Here are a few questions that may be crossing your minds and my answers and opinion on the same:-
1. How do we study from various books?
A. It is best if you first finish studying a chapter from your Study Material/study notes/tuition classes and then immediately attempt all the questions for that chapter from the Practice manual so that the entire chapter is complete. You may then after a few days of the completion of the chapter, open your reference material and practice further questions. The same would apply to theory papers also.
It is absolutely necessary for you to go through the Practice manuals for ALL SUBJECTS.
The Practice manuals are vast and contain various types of questions from past examinations, so you should finish the entire Practice manual before you start attempting the Revision Test papers.
You may even do Revision test papers for previous attempts also, because they are very helpful too.
2. How do we remember difficult aspects like Section numbers, AS’s, SA’s, Notifications?
A. It would be good if you could quote Section numbers, AS and SAs in the exam when you know them. But DO NOT quote them if you are in doubt.
I would suggest that you make a list of all the Section numbers in every chapter for Law and the title for each Section number. Go through this list EVERYDAY until you have them memorized. Continue doing this everyday up to the date of the exam because it will hardly take half an hour. Do the same for SAs, ASs and Case laws.
Make sure you write this list yourself so as to ensure maximum retention.
3. How do we manage time during the exam?
A. Managing time during the exams is a different ball game altogether because it is important for your mind to be alert, agile and ready during those three hours at the exam. The Mock Test papers are the best way to practice once you are done with the syllabus.
The Suggested answers and previous exam question papers need to be worked out by yourself under proper exam conditions (for 3 hours with no breaks). This is essential for having an understanding of where you stand and what needs to be worked upon. Solving of question papers can be a mode of revision and can be done one month prior to the commencement of exams. Solve one question paper for one subject per day.
4. Three hours of exam stress. Any special strategy on how to attempt the exam?
A. There are four tips for this:-
a) The 15 minutes reading time given at the beginning for reading the question paper should be utilised effectively to understand each of the questions properly and for identifying what is actually asked. There is no need to panic. Always keep calm.
b) Make sure that you always attempt the question that you know the BEST at FIRST. Write the answers in very neat and legible handwriting.
c) If you are stuck or not able to tackle any question properly, leave space for the same and move to the next one. Allocate those 3 hours appropriately for each question and make sure you do not waste time deliberating on one question for a long while. You can come back and check the same later.
d) Make sure that while answering the question paper in the main exam, you should write PRECISE answers. Do not ramble or write generalized answers. Be as specific as possible because that is how your answer paper would look neat and concise.
5. What about eating and sleeping habits during the time for exam preparation?
A. Make sure that you eat healthy and properly at all times because you definitely need the energy for the preparation of the exam. DO NOT skip any meals.
You must always try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every day (during the leave period for exams).
On the day before the exam, make sure that you sleep early and get proper rest, because your mind needs to revitalize before going to the exam hall.
You can revise on the day of the exam by waking up early (by 6 a.m.)
6. What study strategy/timetable to be followed before the exam and during the exams?
A. Before the examination period- Divide your subjects into achievable targets (chapter-wise, Section-wise). Always try to study chapters from two subjects per day (one in the morning/afternoon and another in the evening/night). This is helpful because you would be refreshed with varied topics. Try to devote a period of 20-30 days for revision just before the commencement of the exams. Your revision would also include working out past exam question papers and solving Revision Test Papers.
During the examination period – After giving one exam, we generally have a tendency to discuss with and talk to our friends on how they have fared. DO NOT discuss the question paper at all with ANYBODY. Make sure you focus your entire energy and attention towards the next exam. This is VERY IMPORTANT because even if you feel you did not fare very well in one exam, it should not hamper your preparation and attempt for the very next exam.
So, throughout the examination period, make sure that you avoid discussing answers and ONLY focus on your own goal.
7. How to keep your cool at all times?
A. In order to keep calm and reduce stress, make sure that you play a sport or game for an hour every day during the entire period of study. This would help you to relax, de-stress and revitalize your mind and body.
Always have faith in God and that He will be able to get you through this entire journey. Before beginning to write the exam at the exam hall, make sure you pray to God for his blessings, which will take you through the exam. There is always a divine force that protects you and guides you, so always have faith in God.
Believe in yourself. There is always great power in self-belief. If you think you can do it, then you certainly can! Make sure that throughout this period of study, you must constantly motivate yourself to keep going and do better. Always remember that your family is constantly there to support you throughout.
If you ever feel a little dejected, make sure you share it with a friend or a family member. This would always help you to regain your confidence and belief.
8. Ways for success-
A. There is no definite formula for success, it is just a matter of the right balance of the following factors:-
a) Faith in God – This is of prime importance at all phases of life.
b) Self-belief – Your belief in yourself is the key to self-motivation. Success is only defined by how you approach things and how you manage with the resources that you have. Always be optimistic towards the opportunities and the challenges that lie ahead.
c) Hard work – There are no short-cuts to success. Hard work is always the key, so essentially make yourself prepared for all the challenges. Working smart and working right would also be required along with working hard.
d) Time management – Your daily routine should be planned by you as soon as you wake up in the morning or before you sleep the previous night. Set achievable targets and work on it during the day. If you lead a time-bound routine, then you will always find better results.
Wishing you all the very best for your exams! I am sure you will all do extremely well and bring laurels to your families and dear ones!
CA Srikala Prabhu, 15th AIR Holder – CA Final