CA Diaries – One Last Attempt

Long post alert! I’ll be dividing this post into parts due to its lengthy nature.

Also, to understand some of it, you will need knowledge about CA course and the marking system. Hope you get a vague idea here:

  • There are 2 groups in CA final. One group comprises of 4 papers of 100 marks each.
  • You need to get 40 marks or more for every paper and 200 (50%) aggregate in each group to clear a group (Or 400 aggregate to clear both).
  • If you get 60 marks for a paper, you get an exemption from writing it for the next 3 attempts.
  • If you fail in one paper, you have to write the entire group again (unless you have scored a 60 for a paper which alone will be exempted.)

Part 1

I am a CA student. Judge me all you want. This is my 7th attempt at my CA finals. Yes! I have failed and I got up every single time. I am writing this for all those CA students who have failed multiple times and haven’t given up and as a result face similar situations as below. Maybe, at the end of my lengthy post, I could help someone feel better. Maybe!

I completed my article-ship in 2014 Feb. I gave my CA Final first attempt in Nov 2013. The pass percentage was 3% then. I remember I had prepared well for my first group and wrote my second group unprepared, due to lack of time. When the results were out, I had similar marks for both the groups. Same marks for the group I studied well and for the group I didn’t study at all. I lost all hopes.

The next two attempts I gave were with no confidence at all. The first attempt had weakened me. The distance, between my first attempt’s 1st group results and 200 pass marks, was vast. Thinking of the distance I had to cover, drained all hopes out of me. I wrote the exams later on, but with neither hope nor confidence. I kept telling myself, ‘No matter how hard I study, I will fail. I will never make it to 200.’

The thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way is up. Unless, you decide to stay there. For a while, I did not know the way up. I stayed there.

All my friends had jobs, they had travelled places for job purposes and otherwise. Some had married, some had kids. Their facebook timelines were in motion. It was a blur of happy and happening people, while I had come to a standstill. Not that I wasn’t happy for anyone, but the feeling of ‘being left behind’ nagged me. For the past 4-5 years when people asked me what I was doing, the answer always had been ‘CA’. I had even begun to get snide remarks like, ‘You have been saying the same thing for so long’ or ‘Will you ever clear in this lifetime?’

People kept reminding me how old I was and that I had to get a job; that I had to get married. ‘Job or no job, get married!’ they told me.

Others kept asking me how many times I was about to write my exams. They kept asking me what my next plan was; as though I HAD to do something else. Writing exams, again and again, was absurd. There had to be a ‘next’ according to them.

rel status CA fbmemes
Pic courtesy:

‘Get a job!’

‘Get a job!

‘Get a job!’

‘Maybe I should.’


I decided to go for work. I went for an interview in a multinational firm. To say that one worked there, was the highest honor. I needed a break, I needed to save some money. I needed the job. And I got it. The day of our orientation was the day of our results. I was devoid of hopes as usual. But when the marks were out, it read 193. I had pass marks in all my papers but didn’t have the aggregate of 200. I had missed by 7 marks. I was happy. I was so close. Another attempt will help me clear my first group. That is how it has always been. And then I remembered.

It was my first day at work and I had signed a contract.

I tried studying amidst my hectic work schedule. But I couldn’t. I know people who would study even after grinding 10-12 hours of work. I wasn’t made that way. I reached home by 9 pm and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open, have some food and flop onto my bed, only to be woken up next day for work. My workplace was employee-friendly. Yet, I couldn’t enjoy it. Physically, I worked. But mentally, I kept wondering how I’ll study. I was anxious. I had come so close to 200. But now, time was running low. My contract period would end just before the exams and the time would be too less to prepare. I was getting a panic attack. I wanted out. Every day was a torture for me. I regretted going for work. I felt suffocated, scared and anxious. I suspected that maybe CA wasn’t meant for me, which was why even after getting so close, I had new hurdles to face. After much thought, I quit my job.

I am a very slow learner. I need to work out problems umpteen number of times to really understand it implies. Similarly, I have to read, re-read and connect theory to get the holistic idea. It takes a lot of time for me. But once I understand, I understand it very well. Learning fast only messed up things for me.

It was too late! By the time I quit my job, I didn’t have enough time to prepare well. I didn’t clear during that attempt either. I got lower marks than my previous attempt. Now, I was truly devastated. But I had

By the time I quit my job, I didn’t have enough time to prepare well. I didn’t clear during that attempt either. I got lower marks than my previous attempt. Now, I was truly devastated. But I had learned my lesson. From the job episode, I realised that I would suffer if I took up a job and continued studying at the same time. I decided to give one last attempt, after which, if I didn’t clear, I’ll quit CA and go for a job.

