As you know, Paper 6 is an elective paper in the Chartered Accountancy course at the CA Final level. Not only that, it’s an open book exam!
The major question is, which elective should you choose? What is the syllabus of each elective? And how can you tackle this open book exam?
In this post, we’ll talk about the need for such elective papers. We’ll talk about the topic of each paper. The objectives (defined by ICAI in the syllabus). And our suggestions on which paper to choose depending on your interests.
Following this, we will go into the detailed syllabus. Finally, we’ll close off the post by talking about open book exams and a tip on how to pass them.
The Nature of Elective Papers in the CA Final Exam
What’s on this page:
ICAI recognises that nowadays, there’s a great need of specialisation in the CA domain. Because of trends like increasing globalisation and developments in information and technology. Not to mention the uncovering of major financial scams! CA professionals now need to look beyond their traditional roles in accounting and auditing. They’ll have to take up new roles such as consultants and advisors. And to focus on strategic decision making and entrepreneurship.
As such, ICAI has introduced a series of specialised elective papers for the CA Final Exams. These elective papers are open book and open notes. This will enable students to exercise their comprehension and understanding rather than relying rote memory. It also helps to build competency. After all, in the actual work place, you do have access to all kinds of information! But to make sense of this information, you’ll need to have an in depth understanding of concepts. That way, you can provide concrete solutions to unique problems.
Let’s now go into the learning objectives of each elective paper. Also, we’ll give our suggestions of which paper to choose depending on your interests.
Objectives of Elective Papers and Suggestions on which Paper to Choose
There are 6 elective papers. They cover a broad range of topics. And each paper is designed with specific learning objectives in mind. Also, each paper is suitable for a certain area of specialisation.
The table below shows all this in a concise manner.
Fig (1): Objectives for CA Final elective papers
As you can see, you have a varied choice depending on your interest and specialisation. You’ll have to make an informed choice yourself of which elective paper to take. You can look at our suggested career paths to influence your decision.
Also, to help you with your choice, we’ll now give the detailed syllabus of each paper. We’ve taken this from the ICAI prospectus. So, be rest assured that this information is as detailed and accurate as possible. Also, we do suggest that you look at the syllabus for the CA Final exam.
Marks and Duration
Each elective paper is given the same marks weightage. That is, one elective paper is worth the same as any other. The total marks awarded is 100. The duration is of 3 hours. All papers are subjective in nature.
Let’s now see what each elective paper covers.
Paper 6A: Risk Management
As we said above, the objective here is to:
- To gain knowledge and an insight into the spectrum of risks faced by businesses and to learn techniques of managing risks
- To build capability for applying such learning to address risk related issues in real business scenarios
The paper covers the following areas (Taken verbatim from the syllabus)
Fig (2): Risk Management – CA Final Elective Papers Syllabus Overview
In addition, ICAI says that the following topics from the papers of Financial Management (Paper 7, Part I, Intermediate Level) and Strategic Financial Management (Paper 2, Final level) also form part of the syllabus:
- Risk Management in Investment Decisions
- Foreign Exchange Risk
- Interest Rate Risk
So, if you had scored well in Part I of paper 7, Intermediate level, you know that this choice may be right for you!
Paper 6B: Financial Services and Capital Markets
The objectives are to:
- To gain knowledge of financial services rendered by intermediaries and banks and their role and activities in the financial market in general and capital market in particular;
- To acquire the ability to apply such knowledge to address issues in practical scenarios
The syllabus is as follows:
Fig (3): Financial Services and Capital Markets – CA Final Elective Papers Syllabus Overview
- Fixed Income Securities (Valuation of Bonds/ Debentures)
- Interest Rate Risk
- The Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992
- Legislative framework on listing agreements
- The Securities Contract (Regulation) Act, 1956 Chapter III-D of the RBI Act, 1934
Paper 6C: International Taxation
The overall objective of this paper is to “develop an understanding of the concepts, principles and provisions relevant to international taxation and acquire the ability to apply such knowledge to make computations and address issues in practical case scenarios.”
The paper is split into two parts. Part I and Part II. Each part is worth 50 marks.
