How to Clear CA Foundation Exam in First Attempt


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The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) holds the CA Foundation course exams on bi-annual bases. Usually, the exams are held in the months of May and November.

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Students who register on or before 30th June 2020, are eligible to appear for the November 2020 exams. Those who register before 31st December 2019 will be eligible to appear for the May 2020 examinations.

There are close to 210 places in India and 5 overseas centres for the term CA Foundation exams. The CA Foundation exams are considered to be one of the toughest professional exams in the country. In the year 2019, a total of 30,971 students appeared, out of which only 5753 passed.

Don’t let these figures dishearten you. Not only has the gradation become more lenient with time but also proper preparation and smart planning makes it possible to clear the CA Foundation in the First Attempt.

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Let’s take a look at 8 tips to clear the CA Foundation exam in the first attempt:

  1. Complete Syllabus Coverage: Cover the entire syllabus for the examination. There is no success in studying for the exam in selected parts.
  2. Subject Strength: Know your strengths. Even if you learn 100% of the syllabus, know your stronger subjects. This will help you achieve the 50% aggregate criteria.
  3. Clarity of Each Concept: Do not just mug up or indulge in rote learning. Conceptual clarity is a must for the CA Foundation exam.
  4. Calculator Mastery: Use calculator shortcuts for better time management and for accuracy. You can refer to the log table but that is a very time-consuming affair. Look up calculator shortcuts online and master them. While everyone uses a calculator, a CA takes it functionality to the next level.
  5. Practice: Constant practice will pay off in the CA Foundation exam. Keep a track of time when you are practicing. You could find yourself stuck at some times but don’t get frustrated. Only constant practice over timed exercises can help you overcome the roadblocks.
  6. Revision times 3: Revision is your best friend and comfort. Make your own notes for revision. Maintain a book of highlights that will help during revision. Experts suggest a minimum of three revisions, to sort out all doubts and difficulties.
  7. Avoid Negative Marking: Some people may suggest that you rely on your intuition when ticking the right answers at the exam. Please avoid this at all costs. There is negative marking so trust only your logical studying and analysis, never intuition. You’re better off leaving a question than answering it wrongly.
  8. Model Test Papers: Train yourself to sharply analyse questions in which both choices look correct. How? By completing Model Test Papers.CA Foundation Model Test papers are very helpful. They teach time management and how to analyse questions. It is advisable to solve the papers at the end of the chapter and after completion of the entire course, solve the complete Model Test Papers (MTPs).

So, to clear the CA Foundation course in the first attempt, hard work is always important but smart work is paramount. Follow these 8 tips for before and during the exams crack the Foundation level in your first attempt. Good luck!

Above Article is written by Prof. Mohan Kumar.
He can be reached at

Jai Hind, Vande Mataram
Team CA Study

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