This is a lengthy post but if you read it till end, I am sure you will gain something…
Now to clear CA exams there are two steps involved:
- Preparing for the exams
- Writing the exams
I have very well given guidelines for preparation of exams in the above posts for each of the level, however have not yet spoken on how to write the exams.
Well you must be thinking, what kind of joke is that, if I have prepared well for the exam I can just write it; hmm, its not that simple.
Table of Contents
How to Write CA Exams
To understand how to write the exams, you will first need to understand the view point of the examiners of the ICAI, because they are the ones who are going to give you the marks finally. Isn’t it.
Just to let you know I am writing this out of experience only; I have been a Rank holder in CA foundation and Final examinations and also been on the panel of examiners of the ICAI. However I am not going to tell you any confidential information which is given to examiners but just tips and trust me really helpful tips, which will make you understand what ICAI wants in the answer-sheets and what examiners wants in the answer-sheets.
So who are these examiner anyways
Your copies are checked by qualified CA’s who are shortlisted by the ICAI.
But are these CA’s subject matter experts.. answer is no. What I mean by that is, if a CA is allotted to check copies of MAFA, it does not means that he is an expert in MAFA at this point. Though however he had studied this subject while studying himself.
Is this right?
Yes and No.. Yes because due to high number of students sitting in CA exams it is practically not possible to find subject matter experts and expect them to check the answersheets. No because since they are not it touch of the subject, they have to rely on the suggested answers prepared by ICAI.
(Note: ICAI appoints subject matter experts for each subject who in turn provide the guidelines to CA’s on checking the answer-sheets.. So in that respect ICAI takes enough measures to ensure a clean and correct marking methodology)
How do you think Suggested Answers are prepared?
Now when we have understood that a lot depends on Suggested Answers as this is the base for the examiners while allotting the marks, so let’s understand how these suggested answers are prepared. Let me tell you these suggested answers are same which you can buy from ICAI after the results of an exam are declared.
Suggested answers are prepared using study material issued by ICAI. Ok, now you would be saying I always knew that, yes you did but now you have to realize that since the study material is the base for checking the answer-sheets, this is something you can not ignore.
So now you need to read really carefully so that you don’t miss what I am going to say.
For practical papers (i.e. accounts, MAFA etc.) you should refer other books and coaching notes but for theory papers (i.e. audit, ITSM etc..) there is no way other than Study material. You can take coaching for understanding the subject but but but for writing exams, you must know the language of study material.
What is language of study material?
Language of study material means you should be able to write specifics of an answer as per the study material. For example, look at the question below:
Question – What are the major limitations of flowchart?
Now the answer to this questions is:
So if you write a generic answer to this questions, such as flowchart don’t provide complete details, it is difficult to draw or edit, you may end up with 0 (zero) marks.
You should use words like complex logic, modification, reproduction (key words from study material) for getting good marks.
This is what I mean by language of study material.
How is marking done?
Some good news – marking at ICAI is step marking even for theory papers. Yes you read it right so for example in the question above if max. marks are 7 and you have written 7 correct points then you get 7 marks.
Do keep in mind that you don’t get extra points for writing more; you need to write 7 points, whereas if it is a 3 mark question write only 3 specific points. Don’t try to write more as you can not get marks beyond the maximum.
For theory papers you should write specific points and equal to no. of marks of the question. i.e. If question is for 3 marks write 3 specific points in answers.
For practical papers your steps should be clear and result of each step should be clearly specified.
Silly mistakes to avoid[sociallocker]
Examiner generally has less than 5 minutes to check a copy, so it is in your own interest to write clearly and properly else even right answers can result in 0 (zero) marks. Keep in mind following points while writing your exams.
- Do number all the answers clearly and properly else examiner can skip the answers and hence skip marks.
- One answer on one page. Start new answers on new page to avoid any confusion.
- Don’t leave blank pages in between, cross any blank pages left for writing answers later.
- Do not, let me say it again, Do not repeat questions in the answer sheet. Don’t think that examiners don’t have the time to read and will give marks for writing questions.
- Underline main keywords in your answer. For example in the above question you should underline the keywords like complex logic, reproduction, standardization.
If you have reached till here, I am sure you will now be able to clear theory examinations of ICAI easily.
Let me know if you have any further questions.