Can I become a CA without coaching?

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Can I become a CA without coaching?

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    Short answer: YES

    Now you will ask how, which takes you to the long answer.

    I am a CA (completed all levels at 1 go with rank at 2 levels) and I did all my studies without any coaching so I guess I am well positioned to answer his question.

    I will answer this question in three headings, viz, what is the advantage of taking coaching, what are its disadvantages and what you need to do to clear CA without coaching.

    Advantages of coaching

    1. You get to learn the subject from best of the class experienced professionals (provided you choose your teacher wisely);
    2. No headache to track the latest amendments as the teachers do it for you and give it in a very detailed manner in their books;
    3. Networking with fellow students who are going through the same phase of life;
    4. For those lazy guys out there, you will always be in discipline and you studies (read classes) will go on time and end well before exams.

    Disadvantages of coaching

    1. You waste hell lot of time travelling to the coaching center. In a metro city it can go upto 2 – 3 hours a day;
    2. Like a herd of buffaloes walks at the pace of slowest buffallow, teachers teach at the speed of most dull student of the class. Again lots of time wastage;
    3. If teacher not chosen wisely, then god save you;
    4. Since everything is served on a silver platter, your problem solving becomes blunt which makes you an easy prey for that tricky question in the exam;
    5. You don’t learn how to study on your own and you will need coaching for all subjects, so multiply the time waste described above with 8;
    6. These coaching are damn expensive. In Delhi all 8 subjects coaching in 2012 use to cost 1.5 Lakh.

    You may feel that taking coaching is an absolute waste of time, however, most of the CA rankers take coaching and attribute the success to their teachers. What they do it they use coaching as a support tool and not as a crutch. That enables them to SAVE time and get the edge over others.

    So what are you supposed to do! Choose the teacher and subject wisely and don’t become dependent on them for your studies and you will benefit from them.

    Coming back to the topic can anyone become a CA without coaching. Answer is again YES and if you follow few basic guidelines mentioned below you will know how.

    Use your time wisely

    Divide the entire 8 subjects over 3 years available for studies. 1 hour after office for 5 days and 3 hours on Sat and Sunday makes it 11 hours every week available for studies. In 2.5 years (time before you become a full time student and take study leaves from office) u have 11 x 52 x 2.5 = 1430 hours of study. That kind of time is sufficient to read the entire course 3 times over (mind you before you start full fledged studies!)

    Treat all subjects equal

    Might sound simple but you should know that all 8 subjects are worth 100 marks and you need a score of 50 to clear in each of them. People tend to get awwwed by topics like holding consolidation, capital gains, standard costing and ignore subjects / topics like ISCA (which has got highest number of 0’s in ICAI history), costing theory (25 marks worth in 2012), DT and IDT case laws (70 marks worth in total) and other topics. So like a mother treats all her kids equally, treat all the subjects and topics equally.

    Research before you buy a book and not after you read it

    Do a thorough research before you buy a book to study and once started be loyal to it. Don’t jump to other books in between for some topic or do two separate books for same topic (which as per many people give better understanding of the topic..BS!). Do only one book per topic and stick to it. Even if it has some topics badly done overall it will be good enough if you prepare it well.

    Study as if its a matter of life or death

    In the last four months study as if its a matter of life or death. Give you whole 7 days of week, forget all family and social functions, its Ok if you put on that extra 5 Kg. Once you clear it, it will be all worth it :).

    Stay calm

    You can do it! You can do it on your own and you need to know it very well. Once you know it.. you can do it. Remember the story of a deaf frog who completed a marathon because he could not listen to people demotivating him. owing to his deafness he took it as if they are motivating him. Whoever says you cannot do it prove them wrong with your results. Trust me that’s the best answer you can give them on their face.

    Some people may find my views contrary to theirs but I wrote everything from my personal experience and I very thoroughly believe in it.

    Good luck!

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