How this CA fresher from New Delhi dealt with CA Final Exam postponement from May'20 to Nov'20 due to COVID-19 Pandemic
CA fresher from New Delhi dealt with CA Final Exam postponement from May'20 to Nov'20
- Meet Kunal Sethi, a recently qualified Chartered Accountant from India.
- Kunal came to know about the CA course when he was in his sixth grade when a distant cousin of his qualified as a CA. What started as a childhood dream has now flourished into a reality!
- We spoke with Kunal to understand his preparation strategy for CA Finals, the challenges he faced due to the pandemic, and the 2020 exam postponement.
How I ventured into the CA journey
Although it was my childhood dream to become a CA, after the 12th grade, I actually wanted to get into Delhi University instead of pursuing CA. However, unfortunately, that didn’t exactly happen. That’s when I decided that I would appear for the CPT exam.
I hadn’t prepared much for the exam and only studied for a day or two but surprisingly I passed the exam on the first attempt with about 60%! This was so unexpected that it again motivated me to pursue my dream.
So, I consider the CA journey as something which was chosen by destiny.
Dealing with the pandemic and exam postponement
There were instances in the middle of this journey when I contemplated leaving the course. I did struggle with Group I and that was when the doubts set in. But, I cleared it on the 3rd attempt and Group II on the first attempt.
So, the CA Finals were scheduled in May 2020 but then due to the pandemic, they kept getting postponed until they were finally conducted in November 2020.
For me, 2020 started on a good note since I cleared my Group I exams in January 2020. At that time, I was full of positive energy and was aiming to clear Group II exams in my first attempt until the pandemic started and disrupted all my plans.
In March the nationwide lockdown was imposed and there was so much anxiety concerning COVID-19 that I couldn’t study well. Some of my relatives got infected too and the situation was really chaotic during those times. My complete mindset changed and the negativity affected me and I couldn’t continue with my preparation.
But then gradually I got back my momentum and started preparing once again. So as not to stress myself, I started with the subjects that I loved.
Since I saw CA as my ultimate goal, I could paint a bigger picture of me becoming a Chartered Accountant which helped me focus on my studies.
Challenges in preparing during the lockdown
Since some of my relatives were infected with COVID-19, I decided to isolate myself within my room. Although it is one of the reasons, but what pushed me to take this decision is, I just wanted to remove myself from all the negativity around me.
I cut off from my social circles and it might seem unbelievable, but I stopped talking to my parents 2 months ahead of CA Finals. I had to create my own space to fulfill my dream.
Overall, I overcame the initial anxiousness and concentrated on the task at hand. I kept myself neutral and separated myself from the news and cut off toxic people because I couldn’t do anything about the pandemic situation. So, instead, I invested my energy and the extra time that I got to prepare better.
The target was that whenever exams happen, I have to clear them on the first attempt.
Improvising my preparation strategy
I could understand the mistakes I made during my Group I attempt and didn’t want to repeat them. So, I adopted a few changes in my preparation strategy which helped me pass the Group II exams on the first attempt.
The first thing that I did was, I wrote down everything that was stopping me from studying. Then I tried finding answers to those problems and then prepared a short-term strategy. I made small targets that I could achieve each day or week because I knew it would bring back positive energy.
Initially, I studied for 3-4 hours a day and gradually kept increasing the hours of studying. For the last few weeks before the exams, I even studied for 16 hours a day.
Another thing which I did is I meditated for a few minutes and did some regular physical exercises to keep myself active.
Advice for CA students
The pandemic won’t stay forever. Although these are unpredictable times, I am sure that there will be better days soon.
So, I would advise CA students to not get discouraged or stop their preparations altogether, because the exams will definitely happen, whether it’s in this year or the next year. Even for articleship, they have the option of remote working which will save a lot of time that students can invest in preparation.
At the end of the day, you need to have a good preparation strategy and not slack in your preparation schedule.
Now It's Your Turn...
Do you have questions for Kunal? Comment below and he will guide you.
(Video edited by Fardin Hossain)