How to prepare for CA Final?
It feels awesome to inform you that I am writing my first post as CA now. The tree which I buried 5 year ago now bears some fruits. Yes friends finally I tasted success & cleared Ca final in this Nov-14 attempt. Well without taking another minute I would like to share an important issue here. On an average I receive 3-4 phone calls monthly, 4-5 questions on Quora, etc just to seek guidance for preparing CA Final, so I thought lets write once it for all. I have covered each & every aspect here which might help you to crack your exams & assures success. There are no secrets to success; it is the result of Preparation, Hard work & learning from Failure.
I request my friends to ADD ON THEIR POINTS AS COMMENT WHICH I FORGOT TO MENTION IN POST. One more thing since due to urgency of some other works I am uploading the draft of this post without any proof read so there are some grammatical errors & extra lines which you may ignore.
Remember friends without good planning a fighter won any war ever, so you must prepare a good plan to crack this Maze which is much similar to Chakravyuh in Mahabharata. It is inevitable after planning to get sure shot success. Let’s begin with Do’s & don’t subject wise.
1. It is always said that before jumping directly to fight war first test your weapons, might be they got rusted in 2.5 Year period of articleship which is no exam zone. So I would suggest you to solve few past examination papers by making exam atmosphere at home.
2. Whatever you’re read last six months it doesn’t matter if you are not good & motivated in those 3 Hours of Exam Room. Most of the people face problem that they get blank in exam hall. So friends please feel motivated while entering in exam fall, feel you are going to rock the show. What I do at my time to feel enthusiastic is by listening motivational song on full voice while taking bath before going for exam. One song which I could suggest is “Ruk jana nahi tu kahin haar ke”. So feel motivated guys because difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.
3. In Exam hall do not forgot to bring wrist watch. From the beginning of every exam allot 30mint exactly for each question. Make this 30mint as your deadline make yourself disciplined that you will short the answer but complete it before this deadline than only you can attempt 100% paper.
When examiner handover you the paper you have 15mints. To read. I never read & waste time on reading first question of paper in this time because it is compulsory. I always do NPV analysis in this 15mint to find out question which I will eliminate to answer as option. While reading question I write few points from pencil on question paper around question which I need to write in answer book. It will save time to remind those points
1. while answering question. Writing on question paper is not allowed but we Indian are expert in hiding things. So be Smart.
2. Don’t run for course completion, Revision is most important part. Find time for revision also.
3. Make Study Plan, time table put recovery time in that to cover up topics which couldn’t get completed in schedule due to lack of time. Make short period time table & revise it periodically. I had attached my Study Schedule at the end of blog for reference.
i) Reference book MP VijayKumar is more than sufficient for this subject. One must refer this book to crack accounts.
ii) Do not do audit of question, solve it thoroughly in rough copy because minor errors will be detected only by solving problems in copy only. Never look for solutions first, try to solve it by your own it doesn’t matter how much time it takes 1hour-2hour etc, just gave it because the thing which you learn by wasting this time will get attached to your mind for lifetime.
iii) Always begin topic with concepts given at the start of every chapter than move forward slowly towards basic question of your coaching class & than move forward for questions of reference book. That means much focus towards basic part.
iv) While solving first time you must mark two thingsin every chapter first is the Key point or unique point in question & its treatment by reversing notebook & second is the question which covers all concepts or which is typical one or which you felt unable to do at once.
But Why so? It will help you at the time of revision. At the time of revision you just have to look key point which you marked above & solve key question to revise whole topic.
Have a look at my notebook by visiting link at the end of blog.
v) Make one concept copy for accounts which includes all concepts & formula chapter wise that will help you at the time of revision. Apart from concepts it must cover few exceptional situations (with their solutions) which you face during solving question. For example if your mind struggles to crack one situation of chain holding in Consolidated financial statement than jot it down on your concept copy with its solution & logic. Soon you will be used to of these tough problems because this concept copy is used to revise regularly & with the passage of time these will be habitual for you to solve such type of problems.
