt both groups: Target to appear for both groups of IPCC/Finals at one go. Two main reasons being – the setoff advantage amongst the groups and secondly, you never know, you may pass both groups in one go! It’s all about being positive. Even if you have aimed for both groups and you pass only one group, you are still in an advantageous position since you may end up with exemptions, thereby the second time will be easier for you.
Make the best out of articleship: Take the three years of articleship positively as an hands on learning experience. Try to relate every work task to your studies. For example, if you are filing a salaried individual’s Income tax return, do not simply treat it as work. Take efforts to relate it to your Direct Tax syllabus and also study more sections applicable. That way, you will not only be working but also you will end up preparing yourself for exams. In case if you go for audits, you can read the Auditing & Assurance Standards at your back end. The same goes for provisions of Law and Companies Act. Thus relating every aspect of articleship to studies will indirectly help you prepare well for your exams. It will not only make you more confident to attempt the exams with a practical approach but also help you increase your theoretical and conceptual base for the syllabus.
Finish 80% of first reading before going on study leave: Don’t wait to start your studies until your last 45 months of study leave. Prepare in advance.You should have atleast read 80% of your syllabus atleast once before going on a study leave. This will help you gain awareness about your subjects and topics which will thereby help you plan your days well while on study leave. Please ensure that you revise atleast twice during the study leave.
Change your reading material: Reading and revising from the same books may give you a sense of overconfidence that you know everything and you are prepared for exams. Thus for revision purposes or for second or third reading change your study material. It will help you gain new insights of the same topic/concept and also a different approach to test your concepts. There are various sources like Institute’s practice manuals, past papers, Institute’s modules, study material from coaching classes, authors’ books etc.
Prepare a study plan – long term i.e. month wise, week wise and day wise as to how much portion you intend to cover accordingly. Adopt the PDCA i.e. PlanDoCheckAct Cycle. You can always keep on revising your study plan depending on your progress. Monitor your progress. Don’t worry in case it does not go totally as planned. As long as you are on the track of your study plan it’s alright. You can also create pointers and notes for the last moment revision. Mind Maps are also a great tool!
Above all remember, take the CA course as a journey rather than mere studies. Keep a positive attitude no matter what and you will learn a lot of lessons about yourself at a personal level which will stay with you for a lifetime! All the best for the journey ahead!