With the admission season in full swing at Delhi University, B.Com (Hons.) has emerged to be the top course in the first cut-off, with the most number of admissions. Commerce has emerged to be a coveted stream in the recent times with wide-ranging options for students and its expanding scope. However, conventional choices have not lost their luster with many students opting for commerce to pursue Chartered Accountancy (CA).
For those who want to pursue CA after class XII, many grapple with the question – should they enroll for an undergraduate degree or not? While some may choose not to and focus completely on CA, there is no doubt that a degree gives an edge and a college experience is considered indispensable by many. CA aspirants have varied reasons for making the choice but once they decide to take the leap, they have to juggle college and CA which is a demanding task.
The entry level examination for CA is the Common Proficiency Test or CPT which is conducted twice every year in the month of June and December. However, CPT is being phased out to pave way for CA Foundation exams. Ankit Samudrey, a B.Com (H) student at SRCC says, “Generally, one who completes board exams, say in March 2018, can appear for foundation exams in May, but it’s difficult to prepare for the exam in one month, so one can try in November as well. It is easy to clear as most of the syllabus is the same as XI and XII and can be managed with college as 1st semester covers the basics.”
Once these exams are cleared, one officially enters the world of Chartered Accountancy. Aspirants now have to appear for Integrated Professional Competency Course (IPCC), which consists of 8 papers, 4 in each group. Ankit, who is preparing for IPCC, says that it’s not possible for students of regular colleges to go for coaching for all subjects. “Take coaching for 1-2 subjects at a time as it is also important to experience college life,” he adds.
On the trials of doing CA with regular college, Sakshi Chahar, a CA Aspirant from Ramjas College says, “Only a CA student would understand that 40 means pass whereas 59 means fail. Managing regular college and CA studies is very complex. But it’s not impossible, the key is consistency and regularly completing your work. Do not leave anything for later. Try and revise as much as possible whenever you get time. It’s a long journey for sure, just trust yourself and give your best.”
While regular college can often lead to clashes with coaching timings, students have a plethora of other options to manage the two better. Many high scorers opt for evening colleges or correspondence courses to focus better on CA coaching. The timetable of regular colleges also plays a crucial role. Ananya Agrawal, a B.Com (H) student of Ramanujan College picked her college because of its convenient timings that helped her to balance CA and college better. She advises, “Since I am doing regular college with CA it becomes very hectic to manage both the things. CA is a course which requires dedication, regularity and hard work. Besides CA classes and attendance issues in college, there are internals and assignments which have to be managed. Sometimes CA exams and college exams clash and you have to make a choice. When getting admission in college, one has to see various factors like timetable so that it can match with your CA coachings, attendance criteria there, college support etc.”
Delhi University offers NCWEB, a unique arrangement wherein women take classes only on the weekends and other holidays, leaving 6 days for them to pursue other things. Another aspirant, Urja Shukla talks about her experience with NCWEB, “Doing CA with NCWEB is a great option for girls who want to pursue CA and do graduation with it as it helps you in managing time for both. We have weekend classes of NCWEB and daily classes for CA, so it is not difficult to manage. Exam dates may clash sometimes but that’s not a big issue. There are other options too, like SOL( School of Open Learning), but the advantage is that NCWEB gives you the regular college degree while SOL will be an open graduation degree. So, I preferred doing CA with graduation from NCWEB.”
With coaching institutes advising aspirants to not take admission in regular colleges, students are pushed into uncertainty as conflicting opinions come in from all quarters. Aspirants echo the same thought- Many students do it every year and gain the advantage of a college degree. To deal with the nerves, Kavya Phophalia, a second-year student at SRCC says, “The first step I believe is stepping outside your limitations and saying it out loud that you can. After speaking to a number of seniors, working through their advice, and realising the real strategy to crack the exam: understand, revise and repeat, it becomes easy indeed. It’s better not to stay occupied with lot of coaching classes that involve not just your money but also time. I had managed many free resources from my friends. That is having a group of CA friends helps you share information and also keeps you going. It is very easy to split group and give exam but if someone wants to aim for rank it isn’t impossible, I am doing it too.”
For those who clear IPCC in the first attempt, they have a year and a half to immerse themselves completely in college as they can start articleship only when they graduate. For those who don’t or decide to attempt later, they have time to prepare themselves accordingly. Either way, it’s a win-win.
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