(To be continued…)

PS – If you liked this, you can read more CA related posts from below or from ‘CA’ under the ‘Categories’ heading on the right side of this blog 🙂

Another CA post

I can’t help it. Somehow I keep getting back to this topic. But CA is one intriguing profession that keeps astounding me every now and then. Now that I am in the last phase of my article-ship life, It just made me wonder how the most insignificant things have become such an important part of our life.

It all began with the universal  Alt+Tab which helps us juggle umpteen numbers of windows; excel sheets, tally, word etc & any other windows for recreational purposes. Though the applicability isn’t restricted to CA students, it definitely is one of the handiest tips. It is the first thing we learn in our articleship.

Here are some of them;

  1. Claim
  2. Leave credit
  3. Excel sheet & colors
  4. May and November

Let me explain;

1.    Claim: Basically, the food claim. A very very very important part, it is the basis of our very existence. It is how we rate the audits :P.

5 stars for the audits with claim.

X1: Bro! Sir is calling you.

X2: Any idea why?

X1: He is sending you to @#$ Pvt Ltd for audit.

X2: (The most important question) Do they have claim?

The question is asked with all eagerness and twinkling eyes hoping a thousand times that the answer will be yes.

X1 keeps his hand on X2’s shoulder in an attempt to console and soothe him, unable to look him in the eye; he looks down and tells that fateful answer.

X1:   No bro!

NO!!! The two letters resonate in X2’s head and a thousand Shehnais play in the background indicating the death of hope that was surging just a while ago. He clutches his heart and just one word escapes him,


And with that he walks to the cabin knowing that his fate has been decided for about 1 month or so.

I know dear people! It is very tragic.

2.   Leave credit: What do I say about this? This is all about accumulating our leave credit. We work hard, day in and day out. Leave credit is like money, no! It is all the more valuable. We count every bit of our minutes and hours we worked overtime using calculators and -like little birds that make nests- we add it up to our existing credit. If we take one leave, we aspire to get two days of leave credit/overtime and ultimately when the D day is about to dawn (Exams), we utilise all those days at a stretch for preparing for our exams.

There is this funny but true saying ‘Humans are those fools who during the first half of their life, lose health to gain wealth and later use the wealth to regain health.’

It is the same here, ‘CA students are those hardworking people who utilise 3 years (day and night) of articleship to earn leave credit and utilise the leave credit to study for exams during the last minute, which we could have done systematically during articleship. (I am not preaching, coz I am no exception) 😛

3.   Excel sheet & colours

If you are next to a CA student, check if he has an excel sheet open before him.
If yes, look at the excel sheet.
If the excel sheet is filled with myriad wild senseless colours, don’t mistake that he is jobless and playing with colours.
Move aside immediately. Coz it shows the state of his mind. Wild and calculating, meaningless and in search of a solution and mad!
Let me explain the intricacies. Personally, I decide with 2 colours. 1 for yes, another for No. Yes meaning it is alright, No meaning, it is not. But then I reach a stage where I need to refer with the accountant and a 3rd colour manifests. Meanwhile, I have another one about which I need to consult a senior or sir and there is another colour.
A grave, material problem – a darker colour.
A perfectly alright, no need to check again stuff-a lighter and happy colour.
So on and so forth…


I look at the whole worksheet and am clueless! The whole day’s work has ultimately become utter waste! My brain is all eaten up, I close for the day and start fresh again tomorrow on a white worksheet. 😀

4.     May and November

It sends the chill down the CA students’ spine. The month of exams when all of us are stuffed with knowledge, ready to be puked in the exam hall. On the day of exam, midst all the anxiety, fear, tension and sleeplessness, the mind takes census of which of your friends you will be meeting today in the exam hall and the excitement creeps in.

Those are not just the days of examination. They are also days of meeting old friends after a long gap. Once the exam gets over, all walk out of the exam hall prepared to meet friends and shriek with excitement knowing that many of their old friends and rivals haven’t cleared the exams. And it isn’t taken as an offence when your friend smiles at the fact that you failed the last time. 😛 That’s us!
Sometimes we even make weird promises of meeting during the next exams.
On the last day of Nov exams,

“How was your exam?”

“I will be coming back, next May. Sure!”

“Wow! That’s great! See you then” 😀 😛