Students who pursue the CA course should attend some short duration classes on personality development.

According to the latest statistics on the overall pass percentage in the CA exams, only 30-35 per cent of students pass the common proficiency test; less than 26 per cent pass the integrated professional competence course (IPCC) and less than 20 per cent pass the CA final exam.

The results leave a key question unanswered: what happens to the lot who fail? The question gains more relevance when we understand that candidates who fail outnumber those who pass, especially in the IPCC and CA final exams.

One reason why the CA students fall behind is due to the lack of campus life. The life in an active campus contributes to a large extend in shaping and moulding the mindset, approach, attitude and the level of thinking of the students. Students get the opportunity to interact in an environment full of different cultures, habits, characters and languages.

In a campus environment students feel secure, and their issues and apprehensions are heard, shared and to a certain extend solved also. This instils a lot of confidence in students to face the challenges ahead.

These things are not entirely absent in the life situation of a CA student, but only marginally present.

Another area which needs attention is the institute-parent interaction. In the experience of this author as a teacher, parents hardly visit the institute coaching classes. Though they are concerned about their children, unlike in other educational institutions, here there are no parent-teacher forums or open house avenues to address the issues of the students and to evaluate their progress.

This can be sorted out by initiating a periodical parent-teacher interaction and open house programmes at the accredited institutions or branches. Like other professional courses, students of the CA course too write the entry level examination called common proficiency test (CPT) at the age 16-17, after they pass their Plus Two examination. Those students who qualify the CPT will start pursuing the IPCC. Most of them will appear for this midway examination of the CA course within one year of joining the IPCC course.

Thus students may not get ample time needed to shift from the Plus Two level to the matured level of IPCC.

Many private/ accredited institutions impart lessons to IPCC students, but most of these classes are run only part-time. So students get ample time in the day which can be effectively utilised.

Students can attend some short duration classes on personality development. This will be of much use to the students when they qualify and start their professional life. Most of the students pursuing the CA course do their own part of the studies, apart from coaching classes and tuitions, only 2 or 3 months prior to the exam. This ultimately leads them to a stressful situation. This is an area where students need lot of guidance. They have to be trained about effective time management during exam preparation and at the exam; how to deal with each of the papers/ subjects; skills needed for the exam and so on. Many students understand the expectation of the ICAI about the students' level of knowledge only after appearing for the exam.

In spite of all these things, once a CA student comes out of the final examination with flying colours, he gets a tag of global recognition and we see a different smile on his/her face.

The author is a Kochi-based chartered accountant.

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