This blog will take you through a lot of useful resources, experiences, tips & tricks while you are preparing for CA Intermediate Exams.
1. What kind of timeline does the CA Inter preparation take?
CA Inter syllabus is exhaustive and takes nearly 1500 hours of first-time study with your coaching provider. This typically spans over 7 months on an average. Hence, it is recommended that you commence your coaching as soon as your CA Foundation exams are through and try to complete the entire syllabus in the first read at least 3 months before your exam.
Alongside your first-time coaching, you should revise what is done in class through small tests and recap sessions. Your full-focused study needs to be planned in the 3-4 months prior to the exam.
2. What content should I use for my CA Inter Preparation?
You may choose to study from any author, or the content provided by your coaching provider. However, it is critical that you also go through the content provided by the ICAI which must be kept as your central reference.
Link to ICAI Study Material | Past Examination Papers | Revision Test Papers | Mock Test Paper’s| Case Study Booklet issued for MCQ’s – Click here
3. What pre-prep is required prior to my CA Inter Self Study leave?
Ensure that you have taken a 360-degree tour on what each subject entails by going through the material at hand at least once, preferably with the help of a coaching provider.
It is recommended that you appear for small tests and recap sessions – ensure that you study diligently before appearing for these since they will help to cover 40-50% of the portion and will give you a head start for the Self Study Leave period.
*Pro Tip – Maintain a consistent study regimen of light study through the week and extended hours on the weekends as per your classes schedule to get a better grip on the topics covered in the week.
4. How should I plan my study leaves and what portion of the syllabus should I cover before the Self Study Leave begins?
It is recommended that you commit to dedicated & focused self-studies for a minimum of 3 months, prior to the CA Inter exam to ensure that you get ample time to cover each subject thoroughly with multiple revisions.
5. At which stage should I take a call to appear for One Group or Both the Groups?
If you follow the above tips, you will have ample time to cover all the subjects. However, if you are not comfortable with your preparation, take a decision 1.5 months prior to the CA Inter exam on whether you would be able to cover all the subjects.
If you think that you may not be able to do justice to the subjects in both the groups – don’t panic; Tackle one group at a time!
Focus on one group and put in all your attention on the 4 subjects in it. You can later decide to cover the subjects in the other group, if you’re satisfied with your preparation.
6. How can I make time crunching my superpower and how many reads of the syllabus are advisable?
Break down your entire portion into groups of subjects (Practical and Theory). Ensure that you keep enough time for an exhaustive first study. It is recommended that you take up at least 2 subjects a day & preferably a combination of Practical & Theory to ensure efficient study and monotony.
We would recommend 3 revisions for a thorough knowledge of the topics.
The number of hours you dedicate per day in your Self Study Leave period should gradually increase. It may be fair to plan more frequent breaks and smaller study slots in the beginning to set yourself in motion. We would recommend starting off with 7-8 hours a day and eventually escalating it to 10-12 hours at your peak.
Suggestive Timeline (PS: It may vary depending on your level of pre – preparation and your comfort with the subject)
|Subjects||No. of days for 1st Read||No. of days for 2nd Read||No. of days for 3rd Read|
|Auditing & Assurance||6||4||2|
|1st Read||45 days|
|2nd Read||28 days|
|3rd Read||16 days (With Mock Exam Practice)|
|Buffer days||2 days|
|Total||91 days (3 months before exam)|
The above chart gives a complete day-wise perspective of each subject. It is recommended to allot half a day per subject and devise a schedule accordingly.
7. Can I do a selective study of certain topics within a subject or do I need to know it all?
Selective study is NEVER an option – you never know what portion of your syllabus will be tested in your exam.
However, to learn about the critical topics and their weightage and more importantly, for you to know which topics YOU will need extra effort refer to this document issued by ICAI. Click here Accordingly, decide on how much time to allot to the various topics.
8. How important is it to prepare summaries for the various subjects and how do I prepare such handy summaries?
Revisions are the key to clear Inter CA and the best way to effectively revise is to use watered-down versions of your notes.