Have a look at my Accounts & AS Concept copy by visiting link at the end of blog.
b) Strategic Financial Management (SFM)
Most interesting & favourite subject I learned in Final.
i) Do make a good, neat, clean, systematically arranged chapterwise Formula Copy in this subject. It will be like Holy Bible & Geeta for everyone. Don’t get it Xerox of any good student, prepare it by own because everyone has its own way of writing. Formula copy must cover following elements:
(1) As mentioned in name it must cover each and every formula of chapter along with alternatives formula’s because you never know which formula may come in use in problem. I experienced it when Beta in Portfolio chapter may calculate in various alternative manners.
(2) Logics of formula, connection of various formulas & way of remembering it. But where you will find it? By analysing & going deep during study in SFM.
(3) Make Graphical presentation. It is always said that human’s memorise pictures easily.
Link of my SFM formula copy is at the end of blog.
ii) For subject like a SFM reference is mandatory, I personally recommend A.N. Sridhar but you can buy S.D. Balaalso both plays best role on their part. Its upto you which suits you more. Sridhar helps me to revise concepts of whole SFM which I was studied during class did at 1st year of articleship. So it would help to revive all those concepts & additionally it comprises various solved & unsolved problems of Final, CMA, CS which gives you wide exposure of problems. Two points which I would like to highlight about this book is Must solve those Unsolved problems given at the end of chapter it will give you confidence & second thing don’t go in deep for logics in chapter like portfolio by Sridhar because for me it was hard to digest those deep derivations. I tried to learn that logics but at later stage i lost grip over chapter. So some time it’s better to have compromise with fewer logics.
iii) SFM is a subject in which more you practise more you feel comfort. Never try to mugging up the chapter like Forex you will definitely get confused in exam so I would suggest to have clear vision in such kind of chapters.
iv) Now the last thing about this subject is how to prepare? First start with class notes & Reference book together than after completion do weekly revision of whole formula copy. Don’t forget to mark good questions with different symbols. Practise manual also contains similar question which you had solved in references but still I would suggest you to go from it after course completion for revision.
v) I found soft copy of the formula booklet made by renowned faculty of delhi somewhere on web which may help you in some manner. Quotes written at the end of every page is best.
i) One of the flirty subject of 1st Group like ISCA in 2ndGroup. You can never expect how much you will score in this subject. According to me there are two strategies to crack this subject these are
(1) SA’s from book of Aseem Trivedi, Miscellaneous audit from notes of Sarthak Jain sir which have good summary of Module, Code of Ethics from notes of Sarthak sir (FAST Academy Indore) & Aseem sir(NPA Academy Indore) both. I know this is one of the mysterious ways of study but due to insufficiency of time I did this.
(2) Reference book of Surbhi Bansal fits best from the point of exam. If someone think graphical presentation is easier to learn than he/she may refer Pankaj Garg Book also.
(3) Instead of covering SA’s daily for 1-2 hours, I would suggest learn it once in a while by continuous seating of 2-3 days, because all the SA’s are interconnected with each other & this way of study may help to establish link between al the topics.
(4) Do not forget to read & write the way of answering from Practise Manual. Most of the students defeated because of their answer writing approach.
b) Corporate Law & Allied Laws:
i) There is only one God Father which can help you to crack this exam, one & only “Munish Bhandari”. Do not go for handbook only to save few bucks. If possible buy both books otherwise at least main book.
ii) Read & learn thoroughly from book by dedicating minimum 3Hours daily. Only read topic, do not solve questions right now after reading topics. There must be minimum gap of 2 days between what you read & what you are solving. I mean you should practise questions of topic which you read 2 days ago.
iii) Since there are bunch of repetitive questions & case study in book. I would suggest while practising question, must mark the good question which will help you in revisions.
iv) Don’t get panic while reading topics like Winding up, Compromise & arrangement, Producer Company, SEBI, SCRA. I know they are most boring topics of book so it’s better to give them 2-3 reading like news paper & learn selected questions of these topics from Practise manual.
v) After completing whole subject when you are with another subject to complete off find 15-20 mints. Daily to solve practise manual of this subject. It is just like breakfast for you. Don’t dedicate much time but at least 15-20 mints which help you to revise the subject.
c) Management Accounting (Cost & QT)
i) Regarding study material of this subject you have two option, first one is “Paduka”Only & second one is “your coaching notes + Practise Manual”. Remember if you are solving paduka than there is no need of referring Practise Manual.
