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CA Foundation Study Paln

How to plan your studies for your CA Foundation Exams

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Introduction

Passing the CA Foundation Exams opens the first doorway to the CA career. While CA Foundation is the easiest of the three levels of the Chartered Accountancy course, it still requires preparation and plans to tackle such an extensive syllabus and come out with flying colors. In other words, you will need to invest a fair amount of effort and discipline to clear this level. 

The challenges that most CA Foundation students face are course completion, time management, and knowing how to divide their attention between subjects as equally as possible. A solid CA Foundation study plan can address all these challenges and more. The question is, how to create a study plan that works for you? 

In this guide, we discuss some practical CA Foundation study plan tips that will set you up for success. If you are a CA Foundation repeat student, we have a separate section for you because your approach and preparation strategy should be different from CA Foundation beginners. 

Let’s get started!  

CA Foundation Study Plan Tips for First Time CA Foundation Students

As a beginner CA Foundation student, you’re probably mildly confused or downright clueless as to how to start your preparation. 

Here are some tips that will give you the right direction and help you get started on the right foot. 

Know your syllabus  

You might be pumped to dive right into your preparations. But you need to have a plan. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”!

The plan begins by familiarizing yourself with the CA Foundation syllabus and subjects. Spend some time reading the syllabus. Understand which subjects are practical and which are theoretical. Look at the weightage given to each topic. 

There are plenty of overlaps in the subjects studied in B.Com and your CA Foundation curriculum, but the latter delves deeper into the subjects. Take note of these factors. 

Figure out how many hours you will need to study 

The most vital consideration in your CA Foundation preparation is time. 

  • How much time do you need to finish your syllabus?
  • How much time should you dedicate to revisions?
  • How much time to keep aside for mock tests?

These are the top three questions to keep in mind when planning your CA Foundation study plan.  

Don’t get swayed by what you hear. Some people might be studying for 10-12 hours. Or, others might be studying only for 5-6 hours. What really matters is what works for you.

Build your own timetable 

You’ve probably already come across a bunch of CA Foundation study plans and timetables on the internet. It’s best to not fall for them because there can never be a one-size-fits-all routine that will work for everyone. Save the time and energy you might spend on going through someone else’s routine and instead, create your own.  

As experienced CA trainers, we know it can be a bit daunting for students to come up with a study plan all on their own. That’s why we have launched a free app / web-based study planner tool, which will help you create your own custom study plan based on your target date for completing the syllabus, hours needed, revision days, and mock test days, etc. You can check out the study planner tool here and start creating your own timetable practically this minute! But we urge you to finish reading this guide and then come back to the free tool.  

Write more and more  

When it comes to cracking your CA Foundation exams if there’s one master tip that will make a world of difference is this: Self-written notes. 

In fact, the practice of writing your own notes is something that will help you immensely not only in your CA Foundation level but in the Intermediate and Final levels as well. No wonder it’s a skill worth building. And, you’d do yourself a huge favor to begin now. Explore these effective note-taking methods and see which one you prefer the most. 

Revisions and mock tests are a must

Let’s clear one thing right away. If you wish to clear your CA Foundation exams in one go, revision and mock tests are absolutely non-negotiable. Without revisions, you are very likely to forget what you’ve studied previously, especially because the syllabus is so vast. This is why make sure to have at least 30 days in hand for revisions and timed mock tests.

CA Foundation Study Plan Tips for CA Foundation Repeaters

If you haven’t been able to crack the foundation exams on your first attempt, there’s no reason to lose heart. You can do it. The key lies in identifying the weak spots in your preparation and working on them. 

  1. First of all, the tips we have given to first-timers are applicable to you too. Give the previous section a read and see if you missed out anything in your last preparation. For example, if you skipped revisions, that’s something you have to fix this time. If you didn’t make your own notes, start doing it. Check out some helpful note-taking methods here for inspiration. 
  2. Studying what you like or are naturally good at can help you feel motivated. We get that. But, you need to work on improving your weak areas. Otherwise, you might end up making the same mistake you made in your previous attempt. 

If you’re in your third or even fourth attempt, it’s worth doing a mental audit to figure out the reasons behind your failure — 

  • Have you been putting in less effort?
  • Or, your preparation has been falling short?
  • Or, you’re simply not enjoying the subjects? 

Be honest with your answer. If it’s the last one, CA is probably not the career you should go with. There are many other amazing career paths in the field of commerce where you would flourish.  

If, however, you’re determined to carve a career as a CA, but haven’t cleared the Foundation level even after the 2nd attempt, we recommend taking the Direct Entry Route to CA Intermediate.  

If you need more help with understanding your strengths and weaknesses and what measures to take, working with a mentor could set you on the right path. If that’s what you need, check out our 1:1 mentorship program

More CA Foundation Study Plan Tips for Success

  1. Time is of the essence when it comes to cracking an exam like the CA Foundation. You don’t want to waste any precious hours. At the same time, you’re only a human and you need to set aside some time for yourself and take care of your mind and body. So, make sure to strike a balance between studies and other areas of your everyday life.  
  2. While being diligent and disciplined with your timetable is great, it’s also important to make sure that you enjoy some breaks. Have some free time in which to practice some light hobbies. Without such time-offs, your performance can suffer, tediousness can creep in, and motivation levels can dip. 
  3. Be realistic in your routine. Studying for 10-12 hours can be okay — even needed — for short spells. But such long hours are not sustainable in the long run and may result in burnout. Instead, start your preparations early and maintain a study routine of 6-7 hours daily. 
  4. It is not humanly possible to be constantly motivated, but you can take steps to keep your chin up throughout your preparation. A great tip is to set rewards for small wins. For example, if you finished a chapter on time, treat yourself to a meal at your favorite restaurant or watch a movie.  
  5. Motivational videos can give you the right push when you need it. But if you spend too much time watching these videos, when will you have the time to apply what you’re learning from these videos? 
  6. As we keep saying, balance is everything. The same goes for social media. We are not here to tell you to let go of your social media habits and put a curb on phone time. But you need to make sure it doesn’t hamper your preparation. 

Ultimately, CA is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. You don’t want to run out of breath before reaching the finishing line. Neither do you want to lag behind in the race? So, you need to be strategic in how you spend your time.