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Touted as one of the toughest examinations in India, Chartered Accountancy is a hard nut to crack. But if you believe in yourself and dedicate hours every day to self-study, then nothing is impossible. For this year’s CA topper Raj Paresh Sheth, bagging the All India Rank (AIR) 1 came as a surprise but he was confident of his hard work and steady practice.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has declared the results for the CA final exam this week. Raj attributes his success to regular studies and the support of his family.
Since he enjoyed accountancy, pursuing CA was an obvious choice. He completed schooling from Dombivli and earned a degree in B Com from RA Podar college, Matunga. His next step is to get a job in a “good company”.
Here are five things that Raj Sheth did to study for ICAI CA exam 2017:
1. He relied heavily on ICAI material:
Studying for CA exams can get confusing when one does not know which reference books to depend on. Raj says, “Students tend to take on many reference books and get confused in the process. The best way to study for the exam is to focus on the material provided by the ICAI and build a strong base and understanding of that material. We can later look at other sources, but never discount the ICAI’s text.”
2. Study every day:
“I knew it would get too hectic in the end if I did not study regularly from the beginning. CA is not something you can attempt by only studying in the last few months. You need to have your head in the game from day one,” says Raj.
During the four years after he graduated from Vidya Niketan school in Dombivli, he studied CA course books every day. On the days when he had to go to work (articleship period) or attend coaching on Sundays, he would take out two hours in the morning or evening for self-study.
3. Limit distractions, use time wisely:
Over the last four years, Raj kept a firm distance from social media obsessions and unnecessary distractions. He says he did not delete his Facebook or Twitter accounts but would make sure to not use the apps for more than 20 minutes a day. This did not mean that all he did was study. He says that he has a keen passion for music and even learnt to play the guitar during college days.
“It is all about time management. While travelling to-and-from work, I refer to soft copies of the ICAI materials,” he says.
4. Last months:
“I took a study leave of four months from my articleship before the exam in May,” Raj says. By the end of January 2017, he had even completed his studies at the coaching centre and spent the last four months solely in self- study. During this phase, he dedicated 12 to 14 hours to studies every day.
5. Belief and hard work:
“It was my dream to become a chartered accountant and I knew that I had to struggle a lot. So when things got too hectic I would tell myself that it is all worth it is I can fulfil my dream,” Raj says. He advises for future aspirants to have faith in their own abilities, to work hard, study regularly and take proper rest. In the last month before the exam, Raj says he made sure to focus on his health and get at least 7 hours of sleep every day.