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CA Top 3 Rankers | Advises to Pass CA Exams

Final 1st Ranker

Maitreyee Narayansingh Rajput, who hails from Panchal, a small village in Maharashtra, stood first in the CA Final Exam. Daughter of retired high school teachers, she did her schooling in Ratnagiri and completed her education in Pune and Kolhapur. She shares her journey of success.

CA top ranker Maitreyee advises: “Keep your cool!”

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 Fast Facts 

  • Name: Maitreyee Narayansingh Rajput
  • Exam: CA Final All-India
  • Score: 596
  • Roll No: 17525
  • Location: Pune

Q.When did you decide to take up CA?

  1. A. It was in Class 10! So, inclination towards commerce was natural. I joined Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (Pune) to pursue BCom. My parent’s untiring support helped me consistently excel in academics. I got the third rank in Senior Secondary School at Kolhapur district level followed by first rank in Higher Secondary School Exam at Pune district level.

Q.Do you think articleship and coaching is a must? 

  1. A. Yes. For coaching, I joined A S foundation, Excellent Academy and Swapnil Patni’s classes. In my opinion, coaching is important but at the same time it is also not sufficient. Personally, I stress on self-study. On the other hand, the articleship is the most crucial part of CA programme. Students get excellent exposure to various areas of finance and accounting. It would be difficult to swim in the accounting world, if you don’t have a hand-on-experience. I worked with two firms – Sastakar Vaidya & Co and P G Bhagwat.

Q.Share your time management mantras.  

A.I started full-fledged studies six months in advance. I used to study for eight to 10 hours a day. I had made my time-table and tried to stick to it. For practical subjects like Accounts, SFM, Costing – I invested a lot of time in practising.

Q.Any tips to cope with tough papers? 

A.In the last few days, I started solving ICAI’s previous years papers. I used to self conduct exam for myself. It was a challenge to beat time! I used create an exam like ambience on my study table. For me, Information System Control Audit (ICSA) and Indirect Tax (IDT) were easy papers. Rest of the other subjects were pretty difficult, especially Costing and DT. In the Costing paper, I kept my cool and solved those questions about which I was confident. The tougher and tricky ones needed more time, so I approached them at the end.

Q.What next after this euphoric moment? An MBA?

A.I have not made up mind for further studies. I want to relax and settle down in a good job. I want to give my best at the job I take up next. For me focus is important. I will start thinking about MBA once I am fully confident about my job.

Suggested reading:

  • Direct Taxes: Vinod Gupta
  • Accounts (Accounting standards): D S Rawat & M P Vijaykumar
  • Indirect Taxes: Dipak Gupta
  • Law: Munish Bhandari
  • ICAI practice manuals
  • ICAI publications (Recent circulars, notifications, case laws, suggested answers and RTP)
  • Coaching class notes

Final 2nd Ranker

Fast Facts

  • Name: Arti Jain
  • Exam: CA Final All-India
  • Rank: Second
  • Score: 588/800
  • Roll No. 47305
  • Location: Bikaner (Rajasthan)
  1. Q.Arti, congratulations on your success. Did you expect to be among the toppers?
  2. A. I didn’t expect such a high rank. I was confident about clearing the exam but never expected to secure a second I logged on and saw the result but did not notice the rank. When my friends called me then I realised that what I had accomplished!
  3. Q.What made you decide to become a CA? Tell us about your background. 
  4. A. I belong to a business family in Bikaner. My family background oriented me towards business and accounting. My younger brother is also preparing for the CA. After schooling from Sofia school, Bikaner, I decided to take the CA exam as it matched my aptitude and is a rewarding career. I enrolled for Common Proficiency Test (CPT) in the first year of B.Com. Last year I completed my graduation from Jain Girls Degree College, Bikaner.
  5. Q.What was your study routine?
  6. A. I never believed in studying 17-18 hours a day but was very regular. I studied for 5-6 hours everyday without fail. And so my schedule wasn’t very different during exam days. I slotted my study routine early in the morning waking up at 5 am. Anyways, I can’t keep my eyes open beyond 10 at night.

Q.How did you prepare for the exam? Any special strategy adopted by you? 

  1. A. Some people ignore Articleship to focus on theory subjects. But I took articleship very seriously and it enhanced my practical knowledge and its applicability.  It also helped me to understand complex theoretical concepts. I ensured that I give proper time and attention to all the papers. The routine required a lot of discipline and time management. There was no special strategy as such.  It was a focused self study.
  2. Q.Do you think coaching is important? 
  3. A. Of course! For an exam like CA, one requires regular coaching and guidance. In my case I got guidance from my graduation teacher. I also got in touch with a few coaching centres in my city and procured study material from the centres and various other sources. Good coaching matters but self- study and a disciplined study routine is equally important.
  4. Q.You never thought of going to a city like Delhi for coaching like many other students?
  5. A. The big city does matter in many ways and my younger brother is also doing CA coaching in Delhi. But I completed my entire education and preparation in Bikaner. I think there are enough examples to show that in competitive exams like CA, students from remote areas and small places can also prove themselves.
  6. QWho inspired you the most? 
  7. A. The biggest inspiration has been my parents and family. I belong to a traditional Jain family where we live in a big joint family. I find such kind of environment very supportive.
  8. Q.What do you like to do when you are not studying?
  9. A. Honestly speaking, I do not get much time from studies. Till school, I was very active in extra-curricular activities like debates and in drawing competitions. Now, I will try and devote time towards my hobbies.
  10. Q.What was your study schedule? 
  11. A. I used to take up three subjects a day. I am an early riser. I finish my studies by 11 pm. I had a good grasp over practical portion of the syllabus. My personal favourites areg Accounts and Costing. I never counted the number of study hours. The focus was on topics to be completed and not on how many hours I have studied.
  12. Q.Your advice to CA aspirants. 

