Despite many failures, this Chartered Accountant cleared her CA Final exams in 5th attempt with exemption in 4 subjects

  • Hello, I am Preeti Dalal, a qualified chartered accountant, and a CA practitioner hailing from Delhi, India.  
  • Growing up I always wanted to be a doctor but as my parents weren't able to afford that I had to drop the idea of medical school and instead took up commerce.
  • The idea of CA came to me when my Math & accountancy teacher mentioned that the CA course is the toughest to conquer. And just like that the urge to pursue CA got stuck in my mind.
  • After vehemently begging my parents to let me pursue CA they finally allowed me. And that’s how my CA journey started.  
  • My CPT and PCC exams were alright but then came the CA Final exam. After failing attempts and attempts I finally cleared on the 5th attempt with 4 exemptions and finally became a CA.
  • Although this CA journey was full of constant struggles it had taught me a lot and given me the courage to face any future difficulties.

My Journey from wanting to be a Doctor to pursuing CA

I always wanted to be a doctor but I knew that my parents would not be able to afford my medical course fees so I decided to take up commerce despite scoring 80% in grade 10 best being 89 marks in Science and Tech.

I studied in Hindi medium in school however in college for the first time I chose English medium. I knew the max that could happen was I would just scrape through grade 11. I self-studied in grade 11 and got a 75%. The fear of coping with English had surprisingly vanished.

Now it was time for grade 12 exams, I decided to take tuitions for Math and Accountancy. The teacher there was pursuing ICWA and told me that after 7 attempts also he was not able to clear.

Somehow in the conversation, he mentioned Chartered Accountancy (CA) saying that CA is even tougher. It was at this moment that the CA word got stuck in my head and I got this urge to pursue CA.

Fast forwarding, I scored 91/100 in Maths and Accountancy and overall an 80% in grade 12 and decided to register for CPT (1st level CA exam). My parents wanted me to pursue Polytechnic and not CA. They were worried about the CA coaching fees.

On top of that, my other family members also shouted at me and told me that financing my CA studies would create a burden on my parents. Somehow I could not accept doing Polytechnic.

Somehow I managed to convince them that I will not ask for coaching as there are so many people who have done CA without coaching and I am not the first one to do so. They understood my situation and allowed me to pursue CA.

CPT Journey

Finally, my CA journey started although there was a 6 months delay in comparison to my other friends who already started with their CPT coaching. They appeared for the June attempt and I for December. I bought CA – CPT prospectus and my parents did manage to give me Rs. 5,000 for its coaching. I scored 162/200 in CPT.

PCC Journey

Next, I registered for PCC (2nd level CA exam, now known as IPCC) and started with my articleship (PCC is the old course where after CPT, articleship starts immediately. After 15 months of articleship PCC exam was to be given).

I took coaching for Accounts, Taxation, Audit, and Costing FM. My accounts portion was not getting covered thus I left the tuition and studied by myself. I then decided to take coaching classes only if required.

  • PCC 1st attempt - I failed miserably.
  • PCC 2nd attempt- Cleared PCC - Group 2
  • PCC 3rd attempt - Cleared PCC - Group1.

By Aug'12 I completed my articleship and started doing a job in a CA Firm for Rs. 7,000. Now I was supporting my family although not completely. I didn’t want to discontinue my money flow so I took only 1 month’s study leave for CA Final Exam.

CA Final Journey

  • CA Final 1st attempt - Gave only Group 1 and failed. As I had taken only 1-month study leave.
  • CA Final 2nd attempt - Failed Group 2 but Cleared Group 1 with an exemption in Financial Reporting. I had taken 3.5 months of study leave this attempt and gave both groups.
  • CA Final 3rd attempt - I failed Group 2 but got an exemption in Advanced Management Accounting (Costing). I took 2 months of study leave for this attempt. During my study leave, I got to know my mother had a huge ulcer in her womb for which she was hospitalized and operated on. Through all this, I was doing all the household work as well. It was tough on us emotionally as well as financially.
  • CA Final 4th attempt - Failed due to ISCA and scored only 17 marks. I again took 2 months' leave. During this time my mother was again hospitalized for breathing problems. My dad and brother also fell ill. There was some construction going on at our place so we shifted to a small rented house. It was just one room with 6 people in it. I was extremely frustrated.
  • CA Final 5th attempt - Cleared Group 2 with 67 in ISCA and 60 in Direct Taxation. I was a CA now. Before my attempt, I was completely broken. But I could not leave CA because if I accept my defeat once then it would be for a lifetime. I gathered all my courage and once again told my family about my problem. They advised me for coaching for ISCA as it was the only subject that was stopping me.

Life Post Qualification

When I qualified as a CA my elder brother distributed sweets to all our neighbors and relatives. A Big Thank You to my family, especially my Dad. He had a cycle on which he used to drop me to school and for coaching too.

He used to wait for me outside every exam center for 3 hours be it the winter of November or the summer of May.

Today I am in practice as a sole proprietor and of course very happy.

This CA journey has taught me a lot and given me the courage to face any future difficulties. When I look back to my days of struggle, it’s all worth it. My suggestion to all is to chase what you want, and the way will be made.

Sign up for The Finance Story Fortnightly newsletter

Inspiration, Learnings, Knowledge in your in-box

Get stories delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter
By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.
Learning Learning Partner Partner
Which Dell Technologies offerings do you wish to know more about?

Book 1:1 call with industry expert