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Q : 1.Why should I register early for the CA Course after qualifying in CPT Exams?
  A : 

·          Please refer to Plans 1 and 2 outlined in Chapter 3.  

·          After qualifying in the CPT Exam, any delay in registering for IPCC, will delay your career and affect your schedule in getting oriented towards, attending Infotech Training, attending Coaching Classes for IPCC etc. Similarly, register for Final & Articleship training, immediately after IPCC results.  

·          Register early and adhere to the timeframe suggested in this Guidance Note.

Q : 2.Should I join a “big” CA Firm or a “small” Firm for doing my Articleship?
  A : 

·          “Big” or “Small” is only in perception, and not in practice.

·          In any CA Firm you join to do your articleship training, you have to utilize the opportunities available for learning. There is scope for learning at every CA Firm, irrespective of its size, if you have the right “attitude to learn”. “What” you learn is more important than merely “where” you learn!

·          Whether you audit the accounts of a “Big” Public Limited Company with a Turnover of Rs.500 Crores or a “Small” Proprietary Concern with a Turnover of Rs.45 Lakhs, you have to still apply all the accounting principles / audit procedures properly in either case.

·          Whether you verify a Purchase Invoice of a value of Rs.36 Crores or Rs.36,000, still you have to consider the audit / verification techniques and apply them properly. Amount involved in verification does not matter, knowledge alone matters.

·          Forget the concept of “big” or “small”. You have to join a CA Firm where you can get along with your CA Principal, and learn the practical aspects of work without creating a hindrance to your exam preparation. Remember, Theory and Practical Knowledge are both important. One without the other will not make you a complete Chartered Accountant!

Q : 3.What kind of “exposure” should I get in a CA Firm?
  A : 

During the period of articleship training, the students should learn the practical aspects of work in the following areas –


·        Compilation of Accounts from basic transactions and source documents, using Accounting Software / Manual methods.

·         Preparation of Financial Statements along with supporting Schedules and Notes.

·        Compliance with Accounting Standards, wherever applicable.

·       Analysis of Financial Statements by way of RatioAnal ysis, Funds Flow and Cash Flow Analysis.


·        Verification of Incomes, Expenditures, Assets and Liabilities.

·         Verification of Financial Statements using appropriate audit techniques.

·       Compliance with audit and reporting requirements under various statutes, e.g. CARO under Companies Act.

·       Preparation of Audit Reports and Certificates for specific purposes.


·          Compliance with various laws applicable to the entity, e.g. ESI, EPF, Gratuity, Bonus, etc.

·          Procedural Compliance like filing of periodical Returns, Reports, Statements, etc. to the appropriate authorities.

·          Secretarial Practice, Board Meetings, Minutes Book, etc.


·          Procedural compliance under Direct and Indirect Tax Laws, with respect to computation of Taxable Income / Turnover, Filing of periodical returns, estimation of tax liability, TDS / FBT Liability, etc.

·          Preparation of Grounds of Appeal, and procedure for filing appeal before Appellate Authorities.

Information Technology

·          Use of Information Technology in areas such as Accounting, Auditing, E–filing of Returns under Companies Act, Income Tax Act, etc.

·          Evaluation of various controls applicable in a Computerised Information Systems Environment.

General Administration

·         Paper Management, i.e. filing of papers and documents in Audit Files.

·          Client Management, i.e. dealing with people, handling queries, maintaining confidentiality of information acquired, etc.

·          Office Management, i.e. maintenance of Cash Book and Journal, Attendance Register, Cash and Bank Vouchers, etc.

·          Correspondence, i.e. answering to e–mails and queries, communicating audit observations, etc.

·          Work Culture, i.e. getting used to the work culture in the CA Office.

Q : 4.Should I attend coaching classes compulsorily?
  A : 

Coaching Classes are not compulsory. Please note the following points –

·        Coaching Class facilities are not available in all places across the country. Students from places without any coaching class facilities also pass the exams with good marks.

·          Cost aspect of coaching classes including cost of staying in a city for about 4–5 months may not be affordable to all students.

·          Classes are a phenomenon of the recent past, say about 10 years. People have been successful in the exams even before that time.

Q : 5.What are the advantages of attending Coaching Classes?
  A : 

Attending Coaching Classes provide the following advantages –

·         to assimilate the new concepts / principles / procedures, etc. much quickly than by way of self–reading.

