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CA (ICAI ) Preparation Tips 2021

Haven’t we all seen how a cousin cleared the CA exam and became everyone’s favorite in the family? This was before we even realized what exactly did CA stand for…. Now years later, we want to attempt this exam and need more than just an example in the family to figure out how to plan and prepare for such a demanding and difficult series of exams. 

Chartered Accountancy as a course is not as expensive as some of the other accounting courses. However, it requires a high level of commitment and resilience along with the right guidance to clear it. It is needless to say that CA offers exciting career opportunities across the length and breadth of finance and accounting such as Record to Report, Financial Planning and Forecasting, MIS etc.  

The ICAI conducts CA exams every year in May/June and November. With the exams just a few months away, we would like to share important tips & tricks to enable you to clear the exam in the first attempt and move a step closer in your pursuit of making a great career. The preparation advice is separate for the different levels of the CA exam making it simpler for you to adopt based on the level of CA that you are currently at. 

CA Foundation 2021 Subject Wise Prep Tips

  • Principles and Practices of Accounting

Maximum Marks: 100

This paper would test your accounting knowledge. If you are a student with a commerce background, it would not be too difficult for you to clear the exam as most of the concepts you would already be familiar with and would have also practiced the same. For non commerce background candidates, the fundamentals of accounts from Classes 11th and 12th is the area that would need to be learnt and revised. Practicing past papers is an effective way to boost your confidence, improve retention and enhance speed for the exam. A student can score full marks with regular practice.

  • Business Laws, and Business Correspondence and Reporting

Maximum Marks: 60 + 40 = 100

It is a new subject added to the CA course. A completely theory-based paper which tests your basic understanding of the Business Laws of the country. The use of examples, case laws makes the subject interesting. Preparing short notes along with creating mind maps will be a good way to revise the subject effectively and efficiently. 

Business Correspondence and Reporting tests your English language abilities. It can be a scoring subject if you commit to brush up your English through more reading, writing and enhancing comprehension skills.

  • Business Mathematics, Logical Reasoning, Business Statistics

Maximum Marks = 40+20+40=100

Business Mathematics can be handled by any candidate who has opted for Mathematics in Classes 11 and 12. For students from non-Maths backgrounds, the only way ahead is practicing as much as possible. Since it’s an objective paper, time management along with getting the right answers is crucial.

Logical Reasoning tests your general ability to analyse. This paper is also objective and allows high scores through consistent practice and attention to details. 

  • Business Economics and Business and Commercial Knowledge

Maximum Marks: 60+40=100

Commerce students will be familiar with the Business Economics syllabus. Non commerce background students should study the topics well. The paper is an MCQ exam. 

Business and Commercial Knowledge is a new paper introduced by ICAI. Candidates have to be thorough with the Business Studies syllabus of senior secondary classes. Given that most of the syllabus is theory, paying attention to details is a must for every candidate. Visual diagrams can help retain the information studied.

CA Inter Preparation Tips

  • Accounting 

Maximum Marks: 100

 Any commerce student can vouch for the fact that accounting is generally a high-scoring subject. Accounting Standards are easy to understand and candidates generally convert them into images, charts to enhance retention. Strong conceptual understanding, ability to prepare the different financial statements (Profit & Loss account, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement), and a thorough understanding of the interrelationship between the different financial statements are the key to high scores in the subject. 

  • Corporate and Other Laws

Maximum Marks = 60+ 40= 100

It has two parts to it. Company Law and Other Laws. The syllabus  is vast hence  learning aids can be made to ensure effective revision. Make sure to brush up the latest Company Act in force. Other Laws include General Clauses Act 1897, Interpretation of Statutes, etc. One has to be well versed with all the Acts and Laws. Rote learning wouldn’t help much as a candidate is tested for the interpretation of laws. So the only alternative is to practice and sharpen your comprehension skills. Flash Cards would help in enhancing your retention skills.      

  • Cost and Management Accounting

It is advisable to focus more time and energy on strengthening your conceptual understanding. Standard Costing has  formulas which require attention. Process and Contract Costing should be well studied. Cost Control and Analysis should not be taken lightly.

Again, this paper can fetch you really good marks if your fundamentals are clear. 

  • Taxation

Maximum Marks= 60+40=100

It has two sections: Income tax and Indirect taxes. Learn the section names for quoting them in the exam. Salary and House Tax are crucial topics in this paper. Laws fromTDS and TCS are important. Calculations regarding Total Income require lots of practice and it is only possible when you understand all its facets and keep them in mind while dealing with the topic.

GST should be given priority. The latest amendments to GST are important from an examination standpoint.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

  • Advance Accounting

Maximum Marks: 100

Accountings Standards are essential to be prepared for this paper. Partnership accounts is an exhaustive topic and require time on your part to prepare it well. Other topics include Buyback, Underwriting, Reorganisation of Companies, etc. Repeated reading and continuous practice of questions is a perfect recipe to make you confident for the exam. 

  • Auditing and Assurance

 Maximum Marks : 100

As a CA you are supposed to be a master of auditing and this paper becomes strenuous for many to prepare. Thorough understanding of the basics and principles of the topic through repeated reading and applying the same to questions will fetch you good marks.

  • Enterprise Information System and Strategic Management

Maximum Marks: 100

The paper is divided into IT and Strategic management. IT requires more time than Strategic Management. Make sure you cover all your basics before moving to the next topic. Self notes and summarizing chapters would be a smart approach to master the subject. 

  • Financial Management and Economics for Finance

Maximum Marks: 100

As the name suggests, the paper has two parts and each part is given equal importance in the exam. A smart approach would be to pick up a combination of easy and relatively difficult topics / chapters to maintain a balance between both volume and value of the subject’s content.  

