How I Cleared CA Final In My Second Attempt

The Finance Story

  • Hi, I am Zeel Kanani a Chartered Accountant from India.
  • I was a bright student in school but as we all know, college can change your perspective and dedication towards studies...the same happened to me. 
  • Fortunately, I overcame all hurdles and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in my second attempt.
  • Here is my story.

Back story: Why I decided to pursue CA

It all started when I was done with my junior college and was clueless about what I want to do with my life!

I had considered CA as an option, but due to all the confusion and what seemed like a million choices, I ended up delaying my CA CPT attempt by 6 months.

Eventually, when I started studying for CPT (first level CA exam from ICAI), I decided to self-study, no coaching nothing. My sister was also pursuing Chartered Accountancy so she helped me with all my doubts.

I cleared my CPT (1st level CA exam) without any classes with my sister's help. It's always better to have someone in the family who can guide you through.

IPCC journey and failing for the first time

Then came the IPCC (2nd level CA exam consisting of 2 groups, Group 1 & Group 2).

I was a bright student in school but as we all know, college can change your perspective and dedication towards studies. I had lost my love for books by then. I failed in my IPCC 1st attempt. That was the first time in my life that I had failed and failure can be really difficult to accept.

But one of the things that CA has taught me is - How to deal with your failures. I was shattered but I decided to stop pitying myself and doing something about it.

This is what I did when I failed my IPCC 1st attempt:

  • I evaluated my first attempt and tried to see what I was doing wrong.
  • I was weak in Taxation so I gave it an entire month. I studied it well for the first time and guess what? I actually fell in love with the subject.
  • I have always preferred practical subjects over theory so I aimed for an exemption in the practical subjects and studied just enough to pass the theory subjects.
  • This time I worked harder, concentrated on what I was actually good at and cleared both IPCC groups! Together! That gave me my confidence back.

My Articleship Journey

Then next was articles - the first time you face the Corporate World! I had entered office as an innocent kid but when I left, I had learned a lot more than just Work.

Articleship is a very important phase of 3 years - it is when you actually learn how to deal with practical situations, you learn about your own interests and you discover your real potential.

Also, you meet all kinds of people, you understand the office politics that goes around and you learn how to deal with all of it. But the most important thing is to strike a balance between your work and your studies.

My CA Final Journey

  • When I was done with my IPCC, I had thought to myself, two down one to go! But of course, the CA final (last level CA exam consisting of 2 groups, Group 1 & Group 2) is another journey in itself! This is my brief journey:

  • I had joined private tuition for 5 out of 8 subjects as classes for theory subjects didn't really make sense to me. So that had become my schedule in the last year- early morning classes and then a long tiring day at the office. Eventually, of course, you get used to it.
  • The professors can only guide you, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to how well you have utilized your last 12 months. Those last 12 months will only decide your result.
  • By the time I finished my articles and it was time for me to study again, I had become this lazy person who had not held a book in 2 years!  I had a very casual attitude about my exams. I studied, just not hard enough! I had taken the last 4 important months for granted.
  • On the day of my results, I had no expectations to pass, just hope for some miracle! But as they say - Hard Work Has No Substitute! I failed the exam. I was fine, I knew I hadn't worked hard enough and this was going to happen.
  • But then I realized that I cannot give up that easily. I had given 6 years of my life to this and I actually owed this to myself.
  • I also realized how my mistakes had led to disappointment for so many people. I had let everyone down especially my father. He has always been so encouraging about the things we did. He has always wanted us to do well for ourselves and one day become someone the entire world would know. At that very point, I decided that I want to do this! Not for anyone else, not for myself, but for HIM!! He has always given me the best he could and it was my time to do something for him!
  • So, I was on a mission!! I had 3 months and 8 subjects! Many people told me it was difficult and that I couldn't do it! I decided to ignore them and listen to the people who told me I COULD DO IT!! It is always better to give both groups together, of course, it is equally difficult. Every time I felt discouraged, I imagined the look on my father's face when I'd clear and that gave me all the courage I needed!

I gave it my all and I cleared my CA Final exam in my 2nd attempt! That was the happiest day of my life! Not because I had cleared, but because I could see how proud my parents were. That one hug from my dad made me feel that it was worth it all.

How I studied for CA Final in 3 months?

  • I decided to take it, one group, at a time.
  • I made a Time Table and tried to follow it diligently.
  • I had kept a few buffer days because it is extremely difficult to stick to the Time Table. I allocated 1 month to Group 2, another month to Group 1 and the 3rd month was just for Revision. However, things didn't go as planned and I took a month only to finish the two Taxation subjects (DT & IDT).
  • ISCA has always been my weak point so I decided to do a little bit of it every day.
  • I finished Costing in a week after that.
  • So my Group 2 took 1.5 months (instead of the 1 month planned) and it wasn't even completely done.
  • It was high time I started my Group 1 and honestly, I had started giving up on Group 1 by then. But I decided to go for both the groups anyway. As expected, I could not finish my Group 1. I had like 15 days on hand and I decided to only revise what I had already done and not take up anything new at that point.
  • 3 months was a very short period of time and it was nearly impossible for me to complete everything in that much time.
  • So I just appeared for the exams with whatever I knew rather than trying to complete everything and ending up with nothing.

How did I study for Audit in CA Final?

  • In my CA Final 2nd attempt, since I was weak at Audit, I had joined classes (for SAs only) at Malad.
  • Professor Rohit Shroff of Focus Academy who had also helped me with my previous attempt in spite of the fact that I was not even his student, is really good at what he does. He not only explains each SA in-depth but also makes you learn it in the class itself.
  • I am not one of those 'rattu popats' but Prof Rohit Shroff managed to make me learn every bit of it by heart.
  • He also selflessly guided us through the rest of the Audit portion and we knew just what to study and from where.

How did I study for Direct Taxation in CA Final?

  • In my CA Final, I scored exemptions in both the Taxation subjects!
  • I was fortunate enough to have learned DT from a Siddharth Surana Sir who actually made me fall in love with the subject. And as he would say, DT is so vast they should have a separate group just for that! It is indeed very difficult to cover the entire subject but he did a splendid job.
  • He not only completed the Final course but also covered the topics which are a part of the IPCC syllabus and many students struggle with it at the Finals stage
  • He gave us Reference books and also made us write our own notes in class. If you ask me, he is one of the best professors to learn the subject from. So whenever I got bugged with a subject I would sit with DT!
  • I made summary notes for DT wherein the entire subject was covered in a single book!  That was the only book I referred to in those 1.5 days!
  • Summary notes really really help with theory subjects! Bring down all your study material to the content that you can cover in those 1.5 days!
  • Also, decide what you want to study and from where! And STICK TO THAT AND ONLY THAT!
  • Stay away from negative people, forget everything else for now, and give it your best shot.

Wrapping Up...

Giving up is always an easier choice, but working hard for achieving something is always a better one.  And the day you achieve your 'Something', the feeling is beyond words!

DO IT for the people who say you can't.

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