A guide for those who are Stuck in CA Course
This post is for students who are stuck in CA Course. Specifically, those who are in intermediate.
This is going to be a tough read.
I hope you all know about CA Talks. It is a simple show in which students discuss their problems with their Mentors.
Anyone can join it and ask their question. One of the most common questions we get on CA Talks is
Sir, I am in CA IPCC / Intermediate, Mere 7 Attempt Hogaye hai what should I do now? Ek baat pakki hai karna toh CA Hi Hai. Ab aap batao kya karu?
This is a classic example of a student stuck in CA Course. 7 to 6 attempts in CA IPCC or CA Intermediate and saying “” Karni toh CA Hi Hai”
CA is a means or a goal?
The first thing we all must understand CA is just a course and it is not the end game or the goal we want to achieve.
CA is just a means to achieve the goal and we all mix it up. We consider CA as the goal! The ultimate goal, atleast for the time being, is to have an amazing career in finance or taxation or accounting or auditing etc. Let me be very loud and clear, this goal can be achieved even without being a CA.
Some of you might be feeling offended now. Some of you will now share this post with the person who is motivating you to give attempt after attempt of CA Intermediate. Please go ahead, but you cannot change the truth.
You must know when it is enough.
The problem with most of the students is that they don’t know when it is enough! They think it is only a matter of 6 months. They don’t realise that when these 6 months get converted into years without progressing an inch professionally as well as personally.
In my personal opinion, 5 attempts are more than sufficient to clear both groups of CA Intermediate. Just to let you know 5 attempts means you have spent more than 2.5 years at an intermediate level.
The exam is difficult but not that difficult.
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Messages you get when you fail in CA
Stories of seniors cleaning CA in 10 attempts or 12 attempts
Going to the library.
Full-on motivational videos and write-ups on how NOT to quit.
Reading motivational books.
Sticking Motivational Quotes on your desk.
Going to extremes, you might get the reference of religious ceremonies to be conducted to clear your exams.
Am I saying you to quit? Not at all. I will never say it. I am asking you to don’t quit the efforts to achieve your goals. But you might change the means to achieve them, Changing the path is not quitting at all.
What about the time I already spent in CA?
First of all, it is gone, secondly, i am assuming that you must have learnt a lot about your subjects which can be utilised in other courses.
Sunk cost fallacy, -
What it is
The sunk cost fallacy describes our tendency to continue to pursue an endeavour that we have already committed to in terms of investing money, time or effort into it, even if those costs are not recoverable.
Why it happens
The sunk cost fallacy occurs because our emotions often cause us to deviate from rational decisions. Abandoning an endeavour after committing to it and investing resources into it is likely to cause negative feelings of guilt and wastefulness. Since we want to avoid negative feelings of loss, we are likely to follow through on a decision that we have invested in even if it is not in our best interest.
Example 1 – Education choices
Education is a billion-dollar industry in the U.S, and often, we are asked to pay for educational programs in advance. Once we have paid for a particular program, we are unlikely to drop it even if we find a free program with a better success rate, because we have already invested money into a program.
Example 2 – Boring movies
The sunk cost fallacy also impacts smaller day-to-day decisions, like continuing to watch a movie even if it is boring. We are likely to continue watching a movie if we’ve invested both time and money into it even though those investments cannot be recovered by continuing to watch the movie. Age seems to have an impact on how much time we are willing to continue watching the movie, with younger people being more susceptible to the sunk cost fallacy.
How to avoid it
Since the sunk cost fallacy is thought to be caused by our desire to avoid negative emotions, we should try to take our emotions out of the equation when making a decision. However, emotions are powerful and hard to ignore. Instead, we may want to use technologies to help us make decisions when it comes to scenarios where we might be influenced by the sunk cost fallacy.
Read the full article on sunk cost fallacy - https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/the-sunk-cost-fallacy/
Another thing adding to the urge to not give up on this course.