For Practical Subjects – Maintain a log of important and tricky questions with the concepts and formula shortcuts.
For Theory Subjects – Cross-reference section and page numbers of your notes. Sticking a consolidated list of section numbers on a wall and reading it once a day will help to recall the section numbers in the exam paper.
Make effective use of ICAI developed summaries, click here.
*Pro Tip – Record your understanding of comparatively complicated topics through voice notes so that you don’t waste time on them again
Here are some samples for your reference for Direct Taxation, Indirect Taxation, Auditing and Assurance & Corporate and Other Law. Click here.
9. How important is it to practice Mock Exams?
The CA exams can well be described as a game of chess – the best trick to know your way through exams is practice. Mocks give an idea of what’s to come – the nerves before the exam, problems relating to recollecting and associating questions to the related topics, dealing with the anxiety of not knowing and managing your speed.
It is advisable to schedule at least one mock exam close to the final exam date, preferably along with your third revision.
However, the mock result should be taken with a pinch of salt as it may not be truly representative of ICAI’s exam papers checking style.
10. What are the presentation tips and tricks to crack a practical and a theory paper?
The most important tip in presentation – Make the Job of the Examiner Easy!
Steps form an integral part of your practical papers’ answers – make sure you don’t miss out on any. You may not know the entire solution to a question but try to explain as many steps as possible and grab those marks!
Ensure that you add a working note wherever necessary to make your answer detailed and comprehensive.
Make sure your answers are crisp but detailed. Quote section numbers (as much as possible), explain the provisions, correlate the question with the provision and then give a conclusion. In case of lengthy answers, try to break down the various points into bullets to help the examiner navigate seamlessly across the answer.
While there is no ICAI recommended format for the answers, refer to 4 – 5 attempts past papers, and the last 3 RTPs, MTPs to get an idea about expected questions and the recommended formats to answer the same.
11. How does one crack the 30 marks’ MCQs in theory papers?
Students tend to look at MCQs as easy marks and adopt a lazy approach. However, ICAI has adopted an increasingly technical approach to MCQs and Case Studies and cracking them in a timed scenario can be a task.
Make sure you practice ICAI MCQ and Case Scenarios well once you have studied the entire syllabus to appreciate the quality of the questions.
ICAI MCQ and Case Scenario Booklets Link:
12. What are the major challenges faced by students while attempting the Exam on the D Day & how must I prepare in advance to meet those challenges?
|Anxiety before the exam||Set aside your books an hour before the exam, Stay confident|
|Recollecting and associating questions to the related topics||Attempting mock exams|
|Managing your speed||Attempting mock exams|
|Inability to scrunch the syllabus in the 1.5 days||Prepare handy summaries|
|Dealing with the stress of not knowing||Do not take up a new topic 1 day before exams|
|Excessive Fatigue||Sleep for 6-7 hours before exams, stay hydrated, do not go overboard with your studies|
13. Some suggestions on how I can manage time & stress and sail through efficiently?
Here are a few simple tips that will help you calm your nerves, keep track of time and avoid burnouts, which is extremely important.
- Make an hourly schedule for each day to avoid losing track of time.
- Peak at the right time – do not overburden yourself by studying for 10-12 hours right at the beginning.
- Schedule buffer days for contingencies.
- Keep Sunday evenings free to rest and unwind – it helps you get set for the next week
- Relax in breaks by having a chat with family/ friend, meditating, listening to music – steer away from any kind of books/ reading, preferably avoid excessive screen exposure
- Stick to a nourishing diet and avoid oily meals that may upset your belly, make you drowsy and ruin your mood.
- Rest well by sleeping for 7-8 hours – NEVER compromise on a good sleep.
- Stay fit by going for a run or working out/doing Yoga.
- Stay hydrated at all times.
- Do not compare yourself with your friend who is also studying for the exam. Each one has a different process & no one is right or wrong. What works for you, works only for you.
That’s all from our end for now! Good luck in getting started and stay consistent!
Stay Tuned for How to prepare One Day Before the Exam Day!