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A journey of Patience, Perseverance, and ‘Never Giving Up’ – The CA story of Jasna K

I started my CA journey in 2012. 

I was a science student. After clearing my 12th standard, like most of the students, there came a question in front of me. Engineering or Medicine? (As if no other courses existed, lol.

I wasn’t interested in engineering at all because of my hatred towards the subject of Physics. So the only option left was medicine. But I didn’t get the rank that would have enabled me to get a merit seat. Management seat was out of the question anyway because of my family’s financial status. 

The next option was repeating for the entrance. And I didn’t want to waste a year. ( This statement was the biggest joke of my life since I chose CA). 

Then one of my friends told me about this course- Chartered Accountancy. 

And I thought “Okay, lemme give it a chance”. 

So we both enrolled in the course. We joined for CPT (now it’s Foundation)  coaching. When I started studying I was like “oh this is so easy”. And within a month I loved all the subjects and I started liking the course. We studied really well and gave our entrance exam and we both cleared with distinction. The first step was done.

The early success made me obnoxious I guess. I gave my first attempt at the IPCC exam. And I failed terribly at it.

In my entire life, it was the first time I failed an exam. I was out of words. I don’t have any justifications for my poor performance in exams. Because I know it was all my fault. At the same time, my friend who joined with me who was very serious about the course cleared both groups at one go. 

This accentuated the intensity of my failure. 

When you fail and your friend clears it’s a different feeling. Even when you’re happy for their success you can’t enjoy it because of your failure.

Then the reality hit me. I started getting a clear picture of the course. So for the next 3 months, I studied really well. But unfortunately, I failed again. 

It became difficult for me to concentrate on my studies on my own. My confidence was broken. So I joined for a crash course (I made a couple of good friends from there whom I’ll cherish forever) And for the Nov’ 14 attempts, I decided to give only the first group. 

I was positive about my results at that time. But you know what? 

ICAI is the biggest prankster you’ll ever come upon. 

You’ll feel like you’ll clear this time after giving the exam but ICAI won’t let you. I failed in Accountancy which is the subject most of the students usually clear, even I passed with good marks in previous attempts. I didn’t have any idea where I went wrong. 

At that time I didn’t think about taking the certified copy also. So I repeated the failure saga once again in May’15 attempt also. I once again went for a crash course at a famous institute and decided that if I fail once again I’m gonna leave this course for sure. Miracle! I cleared the first group in that Nov’15 attempt.

You know, there’s a peculiar specialty with our course.

If a student is fed up with failures and decides to drop out in the case his attempt is not gonna work out, most of the time the student will either get an exemption or pass a single group.

Then started the journey of articleship. Like any CA aspirant, I also had great expectations about articleship. I wanted to do my articleship in a good firm in Bangalore. But because of some emotional manipulation from my parent, I was not able to join any firms outside my state. 

So I finally gave in and joined a firm my friend suggested to me as one of the best in the city. For those who wish to start practicing after clearing CA exams, my firm was a good choice. But for me, who dreamt of employment in the Finance field after CA, my firm was the wrong choice. 

And because of an internal agreement on not leaving the firm before the completion of articleship( during the interview), there was no choice left for me. Don’t even talk about the amount of stipend. 

Heavy work and poor stipend( A policy ICAI should amend soon). 

I started learning new things from my experience in the firm. In between my articleship I gave multiple attempts for my IPCC second group. I felt like failure became part of my life. 

But I was feeling easy because I was doing articleship and those 3 years was a safe time period for me to not have to answer my neighbors and relatives who constantly questioned about what I’m doing. 

But I learned many things during my articleship and I was praised for the quality of my work which gave me my lost confidence back. Also, it helped me in becoming a good leader as well as instilled a team player quality in me.

After completion of my articleship in March 2019, I thought about joining for a job after giving my second group exam one last time. Yes, again the same thought. So I went for a crash course for the second group especially for ITSM the subject which always failed me in my exams. 

And I confidently gave my exam. But after giving my May 2019 attempt, I had an inner feeling that I was gonna clear it. So after the exam got over I changed my decision about getting a job and immediately joined for CA final coaching classes.  

And as my inner mind predicted, I cleared my second group in that attempt itself.

It took me 12 attempts to clear both groups of IPCC. Of course, I’m worried about me getting rejected because of the number of attempts. ( I believe there will be employers who value the quality of work over my no. of attempts) 

But at the same time, I’m proud of myself for being consistent even though my mind fluctuated a little bit in between. 

So as for Finals, I planned to prepare really well and give the attempt in Nov 2020. In between, I completed Advanced ITT and MCS also.

So I prepared as if there is no tomorrow and I had done my revisions, done MTPs, RTPs, and everything, and waited for exam day to come. The day before the exam some insect had bitten my right-hand palm and the next day I woke up with a painful swollen right palm. I was unable to even move a finger and holding a pen was completely out of question. I was completely shattered. All my preparation for the past year was like a line drawn on water. At that time because of COVID-19, there was an opt-out option to January 2021 attempt. So I opted out of that attempt and I was able to save the first attempt title.

Then came the January 21 attempt. My real first attempt. This time I was conscious about my hand. I even covered it at the night with clothes and slept. 1st exam went smoothly. On the day of the second exam, that is on the day of SFM, which was my favorite subject too, I had severe vomiting and it caused dehydration and I almost fell unconscious from the exam hall. And after the exam, I went to the hospital and got admitted and my condition was so worse that I was admitted for more than a week and I couldn’t give my attempt on Jan 21 also. 

I was heartbroken because now I couldn’t say that I cleared in the first attempt. I wanted to compensate for the no. of attempts by me in IPCC by clearing the finals in the first attempt. But now it was all in vain.

I again mustered up the courage and started revising for May 21 attempt. But my confidence was a little bit low because I constantly worried whether something will stop me from writing exams in that attempt too. But the exam started and I gave the papers one by one and I started getting confident. On the day of the law exam, the 4th paper, I fell on my back when I was stepping out for going to the exam. I was in intense pain and was unable to stand up. But I told my mother to take me to a hospital. We went to a hospital with my uncle and took a painkiller shot and went to give my exams. But even though the pain subsided I started having reactions to the shot. Ignoring all that I gave the exams by lying on my chest ( thanks to the exam center people who provided a separate room for me to save me from the embarrassing situation). 

It was difficult to write in that way but I gave my exams. From the 6th day of the exam, I was able to sit and write the exams. 

And this time I finished attempting all my exam papers. I was confident about all subjects other than the 4th and 5th papers since because of the difficulty I was not able to attempt all questions. But still, I thought I’ll get pass marks on those papers. God will show some mercy at least for the efforts I put in to attend the exams at such difficulty. But when the result came I failed those two subjects with border marks. Both God and ICAI were not in my favor. If I passed those subjects I would have been a CA today, alas!

For me my CA journey is bitter-sweet. But I love this course very much and I have no intention to quit it. 

You might be thinking that I wasted a lot of time in this course but it’s not like that. 

Becoming a CA is my passion. In order to stay updated, I’ve also done a few certification courses which would be an add-on to my skills. For me, a good part of my life was the journey to becoming a CA. Almost 10 years. 

There are many good memories and good people I met in this fraternity, I can cherish forever. If you ask me what if you didn’t choose CA that day, I can’t give you an answer because I believe I was born to be a CA.

As someone said, CA is a journey that I’m living as a student, learning, failing, persevering, and aspiring to learn more.

I’ll be a CA, maybe not immediately, but definitely!

– the story of future CA, Jasna K.

(The winning entry of CA Scribbles, an initiative of jobaaj.com)

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