Generally, the study leave that we get is 5 months. How we plan and utilize these 5 months really decides how we perform in the exams!
Month 1 & 2
The first 2 months must be invested in thoroughly understanding the entire course and trying to learn as much as one can. A daily effective study of around 12 hours should be the target. On a rough average, the time required to be invested per subject in this 1st Study is:
|Subject||Hours Daily||No of Days|
|SCM & PE||3||20|
So, the following is a sample schedule for these 2 months (you can customize it as per own preferences):
|Study Sessions (3 hours each) →||1||2||3||4|
|SCM & PE|
Now, it isn’t really material whether you study in the morning or at night. These 12 hours can be split into 4 sessions of 3 hours each with a break of about 45 mins/ 1 hour in between. Why I recommend studying 3 subjects is to help you get used to studying for long hours without getting bored. Also, it helps to increase efficiency (will take a different view in Month 3) in the learning phase to switch and maintain a balance of theory and practical.
The above first 2 months schedule works if you’ve done classes/ self study for all subjects except for electives before your study leave. However, if you have any of the pending, increase the number of hours invested per day (as doing it the first time in class/self-study rather than 1st study afterwards will take more time) from the suggested daily 12 hours to finish them and consider that as your 1st study for that subject
The above-average helps to understand whether we are putting in too much time into a subject or whether it’s justified, a constant dilemma while studying for my Finals. This period so is used for studying nearly 100% content conceptually and deeply because it won’t be possible to spend so much time again on any subject. Why I say nearly 100% is because initially, it is difficult to identify which portion may be important and which not and may end up in the wrong judgement. An ideal portion coverage is around 95%. As the remaining 5% is never really asked and the cost to complete it in terms of time and retention required, especially at the time of revision would be too high. Leaving more, say studying 80% which may seem high enough, may lead to the risk of the Institute asking major parts of the paper from the balance 20% and ending up troubling you in the exams.
Talking about a subject-wise study approach for this First Study –
|Group 1 [My highest scorers were SFM & Law]|
|FR||Heavy Focus on ICAI questions. Till now 100% paper has been from that. There is a lot of content in the text of the Study Material, so recommend that you follow your notes which you would have made in your class or at the time of self-study.|
|SFM||Solve questions, don’t just audit them. Not with full formats for every question, but with using the calculator/ pen-paper rather than just reading the answers. Theory only from the Study Material, from which learn the point headings and understand the internal content to write in your own words. Theory can be scoring and more importantly, all questions have a 4/5 mark sub part on theory, so you can’t skip that one question you are allowed to, on which theory you know or don’t. So better to know it all.|
|Audit||This subject has its own “inherent limitations”. Its tough to learn; tougher to retain. The only mantra is read, read and read. Split the subject into 2 parts –|
Standards and Other parts while studying. Seeing past exam questions for the standards becomes very important as it is difficult to otherwise write answers on them. The other parts should be read multiple times, even if not being able to remember, as over time you end up remembering and they help you score and even answer MCQs.
This subject is a high scorer because questions in Corporate Law are mostly case based or provision based, and not procedural. So, knowing the law & past exam questions help you solve this portion easily without much effort on “Ratta”. For Economic and Securities Laws, learning is required more as mostly direct questions are asked, except for FEMA & IBC.
The problem with this subject is its volume. Its 3rd in that regard, after DT & FR. But, for revising DT before the exam, you get some time during the leave for elective and for FR, you can take as many days because it is the 1st paper.
This makes revising law the toughest. So, reparing your own notes to revise is very much required. However, since this process is time consuming and takes significant effort, you can also use my revision notes. These contains all provisions from an exam perspective in quick revise flow chart approach and all typical points which have been or may be asked in questions. To learn more, click here.
Group II [My highest scorers were SCM & PE and Elective (Risk Management)]
|A myth on this subject is that this has become all theory. Pure theory questions are not for more than 20-25 marks (This much exists in SFM also). For the remaining marks, understanding the content is more important. Around 20 marks is a case study. And the balance portion has numerical which are easier than were asked in the old course, but more weightage is on analysing what you have solved. For getting a good idea on how these are to be tackled, make sure that you solve questions from the Study Material.|
|Elective||Do your class or self-study. That itself is good enough to count as 1st study and remembering are hardly required. Make a good index and read the material that you are going to carry once, so you can find your answers. Otherwise, even 4 hours seem less in the exam.|
|DT||Study this subject in depth. Questions asked are analytical and require a good understanding. Use a summary book to revise this subject or it becomes endless. Past exam & Study Material Questions are important as repetition exists especially in PGBP, TDS etc.|
|IDT||This subject is easy and scoring. Questions should not be ignored, especially study material questions. Theory chapters are also important as they are easy and have a good weightage in the exams|
Moving on to month 3, now with the entire course (at least most of it) done once, now its time to revise. The approach in this revision must be to try and remember stuff. If it’s being difficult, try reading the content 2/3 times. It will provide ease. Forgetting it after a few days will happen for many areas, but that’s why this is the 1st revision and not the last.
The approximate time that it would take to do this is:
|Subject||No of days|