So you have passed two big hurdles — CPT & IPC and are now preparing to fight CA Final. Let me warn you before you go ahead further that CA Final is not in any way like CPT or IPC. You have to be very disciplined and pre-planned to clear CA Final in first attempt.
Illustrative difference in CA CPT, CA IPC and CA Final (this will help you in understanding it better)
CPT IPC Final
Be ware of dragon 🙂
The only point above pictures help in making is the difference in difficulty levels from CPT to IPC to Final. This point is also clarified by general passing % in these three exams:
CPT – 30%
IPC – 15 %
Final – 8 % (this was 3% in the Nov 2013 exams)
Table of Contents
CA Final Exam
CA Final exam takes a much more practical approach as compared to CA IPC, so to do good in examination you should do a lot of work in your articleship. Those who are going through dummy route, be warned that it is really not going to help you, neither for you exams and nor for you jobs. There are 8 subjects in two groups:
Paper 1: Financial Reporting
Paper 2: Strategic Financial Management
Paper 3: Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics
Paper 4: Corporate and Allied Laws
Paper 5: Advanced Management Accounting
Paper 6: Information Systems Control and Audit
Paper 7: Direct Tax Laws
Paper 8: Indirect Tax Laws
Single Group or Both Groups?
A very important question before you start your preparation is whether to appear for one group or both in a single attempt.
Usually you get 4 to 6 months of leave from your articleship in first attempt. So if we consider this time only, then it is not sufficient to prepare even for 1 group. You have to start your studies as soon you pass your CA IPC exams. Now depending on your preparation before taking the exam leave, you can decide that you should take one group or both.
You may use following suggestive indicators to decided this:
1. If you have completed your first reading of all subjects and taken coaching for practical subjects before exam leave;
2. Cleared IPC both groups in first or second attempt.
then you should give a try for both groups. It doesn’t mean that those who could not do well, in CA IPC would not be able to do CA Final both groups; f you are determinant that you can work really hard, you should go ahead and appear for both groups.
Self Study or Coaching Classes
This is another important decision required for a successful study plan.
Self study is generally good for those students, who are not very used to taking classes or who like to understand things by understanding themselves. However self study for all subjects is not advisable and on the other side class for all subjects is also not advisable..
Important subjects for Classes:
1. Financial Reporting
2. Strategic Financial Management
3. Advanced Management Accounting
4. Direct Tax
5. Indirect Tax
Other subjects are theoretical and are easy to understand by self study as well. You should focus on subjects like audit and law during your articleship and try to relate it with practical work.
You should try to complete all classes before taking exam leave, so should choose a articleship place where you can get some time for classes as well.
Important: Students targeting both groups in should not take classes for all 8 subjects as each class consumes a lot of time and makes it difficult to take all classes during articleship.
How many classes should be taken in at a time
Maximum 2 classes should be taken at a time as more than 2 classes will not leave any time for revision. These two classes should be on alternate days, so that in a day you will have only one class. This will leave you some time for revision as well.
Which is the Best Coaching Class?
There is no correct answer for this question.
You should decide your class on the basis of student reviews and past results. Do remember classes with max. no. of students teaching in auditorium are not always best.
Make a informed decision after carefully researching the available options and your timing. No teacher can give you a magic pill, which will help you in clearing the exam, after all it is you who has to work hard for clearing the exams.
Books to Refer
Though study material issued by ICAI should be considered as a boundary line for course coverage, but students considering self study may refer other books as well.
If you are taking coaching classes, then refer material provided there. In any case do not refer more than one book for concept.
Smart working or Hard working
Since time available for studies is no unlimited, you should do analysis of past trends and accordingly cover 80% of the topics from which 95% of exam questions are covered. You can do this with the help of trend analysis of past year papers. ICAI gives a trend analysis in its compilations, you can refer that.
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First step in your preparation is to start understanding and learning the concepts.
Now what should be your method of studying?
- First a fast reading of the chapter should be done.. usually one page should not be given more than 5 minutes. Even if you are taking classes, try to take first reading your self, this will help in better clarification of concepts.
- Second reading should be slower, understanding each topic clearly.
- Once the reading is done all questions given in the book should be attempted. First attempt all questions without using any answers and then check all questions at the end
- You should mark your questions in a special way..i.e. the questions which were correct in the first attempt should be crossed and there is no need to attempt these questions again…all other questions which were incorrect should be done on next revision and follow the same steps of crossing the correct questions at that time.
First Reading of each subject should be completed in 20-25 days.
Revision is a very important part for achieving success in any exam. You remember only 20% of what you read after 24 hours, so multiple quick revisions are very necessary.
Do not forget to study compilations of ICAI. These are compilation of previous year questions and are very helpful. More than 70% of the paper comes from compilations.
Practice is the most important part of your preparation and should be given 100% focus. Once you have completed your first revision of all subjects, its time to take mock test.. mock test help a lot in preparing you for exam day and also highlight your weak areas.
How many hours of study
Well during articleship you will not get much time, so should keep yourself engaged by way of coaching classes and try to give one or two hours in revising what is taught in class. On weekends you should try to give 5-7 hours of study to a subject for which you are not planning to take coaching classes.
During your exam leave, you should fix a time table and try to give at least 12-14 hours daily. You should have breaks once in a while and go out for movies or fun.
A suggestive time table can be:
6.45 : Wake-up
7.30 – 9.30 : Study
9.30 – 10.30 : Breakfast and routine activities
10.30 – 13.30 : Study
13.30 – 14.30 : Lunch
14.30 – 17.30 : Study
17.30 – 19.00 : Tea, watch TVor catch up with friends
19.00 – 20.30 : Study
20.30.- 21.30 : Dinner, TV, take a walk
21.30 to 23.00 : Study
23.00 : Go to bed !
This is only to tell you that it is important to take breaks in between the study time so that your mind is fresh. Generally you should keep at least two subjects for study in a full day.
If you get up late, then you can adjust the time table accordingly.
Don’t forget to get some coffee, if you feel sleepy, it really helps 🙂
Importance of Self Prepared Notes
Syllabus in CA Final is very extensive and it is difficult to revise from book every time. So it is very important that you start preparing notes on your first reading itself. This may sound like a lot of work but it will then reduce a lot lot of your work at the time of revision.
Forming a study group helps in discussing queries and getting a better understanding of the subject. If you have friends taking CA CPT exam then you can form a study group with them or else you join an online forum for forming a discussion Group.
If you have any questions or experience to share, write in your comments.