Brief Overview of The Post
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has, as of July 2017, changed its entry level requirements into the Chartered Accountancy course.
The change was made with an aim to make the entry level somewhat difficult Chartered Accountancy Course as well as bringing the syllabus up to date with current business requirements.
You see, the old system of CA Foundation (erstwhile CPT) was entirely MCQ based. This allowed some students to guess their way to the next level. They would then find the next level very difficult and get stuck.
In this new system, such students would fall at the first hurdle. It’s not being mean to them. No. It would just toughen them up for the challenges ahead.
So, what’s in the new CA Foundation Exam? Especially the syllabus for the May 2019 exam. And how would the changes help students to strengthen their skills?
We will talk about all this in the post. The number of papers, the weightage of each topic, how each topic is assessed and everything about what’s in the paper.
We’ve divided the post into several sections for easy access. Let’s go!
All about the CA Foundation May 2019 Exam
What’s on this page?
The exam is officially known as the Chartered Accountants Foundation exam which is commonly called as CA Foundation.
The CA Foundation Exam is held over 4 days. There are 4 papers in the exam and each paper is held in a single day. It is held twice yearly. Once in May and the other in November.
The exam mode is offline. It is a combination of two different types: Descriptive (subjective) and Objective.
The medium of the exam is either in English or Hindi. You’ll have to indicate the medium of the exam at the time of registration. By the way, English is compulsory for Section B of Paper 2 (Business Correspondence) . We will talk more about that later and what each paper contains.
Note the following:
- If you choose Hindi as your medium, you must attempt all sections of each paper (except Section B of paper 2) in Hindi only.
- If you choose English as your medium, you must attempt all sections of each paper in English only.
- If you don’t attempt the paper in the language of your choice, your paper won’t be evaluated.
Not everyone can register and appear for the exam. You’ll need to fulfil some minimum criteria. Before we see what they are, you might want to take a look at this amusing video about the CA Foundation journey.
Now, let’s look at the eligibility requirements.
Eligibility Requirements and Registration
You’ll have to appear for The Secondary School Examination (10+2) or its recognised equivalent by the Central Government.
The Papers of the CA Foundation Exam: Overview Fig(1) CA Foundation May 2019 Exam Overview
As you can see from the table, Paper 1 and 2 are subjective, while Paper 3 and 4 are objective.
Note once again that it is compulsory for you to attempt Section B of Paper 2 in English only. You can attempt the rest of the sections of all papers in either English or Hindi. (See note above for clarifications.)
The Papers of the CA Foundation Exam: Skill Assessment
ICAI assess different types of skills in each content area. For the whole Chartered Accountancy course, there are three levels of skills: Level I, Level II and Level III. The understanding is that the skills specified in Level I are inherent in Level II. And so on which means, you cannot achieve Level II skills without having Level I skills first!
Here is the assessment specification grid (taken from the prospectus and adapted for the CA Foundation Exam.):
Fig( 2 ) CA Foundation May 2019 Exam Skill Assessment
For skill and level wise weightage for each subject in each paper, look at the table below:
Fig(3) CA Foundation May 2019 Exam: Skill and Level Wise Weightage
Now, let’s look at the syllabus of each paper.
Paper 1: Principles and Practice of Accounting (Syllabus; 100 Marks Total)
The first paper is the Principles and Practice of Accounting Paper. According to ICAI, the objective of this Paper is to test your “understanding on the basic concepts and principles of Accounting and acquire the ability to apply the same in preparing financial statements, computing accounting ratios and simple problem solving.”
You can answer this paper in both English or Hindi as we said before. Also, the duration of the paper is 3 hours. It is a subjective paper.
Here’s the syllabus for Principles and Practice of Accounting applicable for May 2019 exam:
Fig(4) Principles and Practice of Accounting – Syllabus for CA Foundation May 2019 exam overview
Paper 2: Business Laws & Business Correspondence and Recording (Syllabus; 100 Marks Total)
This paper is divided into two sections. Section A and Section B. The total duration of the paper is 3 hours.
It is subjective in nature. You can attempt section A of the paper in either English or Hindi. Section B must be attempted in English only.
