Failing CA Exams: Afterwards

CA exams are known to be notoriously difficult to clear and when the results come in, failure may be extremely stressful and depressing to a student. Here are certain things to keep in mind when faced with failures in your journey to be a Chartered Accountant.

What will happen if you lose an attempt of CA exams?

Find a proportional response

While failing any exam can be disheartening, not clearing an exam as competitive as CA can be a tough. After the initial shock remind yourself of what scale this examination tests you on and try to find comfort in the understanding of how difficult it is to clear all papers in one shot. It takes more than just hard work, or luck, or an understanding of concepts to pass the CA exams and you’re not the first to fail, and you won’t be the last. Make sure you understand that this failure is not a permanent state of being and you can change this the next time you appear for the exams.

Failure is not absolute

As the old cliche goes, it is easier to fail than pick up the pieces afterwards.  It is important to recognize that failing your CA exams isn’t the end of the world. There is so much to learn everyday and even more to learn from failure. Striving forward and forcing the results you wanted from life is the best way to deal with failure. Long term happiness of your personal and professional life should be your goal. Failure of CA exams should not come in between that. 

Building Context

When you are 70 years old and at the dusk of your life , are you going to be spending a lot of time wondering about the number of times you failed to clear your CA exams? It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Being happy in life is not dependent on your CA exams, it is about the life you have lived and the choices you have made. If one of those choices involved choosing not to be depressed and sad in the face of failure, you are halfway to a successful life. 

Build a support system

It is a terrible tragedy, the amount of pressure candidates put on themselves to clear the exams in a single attempt. When going through something this stressful it is essential to have a support system. Be it your family, your friends, fellow aspirants, your tutors, it’s imperative that you have a support system to see you through the attempt and the result, whichever way they may turn out to be. Your support system can help put things in perspective and provide you with insights you aren’t able to see by yourself right now. 

Analyse the process and the outcome 

Retrace your steps back through your preparation and your performance. Find what was lacking and fix that. Maybe you need to manage your time better. Or maybe you need a tutor or more focus on in a particular subject. It could be that you started preparing too late for your pace. Or that you didn’t have the right material to prepare with. Speak to other aspirants, people who have cleared the exam, your tutors or find support online to figure out where you went wrong the last time and how you can fix it. 

Mapping out your goals and the means to get there clearly and realistically can greatly increase your chances of getting through any test. 

It is just a test

You’re not doing yourself any favours by building the test up into a big scary monster. Think of it as just another test. You have the time to prepare for it, a curriculum to follow, resources that can be customised to your individual needs and pace, and now that you’ve appeared for it once, you also have the experience of what it is like to actually go through the process. Apply any and every insight you’ve earned during this experience to your next attempt. It is a difficult test. It is also very rewarding. But at the end of the day it is a test you’ve worked hard to take, and you can ace it when you’re ready, no matter the odds. 

Be ready to change things 

Let yourself feel sorry for yourself, but remember to not cling to the comfort of self pity. Everyday is a chance to change the state of things. Once you’ve figured out what you can do better, your previous attempt is best forgotten. Focus on your preparation, and move on. 

Is it right to view the delay through a commercial lens?

There is also a school of thought that believes that a 6 month delay in clearing the exams can have a  commercial consequence to it in terms of loss of salary for those six months; in addition, there could also be potential financial loss of retirement related benefits like provident fund, leave encashment and gratuity which are computed on last drawn salary. However, viewing your entire career through such a commercial lens is not the right approach.  Opportunities always exist and one should take this failure as a lesson on how to improve. Probably, such a delay might be the best thing to happen in one’s life, as it will prepare one to face challenges with much more gusto and achieve far greater heights in career than what would have been achieved otherwise.  

The Success Stories 

Stories are more than just narratives. They pave paths for building legends everyone can be inspired from. From people who failed CA exams six times only to score an all India rank of 1, to others who had proven to be average students during inter, not only passing but acing their CA exams with flying colors. There are always lessons to be learned for CA students who fail. The best success stories will always be about perseverance. About trying just a little harder and succeeding. Failing your CA exams won’t be the end of the world. All you need to do is regroup and try harder. 

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

  • J.K. Rowling

Leave a Reply