CA NIraj Mahajan
Here is a small attempt to quickly focus on few important point regarding IPCC and CA Final exams.
This is not about what to study, how to study and from where to study. There is not time for that, whatever I’m writing is all about writing exam papers. If its not your attempt or you are not “attempting” , this article may help you when you are actually attempting your exams! (Save and refer this article preferably a week before exams)
ASSUMPTION: YOU ARE DONE WITH YOUR STUDIES!! ATLEAST ABOVE 80% OF THE ENTIRE SYLLABUS which means you are in a position to ATTEMPT CA EXAMS.
CA exams being a Professional exam the answers in the papers should also be professional. Atleast it should look professional to the paper checker. By looking professional I mean the content should be written professionally. Bear in mind these are not your regular University B.Com papers. Every word counts. The golden rule is IT’S ABOUT PRESENTATION WHEN YOU ARE DONE WITH STUDIES. Studies can give you 40 marks, but with effective presentation as well you can definitely reach and cross 50 marks!!
FOR THEORY SUBJECTS:
- Any answer should be written in point format. Maximum 2 sentences in one point. No answers in long paragraphs. You are writing an answer, not an essay! Don’t make is difficult for paper checker to find the answer in your essay.
- Write spaciously. You have paid exam fees, right! Use as much paper as you want. PREFERABLY WRITE ONE ANSWER ON ONE PAGE, EVEN IF YOU HAVE USED JUST HALF OF THE PAGE. See to it that your answers are not broken down in 2 pages, it gives an impression that the answer is small. One answer on one page gives a complete picture of the answer.
- Every point has a few crux words. Underline them wherever possible. This makes paper checker’s work easier. This is a psychological game you play with paper checker. Impress him that you know the answers, impress that you are confident by underlining the crux words. This leads to the difference between 1 mark and 1 and half mark. Cumulatively THIS MAKES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 39 AND 40 OR 59 AND 60 EFFECTIVELY making a DIFFERENCE OF 6 MONTHS!!
- Impress the paper checker that you know professional words, be it your maxims for your Corporate law papers, writing ‘Apex Court of India: Supreme Court’ or ‘Honorable Supreme Court’ similar with Honorable High Court. It’s a professional show-off you may say.
- If you have spare time (which is almost impossible, but still if you do) underline after every answers. Double underline after every question set. Basic again I know, but effective. Trust me on this, I’ll explain later why *.
- If you remember the name of the caselaw, well and good, if you don’t but still know which Court (HC/SC/ITAT), do quote it. TELLING THE EXAMINER THAT YOU KNOW (SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING)
- Same with Allied laws, you can definitely guess the Act the question is asked from. Be it Negotiable Instruments Act, Partnership Act, SOGA, Banking/Insurance Acts, Interpretation of Statutes etc. Quoting the Act with the year 1981, 1932 etc. is necessary.
- Don’t focus on quantity, focus on quality content. Reminder: These are not your B.Com papers.
- IF you are not sure of the section, Clause, Auditing/Accounting Standard, PLEASE DON’T QUOTE IT. Please don’t bluff. Knowing it is important and do quote it if you know, but please don’t take a guess or else you’ll be sure of your next attempt.
- Try to attempt in FACTS, ANSWER, CONCLUSION format. First the facts in brief, then what the facts lead to, the actual answer, and then the conclusion.
- NEW RUPEE SYMBOL. You are a professional-to-be and never make use of ‘Rs.” symbol in exams. Instead use ` symbol everywhere, especially in your final answer. THERE IS NO EXCUSE TO THIS
- As I said earlier leave and draw margins on both sides of paper even if it is practical subject.
- DON’T FORGET THE UNITS!! Be it Rupees, No.s , Dollars, Millions, Lakhs, Kgs, Cms, Per Unit, Per kg etc. Don’t leave to the imagination of paper checker for what the numbers represent in your working notes and FINAL ANSWER. Every final answer should have a unit. For eg. The entire question is about Kgs. So please don’t assume you are not supposed to write Kgs anywhere in the answer. Also double underline your final answer.
- FORMULAS: By reading the question, you can definitely make out from which chapter the question is asked, also the sub-type of the question. Thus the formula clicks in your mind immediately. Write the correct formula is bigger font, underline or preferably box the formula.
- As a last resort when you are unable to solve the question due to any reason, but you know the Chapter and somewhat near to sub-type of the question, write the formula/concept note of the question asked.
- Also when you are not able to write anything about your last attempt questions (Presuming you keep the toughest questions to the last), DON’T KEEP IT BLANK!! ATTEMPT, FIGHT FOR THAT half/one extra mark. Write the Question number, write the data already given in the question in some different format, write some concept note relating to the question. REMEMBER THERE ARE MARKS FOR STEPS TOO!
- Also, for Accounts paper, you don’t know / cant solve the entire question, no problem. Attempt it if you have no other option and there is still bit time left. Attempting something is better than leaving It blank. Leaving it blank assures zero mark, but atleast attempting the question in some way gives you a hope of 1 extra mark.
* It may seem as child’s play or child’s work of underlining after every answer, leaving margins etc. BUT REMEMBER your answer sheet should LOOK OUTSTANDING!! FIGHT FOR EACH AND EVERY MARK AND PRESENTATION WILL HELP YOU POSITIVELY. Knowing the answer is not enough, presenting it well too is the trick. During the exam underlining etc. may not seem important, but think that your paper will be checked may be after a month along with other papers. You definitely don’t wish to be like ‘any other paper’.
1. As soon as you receive the question paper, turn it around. IN NO CASE READ THE FIRST QUESTION FIRST. Read from the last question, that is in reverse manner. Why??! Because you don’t wanna pressurize yourself. Generally the last questions are easier and not so lengthy. Please follow this technique specially in practical subjects (Accounts, law, sfm, Costing etc)
2. Another basic logic which we always tend to forget, attempt the easiest question first which you think you are MOST CONFIDENT about. When paper checker starts checking your paper you surely wish to start with good impressions. That initial positive effect helps because the paper checker may award you half mark extra in the later half of your paper. Your 6 months hangs on that may of the paper checker
3. THE THUMB RULE IS MAKE PAPER CHECKER’S LIFE EASY. Make him happy with your paper, and he may make you extra happy. So, clean and complete answers, use of underlines, double lines, Units, judgments, Courts etc are the icing on the cake.
4. RTPs are a must. Preferably last 2 RTPs too!. There is a reason Institute is taking efforts to make, print and send RTPs to students, thus they’ll see to it that students read it too. Also if no question is asked in your first paper from RTP, never ever think the same would happen in next paper too. Never.
Right now this much I can think of. I’ll write more if anything else comes up my mind.
ALL THE BEST GUYS!! SUCCESS IF YOURS!! GO FOR IT!!
CA NIRAJ MAHAJAN