The aim of every CA module is just to pass the module. Currently, the examination is worth 80%, so your focus should be passing on the exam! Honestly, anything more than a pass is really just a bonus. If you do achieve a Merit, congratulations! However, besides a certificate, bragging rights, maybe a trophy and a token gift from your organisation (if lucky), there’s really not much else to show for it… At the end of the day, potential employers just want to see the two letters after your name: “tanoshii.ki, CA”. Yes, focus on passing the exam!
Now that I have passed all my technical modules, let me share you my tips for passing your CA.
During the trimester
- Start early. I know this can usually begin with good intentions and fall by the way side at the 2 week mark, but it’s worth it. To be honest though, I usually hit a wall [too]…
- Don’t bother with a Critical File… if it’s not your style. As mentioned above, the institute always harp on about creating Critical Files, but it just didn’t work for me. Personally, instead of wasting precious time re-writing everything again(!), I prefer to know where the topics are in the CLP. This means knowing in an instance, which is the relevant unit, section, activity and worked example for a topic.
- Do your activities… or at the very least read through the answers really thoroughly. Know your activities (and worked examples) well.
- Print the official answers out to take in the exam. The institute tends to write exam questions based on activities
(and worked examples) from the CLP, but will change just a few facts. This can be a blessing and/or a trick, depending how careful you are…
- Join a study group, for the almost sole purpose of just gathering extra files. I admit this is a shrewd tip, but if you’re not in a Big 4, you have a serious disadvantage in accessing external support and related files. I am not in the Big 4, but I have been lucky to have had external support by a small provider who gives out a lot of practical advice. Sometimes it is just the small hints and tips that can boost your morale and performance in the subject. If you do not get external support, the study group can be a vehicle for sharing tips and as well as commiserating over study woes – but don’t get distracted!
During the exam
- Attempt every question.
- Read the question and make sure you answer everything the question is
asking for; not more, not less and not something else.
- Write down all relevant facts in your answer. The institute does consequential marking.
- If they say use a table, use the [suggested] table.
- Keep your writing legible, but don’t write silly notes like “Sorry, hope you forgive the bad writing “. You won’t get sympathy marks. Just a waste of time.
- Markers read every page, so don’t worry about “PTO” notes. Just make sure you clearly label which question you are answering in your script book.
Note: I am currently studying EBA. This is my last module and was known as the “integrative” module as it examines on all four previous technical modules. I completed MAA (Merit), TAX, AAA and FIN in succession. I do not work in an accounting firm and my role does not directly specialise in any of the above module areas, so I do not have a competitive advantage either.