First of all I would like to disappoint you because it is the only paper of 80 Marks. Surprised! Yes but it is the bitter truth. There are few rare people who had attended 100 marks paper. ICAI always throws paper of 4 hours in this subject which you have
i) to solve in 3 hours. In my attempt I have to left question of 30-35 marks due to lack of time. So it is very important to manage time in this paper, you have to compulsorily attend theory question to attempt 80 marks paper so do not left theory while covering this subject.
ii) It is not easy to solve questions of costing. To understand such a lengthy question & finding what they want is toughest task. So before solving question always break question in 3 parts by writing in rough side 1. Given Data 2. What they want? 3. What resources you required? Some time questions are so lengthy that you feel lost from the start & drop the question. This is wrong approach, always pick pen & start writing details of question Whether you know what to do or not. Most of the time I realised that when I started writing details of question I found a way to crack the question more easily than by seating & thinking constantly.
iii) Practise Hard is the only key to unlock the doors of success. The more you solve the problem the more you get familiar with topic. Solve on copy by writing & Do not look for solution until you waste 15-20 mints of time on question by your own. Mark Star points in question.
iv) For theory Practise Manual is sufficient.
v) For QT read & mugging up steps to solve is the only way. For the topic like Simplex Method in Linear programming I would suggest read it with calm mind by dedicating whole day you can understand it to the some extent.
i) I know everyone is most interested to read way to crack this DEVIL subject. It is tough to decide which study material to use for cracking this subject. As per my view if you have time for classes than do batches of Mr. Swapnil Patni Sir he is the magician of this subject, his teaching skills are unbeatable. But if you had not done any batch & if you are interested in understanding, learning ISCA in easy language then go for Dinesh Madaan otherwise Devang Dalal. People says that ICAI doesn’t give marks on the language based on book of Dinesh Madaan but from my view you can’t write exact content or language in exam by reading any other book also. So it’s better to understand & than write in exam. My personal experience of Devang Dalal book is not good because you are getting no extra content in this book just an extract of module. But most of the my friends suggest that Dalal is best from exam point of view so I write here.
ii) Repetitive reading the topics will be helpful to memorize content. Make mnemonicsof your interest to learn points because most of the student forgot points in exam room.
iii) While revising from practise manual always write answers in copy because most of the time you think you remember all the points of answer but when you write yourself on paper than only you realised in how much water you are.
iv) One important issue with ISCA is that there are most of the questions which looks similar but have different answers so bifurcate such question during study. For Eg: most of the student writes advantages of ERP as answer for the question like Characteristics of ERP.
i) As per my experience paper of both taxation subject comes 80% directly from Practise Manual, Amendments, RTP, Supplementary material & Case lawsissued by ICAI. So if you don’t have enough time than you can rely over this study material. That is how i got exemption in both subject. But in case you are left with sufficient time than you can refer book TN Manoharan.
ii) It is very lengthy subject so do make summary charts, notes, limit while going through the subject.
iii) Be focused toward Practise Manual & amendments.
iv) You can’t revise whole DTL just before exam but you can revise topics from which compulsorily one question come i.e. Business Head, Assessment Procedure, International Taxation, TDS, Wealth Tax.
i) I would suggest one & only book for IDTL i.e. Bangur. Sometime you will realise it as a boring book without any chart but there are no other better option.
ii) Your main focus should be towards Service Tax. It is easy & interesting topic & covers half of IDTL.
iii) Custom is very typical among all because for few marks you have to study a major content so for procrastinators like me I would suggest to read thoroughly upto valuation rules only.
iv) Must solve Practise Manual & supplementary material in this subject.