Paper 6C: Part I – Taxation of International Transactions & Non-resident Taxation in India (50 Marks)
This is the syllabus:
Fig (4): Taxation of International Transactions & Non-resident Taxation in India CA Final Elective Papers Syllabus Overview
Paper 6C: Part II – Other Aspects of International Taxation (50 Marks)
Here’s the syllabus.
Fig (5): Other aspects of International Taxation CA Final Elective Papers Syllabus Overview
As a footnote, ICAI adds the following:
- Transfer Pricing in Part I to carry weightage of 30 marks.
- If any new legislation(s) are enacted in place of an existing legislation(s), the syllabus will accordingly include the corresponding provisions of such new legislation(s) in the place of the existing legislation(s) with effect from the date to be notified by the Institute. Similarly, if any existing legislation(s) on direct tax laws ceases to be in force, the syllabus will accordingly exclude such legislation(s)with effect from the date to be notified by the Institute.
- The specific inclusions/exclusions in any topic covered in the syllabus, wherever required, will be effected by way of Study Guidelines every year, if required. Specific inclusions/exclusions in a topic may also arise due to additions/deletions made every year by the Annual Finance Act.
Now, let’s see what is in paper 6D.
Paper 6D: Economic Laws
The objective here is “To develop an understanding of the provisions of different economic laws and acquire the ability to apply such knowledge to address issues in practical case scenarios.”
Contents of the paper include the following:
Fig (6): Economic Laws – CA Final Elective Papers Syllabus Overview
ICAI adds these footnotes:
- If new legislations are enacted in place of the existing legislations, the syllabus would include the corresponding provisions of such new legislations with effect from a date notified by the Institute. Similarly, if any existing legislation ceases to have effect, the syllabus will accordingly exclude such legislation with effect from the date to be notified by the Institute.
- The specific inclusions/exclusions in the various topics covered in the syllabus will be effected every year by way of Study Guidelines, if required.
Paper 6E: Global Financial Reporting Standards
The objectives are:
- To develop an understanding of the key concepts and principles of International Financial Reporting Standards and to acquire the ability to apply such knowledge to make computations and address issues in practical case scenarios.
- To develop an understanding of the significant differences between IFRS and US GAAPs and apply the same in practical case scenarios.
Contents are as follows:
Fig (7): Global Financial Reporting Standards – CA Final Elective Papers Syllabus Overview
Paper 6F: Multi-disciplinary Case Study
This paper’s objective is to analyse “and integrate the concepts, principles and provisions of accounting, auditing, taxation, corporate laws, finance and business strategy and management to address issues in practical case scenarios.”
The paper includes case studies covering these areas:
Fig (8): Multi-disciplinary Case Study – CA Final Elective Papers Syllabus Overview
Nature of Open Book Exams and General Tips
We close the post by talking a little bit about open book exams and some general tips on how to crack them. As you know, these elective papers are all open book. And this might lead some students to think that the papers are “easy.”
Not so fast.
In fact, they can be much harder.
First, we need to know what open book exams are.
You can classify them into two broad categories:
- The take home exam
- Exams that place in one sitting
The take home exam is an exam that your instructor allows you to take home. You’ll get access to all available material. We won’t go into more details here. Because the type of exam you’ll be concerned with is the latter.
The exams that place in one sitting is the kind of exam that you’ll be concerned with here. The elective papers are of this type. You will be permitted to bring your own material to the exam hall and consult them for answering the questions in the exam. Such material may include study materials, practice manuals, revisionary test papers supplied by ICAI, text books, bare Acts, notes by students or any other reference material. You cannot bring any electronic devices that connect to the internet though (mobile phones and the like). Nor can you interact with your neighbours.
As for tips on how to pass the exam. One simple tip. Prepare for this exam as you would do for any other subject! Just because it is an open book exam, doesn’t mean you don’t have to study thoroughly. Questions will ask you to analyse, apply, evaluate and synthesise your knowledge to new situations. Basically, all level three questions!
We can give you more tips, of course. But that will make this post huuuuuuge! But these tips should be enough to help you get started.
Have any questions about this post? Want more tips on how to tackle this exam? Sign up for our CA Final video lectures today and all your doubts will be cleared.