CMA Exams Preparation and Full Guidelines
Preparation of CMA Exams
- Study from Study Notes of the Institute for all subjects supplemented by other books recommended by your faculty. Study Notes are must.
- Make brief notes of the matter you feel relevant but you are likely to forget. You may also make notes by the side of text book you are referring to, in respective pages. The notes should be very brief, say at an average of 10 words per page.
- Make a plan of the time available and the syllabus to be covered. Based on this, make a schedule with daily/weekly breakups giving details of the topics to be completed. Make achievable and practical schedules to avoid breaking the schedules.
- Monitor the schedule on a weekly basis and reinforce your efforts to make up the backlog, if any.
- Ensure two revisions before you appear for the examination. In other words, a minimum of three readings should have been completed by the time you appear for the examination.
- Study the question papers of previous examinations to be able to categories all the topics in each subject and understand broad trends of these categories.
- Based on above and marks allotted give weightage to each category and accordingly prepare for the examination, spending more time and effort for important topics However, do not overemphasis the trends. They may go wrong.
- In the case of theory subjects, focus on understanding the concepts thoroughly and its application. In subjects such as law, give due regard to case laws and sections.In subjects such as Economics, spend some effort onstatistics and general reading of business newspapers and news magazines.
- In the case of numerical subjects, such as accountancy, costing and mathematics, focus on understanding themethods, formulae and format of presenting the solution. Solve as many problems as you can. Prepare for these subjects from the beginning of the year/ session and on a continuous basis. The rule of two revisions (plus the first) is particularly applicable to these subjects. Refer to a number of text books for these subjects so that you can encounter a wide variety of problems and approaches to solution.
- Practice use of your calculator effectively to maximise its efficiency in the examination Hall. Remember speed is a crucial requirement.
- Write simulated examinations with some of your friends setting the paper and valuing them, in an examination environment with set time schedules.
- Try joint studies with a couple of friends to be able to help one another, and instill competitive spirit.
- Prepare for the worst in the examination to minimise probability of failing in the examination.
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- Take a quick glance at the question paper spending not more than five minutes to select the questions you are likely to answer. However, it is not necessary to select all the six questions at this stage itself.
- Answer the easiest question first and in that order the rest.
- It is compulsory to answer the Compulsory Question. By not answering the compulsory question your maximum marks will be limited to 80%. (But the answer paper itself , will be valid.).
- It is preferable to answer the fewer questions correctly and fully rather than more questions answered partially in each case.
- Just before answering each question, read the question very carefully word by word trying to make the significance of each word, atleast once. If necessary, this may repeated even three or four times, particularly in the numerical subjects.
- Allot time for each question (depending on marks allotted to the concerned question) based on marks allotted to the question. Generally you have about 160 minutes to answer for 100 marks after deducting time for question paper scanning, planning answering sequence, personal relaxation time etc .Hence you can allot 1.5 mts per mark. Try to stick to the schedules. However, the compulsory question may take longer, sometimes up to one hour. You will have to make up the time from the easier questions.
- Answer the theory questions preferably last in the case of numerical subjects as these can be answered correctly in shorter periods quite often.
- Impress the valuator with the first answer. It should represent you caliber to give a good answer in all respects: content, neatness and presentation.
- If there is a question for which you do know the answer but do not have the time to write it fully, write a synopsis for the answer.This should be done, if required, only at the end of the answer sheet.
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- Always leave left hand page for showing workings, assumptions and notes. Workings are a must for the answer to be valid and should be fairly elaborate. Present them parallel to the question concerned. Use last page of the booklet for rough work.
- State necessary assumptions and notes wherever possible rather than wherever you feel essential. It is not a serious error if you write some extra assumptions, than miss some important ones.
- State currency in subjects such as costing and accountancy and draw columns with double lines when time permits.
- Provide Total columns where applicable in accountancy and costing, Similarly state narrations to journal entries in the case of accountancy.
- Avoid overwriting. Where they become inevitable, strike off and write again. Clarity is more important than neatness.
- If the balance sheet is not tallying in the case of accountancy, apply the principle of double entry by ticking off the entries. Any figure taken from a tallied statement should appear only once, and the rest, twice on opposite sides. Finally check totals. If still they do not tally, write totals as they come and do try to deceive the valuator.
- Do not try to deceive the valuator in any subject. They are likely to be smarter than you, in which case the penalty will be high.
- Wherever possible, check your answers with control figures to ensure accuracy of your solutions; for example, variance analysis in costing.
- Apply the rule of rounding off correctly for decimals. The rule is, a digit followed by a figure starting with five and above should be rounded off to the next higher digit.
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- Answer to the point and be brief. Valuator do not have ample time to read your answer paper thoroughly. They will abundantly make use of scanning technique.
- Present your points as a list wherever possible. This will increase the chances of the point being read by the valuator. Number the points numerically instead of alphabetically.
- Questions that use words such as describe and discuss require longer narrative answers. Present such answers in paragraphs with appropriate headings.
- Present examples and illustrations frequently.
- Underline key words in your answers. This is a must to enhance of your point being noticed by the valuator
- Tabulate the comparative points (in a columnar fashion), when you answer questions asking for comparison of alternatives, techniques, opinions, etc.
- Avoid writing long and descriptive answers that take up yours as well as valuator time. They test the patience of the valuator and it is risky to do so.
- When you forget some points when writing the examination, leave some space and start a new answer. You can return later and complete the previous answer when you recollect the points.
- In the case of law, if you are sure of the case laws and sections, provide these in the answer sheet. But in case of ambiguity, you may avoid, as a wrong quote is likely to have penalty. The same is true in the case of statistics for economics subject.
- Final students will be expected to give practical examples,application areas and good criticism of the subject matter (in applicable topics).
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OTHER GENERAL GUIDELINES
- Enter the examination hall with optimism and with a challenging spirit.
- During the examination, keep watch of your time, but do not panic. The worst thing you can do to make the worst of the situation is to panic.
- Maintain total concentration on the subject matter, forgetting the likely outcome of the examination. With total concentration, very often you can come out with best answers that might have been difficult under normal circumstances. The mood in the examination, very often, makes all the difference between a pass and a failure.
- Take a deep breath before answering each question. This helps you take extra oxygen, which in turn, activates your brain and nervous.
- Never give-up the examination. Make the best of the situation, even if you think you are going to fail. There are always miracles that you can hope for, provided you have put in your best efforts. This aspect has been proved in many cases as a matter of fact.
- Never give any personal messages to the examiner; they will do you no good, but can harm.
- Reserve the last 5 to 10 minutes for revision of your answer sheet. You can identify and rectify blunders you might have made, within this short period, which can make all the difference between a pass and a failure.
- Last but not the least, inform your faculty of your result and take their guidance for the next group examination
CMA Exams Preparation and Full Guideline
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