Company Secretary course is a prestigious, as well as a value-added, professional course for students belonging to any stream. A company secretary is a person mainly in charge of legal and statutory compliance not only for private but also for public sector companies. CS is a bridge between corporations and government bodies. Under the Companies Act, 2013 a company secretary has been recognized as a “key managerial personnel” along with several others. In the time to come, the course is set to reach further heights, keeping in mind the dynamic business environment in India. Hence, we are here providing you all the details and important tips to clear the CS Executive Exam.
To regulate and administer this course, the government has established under the Company Secretaries Act 1980, a national professional body ICSI (Institute of Company Secretaries of India). ICSI is given the responsibility of framing the rules and policies for the effective management of the profession. Consequently, ICSI provides course materials to students and conducts induction programmes for students as well as nurturing and developing their soft skills. In addition to the bookish knowledge, personality development classes are also given.
Stages To Become a Company Secretary:
The CS curriculum is divided into three levels. To qualify for the next one, one has to complete the previous level. The three levels of CS course are:
- Foundation Programme: Duration 8 months
- Executive Programme: Duration 9 months
- Professional Programme: Duration 15 months
So basically it is a three-year course, and the degree is a professional one, comparatively better than an undergraduate degree. This course can also be pursued after completing an undergraduate course. In such a case, one would not have to sit for the foundation programme. Clearing the Executive as well as a Professional programme would suffice in such a case.
CS Executive Programme- THE WINNING APPROACH
In this article, we will be analyzing the modalities which will help a potential CS aspirant clear their executive exams in the first attempt.
It is crucial to focus on both the psychological and theoretical aspects before appearing for the examination. One needs to be willing to pass in the first attempt itself. There will be distractions during the preparatory process, but if one stays true to themselves and this wonderful course, nobody can deny them from reaping rich rewards. It is pertinent to discard any self-sabotaging beliefs lurking at the back of one’s mind.
Talking about the practical aspect of things, one needs to apply their effort and intelligence and dedicate their time whole heartedly for the preparation of the exam. Firstly it is necessary to let go of the notion that one needs to drown themselves with books twenty-four seven. Proper time management is the key to cracking any professional course. Having mastered this, one would not need to compromise on their personal social development.
Broad Framework of the CS Executive Stage (OLD and NEW Syllabus) :
Currently, the exams for the Executive programme is being conducted under the Old Syllabus (2012) and the New Syllabus (2017). The old syllabus has seven papers that are to be cleared in order to pass the Executive stage and the new syllabus has eight papers. Under both formats, there are three papers that are conducted in a multiple-choice question format carrying negative marking. The rest of the papers are conducted in a subjective manner.
Preparation Strategy for CS Executive Exam
a) For MCQ based Papers:
In order to clear any professional examination, the conceptual clarity of the topics is crucial. To clear MCQ based papers, mugging up will never be an option. The study material provided by the institute is the most important reading necessary while preparing for the course. These materials should be prioritized before the readings provided by other classes taken by the students. It is necessary to solve the related MCQs after completing a chapter or a topic for the MCQ based paper. That will help boost one’s confidence for the topics covered. You should also possess the past term question papers so that you know exactly which core areas to focus and which to go lightly on.
b) For Subjective Papers
The syllabus is vast but easily manageable if prepared in a correct and smart way. There will be subjects which one will feel to be their strength and some will be their weakness. The plan is to play to one’s strength and prepare in such a manner that their weakness becomes their area of forte. Company Law, Securities Law, and Economic laws are going to be a kind of bread and butter for the CS Profession when you get practical exposure.
So make sure you put in the required efforts to grasp the technicalities and discussions covered in the study material. Again, the previous term question papers will help you a lot. It is advisable to purchase the scanner for the subjects you feel the need to. They also help prepare for the exams. There is no point mugging up as it is impossible to mug up the entire syllabus. The topics that you understand will automatically be imbibed in you and you won’t be required to mug them up. In addition to these, you must also be aware of the recent amendments and notifications as applicable for your exam term.
Revision and Self Study:
To clear both the groups in your first attempt itself, one needs to give themselves enough time to self-study. Self-study must be done regularly during the preparation phase which implies throughout the year. For revision, one needs to give themselves at least one and a half to two months prior to the examination. During this phase, avoid learning anything new which you hadn’t done during the past months. This is the time, to sum up, and learn what you have prepared for during your preparatory phase. Try as much as you can to stay focused on studies only and during this period please avoid any sort of distraction as they might cost you another 6 months and trust me the opportunity cost of 6 months in unimaginable.
So be true to yourself. For those who want to sit for both the groups, you will not be getting any day off between your exams. So make sure your preparation is likewise. You need to constantly revise until your preparation time per subject reaches its minimum. Only that way, will one be able to sum up everything the day before the exams. It is advisable not to skip any part and the syllabus is entirely covered.
Attempting The Paper:
For MCQ papers, read and analyze every question carefully at least twice before marking the correct option. For subjective papers, make sure you write to the point and correct answer. THE LENGTH OF YOUR ANSWER DOES NOT MATTER. Make sure you maintain your quality throughout and attempt the complete 100 marks. It is further advisable to appropriately quote relevant section numbers as and when required. The number of hours devoted to the preparation of examinations every day is immaterial. All that matters is how well one has understood the topics studied. That would boost your chances of cracking and even emerge as an All India rank holder.
I would take this moment to share my favorite quotation to all: Winners never quit and quitters never win.
You can watch a few demo lectures by SuperProfs for CS and see if you would want to consider subscribing to our video series for a better shot at clearing the CS examination.
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