A.Hard work never go unrewarded. There are plenty of opportunities surrounding us, the only need is to make sincere efforts from our side.

Suggested readings:

  • Munish Bhandari for Law
  • Bangur & Bangur for IDT
  • The Institute’s Study Modules & Practise Manuals for all other subjects

 Final 3rd Ranker

Charmy who bagged the third rank in the CA Final Exam, belongs to a family who relates well to financial jargon. Quick tips from her father, a tax consultant, and her siblings who are practicing CAs, helped in acing the exam. Her go-getter attitude reflects not only in her academic record but also in other aspects of life. Read on to find more.

Fast Facts

  • Name: Charmy Suresh Sheth
  • Exam: CA Final All-India
  • Rank: Third
  • Score: 586
  • Roll No: 08530
  • Location: Mumbai
  1. QWhat made you pick CA as a career option? 
  2. A. It was love for numbers and the prestige associated with the field which inspired me to choose it. Doing CA and clearing it up in the first attempt is a tough luck. My brother and sister who cleared their CA finals motivated me to crack it in the first attempt.
  3. QIs this your first big success? 
  4. A. No. I cherish those years when I was chosen as head girl of my school. I had a proactive, socially responsible and academically strong image. Winning trophies in the inter-school elocution competition gave me an edge over other students. It was a special feeling of being a teacher’s pet then! Later, my goal was to do my best in my chosen career. In fact I got All India 10th rank in CPT (CA foundation paper) scoring 90%, followed by ninth rank in my third year of BCom at Narsi Monji College of Commerce, Mumbai.
  5. QHow did you cope up both articleship and college? 
  6. A. I am glad I sailed through that phase; I was out for 15 hours hopping from college to work. Balancing my schedule was at times, hectic as office comes with endless responsibilities. The real challenge was to prove myself in both places. I never wanted to compromise one for the other. So, I made sure that I attended my college lectures regularly. Luckily, it was not a lonely journey – as 90% were CA students in the college. We shared similar sentiments.
  7. QEarlier CA exams were conducted in 8 days, consecutively. No breaks. Now, it is an alternate day schedule. Does it help? 
  8. A. Yes, it helps immensely. In the alternate days – you get enough time to study. It comforts you to revise more. I also observe that a one-day preparatory holiday is not enough for most students. And the reason is that they do not plan well. Last-minute studies require a good planning.
  9. QSo, what was your study mantra? 

A.“Failing to plan is planning to fail” is a mantra I randomly read somewhere. After contemplation, it was interesting to note that I was following it since childhood. My studies were all well-planned. I had made a small diary in which I used to design a 15-day timetable. I took two subjects in a day – one theory and the other practical. I was clear at what time I have to carry Subject 1 and Subject 2. Every evening post studies, I would take stock of chapters finished on the same day and subsequent days. Before sleep, I used to always put down black and white. My timetables are always on paper. Discussing verbal time table with friends mostly go vain. Your mind can forget but paper hits your mind.

  1. QHow many of hours of study? 
  2. A. I am an early riser. So, my preparation begins with the fresh mind. IAt that time, due to some construction in front of my house, it was difficult to fully concentrate. I joined a 24X7 library where I used to spent nine hours of the day. I am thankful to that library in every sense – I got peaceful space and dozen passionate CA friends. We all turned out to be very resourceful and helped each other as we used to discuss, share notes, books and views.
  3. QHow did articleship and coaching help you in the exam? 
  4. A. I joined J.K Shah classes at Andheri, Mumbai which helped in conceptual clarity. My articleship at Purvesh & Associates, Borivali, Mumbai was icing on the cake – It gave me practical exposure on audit and taxation. The audit and income tax paper was a breeze. My boss, who is also an All India ranker was a great motivator at work. Positive colleagues and meeting clients helped me gain confidence. Indeed, I got a good grip on the subject and work life. But at the end of the end, both coaching and articleship is important, but it is supplementary. Individual efforts are must.
  5. QDid you feel any pressure during your exam?
  6. A. My regular yoga exercises helped me release out all worries. I used to do pranayams before I left for exam.  I was very calm, relaxed during my exams. I would not carry any materials to my exam hall. I would rather break my calm cycle if I start flipping pages at my exam hall. I believe you just have to give your best and rest will fall in its place.
  7. QWhat next after this euphoric moment? Do you want to study further? 
  8. A. Definitely, I have a knack over financial analysis. After I finish my articleship and one year CAT preparation, I plan to do MBA in Finance. I don’t want to hurry – as I believe in step by step approach.
  9. QWhat is your advice to future CA aspirants? 
  10. A. Most people find theories dull – there is a negative attitude towards it. You can find it interesting if you give a repetitive read. Mugging up doesn’t work in CA. One should understand the objective of XYZ chapter. Focus is must. The last 4-5 months should be only dedicated to studies. Also, don’t go for random study. There are limitless books in the market. Believe me 90% the books will say the same thing. When I go to a book store I check how I feel about the book – format, font, readable quality. Shuffling books – is sheer wastage of time and energy. So, settle down with one book.

Suggested reading:

  • ICAI Study Modules/Practice Manuals
  • Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics: VK Agarwal
  • Corporate and Allied Laws: Munish Bhandari

Few Important Links for CA Students

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Also Read:

CA final Preparation strategy -A month before exam: Revision Guide

How to prepare for CA Foundation: Quick Tips to Clear CA Foundation


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