·          to improve the students’ insights on various concepts / subjects,

·          to provide conceptual clarity and eliminate doubts,

·          to improve confidence levels,

·          to learn the new concepts / procedures procedurally and systematically.


So, it is advisable to attend classes for various subjects. For effectively utilizing the classes and obtaining real advantage to face the exams with confidence, the student is advised to adhere to the Time Schedule for attending classes, as specified in Chapters 3 and 4.


Coaching Classes help in accelerating the learning process. However, Attending = Learning. Being attentive at classes will lead to success.


The Teacher is like a ladder. The Ladder does not climb up itself; it only helps its users climb.

The initiative should be from the user and not the ladder itself.

Q : 6.Why should I join classes for IPCC / Final, immediately after registration? Can’t I attend classes in the batch just before my exams?
  A : 

Be Early Birds for Classes: It is advisable to join and attend classes immediately after registration for IPCC and Final, to obtain the following advantages –

·          It would enable the student to know the subjects, topics and study areas, well in advance and help him to plan his overall study.

·          It would enable him to prepare in a systematic fashion and complete the plan suggested by this Guidance Note.

·          It would give him the necessary confidence and mental strength to proceed systematically towards his goal.

·          It would avoid last minute tensions and doubts.

Q : 7.When should I attend classes for Income Tax and similar law? Is it not ideal to attend classes just before exams, so as to keep in touch with latest law, amendments and Court decisions?
  A : 

·          It is advisable to attend classes early as described in the previous question.

·          Attending Income Tax classes only just before the exams, serves no extra purpose.

·          One can keep track of latest amendments, Court decisions, etc. by contacting the Teacher / Coaching Institution even after completing the classes at an earlier session.

·          Note that Law does not change, only certain provisions are amended. The basic law remains the same.

Q : 8.Is it worthwhile attending classes for theory subjects?
  A : 

·          The student may be referring to descriptive–type subjects as Theory Subjects, e.g. Auditing, Corporate Law, Information Technology, etc.

·        It is for the student to decide whether he has to attend classes for any subject. The advantages of attending classes are described in Question 5 above.

·          In case the student is able to understand the concepts / procedures with the help of the Reference Book itself, attending classes need not be necessary.


Even the Reference Textbook is equivalent to a Teacher. Whether one learns the subject from a Teacher, or from the Reference Textbook, faith is a pre–requisite.

Q : 9.Is it worthwhile attending revision classes / crash courses for 15 days / weekends, etc. if I have attended regular classes earlier?
  A : 

·          Short Term Courses just before the exams should preferably be avoided since it will involve diversion of precious Revision Time available at that time.

·          However, if the student has not attended any classes at all earlier and he is badly in need of inputs / motivation from an external source, short–term courses may be helpful.

·          Attending any classes (whether regular session / revision classes / crash course) should be purposive. The student cannot gain from a classroom, if he attends the class with a negative mindset.

Q : 10.What is the basic material from which I should commence my preparation? How many Reference Books per subject should I use?
  A : 

·          Use one Reference Book per subject. It should be noted that reading many books will not be beneficial for a student in terms of time, cost and incremental benefit. It is always advisable to dig deep than dig wide.

·          Padhuka’s Publications are available for all papers at the IPCC / Final Level, and can be used for assured success in the Exams.

·          Become a master of the contents available in Padhuka’s Publications, by repeated reading and revision.

Q : 11.Should I compulsorily refer to magazines, newspapers, journals, etc. during the course of my preparation for updating myself with the latest knowledge?
  A : 

·         One can refer to magazines, newspapers, journals, etc. only if one possesses the legendary “hamsa” bird’s qualities of separating milk and water. There is a need to differentiate between “what a student wants to study” and “what a student must study for success in the CA Exams”.

·         Read only what is required for your knowledge at that particular level, i.e. IPCC / Final. Do not bother about other things that are outside the scope of your syllabus at that particular level.

·         Even at the Final Level, reference to all magazines, newspapers, journals, etc. is neither possible nor desirable. Be confident and have faith in your Reference Book!

Q : 12.Should I compulsorily refer to Cases Reporting Journals in Direct and Indirect Taxes, Corporate Laws, etc. during the course of my preparation for updating myself with the latest knowledge?
  A : 

·          Please refer to the answer given to the earlier question. It is advisable to get the latest in laws from concerned Teacher / Coaching Institution, rather than going through voluminous information contained in the Law Journals.

·          Sourcing the condensation of Latest in Laws is the most optimum course of action from the exam viewpoint. Your Tax Teacher will provide you with the necessary inputs to meet the exam requirements.

