Avoid these five mistakes in theoretical subjects of CA.

Written by: Hammad Ali

Passing theoretical subjects is a matter of concern for many CA students. Poor guidance, lack of time due to numerical subjects and a rather lengthy course makes it more difficult for many students to pass the subjects in first attempt or even second one.

Theoretical subjects are pushed to end months for preparation and the burden of covering too much syllabus in too less time results in a constant headache. Poor preparation is not the only reason, there are many other mistakes that you should avoid to ensure your success in the exam.

Following are the 5 mistakes to avoid while attempting these exams.

1: Rote learning.

“Ratta hi lagana ha”, usually the teachers teaching numerical subjects quote this. Some seniors say the same, but here lies a problem. If your ratta is good to the extent that you can recall everything word to word in the exam, then only rely on it.

This is, however, not possible to recall everything from a book with over 500 pages. That too a book you studied for four months only unless you are studying one subject day and night all these months.

Not discouraging memorization altogether because you will have to rote some topics to present in exam, for example, some characteristics or provisions of law, but this is not the case with the whole syllabus though.

You need to understand that in order to present your answer in the exam, you should have a clear idea about the concept too. Only 10% or even fewer questions are based on simple copy paste presentation, other 90% questions are, some way or another, based on linking your knowledge with the requirement and mold it accordingly. You can only do that if your concept is clear.

2: Poor presentation of answers:

Going through examiner’s comments and examiner’s concerns in seminars, you will understand how poorly some simple questions are tackled by students. The reason is; lack of practice and conceptual understanding of the core concepts. This reflects later in your interviews and work too.

You do prepare and try your best to clear the exam then what happens? The clear answer is, you couldn’t simply convey your answer as per requirement. The subject might be on your fingertips but you failed because you didn’t know how to present your answer. You ended up explaining too much that examiner had to search the answer within lengthy paragraphs or too less that you failed to deliver the complete idea.

You can eliminate this if you practice past question papers and read examiner's comments.

3: Not taking classes or being absent in class tests:

While focussing on numerical subjects, students usually neglect theoretical subjects. Some do not take classes at all, and some simply miss 40% of the lectures because they think they already know what the teacher is going to teach.

Similarly, many students shy away from class tests because either they haven’t prepared it yet or are keeping the memorization for last month. This impacts their performance in final exams.

Attending class test is essential because regular tests not only strengthen your preparations but also decrease exam stress and phobia to some extent. The preparation you do and the environment you face in a class test will train your brain for the final exam.

I suggest that even if you have no preparation, do appear in the test. It will at least make you feel guilty for not having any preparation and this could be your motivational trigger to start studying. Secondly, you will read the question paper and during your preparation, you will have an idea about the way a concept could be tested.

4: No revision:

Revising your course is as important as covering the syllabus first time. You don't have time in paper to sit and recall something you studied months ago. You have too less time to brainstorm in the exam.

Revising your syllabus before you appear in your exam will refresh your concepts and you would be able to present them clearly. It doesn’t matter how much you studied in the first few months; you need to revise it in last week or a day before the exam.

For suggestion, if you have some portion of syllabus left uncovered till the last day, just leave it. It is always better to revise the one you covered and present it well in paper than wasting time on something that won’t even click during those three stressful hours.

5: Conceptual errors while drafting your answer:

This could happen because of exam stress, lack of clarity of concepts, lack of practice or any other reason. Did you hear someone say, “Is baar to main fail ho hi nahin sakta", and they fail at 49? It's not ICAP mocking them; it's the conceptual blunder they made in the exam. In examiner's comments, there is at least one question in each attempt where examiner claims that students presented a different concept altogether.

This issue can be solved easily if you keep revising your concepts within reasonable gaps.

The mistakes mentioned above can be the reasons of your failure or low performance in the exam. If you don’t want ICAP to send you an invitation letter again, avoid these mistakes. You will be saved from studying the same subject once more, which happens to be the biggest headache for students.

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