In this article, we are sharing the tips & tricks on Preparing for CA Foundation Paper 2: Business Laws and Business Correspondence and Reporting.
What is the structure of the paper?
Paper 2 at CA Foundation level is divided into 2 parts:
- Business Laws for 60 marks
- Business Correspondence and Reporting for 40 marks
The paper pattern is as under:
Section A: Business Laws
- Question 1 is compulsory. (12 marks)
- Attempt any four out of remaining 5 questions. (Q No. 2 to 6 – 12 marks each)
The Law Section is application based & involves a mix of conceptual questions as well as several practical case studies that test your application throughout the syllabus. Challenge arises from the fact that the student has never studied this subject before, however proper guidance and effective study strategies can make this a scoring paper.
Section B: Business Correspondence and Reporting
- Question 7 is compulsory. (10 marks)
- Attempt any 3 out of remaining 4 questions. (Q No. 8 to 11 – 10 marks each)
Business Correspondence and Reporting (BCR) is similar to “General English” that tests the creative writing skills as well as grammatical prowess of the students.
Please Note: This is the trend that has been observed over the years. However, ICAI may change its paper pattern and question break-up any time.
What are the examiner’s expectations?
- The examiner lays emphasis on conceptual clarity and in-depth understanding of concepts.
- He will assess the ability of the student to interpret and analyse the facts of the problem with reference to relevant provisions of law.
- Answers must be presented logically, using the correct legal language and terminologies.
- In case of BCR, the writing skills and creativity of the student is assessed as well as his/her command over the English language.
What should be the source of content?
- Content provided by your Coaching Provider along with your personal summary notes can be used as a base. However, ensure that it is comprehensive in its coverage by cross checking it with ICAI material
- Past Examination Papers, RTPs and MTPs.
- Referencer developed by ICAI for a summarised version of the notes.
Also refer ICAI’s website for recent amendments which are relevant for the exam.
Pro Tip: Stick to your base material as a reference. You must avoid changing the source of content closer to examination since that may lead to confusion in your study preparation.
What is the ideal learning methodology & time to be invested?
A minimum of 3 detailed revisions before the exam is advisable to get a grip on the subject and understand the nuances of each chapter.
|1st||A detailed study of every concept involved||7 to 8 days||Business Law |
Business Correspondence and Reporting
|2nd||A summarised version of the syllabus||4 to 5 days|
|3rd||A quick revision to cut-down pre-exam study time||1 to 1.5 day|
|4th||The final revision one-day before the exam||1 to 1.5 day|
Pro Tip: Mock Test Papers (2 or 3) should be attempted sincerely, and a lesser time than 3 hours should be set (say 2 hours 45 mins) in which attempt should be made to complete the paper. This will ensure that appropriate speed would be developed and there will not be any difficulty in the completion of the final exam paper.
Sufficient writing practice improves your ability to produce legal language with the right use of legal vocabulary, terms, section numbers, case law references & so on.
Note: For more practice of questions, you can refer to the Shuchita Scanners available in the market and on Amazon.
What is the appropriate order in which the syllabus should be studied?
Despite the lengthy syllabus, avoid ad-hoc selective studies; follow a method of smart studying and be thoroughly clear with all the concepts.
Visit the concept of ‘Remember, Revise, Recollect’ all throughout your study preparation.
The syllabus consists of 5 Acts, all of which are important as questions are asked from every Act. However, the suggested order of study, along with the weightage of each Act and some trends and observations from past year examinations are as under:
|Name of Chapter||Weightage||Type of Question asked|
|Indian Contract Act, 1872||15 – 20 marks||Descriptive Type Questions + Practical Case Studies|
|Indian Partnership Act, 1832||12 – 15 marks|
|Sale of Goods Act, 1930||12 – 15 marks|
|Companies Act, 2013||10 – 12 marks|
|Limited Liability Partnership Act, 20008||5 – 12 marks||Descriptive Type Questions|
Business Correspondence and Reporting
Once again, all the chapters in the syllabus of BCR are important. The general paper pattern based on past trends and observations is as under:
|Question 7||5 marks||Comprehension|
|5 marks||Note Making|
|Question 8 – 11||2 marks||One Question from Communication Chapter|
|3 marks||3 one mark questions from grammar |
(Synonyms, Antonyms, Active Passive Voice, Direct Indirect Speech, Phrases, Idioms, etc.)
|5 marks||1 Creative Writing Question of 5 marks |
(Precis, Article, Report, Formal Letter, Memo, Formal Mail, Resume, Minutes or Agenda, etc.)
Disclaimer: The above analysis is based on examination papers of the last 3-4 years. The trend may change from time to time at the discretion of ICAI.
How can I ace my exam writing skills?
Follow the below tips:
- Use the 15 minutes reading time judiciously to strategize your way through the paper.
- It is very important to choose the right order for attempting the paper – ensure that you manage to attempt 40 marks in the first 1-1.25 hours.
- Quote Relevant section number and / or case law to enhance the quality of the answer and provide value addition.
- Focus should be given on the crux / key terms & words of every provision and usage of the right legal vocabulary.
- Present the analytical case-study based answers in the following manner:
- Section Number and Name of the Act
- Case Law (if any)
- Relevant Provisions
- Facts of the case in brief (present only those facts that are pertinent to your subsequent analysis)
- Comments and analysis
- Ensure that you underline the key words, wherever relevant.
- Ensure that your paper is neat, handwriting is legible, and sufficient lines are left in between paragraphs.
- Follow the correct format as given in the ICAI study material for all questions of BCR.
Pro Tip: Start writing your exam with the question you are most comfortable with – it will help to boost your confidence for the paper.
How to prepare on the eve of the exam?
It is possible to revise the entire syllabus provided you have prepared summary notes and have a thorough grip on the content.
Below is an illustrative list on how topics should be allocated between the three days you will have. You should prepare your own list based on the syllabus coverage and instructions by your coaching provider.
On day of Law BCR paper Break day On the exam day
- Indian Partnership Act, 1932
- Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008
- Business Correspondence and Reporting
- Indian Contract Act, 1972
- Sale of Goods Act, 1930
- Companies Act, 2013
- Go through all RTPs, MTPs and Past Papers
- Read the list of important sections & penalties
- Do a quick revision of the important topics and concepts
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?
Challenges Solutions Inability to logically think and present an answer to a new question
- Solve a couple of questions in writing in every revision.
- Focus on the format of the various answers as per ICAI.
- Know when to elaborate through working notes to improve understand-ability.
Recollecting and associating questions to the related topics Appear for mock exams in a time bound format so that you can get an idea of how to deal with all the topics together Scoring well in the theory based questions Use the right vocabulary – stick to the keywords used by ICAI Inability to manage time in the paper Unnecessary time should not be devoted on a particular question. In case you cannot figure out the solution to a particular question, designate some time to it at the end of the paper Inability to understand the content expectations of the examiner Read up the past RTPs and Exam Papers to gain an understanding of the answer format. Read up Summary of examiner’s comments from past attempts on the ICAI Website.
For additional resources to assist you while preparing for CA Foundation, visit here.