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MINDSET HACKS TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN CA EXAMINATIONS

MINDSET HACKS TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN CA EXAMINATIONS

Author: Saloni Bapna | 24th Sept 2021 | Read Time: 8-10 mins

We all live a life full of experiences—good & bad.
We make mistakes–we make a point to learn from them.
Today—I take this opportunity to share my experience of the so-called CA Journey & present the same to all QForum Readers!

If you are one who is ready to learn from others’ mistakes – here’s the Recipe to Success for you!
Yes—you heard that right—take this chance to learn from MY mistakes.

Before revealing the recipe, let’s first get acquainted with each other…

WHO AM I?
I was like just another person reading this blog, confused and standing at cross roads, with life throwing new game cards each day.

I am Saloni Bapna…..now CA Saloni Bapna (qualified July 2021)
I have qualified CA in 5 attempts—Yes, 5 Attempts.

I was always frustrated–just like you: wanting to drop CA, get a job, go abroad and do MBA – basically wanting to be out of the spiral of attempts.

For me, the best phase of self-discovery has always been the study-break after the exams while waiting for the results. It’s like the calm after the storm….

This is the time I have always used to indulge in observation & self-analysis— & through this process of self-analysis, I was able to make a Paradigm Shift* in the study pattern. I am sharing my journey of moving from the incorrect mindset to the correct one…

Finally, I have—after 5 excruciating attempts—managed to break the cycle.

YOU CAN DO IT too.

*Paradigm Shift : an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way.

WHY SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO ME? (Quite a valid question)
Well, to be honest….not listening to me is the easier choice here.
Just keep going through the same pattern of study…with same notes & same questions…over & over again.
The other choice is to take some elements from my journey….I can assure you—it will save you a number of attempts definitely.

Just so you know—I had written this article before qualifying…I had full faith in my observations & the paradigm shift that I had adopted before this final attempt of mine. It’s just that my article is being published now—after Qualifying—which validates the process for you and makes me eligible to share my experience vis-à-vis hacks for achieving success when you are stuck in the vicious cycle of May-Nov attempts!

Here Goes…

As I mentioned before—even I was on verge of leaving CA, but I wanted a reason that was good enough to drop it. I didn’t want to feel like I was running away from difficult things. Also failing this no. of times brings a lot of self-doubt– I thought I need to do the classes again because I have done them back in 2017-18
So I took the guidance of an Examiner to understand my areas of improvements and to my shock, he said I was perfect in concept understanding & retaining (it broke all my self-doubt and I got the kick to clear it) but I was answering the questions in haste:
1. Not reading what exactly is asked
2. Not answering all the parts of question
3. Making silly calculation mistake in practical subjects (I lost straight 10marks in SFM because my first calculation was incorrect, though the entire answer was right)

So all I had to do was practice mocks.

I am sharing this in so much detail because I want to convey the message to all that just hard work will get you nowhere—we need to analyse & smartly allocate our time and prepare.
Please Analyse your answer sheets then set the preparation for your next exams (I am referring to those who are in the spiral of attempts)

WHAT IS THE SECRET RECIPE YOU ARE GETTING TODAY? 

Well this is a time tested and magical recipe for everyone preparing for CA-Final Examinations. I have described here some common mistakes and incorrect mindsets that we build unknowingly during our CA Exam Preparation and unless you change your mindset, it’s difficult to achieve success.

Remember my friend:

““Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” 

Let’s Start

Here’s how you have to use this recipe:

Step 1: Read patiently the incorrect mindsets that I have described. (I am sure you will relate to them instantly – I have managed to conquer & break them over the attempts..hence my concepts grew so strong)

Step 2: Pat yourself if you acknowledged that Yes, you posses these Incorrect Mindsets (Congratulations! You are half-way through the process of improvement)

Step 3: Remind yourself of 2 important things:

  1. Your dream of becoming a Chartered Accountant
  2. The quote written above

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”     

Step 4: Now read the Correct Mindsets and make a Conscious Choice to Change your Mindset and Study Pattern to achieve your Dreams.

Step 5: Have Patience and trust the process. Your CA Degree is getting ready to be served!

—–STUDY PHASES—–

Phase 1 : First Reading
Incorrect Mindset:

  1. Oh! all this doesn’t come in the exams…By doing this you read only 70% – then you retain 80% of what you have read.
    Essentially–you’ve already brought yourself down to taking just 56% of the course to the exam hall.
    BIG RISK!
  2. Don’t try to do trend analysis of the questions asked.
  3. I am wasting so much of time by reading things in detail and I will not be able to do revisions

Correct Mindset
1. I cannot afford to miss any corner of this book.

2. The first phase is important to me to build my concepts. This will help me to handle the level of conceptual questions asked in recent times

Phase 2: First Revision
Incorrect Mindset:
Revising selectively only the questions that are asked frequently.

Correct Mindset:
1. In theory – Knowing the outline of each chapter from index
Summary Notes be ready to comprehensively absorb the chapter at once.
2. For practical – Questions be marked, mistakes be noted.

Phase 3: Second Revision
Incorrect Mindset:
Again and again doing what you already know & feeling satisfied that yes I almost know it all.

Correct Mindset:
I know the concepts very well.
Now, I need to insure myself better and explore the Variety of questions possible.

Phase 4: Last Month
Incorrect Mindset:
I need to see (not do – mind it) as many questions as I can from RTPs, MTPs, Old Course, Question Banks – what not.

Correct Mindset:
1. Giving Mock test is my net practice – how can I expect helicopter shots from myself without even putting my feet on the field.
2. I have to try to finish the paper before time
3. I will do paper of various levels of difficulty — to manage stress & meet the level of questions asked in recent times.


I’d like to conclude by saying that what’s most important amongst all is to Believe in Yourself….it is this belief that will transport you to your destination. It’s easy to doubt oneself….and happen it will often in life….but what really matters is how many times we choose to rise above that phase of self-doubt & come out victorious!

Hope this helps the readers…
Happy Learning!

CA Saloni Bapna

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3 Comments

  1. When your attempt starts to count….does that show one is less capable than the one who cleared in one go?