How this Mumbai boy dealt with CA Final Exam postponement & eventually qualified as a CA in Nov’20 attempt
We spoke to CA Ganesh to understand his CA Final exmas preparation strategy, struggles with the postponement of the exams, and challenges in finding a job amidst the pandemic.
- Meet Ganesh Pandit, a newly qualified Chartered Accountant from Mumbai, India.
- He started his preparation for the CA course right after class 12th, did his articleship from Grant Thornton, and finally qualified as a CA in Nov’2020 attempt amidst the pandemic.
- We spoke to Ganesh to understand his preparation strategy, struggles with the postponement of the exams, and challenges in finding a job amidst the pandemic.
My initial preparations for CA exams
If I had to sum up my entire CA experience, I would say it’s been an exciting and challenging journey.
My first CA final attempt was due in November 2019 and I started self-studying in June 2019. I allocated 15 days for two subjects to 10 days and then gradually reduced my revision time to 7 days.
However, students can allot time for preparations depending on their situation and command of the subjects. But the schedule I set for myself gave me ample time to prepare and revise accordingly.
Challenges in preparing during the lockdown in 2020
During my first attempt at CA Finals in November 2019, I was only able to clear my second group. I planned to give my first group in May 2020.
But unfortunately, the world was hit by the pandemic and India was struggling with the rising number of active cases. There was a lot of confusion and it tested everyone’s patience and hampered my preparations.
On 25th March 2020, the Government of India officially announced a complete lockdown for 21 days. I was still pretty confident that we would be able to manage the situation within this time period. So, I wasn’t disturbed about the likelihood of postponement of exams or any changes in our exam schedules.
Since I was self-studying, the lockdown didn’t affect my preparation routine and I continued to study as planned earlier. But after the second lockdown announcement, I became cautious and was also confused as to what would happen next. Many students struggled during this difficult time as they got stuck in their hometowns or were infected with COVID-19.
The situation was beyond my control as a CA aspirant. Hence, I decided to completely focus on my studies as that is what I would be accountable for. But the exams kept getting postponed and finally the ICAI decided to merge two attempts and conduct the exams in November 2020.
There was an undeniable amount of negativity and uncertainty and it affected both my mental and physical health. So, I took a short break to refresh my mind and continued with my studies after a few days.
My goal was to ensure that in November 2020, it should be my last attempt. I took it as a challenge because we always have to find opportunities in life even in the most difficult of times.
Searching for jobs during the pandemic
For every CA fresher, getting their dream job is the ultimate goal.
After the results were out in February 2021, as a CA Fresher, the next step was to start hunting for a job immediately as I didn’t want to waste any more time.
I decided to absorb myself in the industry as it was in alignment with my long-term goal. After rounds of shortlisting and interviews, I got an offer in the banking sector. However, the location was not feasible for me as it required traveling. This went on for a few more days where I was selected but all the jobs required daily traveling. At this point, I was really anxious. Soon after, I started applying for 10-12 jobs daily through employment portals to find better options.
After 2-3 weeks of my first round of ICAI placement interviews, I received an offer from a media research company and joined in March 2021.
It was such a relief.
Suggestion for CA aspirants
Our ultimate goal should be to clear our examinations. Given the current pandemic situation, I believe that CA aspirants can be in the pursuit of qualifying as CAs by adopting a flexible preparation strategy.
Since CA is time-oriented, students must have a strategy that is flexible, and not rigid.
Uncertain times call for flexible routines and a tailored preparation strategy will help in maintaining good mental and physical health.
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(Video edited by Fardin Hossain)