BASICS: How does it feel to be CA as it is one of the most respected profession?
Palak: When I became CA at that time initially I just can’t explain my happiness, I just felt as I am at top of the world and actually it’s impossible to define that moment in words. Though after sometime when I calmed down I started to feel responsible professional.
BASICS: In this whole journey of becoming a Chartered Accountant whose your inspiration, who inspired you the most?
Palak: I can’t say anyone name, to be honest as I am a person who lives life in moments. It’s moments that I saw or read about inspires me. I always get inspired by an exceptional performance of any sportsperson in adverse conditions or it’s their stories from where they come from and what they achieve inspires me. So naming a particular inspiring figure would not be appropriate.
BASICS: What was your study pattern/strategy that you followed throughout the CA Scheme that you would like to share with CA aspirants?
Palak: My study pattern differs in all three levels. In CPT, there was never any pattern. In PCC, it was just about getting passed. In Final, I targeted subjects in which I had to secure exemption so that I didn’t fell short of aggregate required. For some papers, institute material is sufficient like Advanced Management Accounting and for some, it’s better to avoid it like Strategic Financial Management and for Direct and Indirect tax laws. For study pattern, it’s always better to pick up at least 2 subjects at a time one theory and one practical.
BASICS: How did you overcome the stress and fear of failure as everyone knows that CA course may require attempts?
Palak: I never cared about the results as I have firm believe in the saying that “In life, you don’t always get what you deserve”. So, before even joining CA it was always there in my mind that there is a possibility that I may fail in CA exams. I was mentally prepared for any such thing. That’s why there was never any issue of stress or fear of failure with me as CA is the profession where you have to face failure also.
BASICS: What is the important thing that a student should keep in mind while attempting the exams?
Palak: The most important thing while attempting the exams a student needs to keep in mind is reading and understanding the question properly and giving to the point answer which ICAI is expecting. Apart from it, time management of 3 hours at the time of exam is also very important because if you know all the answers but time is not managed by you then you will not able to solve full question paper.
BASICS: How did you manage your CA Final studies along with your articleship?
Palak: During my articleship, I took classes in the morning and evening before and after office hours. Honestly, it was tough in both mental and physical terms. For exams, I got leave for 3 months which was sufficient for preparation of exams.
BASICS: Is coaching important?
Palak: Coachings are only guide to students. Students cannot pass depending fully on coaching, they also have to do self-study for exams. Apart from these, Strategic Financial Management, Advanced Management Accounting are the subjects for which coaching is must. For Tax and Corporate Laws, it depends on the student as if he/she can interpret the law then no requirement to take coaching of these subjects. And in taxation subject articleship can also help a lot for preparation of exam. As for Financial Reporting is concerned I am of the view that there is no point taking classes of this subject, one can manage it without any coaching.
BASICS: Do you advocate studying for long hours?
Palak: I don’t advocate studying for long hours as the longer one studies the output decreases. Personally, I can say that I myself have never studied for more than 8 hours a day ever in my life. It’s better to study for 1-2 hours maximum in one sitting then take a break of half the amount of time that one studied as if one has studied for 1 hour then break of 30 minutes can be taken.
BASICS: CA programme is tough. Truth or myth?
Palak: CA is tough. It not only tests the mental and physical toughness of students but also checks patience, determination, discipline, dedication and hard work throughout the period.
BASICS: What is the importance of CA articleship?
Palak: Articleship is a very important part of the CA curriculum. During articleship, the CA student can realize the difference between what happens in practical life and what’s written in the book. There is a lot of difference in how things are being done in practical life. Beyond this, it gives student first experience of the corporate culture in various offices and also an experience of the culture of tax departments. Beyond all this, during articleship a student came to know about various lessons of life.
BASICS: Live Classes VS Satellite classes?
Palak: Whether one goes for live class or satellite class depends on many aspects like faculties, subjects and most importantly comfort level of the student. I believe for theory subjects satellite classes are better depending on the faculty here I am refraining from writing the name of faculties. For practical subjects, my personal view is that it is better to take live classes. But most important factor is the availability of good faculty and tuning with faculty, if the faculty is very good and your tuning with them is great then the mode of the class whether live or satellite becomes irrelevant to a major degree.
BASICS: Any special tips/suggestion that you want to share with CA aspirants?
Palak: Special suggestion from my side would be to students would be just to keep believing in yourself as there would be times when quitting seems to be the only way out but believe me the feeling of becoming CA will outweigh all your sacrifices and mental suffering you have experienced during the journey of becoming CA. Tough time comes but when it passes then it will give lots of happiness and proud moment for you.