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How to Prepare for CA Final SCM & PE

How to Prepare for CA Final SCM & PE

Preparing for the group II paper-5 CA Final Strategic cost management and performance evaluation is a final step to becoming a CA after passing the group I exams. Passing the CA final exams was never that easy for the student and is still the same. But it can be done if you are committed to your study and have made it a schedule to study on a regular basis with dedication. We all know the CA final SCM and PE is not a child's game since it can be a life-changer. So, CA Test Series is sharing some important tips that you must follow to get the best results in exams.

 

Introduction toSCM& PE (NEW)

SCM & PE is a very interesting subject and loved by most of the students. This is a practical as well as a theoretical balanced subject. Understanding the various concepts is the key. CA Final being vast in syllabus, this is not that vast of a subject but requires good understanding. Often students get confused about how to study. The answer is simple- ICAI Study material. That’s it, no need to do anything else. You can score an exemption by studying Icai material only. ICAI may add few questions which are new in the exam but still they are manageable if you know the concepts thoroughly. As per last 2 attempts, you will definitely get some new questions which can be a proper blend of practical as well as theory (reasoning). This makes the subject much more practical in real life.

 

Study the subject chapter wise and analyze each chapter after studying. Write the analysis in your rough book. This will help you a lot during revision.

 

Your command should be strong on concepts and calculations.

 

Weightage and No. of Revision

Chapter No.

Chapter Name

Weightage (approx)

No of revision

  1.  

Introduction to Strategic cost management

5

1

  1.  

Modern business environment

5

2

  1.  

Lean system and innovation

15

3

  1.  

Cost management techniques

10

3

  1.  

Cost management for specific sectors

0-5

1

  1.  

Decision making

10

2-3

  1.  

Pricing Decision

5-10

2

  1.  

Performance management and evaluation

15-20

3

  1.  

Divisional transfer pricing

10

2

  1.  

Strategic analysis of operating income

10

2

  1.  

Budgetary control

5-10

2

  1.  

Standard costing

10

3

 

 

Follow ICAI material or notes given by the academy where you have gone for classes but still go through the module once.

The case studies given are preferably to be read for the first time with the chapters. And 2 revisions are more than enough as it is unlikely for a same case study to appear in the exam.

For this subject you not only need the calculations right but also have correct analytical skillsto give a proper reasoning behind every calculation.

 

Study Plan/ ABC Analysis

 

Small and Easy

Fair

Medium

Difficult and Need more practice

Introduction to SCM, Cost mgmt for specific sectors, Budgetary Control.

Modern business env, Pricing decision, Transfer pricing.

Lean system and innovation, Cost management techniques, Strategic analysis of operating income

Decision making, Performance management and evaluation, Standard costing

2 times Revision only

 

Take 1 chapter in a day.

 

2 times Revision

 

Take 5 days and practice.

3 times Revision

 

6 days, solve all the questions and remember the concepts

2 Times Revision

 

Take 7 days (3 for chp 8), and 3 revisions for chp 8.

 

From which chapter to start preparing

 

Start with the first chapter which includes introduction. Do not look at the chapters just as theory chapters. For example the 3rd and 4th chapters are not just theory chapters. Another suggestion would be to study the Decision making and Standard Costing at the end. This is because in these chapters, the questions mostly come out of the study material. In other words Icai gets creative in these chapters. Decision making which normally should come for 10 marks, and the question is unlikely to be from the study mat. If it clicks in the exam, you can score full marks. So these both chapters need a bit more practice.

While studyingmake an analysis of every chapter and write it down according to your understanding. For example, 4th chapter has only 4 concepts i.e. target, lifecycle, Pareto and Ema, so write down your analysis in short in a book which will help you immensely in revision.

More scoring part

The best way to score is by understanding the concepts. Institute asks questions based directly upon concepts and also tests the understanding by asking the reason behind answers.

 

The 3rd,4th and 8th chapter are very important when it comes to the scoring part. They are not just theory chapters as many concepts are involved on which practical questions are asked. Ideally no chapter should be left in option.

After completing the whole portion you have to analyse the entire subject and concepts, it is because the institute does ask questions combining two chapters or so. For example, budgetary can be combined with some other chapter as given in a case study of an airline company.

 

You have to make the examiner understand that you know the concepts thoroughly and you know the reasoning behind every calculation. Some easy concepts like OEE, JIT, EVA, ROI are bonus if they come so you have to be thorough with them.

 

Past trending Chapters

 

Sr no

Topics

Questions in Past exams

 

 

May 19

Nov 19

1

Introduction to Strategic cost management

10

-

2

Modern business environment

-

-

3

Lean system and innovation

-

21

4

Cost management techniques

29

14

5

Cost management for specific sectors

-

-

6

Decision making

18

15

7

Pricing Decision

24

-

8

Performance management and evaluation

10

33

9

Divisional transfer pricing

-

10

10

Strategic analysis of operating income

9

7

11

Budgetary control

-

10

12

Standard costing

20

10

 

Which questions to attempt first

 

The 15 minutes reading time helps here. Try to analyze the questions as soon as possible and decide the one question which you want to leave. While reading case study or lengthy questions just read the first para and then the required part to get an understanding.

And always Attempt the easiest question first which you think you are MOST CONFIDENT about. When paper checker starts checking your paper you surely wish to start with good impressions.

You can start with a very simple question like Q4(a) in Nov 19 paper in which you just had to identify whether the statement given is people, planet or profit oriented or from the OEE or JIT question. Such easy questions give you a boost in the beginning which can help you complete the paper or if not still write enough to score more than an exemption.

