how to prepare for exams, how toppers study

Following are some tips to success which most of the toppers follow :

● Focus on one activity at a time - reading only; not reading while watching television.

 ● Meditation, Yoga, simple breathing exercises improve concentration.

● Avoid studying when attention is persistently wandering.

● Avoid using excess of coffee or tea to improve concentration.

● Stop daydreaming. Stand up and walk around to stop daydreaming.

● Lastly, learn to enjoy study.


Time management – ● Prepare and Follow ‘To Do List’ as a Daily/weekly planner to write important study activities. Do the same for monthly activities so that you can plan in advance. ● Set goals Long term as well as short term.

Reading and note taking – ● Read Early in the Day when your mind is clear and sharp as your grasping is at its best. ● Discuss and learn: Discussing what you have learnt in the classroom with your friends gives you better clarity and retains it for a longer period.

Learning motivation – ● Prepare your mind for studying. ● Your emotional state helps/hampers learning: Stay calm and be positive!

Healthy habits – ● Have nutritious food and lot of water ● Include physical activity in your daily schedule ● Rest: Your body needs sufficient amount of rest. ● Be open to inputs and feedback



Here are some examination related To-Do’s:

Before Exam

● Devote more attention towards weak areas

● Stay healthy, take enough rest

● Avoid over-studying.

● Have a calm, cool and relaxed attitude towards exam


During Exam

● Glance over the test: number of questions, format, points per question/section, etc.

● Read instructions completely.

● Work out which questions you are going to answer first and in what order. Then plan your time accordingly.

● Answer the easiest questions first

● If you are running out of tine and you can’t write sentences, then just write bullet points.

● Check answers before submitting your answer sheet


Suggestions to learn better:

● Mnemonics - Mnemonics are strategies for improving memory. These include acronyms, acrostics, the narrative method, and rhymes.

● Acronyms - An invented combination of letters with each letter acting as a cue to an idea you need to remember. E.g. VIBGYOR

● Acrostics - An invented sentence where the first letter of each word is a cue to an idea you need to remember. A famous acrostic for the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto is 'My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas’

Narrative Methods - Narrative methods involve making up a story to remember a list of words.

Visual Imagery - Visualizing procedures, techniques, processes in your mind’s eye help them to be retained in your memory over long periods of time. You can also invent your own memorization techniques to remember things.


See what some CA Toppers have to say :

“ I joined Classes for CA, Mumbai which helped in conceptual clarity. My articleship was icing on the cake - It gave me practical exposure on audit and taxation. The audit and income tax paper was a breeze. My boss, who is also an All India ranker was a great motivator at work. Positive colleagues and meeting clients helped me gain confidence. Indeed, I got a good grip on the subject and work life. But at the end of the end, both coaching and articleship is important, but it is supplementary. Individual efforts are must. ” 

“ In the last few days, I started solving ICAI’s previous years papers. I used to self conduct exam for myself. It was a challenge to beat time! I used create an exam like ambience on my study table. For me, Information System Control Audit (ICSA) and Indirect Tax (IDT) were easy papers. Rest of the other subjects were pretty difficult, especially Costing and DT. In the Costing paper, I kept my cool and solved those questions about which I was confident. The tougher and tricky ones needed more time, so I approached them at the end. ”

“ I started full-fledged studies six months in advance. I used to study for eight to 10 hours a day. I had made my time-table and tried to stick to it. For practical subjects like Accounts, SFM, Costing – I invested a lot of time in practising. ” 

“ I never believed in studying 17-18 hours a day but was very regular. I studied for 5-6 hours everyday without fail. And so my schedule wasn’t very different during exam days. I slotted my study routine early in the morning waking up at 5 am. Anyways, I can’t keep my eyes open beyond 10 at night. “



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