I am writing this article especially for students of ICAI, ICSI, ICAI (CMA). This article is summarization of what strategies I had made while preparing for CA examinations, which my friends haven’t applied and later on suffered a lot particularly on a day before examinations. So my try is to share my experience which can help few of you to manage your exam preparation days smartly.
It is rightly said by Brandon Mull, Fablehaven “Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”
So in coming lines I am going to tell you how smart I am who learned from my own mistakes and at the end of this article you are expected to be real sharp ones who will learn from my mistakes.
1. Categorization of Questions
This is one of the common mistakes done by the students and I am also one of them. Friends, don’t forget to categorize the questions into three categories viz. Practice kind of question, important questions and Most Important question.
Most important questions: Questions under this category can be those questions which in ones opinion should be repeated on last day i.e. a day before examinations. One may keep important concepts, different kind of questions, tricky question etc. in this category. One can also keep the questions which are called Master sums i.e. questions which cover maximum concepts in it specially in Accounts, SFM, Management Accounting.
Important question: Under this category one can keep those questions which are to be solved while revising. Sufficient number of question should be kept under this category so that all the concepts can be revised at the time of revision. Ofcourse the questions under this category should not have any repetitive question or similar question.
Practice question: Under this category one can keep those type of question which are concept wise similar and which are intended to help in understanding particular concept.
You can also mark Important concept of a particular question so that in case of shortage of time on last day, one can revise the at least all the concepts important from exam point of view.
Benefit: This exercise will save time while revising the course and preparing for exams a day before the examination. It will also help one in covering maximum portion of syllabus on a day before examination as the syllabus is so vast and it is almost impossible to cover 100% portion on the last day.
2. Find out for commons and mark them
Mark common question of Reference Book, Module, Practice Manual and coaching class material and other study material in first time reading itself.
Benefit: It will save ones time to a greater extent as one need not look at those questions which are common.
Till now we have discussed the things which would save ones time. However, in this point I am going to tell you how the time, which we saved , can be invested for the maximum benefit. Here it is:
Make beautiful presentation a habit from beginning.
Friends, generally while doing preparations we just do rough presentation specially in working notes, assumption etc. which in my opinion is not a correct practice. In reality, what happens is, we develop a habit of doing rough work in preparation and then it becomes our habit; this results as bad presentation in examination hall as we all know how much pressure one feels inside the exam hall.
Here I suggest you to do fair work from very beginning while preparing for examination i.e. do proper presentation while solving questions viz drawing lines, writing assumptions, notes and preparing working notes. So that it will become your habit and you will be able to concentrate more on your solutions rather than presentations in your exams.
One may think that it’s immature type of comment but trust me friends, it is worth investing your time in good presentation. I have practically experienced it, when I appeared in paper of Management Accounting; I could just solve questions of 68 marks but my presentation was excellent so I managed to secure 53 marks in it. It is simply “Jitna karo… Acche se karo” funda.
Benefits: Benefits of it will be reflected in your results.
4. Meet your seniors
As a common practice, I too met rankers before starting preparation. Here is what I learned from my meetings with seniors.
Friends, before starting preparation we all meet our seniors for their guidance. Mostly the seniors to whom we choose to meet is the person who either had secured a rank or one who has cleared the exam in first or second attempt. But what I suggest is, “Don’t just meet rankers, also meet failures”. This is because one should meet rankers to find what good things they had done which led them towards their success. At the same time one should also meet failures who had taken lot of time to clear CA/CS/CWA to understand what mistakes they had done which caused them continuous failures.
Trust me guys! You will learn many new things from a failure person rather than a ranker.
We Cannot live long enough to make all mistakes by ourselfs; therefore, learning from the mistakes of others is one step towards our goal.
5. Writing Hints
While doing revision, I could not solve a question after trying repeatedly for it. Earlier, I had solved the same question twice but now I could not solve it. Then I went to my friend and asked him to try it. He tried to solve the same but even he could not succeed in first trial. Before going for second trial instead of reading the question from my book he opened his book and read it. This time he could solve the question. How?
Friends, All of you may face the similar kind of problem. Here is the difference between the book of mine and my friend:
He has written hints to the important concept or crux of the question in his mother tongue “MEWARI” or “Hindi”. It helped him in recalling the concept immediately.
So, my suggestion is to write important concept or crux of the question in your particular mother tongue.
Benefit: While doing revision one can save lot of time as well as energy.
6. Theory subjects.
This is a evergreen questions among the students that how to read theory subject viz. IT/ISCA/
Audit/Accounting Standards/Standards of Auditing etc.? The common difficulty faced by majority of us is while studying, we remember everything very easily but later on we could not recall the same.
Friends, What I suggest here is to read these subjects daily. One need not to spend daily one hour or two hour for the same. Just spend 20 to 25 minutes daily for one subject i.e. just read the chapter from the Practice manual of Institute. As we all know Institutes practice manuals are very summarized and small in size and is also important from exam point of view. So one can hit two bird from single arrow i.e. revision of what you read (remembering it for long) and second is covering practice manual which is important from exam point of view.