 

Important Questions/Amendments

Chapter 8 becomes a very important chapter even for questions and case studies. So all questions from that chapter are to be considered important. Also as said earlier in the most scoring part, the easy concepts are to be done thoroughly.

Standard costing and decision making are the chapters where you can try to solve questions even from outside the icai study mat but only if time permits. The formulas and calculations are crucial and need to be revised.

The case studies which Institute has put up on the website (bos portal) in addition to the material are also important when it comes to exam perspective so don’t forget them.

 

Common Mistakes / Tips

In the new course costing paper, the examiner not only wants you to solve or calculate the answers correctly but also know the reasoning or analysis perfectly. For example, in standard costing there is a question on ski/snow park where the variance calculated have a very good reasoning. This is the part of question where students go wrong at times.

The specific parts or pointers like advantages/disadvantages/primary activities such things are to be remembered thoroughly as they can be asked directly. For example, in Nov 19 there was asked advantages of JIT directly in the questions for 4 marks. So practice it also in writing.

Test yourself once a chapter is over regarding the concepts in the chapter and have an overview. Once you are done with the subject have an overview of the entire subject and the concepts as many chapters can be asked in one question, so that you can identify the question correctly.

Do at least 2-3 previous attempts RTPs and mock test papers if available. Solve the current attempts mock test paper and 1 or 2 more papers.

Practice the questions as much as possible in writing which are calculation based.

Some tips on the exam:Never panic seeing the first question in the exam. Many a times the first question is difficult as Institute likes to scare the students. Read the required part in every question twice so that you don’t get confused as to what is actually asked. For example, Evaluate means calculate and proper reasoning/analysis both. In theory questions avoid generic explanations and be technical in your answer.Try to attempt as much as possible but avoid silly mistakes in doing it.

 

Prioritize your syllabus before starting study

 

You need to start prioritizing your chapters and syllabus before the actual preparation. It helps you easily pick the important chapters and decide what should you pick first and what later preparation. This is why it is important you set the priorities and then execute the plan according to the setlist.

  • Decision making, pricing decisions, and CVP analysis are the chapters that you must keep on first in the list of important chapters since they carry the weightage of 25-30 marks in the exams.
  • Then comes the Transfer pricing which is for about 10 marks and you can prepare it from the CA Exam Series.
  • Standard costing contains 8 marks in the examinations
  • Budget contains 8 marks
  • Transportation and Assignment that carry 8 marks in the exam. 
  • CPA & PERT is of 10 marks
  • Linear Programming contains 8 marks in the exam.

 

Things to remember when you execute the above structure

 

  • Before you start for the preparation of the paper, do not forget to prepare with the cost & management accounting and strategic management. This way you will easily understand the concept for SCM and PE and will be fully prepared for it.
  • Another important thing to remember is to go give ICAI Test Series that you should never leave without
  • Preparing. The series is prepared by ICAI and mandatory to study since this will enable you to prepare well for important questions and problems.
  • Make sure you practice the case studies and well since they have the weightage of a minimum of 30% marks. They are asked in the exam to assess your knowledge for the contemporary chapters.
  • Make sure your concepts and approach is clear and take help from the experts if not. If anywhere you stumble so do not hesitate to ask the experienced ones to solve it since it is important that you are concepts are clear based on the case studies.
  • Make sure to prepare notes with chapter-wise key points and so that whenever you need them you can get back to them for the quick revision and check them if you are stuck at a point.
  • Make the time table categorizing the daily study syllabus. Execute the plan to achieve daily targets. This will help you go along with the plan you have made for yourself.
  • Practice sums and problems from time to time to check your preparation from the CA Final Mock Test Series and solve the questions making the notes of the mistakes you have made.

 

 

Tips to score well in the CA final SCM and PE exam

 

  • Read the questions and cases that are based on skills, try to read them carefully since they are a bit confusing. So, read twice if you feel the need before answering them. But also remember that you should not waste much time on it since students waste a lot of time in exams despite knowing the answers.

 

  • As soon as you get the question paper, start utilizing the time to read the paper given by ICAI. Read the paper carefully and use this time to score well. Prioritize your questions and attempt those of the few which you are confident at. Decide how long will you take to complete the question and try to attempt the questions within the set time and make the revision quickly.

 

  • The best way to save time is by not getting stuck on one calculation or problem. If you do not remember the solution or unable to solve it then move to another without wasting any more time on it. 

 

  • While solving case studies you must make a plan and decide what concepts and models should be used in the exams. Brief the problem analysis in detail and explain what actions should be taken to resolve. Use what why and how while concluding the answers you have prepared from ICAI Test Series.

 

  • Make sure you have numbered your answers correctly as per the serial number of the questions. Do not make mistakes in numbering them since it will cost you a lot.

 

  • The important thing that you should avoid doing in the exam is scribbling and rewriting on the initial pages of the answer sheets.

 

Follow the above points and suggestions that will help you prepare potentially for the CA final exam. CA Test Series offers the CA Final Test Series Free for the students to practice and score well for the exam. So, start following the pointers and see the result will be positive.

 

Resources to prepare for CA Final Strategic Cost Management and Performance Evaluation

 

Past 3 Years Revision Test Papers (RTPs)

Click here

Mock Test Papers (MTPs)

Click Here

Past 3 years Question Paper with Suggested Answers

Click here

Study Material

May 2020 onwards  - Click here

 

Motivation:  “Don’t Aim to become something Aim to do something”.

Thanks, Best of luck

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