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In our previous post, I briefed you about who, why and how to be a chartered accountant in Indian context. Continuing the how part, I'll be detailing few things about the Indian chartered accountancy course in this post.

Indian Chartered Accountancy course is one of the best professional course in India. It is very well designed and considered to be a complex course by many. In fact, this course has undergone many changes in past six decades and still is in the process of refinement. A separate body called Board of Studies has been formed for designing and distributing study materials and practice manuals along with other materials for the reference of students.

Previously, 5 years course consisting of PE-I, PE-II and Final has now been re-structured as CPT, IPC and Final and the total duration of course is now reduced to 4.5 years. Below is an overview of these levels and their duration.

Level Duration Passing criteria
Common Proficiency Test 6 months Minimum 30% in each subject and 50% in aggregate
Integrated Professional Competence (Intermediate) 9 months Minimum 40% in each subject and 50% in aggregate
CA Final 3 years 3years of Articleship training + Minimum 40% in each subject and 50% in aggregate

Common Profeciency Test (CPT)

Common Proficiency Test is an objective type examination of 200 questions with 1 mark each. It has four subjects for study. There is negative marking of 25% for wrong answers. Blank answers fetch zero marks and correct answers fetch one mark.

A student who has passed class 10th examination may register with the Board of Studies of ICAI. Student must register for CPT at least 60 days prior to the examination. The student can however appear for the CPT examination only after appearing for 10+2 examination.

The examination are generally conducted in second sunday of June and December each year across India, in Kathmandu (Nepal) and Dubai. One needs to score 30% on each subject and 50% of total marks to pass the examination.

NOTE: Student who is Graduate or Post Graduate from Commerce stream having secured at least 55% marks in aggregate with specified subjects is exempted from appearing in CPT. Similar exemption is given to Non Commerce Graduates if they have at least 60% of total marks. Further, Students who have passed Intermediate examination conducted by Institute of Cost Accountants of India or Institute of Company Secretaries of India are also exempted from appearing in CPT.

These categories of students can directly enroll them for Intermediate (IPC) examination under Direct Entry Scheme and can appear in the exams after undergoing nine months of practical training. However, students who have passed examination conducted by Institute of Cost accountants of India and Institute of Company Secretaries of India can appear in the  IPC examination provided they have registered with ICAI at least eight months before the examination.

Intermediate (Integrated Professional Competence)

The Intermediate (Integrated Professional Competence) Course comprises of eight subjects divided in two groups. Group I comprises of four Subjects and Group II of four subjects. Desired level of knowledge is Working Knowledge. The total marks of examination is 750, 400 for Group I and 300 for Group II.

One needs to clear at least Group I of IPC to move to the next level of the course. Further, he/she needs to undergo 35 hours orientation programme and 100 hours Information Technology Training after he is registered for Intermediate but, before he/she can join practical training under a Chartered Accountant.

CA Final

CA Final consists of two parts viz. 3 years of Practical Training and passing of CA Final examination. 

Practical Training
Three years of practical training (aka Articleship Training) is required to be a qualified Chartered Accountant. During this period one needs to work for a duration of 3 years under a practicing Chartered Accountant or a firm of Chartered Accountant. Also, one needs to undergo two General Management and Communication Skills (GMCS) course during the 3 years period of articleship viz. one during the first and another during the last year of articleship training.

CA Final
Along with practical training, one needs to prepare for CA final examination that consists of eight subjects divided in two Groups; Four subjects in each group. Total marks for Final examination is 800 and one needs to secure 40% in each subject and 50% of total marks in order to pass the exam.

One is eligible to write CA Final examination after clearing both the groups of IPC and completing 2.5 years of practical training.

Once you have cleared both the Groups of CA Final Examination along with the practical training requirement and GMCS courses, you'll be a qualified Chartered Accountant. 

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