Q : 13.Should I compulsorily refer to Foreign Textbooks for Costing, Financial Management, Accounting, etc?
  A : 

·          Concept or knowledge is not foreign.

·          In case the student can have access to such foreign books much before the exams, he may refer them. Otherwise one needs to be strong only with the concepts.

Q : 14. Is night reading a must?
  A : 

Night reading will be advantageous only –

·          If you are used to late night reading say, from Class X onwards.

·          If your work schedule demands that you spend time only in the night.

·          If you are able to “concentrate” and retain what you read in the night.


Be normal and natural, in the course of your studies and exam preparation.

Your body and mind should co–ordinate effectively, in order to prepare well for the exams.

Physical & Mental Systems should co–operate and provide effective support in the Exam Hall.


Q : 15.Is it worthwhile referring a completely new book during Revision Stage / Exam Study Holidays?
  A : 

·         Referencing should be eliminated during revision stage. Using a completely new book is not advisable at the stages of revision.

·        Use one Reference Book per subject, that will maintain and improve your level of confidence. Remember you are writing an examination, not conducting any research!

Q : 16. Is Group–Study advisable?
  A : 

Group Study is advisable only if it satisfies all the following conditions –

·          Small and cohesive group of students,

·          Specific time for group meetings with fixed agenda,

·          Single–focus on examinations and learning only,

·          Attitude to foster mutual benefit and not to display one’s superior knowledge.


Group Study should not be the name given for talking and discussing “sweet–nothings”.


Q : 17. Will I score more marks if I write the exams in specific centres / cities?
  A : 

Marks are awarded based on “what you write in the answer paper” and notwhere you write the answer paper”. There is no locational advantage for any specific centre / city.

Q : 18. Should I write “Model Exams” before the Main Exams?
  A : 

Evaluate whether the Model Exam is really a “model” one, with the following criteria –


Required Result

Am I fully prepared in all subjects and topics to face the examinations?


Am I still in “half–reading” or “no–reading” stage for certain subjects / topics?


Am I killing precious preparation time for the Main Exam, in the guise of preparing for and writing the Model Exams?


Are the examinations conducted atleast 50 days before the Main Exam?

Preferably Yes

Are the examinations conducted in fully simulated exam conditions, e.g.

·          Timings – As per Exam hours/ timings announced by ICAI.

·          Stationery – Ruled Stationery of same size and quality as provided for Main Exams.

·          Furniture – Furniture & other environment provided for writing the exam

·          Question Pattern – Question Pattern, Choice and other requirements as in Main Exam.



for all the conditions

Are the answers evaluated by Faculty Members with whom you can discuss your problems and sort out presentation and other issues?


Do I have complete access to Suggested Answers and Valuation / Marking Scheme, after the exams?


Are the results of the exams obtained atleast 45 days before the Main Exam?


Am I mentally strong enough to deal with the results of the Model Exams, irrespective of their nature?


The Model Exams may be taken up, only if the answers to all the questions are on the expected lines given above. It may be noted that Model Exams are purely optional and not compulsory. As an alternative measure, the student can determine the standard time for every question type and practice writing in his own place, and evaluate himself in an unbiased manner!

Q : 19.Is it advisable to take both groups in a single sitting or separately?
  A : 

·        To write group–by–group or both groups is based on the student’s level of preparation.

·          If you have systematically prepared for all subjects based on the time schedule given herein, you have to opt for both groups in a single sitting.

·         In case you feel that both groups are not manageable in a single sitting, group–by–group appearance may be adopted.

·          However, appearing both groups in single sitting will be advantageous in margin cases as the rules of inter–group set–off / carry–forward of marks will be applicable.

Q : 20.Should I use Ball–Point or Ink–Pen for writing answers in the exams? What colour pen should I use in the Main Exams?
  A : 

·         The answer is one based on convenience. There are no extra marks or adverse marking for any specific type of pen. Use ball–point or fountain ink pen, whichever is comfortable to you.

·          Use Black or Blue Colour Pen for writing answers. You may use Black lead pencil for underlining important points, drawing brief diagrams, etc.

·          Do not use any other colour sketch pen / crayon pencil / highlighter pen / marker pen, etc.


Q : 21. I feel “blank” a week before the exams. What should I do? I feel weak and unsure before the exams. Should I take up the exams?
  A : 

·          Please remember that this is a normal and natural feeling before the exams.

·          Learn to relax by taking a small walk in the mornings or evenings.