CA Final Exam Preparation Tips

A candidate can register for this Level after clearing all the papers for Inter as well as completing three years of practical training and AICITSS.

  • Financial Reporting

Maximum Marks: 100

Questions regarding Accounting and Reporting of Financial Instruments have to be solved practically. The ability to prepare financial statements is a skill that every student needs to master. Additionally, emphasis on presentation is crucial. Conceptual understanding can be strengthened and retention enhanced through continuous practice.  

  • Strategic Financial Management

Maximum Marks: 100

All topics in this paper are considered important from an examination point of view. Which means, you can be tested on any topic, any detail when it comes to this paper. Hence, selective study will not help. Continuous revision, Mnemonics and flash cards would aid better retention of fundamentals. 

  • Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics

Maximum Marks: 100

Each topic in the syllabus has an almost equal weightage in the exam. A candidate should also draw upon his/ her experience during articleship / internship to deal with this paper. Not only would this help in better understanding of the concept but also its practical application. The latest amendments, when it comes to auditing should be studied. Try creating visual representations like mind maps and diagrams to structure the learning process and enhance retention. 

  • Corporate and Economic Laws

Maximum Marks: 70+30=100

This paper is divided into two parts: Corporate Laws and Economic Laws. Corporate Law has more weightage in the paper but that does not mean that Economic Laws should be ignored. Detailed notes, repeated reading and revision would make the task of passing this paper easier.  

  • Strategic Cost Management and Performance Evaluation

Maximum Marks: 100 

The subject has been divided into two parts with equal weightage. Getting familiar with case studies and decoding them to improve interpretation will improve your ability to score well in this paper.

  • Elective

Maximum Marks: 100

2 Case Studies to be attempted from 3 provided in the Elective exam

ICAI allows the CA final candidates to choose from topics mentioned below and attempt the selected paper as an open book exam. Candidates can carry their books to the exam hall while appearing for this paper. It is recommended that candidates go through the syllabus in detail before choosing the elective based on their strengths and weaknesses.

Paper 6A – Risk Management

If SFM is an area of strength for you, then this paper will be relatively easier for you to attempt as it involves calculations and number crunching. 

Paper 6B – Financial Services & Capital Markets

It tests a candidate’s knowledge in the area of financial services and capital markets. Being a theoretical paper, preparing detailed notes would always be helpful. 

Paper 6C – International Taxation

MCQ based test and will test you for your knowledge on the different aspects of international taxation. 

Paper 6D – Economic Laws

Not a tricky paper and will require you to answer questions based on the foundational theories and concepts related to economic conditions of the country(s). 

Paper 6E – Global Financial Reporting Standards

Assessment is done to assess the ability to comprehend concepts and principles of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Emphasis is laid on judging the practical understanding of IFRS in different situations. 

Paper 6F – Multi-Disciplinary Case Study

As the name suggests, it is a formidable paper involving a plethora of interlinked topics such as: different aspects of accounting, taxation, finance, corporate law etc.

  • Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation

Maximum Marks: 70+30=100

This paper again has two parts. The first part carries more marks and thus it is recommended to have a good understanding about the basics in this section. Relatively lesser syllabus eases the preparation process. Take up mental associations to remember the facts studied and relate them to something you can recognise or establish a connection with. 

  • Indirect Tax Laws

Maximum Marks: 75+25=100

GST dominates this paper so pull up your socks when it comes to the procedures regarding GST, its administration, demand, and recovery, etc. Learn the latest amendments well. 

The second part deals with Customs and Foreign trade Policy. 

Resources for Reference 

Links for various support material (including sample papers) have been provided to ease your learning process and facilitate you in clearing your exams. 

Foundation Course 

Inter Course 

Final Course

Skillwise Weightage 

How to study for the CA Exams?

The CA curriculum is very extensive (both in terms of volume as well as coverage) and thus becomes a daunting task for every student when they begin their studies. A disciplined study schedule, timeliness, and high cadence of accountability is a good approach to prepare well and clear your exams. 

  • Make a Study Plan – Discipline and consistency are paramount when it comes to achieving your goal of becoming a Chartered Accountant. The easiest way to inculcate these habits is to start by preparing a study plan and holding yourself accountable to it. Initially, it may be difficult but stay at it to ensure that it becomes a habit. 
  • Use Learning Aids – You can use different methods to create and use learning aids which will suit you. Flash cards, Mnemonics, abbreviations, mind maps, making notes will help you in making the learning process effective and efficient. 
  • Proper Sleep and Diet – Sleep deprivation and untimely meals is not at all recommended. Not only will you experience fatigue and lack of concentration but also become disinterested in the overall learning process. Healthy diet, physical activities along with a 7-hour sleep routine will help you stay focused and enjoy the grind of becoming a CA.
  • Study Support Material – Utilise all resources various books, notes, e books and sample papers optimally. Practise makes a person perfect is something that majority CA students swear by. Reach out to teachers, colleagues and seniors for help. Regular practice and revision will be your best friends as you cruise along in your CA journey.
  • Seek Right Guidance – Behind every successful professional is a coach and a coaching ecosystem. They not only make you methodical in your study approach but also make you a smart worker. Edulyte is one such platform which has been in high demand when it comes to helping students in their CA journey. They provide support to students through their team of highly qualified & experienced mentors, use technology and experiential learning methodologies to impart learning to students. Edulyte lays a lot of emphasis on time management and simple tricks to fast pace the learning process, enhance retention and increase the success rate for students.

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