All my friends cleared it. Why can’t I?
We all know that we must not copy others, but we don’t apply it. We all know that we should not compare ourselves with others, we still do it. We all know that we all are unique and we are wired differently for different things, we still want to achieve/do same things.
What to do if I feel like going beyond 5 attempts?
First of all, as mentioned earlier you have spent 2.5 years already and now you should move ahead in your career but if you still feel like giving it one more time, do it with an ultimatum. Just fix the upcoming exams as your last one and if you clear it you will go ahead with CA otherwise consider other options which can help you achieve your ultimate goals.
Find out the reasons for failure.
Sit down and start writing. Don’t show it to anyone. Be honest, harsh and write without any limitations. Write down all the probable reasons for failure and try to figure out the prominent one. If the main reason is you are not working hard, I am sorry my dear friend you cannot escape it. Hard work is required in all career options, if you think you can skip it, the answer is no.
If the reason is something else than hard work for example
Structure of the course
Methodology of the study that is required.
Mandatory group exams system
Passing Criteria - Clear the entire group or give all the papers again.
Lack of interest in the subjects etc.
Find out options.
Why are students doing this?
Orthodox thought process and pressure imposed by seniors including teachers
Glorification of taking a number of attempts and then clearing CA exams.
Taking Failures in CA Exams on their fragile egos.
Getting a personal attachment with the words “CA” - Falling in love with CA that it becomes too hard to leave it in between even at the cost of your career.
The stigma of Giving up.
No awareness related to other options.
No proper guidance.
Am I encouraging you to leave CA?
This is what some of you might think. This is what some of you might be forced to think. Some of you might doubt my intention in writing this. Let me tell you one thing, I am trying to help you in taking a tough decision. I am trying to give a ray of hope. I want you to learn - How to make decisions, learn - When to say - ENOUGH!
What else is left once you will clear your CA Intermediate level?
Assuming you gave your 5th Attempt, your age might be somewhere between 21 to 23 years. After clearing one of the groups of CA Intermediate, you have to undergo 3 years of articleship and also prepare for CA Finals. Keep this factor in mind while choosing any further course of action.
Options in case you decide to leave CA (Not quitting)
Before you start reading further, let me tell you one thing I have seen students leaving CA even after clearing CA intermediate and pursuing other options and doing well in life. Many students drop voluntary for CA and pursue other fields.
The option will completely depend on what do you want to do further in life. By the way, can you tell me the reason why you chose CA as a career? How much analysis you did before enrolling for CA? Do answer it.
Coming to the options again. Start with the end in mind. What is your ultimate goal?
Suppose you want to make big in the world of finance. You can consider CFA. In case you want to do something in Financial Reporting, Auditing and Assurance, Cost Accounting, Strategic Management ACCA can be your go-to option.
I am not referring to CS and CMA here as the examination structure and the management of student-related activities is approximately the same as that of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Another option that can be explored is an MBA from a good college, you can mix it up with CFA or an ACCA as well.
Other than these options you can pursue Law also.
Or simply you can do a masters and pursue a PhD to become a professor or a researcher in the area of your interest.
You should also think of completely unrelated fields/areas that interest you including your hobbies. You can make it big in music, digital marketing, content creation, even cooking (I know CA dropout chefs!)
Here is a post for ACCA
All the best. God bless you
❤️ Neeraj Arora
और हाँ, सीखते रहें, क्यूँकि सीखना शुरू तो जीतना शुरू 🚀
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Thank u so much sir i have cleared my inter grp 1 in may 2019 and i have been doing this course since 2014 and completed my articleship but not yet cleared grp 2 and no other option is available becoz of financial problem .
Thank you sir for your efforts in writing up this ... Every word and every line you said was true. After giving attempts we consider ourselves as failures that we cannot do anything. But you said it right CA is not goal it is just a path to achieve the goal. Thank you sir for your motivational words.
I saw your videos on YouTube and got inspired that now I'm your acca student