·          Get adequate sleep and take rest.

·        Talk to persons whom you can trust and who will instill confidence in you. [Do not include your friends / colleagues  / seniors in office in this list for talking purpose]

·          Pray God (depending upon your beliefs) and leave for the exam centre with confidence.

Q : 22. Is good handwriting a must for scoring high marks?
  A : 

·          Marks are awarded on the basis of the effectiveness of communication in the answer sheet. The handwriting should be legible and readable by a normal person.

·         If the Paper Valuer is not able to decipher / understand the student’s handwriting, marks cannot be awarded.

Q : 23. In what order should I write answers in the Main Exam? Should I answer the compulsory question before answering other questions?
  A : 

·        The Question Paper only stipulates the number of questions that have to be answered. It does not stipulate the order of answering them.

·         As a thumb rule, you can give answer to a question that you know very well first before answering other questions. This will create a positive feeling in you as well as in the Paper Valuer.

·          Ensure that you give the answer to all sub–parts of a question continuously.

·        The Compulsory Question may also be answered after certain other questions are answered. It is not necessary to answer that question first, particularly when you are not sure of the answer / approach.  

·          Further, even if the Compulsory Question is not answered, the Answer Paper will still be evaluated for the other answers, and marks will be awarded.


Q : 24. How do I write answers to questions that I do not know very well?
  A : 

·          If it is an application of theory, i.e. numerical question – you may write certain steps or relevant formula, which will fetch you step marks.

·          If it is a theory question – you may choose to leave it unanswered rather than bluff something irrelevant.

Q : 25. Is it necessary to quote sections / case laws?
  A : 

·         Reference to Sections, Case Laws, Accounting Standards, Auditing Standards, Guidance Note Paragraph Numbers, etc. may be made only if you are sure of the same.

·         Avoid quoting the wrong Section Number, indicating an “imaginary” Case Law, etc. 

·        Deliberately writing the wrong Section Number, etc. will create a negative impression in the Paper Valuer.

·         Extra marks are not awarded for the correct Section Number unless the question states so.

Q : 26.If I feel dissatisfied about the performance in the first exam, should I write the other exams?
  A : 

While some introspection may be required, brooding over the performance in the first exam is not advisable. There is every possibility that you may end up passing in that first paper. Hence, read well for the other exams and write them with confidence.

Q : 27.Immediately after the exam, I compare my answers with that of my “learned” CA friend. I find that my answer does not tally with his approach. What should I do?
  A : 

·          Fortunately (or unfortunately), the ICAI has not appointed either yourself or your “learned” CA friend as the Paper Setter or Paper Valuer. Hence, let them do their duties, while you do yours.

·          Leave the exam centre and reach your place safely. Take adequate rest and prepare for the next exam. You cannot reverse or undo any process once the Answer Paper has left your hands.

Q : 28. I feel “blank” immediately after all exams. What should I do?
  A : 

·          Visit old “non–CA” friends and relax.

·          Watch a good humorous movie and / or cartoons.

·          Sleep adequately and take rest for a few days.

Q : 29. Is it advisable to study each subject one after the other? I do not feel “satisfied” by studying all subjects together. What should I do?
  A : 

·         Parallel Pulling View: One should pull all ropes simultaneously. It is not advisable to study subject–by–subject since there will be a big time–gap between two revisions of that subject.

·         Sequential Pulling View: However, if you are comfortable with sequential reading of subjects from an early point of time, it may be continued.

Q : 30.My friend says that irrespective of one’s level of preparation, luck plays a role in the exam. Is it so?
  A : 

·        Luck relates to events which cannot be explained. In the CA Exam, the factors contributing to a student’s success include – (a) Adequate preparation, (b) Self–confidence, (c) Hard Work and Effort, (d) Proper Practice, (e) Calm frame of mind in the Exam Hall, and (f) Nice presentation of answers. 


·         Luck may be one of the secondary factors. However, Luck does not guarantee success by itself. To succeed, one has to concentrate only on the primary factors listed above. Where the primary factors are favourable and dominant, secondary factors lose their relevance.


·         Succeeding in the exam without any of the above primary factors (if it happens) may be attributed to Luck. But this cannot happen in every student’s case!


·          Preparing well for the Exam in all the topics = “Effort”.  In the Main Exam, if a question is asked from topics that the student has prepared very well, it is “Reward for Effort”. This reward may be referred to as “Luck”. [Reward is given only if effort is put in first!]