The Chartered Accountancy (CA) exams are no ordinary exams and having conceptual knowledge is of paramount importance here. And in any written examination, how you articulate your answer is of paramount importance. Your choice of words, your ability to be crisp & yet detailed enough, the flow of points reflecting an organized thought process & the overall experience you give the examiner for seamless navigation through your paper is so vital.
In this blog, we shall share with you important tips/tricks which can be helpful to you. You can choose to apply all or some of these or even modify them as per your preference & style. Further, we recommend practicing these tips/tricks through attempting mock papers so that one can execute it seamlessly during the exams.
A. General Presentation Tips:
- Write the question number in center on the first line instead of the left margin. It easier for the examiner to spot the question number. Also, left margin may get hidden when the thread is tied or the sheets are stapled.
- Write the question number on each sheet. For e.g. if the student has written the answer to Q. 1(a) on three pages, then he/she should write “Q1 (a)” in the center on top of each of these three sheets and not just on the first sheet.
- During the last 5 minutes of the exam, students should check whether the numbering has been done properly as per the numbering in the question papers.
- Attempt each sub-question on a fresh page. Further, if one is not able to recollect an answer then it is better to leave appropriate pages and move to the next section instead of wasting too much time.
- Try and avoid too much cancellation as presentation has an aesthetic impact.
- Underline key words /phrases/section numbers/ caselaw references or any such content you would like to draw the examiner’s attention to.
- Avoid writing very long paragraphs. Divide your answer into an introduction and then a logical flow of points which bulleted /numbered on a separate line.
- The key skill is to be crisp & yet detailed enough to cover all the points.
- Write complete working notes in number driven questions. Each working note will carry marks.
B. Paper Writing Tips:
The fundamental way of working on writing skills is to ensure its best put to practice!
One must practice at least One Mock Paper before the exams to avoid any surprises coming its way. Here are below key tips and tricks that one must keep in mind to ace their writing skills:
- Use the reading time effectively:
– You should try to read the entire paper during the reading time. One should be able to get the gist of what is asked in the question but do not dive deep into each question at this stage.
– It is very important to decide the sequence in which you will answer the questions before you begin writing. This helps to save a considerable amount of time. Else one ends up wasting a lot of time deciding the sequence while writing & this leads to attempting the wrong questions or spending too much time on a particular question eventually causing you not to finish the entire paper at the end.- Avoid reading the MCQ section during the reading time.– Prioritize the questions based on your confidence and start with the question you are most comfortable & confident with. This will ensure you present your very best first & set a good first impression with the examiner.
- Attempt the MCQs in the last hour:
– Avoid attempting the MCQ section first. These questions are often tricky and one wastes a lot of time trying to decide between the options. Wasting time in the MCQs can turn out to be a very costly mistake.- It is advisable to attempt the MCQ section (reading + solving) during the last 1 hour. As soon as the last hour begins, you must first finish off the MCQS and once done with MCQs, go back to whichever question you were answering.- The MCQ sheet is separate from the main question paper and is sealed with a tape in the center. You must open the seal during the reading time and keep the MCQ sheet aside. This is because opening the seal can be a fuss and it’s not advisable to do this activity during your last hour, when one is stressed about finishing the paper on time.
- Do not discuss the paper with anyone after the exams– A postmortem analysis of your paper & comparing your answers with others is the most costly mistake you could ever make. Once a paper is done, avoid all discussions completely. Slowly tune your mind to forget about the paper attempted & started getting into the momentum of preparing for the next one.
Believe you know it well! Now it’s time to put your best thoughts on paper most efficiently & convince the examiner that YOU ARE THE ONE.
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