Are you taking up your CPT exams this December and feeling nervous about it? Well, here’s what you can do to avoid last-minute woes and score maximum marks with tips from experts.

From June 2013, all candidates taking up the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) are required to score a minimum of 30 per cent in each of the four sections and a total minimum of 50 per cent aggregate in all the sections. These percentiles excluded the 0.25 negative marking for wrong answers.

“The revised pass percentile is nothing to worry about for those who study all four sections. Now that it has been made mandatory that one should pass all sections, no student can completely skip either of the topics,” explains Palanichamy V.P.’s, Chartered Accountant and teacher of Accounts.

Bring out your best

Never try to study something new during the last couple of weeks. Work out all practice and model test papers in ICAI and you can also take up online exams on the ICAI website. Answer only what you know for sure. Wrong answers cost you marks. For those who are repeating the CPT exam, remember not to make the same mistake as last time. Skip the questions that you are not confident about. Do not spend more than 7- 8 hours everyday in studying. Relax and take a break every hour!

“The negative marking system and compulsory pass percentile in each section can be easily faced if one plans and attempts the questions. Since all the questions in CPT are multiple choice questions, the trick lies in choosing wisely,” says Niraj D Mahajan, Chartered Accountant.

Niraj provides the following checklist and pointers:

If you are done with at least 80 per cent of studies in all the sections, you can take up the exam. Do not worry about what you have not learnt, as you may, in the process forget what you actually have studied.

Although it may sound silly, ensure that your marking in the coding sheet is correct. You may loose marks for incorrect marking. Attempt the questions you are confident of answering in the beginning. Run through the questions which you are half sure about in the second step. Never finalise answers if you are not sure of it.

Since every mark counts, ensure that you have prepared enough from each section to ensure overall pass percentile.

Sharanya. M, who is currently doing her articleship recalls her experience of writing the CPT exam: “CPT is among the easiest of all CA exams. Students from the CBSE stream will find it relatively easier as most of the questions are based on their syllabus. In the revised marking system, candidates need to remember that for every wrong answer, it is going to cost them 1.25 marks. Never attempt a question whose answer you do not know. Solve as many model papers as possible, to increase your speed while writing the final exam. Preferably, the last few weeks should be spent only in revising what you know and not learning something totally new.”