Chartered Accountancy Journey (Part I)

Chartered Accountancy (CA) is considered one of the most difficult courses in India. The simple reason being lower pass percentage. Blame the passing criteria for each level. 

Every student has an interesting story.Not many have insights on the journey of a CA student, so I thought, “Maybe, I should share mine”. 

Grab your chai/coffee and sit tight, a long read awaits!

CA students are generalized as geeks, introverts, shy, too busy studying to be in a relationship, zero social life, weak communication skills among others. While most of it stands true, not all share the same traits (obviously). 

I had a simple goal – Get the degree and live comfortably forever. So naive! I did not have an inkling of an idea of what awaited ahead of me (sprinkling drama for the feel).

First step – Entrance exam (CPT). Clear it and move ahead to the second level (IPCC).

The plan was simple – Get done with the 12th Board/High School exams and later focus on the entrance exam entirely.

Sounds manageable? It was.  

Aware of the phrase – “Calm before the storm”? 

Consider CPT as the calm before the next two level storm. CA exams are infamous for its inverted structure; as the level progresses, the difficulty level increases and so does the chance of clearing. 

As expected, I did clear the entrance exam with a considerably good score. 

Funny part, I was so confident, I had signed up for the coaching of the second level exam (IPCC) even before the CPT results. CPT exams were in June and within a week, lectures for IPCC were announced.  

Only a week to rewind and recharge. 

CA students walk on two lanes simultaneously; CA degree and Graduation degree from college. A lot of exams and preparation goes on for years. It’s funny the statement fits so perfectly (you’ll know why later).

CA students prefer colleges which are attendance-lenient. Hear me out before you judge.  

College lectures at 7 am in the morning. IPCC classes from 1 pm to 9 pm.  

This schedule becomes bizarre in later stages.  

How do you think we preserved the energy to be attentive for the 8 hour lecture every day?  

Skip the morning college lectures.  

Well, I lied. Just the thought of attending a single subject 8 hour lecture made me feel tired.  

The local Chaat stalls near classes instead of college canteens rescued our cravings during breaks.  

Conclusion – Hardly any college life.  

My friends and I would enter the guilt trip everyday pledging to not eat out so frequently but ended up relishing Pani Puri (Indian street food) almost daily. Just couldn’t control our hunger pangs. The street food was the only spice in our life!

Whenever we did attend college lectures, it was strictly for business – Getting an update about exams and projects/submissions. We couldn’t chill out with other students or hangout in college.  

Why you ask?  

Well, I already stated why. Coaching class at 1 pm. Daily.  

Back to IPCC.  

With around 2.5/3 months to prepare for the exam after completing the coaching, the study hours were intensive. I was off social media for all those months.  

There were two upcoming exams. IPCC in May 2015 and college exams in March 2015. 

Studying the day before college exams had become a routine for all semesters. Reason? Almost similar subjects. Almost, not all.  

Now you know why it’s a common belief that CA students hardly have any social life. 

Post my IPCC exams in May, I got summer vacation vibes after 2 years of lectures and exams.  

I had a gateway, read books, learned choreography from YouTube and took swimming lessons with a friend.  

Basically, tried to catch up with the chilling I missed.  

I was in the most calm headspace until results were out. I did not clear. My first academic failure. I took an entire day of crying and wailing to calm myself out. My mother who had never seen me in such a state, was scared and worried. The result had left me so disheartened, I talked about changing careers with my mom. I was not ready to accept that I had failed.

She is a working woman. That day she intentionally stayed home. I still don’t know why she did. Motherly instinct? Maybe.  

I felt stuck, hopeless and abashed. 

The pass percentage for the exam that year was around around 8%. I meant it when I stated the fact of lower pass percentage. 

Now what? Re-exam in 6 months (November). 

The reason why the failure hit me so hard was because I had positive expectations; had imagined future. When it took a 360 turn, it shattered me.  

My family and friends were sweethearts though; always have been a part of my cheer squad.  

So I studied hard again. This time I wasn’t so hard on myself. Did not expect or plan. Just put in efforts. Also learned a choreography while studying. Meanwhile, I had planned to open a blog. I spent the two months after exam writing and networking via this blog; shared the thoughts I had while studying.  

I enjoyed each bit of blogging and interacting with people worldwide.  

Result day arrived. The college exam on the day of result helped me stay distracted. But while walking back home, anxiety crawled back.

My grandmother was acting super funny that day. She was trying to treat it a normal day but deep down she was anxious too.

When it was finally out, I didn’t have the courage to check it out. I asked my friend to do it on my behalf.  

My heart skipped a beat when I saw her name flashing on my mobile screen. I passed. After watching my grandmother get elated, I heaved a sign of relief.

Pass percentage for that attempt – 4.14%. Oh, the pride I felt the moment I read this!

Too long? I will come back soon with the rest of the narration!

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