Let’s look at the syllabus of each section contains and the objectives.
Paper 2: Section A – Business Laws (60 Marks)
The objective is to test your “understanding of significant provisions of select business laws and acquire the ability to address basic application-oriented issues.”.
Here is the syllabus for Business Laws applicable for May 2019 Exam:
Fig( 5 ) Business Laws – Syllabus for CA Foundation May 2019 exam overview
Note that if Parliament enacts new legislation in place of existing ones, the syllabus will be updated to include the corresponding provisions of these new legislation. It will be effective from the dates notified by the Institute.
Similarly, if any existing legislation ceases to have effect, the syllabus will be updated to reflect the change.
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 2: Section B – Business Correspondence and Reporting (40 Marks)
The objective of this section is to help you “develop good communication skills requisite for business correspondence and reporting.”
Here’s the structure of the syllabus for Business Correspondence and Reporting applicable for the May 2019 exam.
Fig( 6 ) Business Correspondence and Reporting – Syllabus for CA Foundation May 2019 exam overview
Now, let’s look at paper 3.
Paper 3: Business Mathematics, Logical Reasoning and Statistics (Syllabus; 100 Marks Total)
This is an objective paper based on MCQs. You can attempt the paper in either English or Hindi. It’s divided into three parts. The duration of the paper is 2 hours. The overall objective of the paper is to:
- Develop an understanding of basic mathematical and statistical tools as well as their application in business, finance and economics; and
- To develop logical reasoning skills and apply them in simple problem solving.
Paper 3: Part A – Business Mathematics (40 Marks)
Here are is the syllabus for Part A (Applicable for the May 2019 attempt).
Fig( 7 ) Business mathematics – Syllabus for CA Foundation May 2019 exam overview
Paper 3: Part B – Logical Reasoning (20 Marks)
In this part, you’ll need to know how to solve these reasoning exercises:
- Number series, coding/decoding and odd man out
- Direction tests
- Seating arrangements
- Blood relations
Paper 3: Part C – Statistics (40 Marks)
The syllabus structure for the May 2019 attempt is as follows:
Fig(8) Statistics – Syllabus for CA Foundation May 2019 exam overview
Paper 4: Business Economics & Business and Commercial Knowledge (Syllabus; 100 Marks)
This paper contains two parts. The duration is of 2 hours. It’s an objective type of paper (MCQ based). It’s available in either Hindi or English.
Paper 4: Part 1 – Business economics (60 Marks)
The objective of this part is to “develop an understanding of concepts and theories in business economics and apply such concepts and theories in simple problem solving.”
Here are the contents of the syllabus.
Fig( 9 ) Business Economics – Syllabus for CA Foundation May 2019 exam overview
Paper 4: Part II – Business and Commercial Knowledge (40 Marks)
The objective here is to “develop an understanding of common business and commercial concepts and to keep abreast with developments in the business and commercial world.” As such, you should read at least one financial newspaper and business magazine on a regular basis. You could also watch a business channel to remain updated about the latest developments related to the commercial world.
The syllabus is as follows.
Fig( 10 ) Business and commercial knowledge – Syllabus for CA Foundation May 2019 exam overview
As you can see the syllabus is quite extensive and covers a lot of ground. But you would have studied much of the syllabus in your PUC curriculum or from other readings. Concentrate on your weak points and brush up on your strong points. And if you feel a bit nervous about exams, don’t worry. You can read up here on how to overcome exam fear.
The passing requirements for the exam are as follows:
- Obtain at least 40% marks in each paper; and
- At least 50% marks in total.
That is, at least 40 in each paper, and a total of 200 when you add up all your marks obtained!
Go through the syllabus, pick out your weak topics, concentrate your study on them. That’s it. If you need help with anything or any topic, try out our CA Foundation video lectures. They’ll get your study up and running in no time at all.
Mock Exams for CA Foundation
If you are interested in as to how the papers of the CA Foundation look like, you can download some mock exam question papers. You can attempt Live Mock Exams for Paper 3 and Paper 4 if you wish!
Here are the links: