How I got an All India Rank (AIR) 22 in the CA Intermediate exam conducted by ICAI

AIR 22 in CA Intermediate

  • Hailing from Delhi, I am Rohit Bhatt, a CA Final student.
  • Since Math was my favorite subject, it was easier for me to fall in love with accountancy, which led me to pursue Chartered Accountancy (CA).
  • But little did I know then that I would secure AIR 22 in the CA Intermediate exams, my score was 625/800.  
  • Here is how I achieved it.  

QAPITA

Starting my preparation for CA Intermediate early 

Math was already my forte from my middle school days therefore when I picked commerce stream in 11th standard; accountancy instantly became my favorite subject. This was the reason I got motivated to pursue chartered accountancy.

Right after I appeared for my CA Foundation exams (entry-level exam for CA course) in December 2020, my preparation for the CA Intermediate exam (second level exam of CA course) had begun.

In fact, from the next day onwards I started attending classes.

Because of that even before the results for the CA Foundation exam could be declared, I had already completed two subjects namely Accounts & Law.

Hence, I was always a few steps ahead.

Strategy for preparing for CA Intermediate exam

My strategy for CA Intermediate exam preparation was nothing extraordinary. All it involved was Hard work and Discipline.

I began my preparation as soon as possible, took two subjects at a time, and paid more attention to the theoretical subjects.

Because of that I scored 86 in Law which was the biggest contributing factor behind my AIR 22 in CA Intermediate, so do not ignore the theoretical subjects I repeat. 

7 months down the road, by July of, 2021 my entire syllabus was covered.

QAPITA

Subject wise preparation of CA Intermediate exams

1. Accounts

Just do ICM (ICAI Study Material-the books that ICAI gives us).

Each and every illustration and the practice questions will vary. There are some questions where ICS treatment is somewhat ambiguous.

So if you want to score well, there is a need to focus on ICAI study modules and make detailed working notes for even the minutest calculations.

You can use a calculator but show all calculations as the examiner can only see what is written on your answer sheet. It carries around 40% marks in each question

If you do not have much time, you can always omit the narration and write your answer in a few words.

What you need to understand is that the examiner does not have the whole day to grade your paper; more or less in 5 to10 minutes.

Therefore always focus on the quality of the content rather than the quantity.

2. Corporate and Other Laws: 86/100

When it comes to this paper, after understanding the concept, you should start focusing on the language of the provisions of law.

These days the questions are in the form of short Case studies of 3-4 marks, so no need to over-emphasize section numbers. If you write the correct provision without section number and give a correct and crisp conclusion, you will score full marks

That is why I did not bother myself memorizing even a single section number from the other laws section that covers 40 marks and from the company law section; I completed only two or three chapters out of ten.

Guess what, I was still able to score 86 out of 100.

That is why your emphasis should always be on the provisions part and try to replicate ICAI suggested answers when you are writing this paper.

3. Cost and Management Accounting

The problem with this paper is that you could touch upon at least a thousand questions, and still an unknown question will appear in the exam paper.

Thereby you need to understand the concept really well.

And if you want to practice even more you can look for the ICAI practice manual for the old Curriculum. That will be more than sufficient for costing and for FM (Financial Management) as well since the preparation strategy remains the same for both subjects.

4. Taxation

For taxation, I decided to join a coaching class and it is the only subject for which I do not recommend studying from the ICAI study material. The material is voluminous; you would find it impossible to revise it.

For some people, studying selectively for this paper also works.

For example, I never studied the TDS (tax deducted at source) chapter because I knew that chapter would not be my best bet. I followed this exact same method for the GST section as well, where I left out one or two chapters.

Additionally, ICAI has also released an MCQ booklet in taxation, which also has case studies in there. This was a lifesaver honestly. Some of the questions that I went over in that MCQ booklet, surprisingly showed up in the exam paper as well.

  • Income tax: For the income tax section if you are studying from ICAI study material then there might not be any illustrations for some of the provisions. You have to look for illustrations online or obtain them from some other sources. So a coaching teacher’s book is preferred. Remember that the strategy for studying Income tax is very different from law. In law, everything is theoretical whereas in income tax you need to understand its application.

5. EIS-SM (Enterprises Information System, and Strategic Management) Paper

Then another problem occurred, 2.5 months before the exam I was facing difficulties in the EIS-SM (Enterprises Information System, and Strategic Management) Paper.

Instead of panicking, I sought guidance from a teacher and he told me to take his test series. I revised the full syllabus as per his test series and ultimately regained confidence.

Remember that Mnemonics are very important when it comes to EIS because if your title is accurate it would be easier for you to construct the explanation part.

6. Auditing Paper

Since I had already completed my audit syllabus way back in April 2021 I had partially forgotten about it.

So in July 2021, I decided to go over it once again, and then took a mock test.

After repeating this process multiple times, in a mock test, I finally got 78 in the Auditing and Assurance Paper. Now my confidence was regained once again. I also went over other subjects in between.

Should students attempt one CA Intermediate group at a time or two groups at once?

Should students attempt one CA Intermediate group at a time or two groups at once? I believe it really depends on the person.

Try to attempt both groups at once, only if you are good at time management and stress management. Otherwise, it is just better to go group by group.

And for those who were unable to clear the groups in the first attempt, please do not get disheartened.

Lift yourself up and go through the ICAI study materials from cover to cover. It is highly possible that you might spot a familiar question later on in the exam paper.  

You need to learn how to properly write an answer for the practical subjects also.

QAPITA

Closing…

I highly recommend that you should stop writing mock tests 20 days before the exam starts. Because if you fail in the mock test, it could diminish your confidence.

It might seriously affect your performance when you would have to take the actual examination.

And regarding my daily schedule, I never studied more than 7-8 hours a day.

You do not really have to literally shut yourself off from everyone or everything.  

I used to watch YouTube videos and watch vlogs as well because if you keep studying the entire day without a break, it hinders your concentration.  

(Video edited by Subhankar Dutta)

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