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The Company Secretaryship course hosted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has 3 levels viz., the Foundation level, the Executive and the Professional level. Those with an undergraduate degree in any stream (except Fine-Arts) can skip the CS-Foundation and directly register for the CS-Executive. A candidate on completing the Professional level of the exam becomes a Company Secretary and is acknowledged by the ICSI. Through this article, we intend to discuss the following important points:

  • Being aware of the exam structure, new syllabus from March 2018, question paper pattern, etc.
  • Planning a schedule to complete the syllabus on time and being prepared for the exam.
  • Study materials, tips, and strategies for scoring maximum and gaining an extra edge over your competitors.

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The CS Exam – Structure, Syllabus, and Pattern

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Now, let us take a look at the structure of the CS-Executive exam with reference to its syllabus, examination pattern and latest updates, which would help candidates aspiring to attempt the exam in the month of Dec 2020.

ICSI had the executive level consists of basically 2 modules with 4 papers in each module. The subjects are as follows:

CS Executive New Syllabus Subjects Programme [8papers] ( New Syllabus – w.e.f. 1st Mar 2018 )
Module I
(4papers)
1. JURISPRUDENCE, INTERPRETATION & GENERAL LAWS
2. COMPANY LAW
3. SETTING UP OF BUSINESS ENTITIES AND CLOSURE
4. TAX LAWS
Module II
(4 papers)
   
5. CORPORATE & MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING
6.SECURITIES LAWS & CAPITAL MARKETS
7.ECONOMIC, BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL LAWS
8. FINANCIAL AND STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT

The examination is conducted twice a year, in the month of June and in December. The candidate may choose to attempt both modules in one go or each module in one period, and has to register for the same within the stipulated deadline. It is very important that the candidate chose this wisely because accordingly, they have to plan their preparation.

The candidate may refer to the following link to refer to the Exam timetable for 2020 exams:

CS Examination Time Table

The last dates for registration are:

  • 25th March (with late fee of ₹ 250/- till 9th April) for Dec Examination
  • 25th September (with late fee of ₹ 250/- till 10th October) for December Examination

The Examination Fee is ₹ 1,200/- per module for the Executive level.

Paper pattern: Descriptive type

Marks for qualifying: A candidate is declared to have passed the Foundation or Executive or Professional examination if they secure at one sitting a minimum of 40% marks in each paper and 50% marks in the aggregate of all subjects.

Detailed syllabus:

New Syllabus for Executive Programme

The CS Executive Study Plan :

The study plan or schedule is a must before beginning the preparation for the CS exams. It guides you on the right path and helps you maintain your focus on the preparation. The study plan suggested in this article might not suit all candidates, taking into consideration the varying caliber and time available for the preparation. But given the benefits of modern technology and thereby access to the abundant online resources, this shouldn’t be a worrying problem. Now, let us get into a plan based on the requirements for every subject and then integrate them into a consolidated plan.

The following points give an idea for designing a study plan and going about the preparation.

  • Your study plan must include a few hours of self-study, i.e., reading the syllabus books provided by ICSI, few hours for watching online video lectures or attending classroom coaching, every day.
  • Rather than trying to complete the syllabus of one whole paper and then moving on to the other, it is advised by experts that you incorporate more than 1 subject per day, at least 2. This also ensures that you don’t lose interest.
  • If you are a full-time aspirant, allocate your most productive hours for reading the books, as it would be the best time to utilize your quick-grasping ability.
  • If you have other tasks to do and possess only less than half a day for your CS preparation, it is advisable that you make the best use of online video lectures. Read the relevant subject books and watch the video lecture series or other online materials of the same topic on alternate days.
  • Revision is the key to success. Always plan to complete your syllabus well in advance and allocate enough time for revision in your study-plan.
  • Make sure that you find time to stay updated with the current affairs and read the ICSI student e-bulletin and monthly capsules since they can be added to your answers as well.

CS Executive Study plan for December-2020 Exam – Module 1: 

Module-1 consists of 4 subjects.

Paper-1: Jurisprudence, Interpretation and General Laws

Paper-2: Company Law

Paper-3: Setting up of Business Entities and Closure

Paper-4: Tax Laws

Incorporating all the above points for preparation, given below is a 60-day plan of study to complete the syllabus for the Executive First Module.

CS Executive Study Plan

DAYPAPERTOPICS
1Paper 1 + Paper 21) Sources of Law
2) Introduction to Company Law
2Paper 3 + Paper 41) Choice of Business Organization
2) Direct Taxes at a Glance
3Paper 1 + Paper 21) Constitution of India
2) Meaning and types of Capital; Concept of issue and allotment; Issue of Share certificates; Further Issue of Share Capital; Issue of shares on Private and Preferential basis; Rights issue and Bonus Shares; Sweat Equity Shares and ESOPs; Issue and Redemption of preference shares
4Paper 3 + Paper 41) Company
2) Basic concepts of Income Tax
5REVISIONRevision of Week-1
6REVISIONRevision of Week-1
7Paper 1 + Paper 21) Interpretation of Statutes
2) Transfer and Transmission of securities; Buyback of securities; dematerialization and re-materialization of shares; Reduction of Share Capital.
8Paper 3 + Paper 41) Charter documents of Companies
2) Incomes which do not form part of Total Income: Computation of Income under Various Heads
9Paper 1 + Paper 21) General Clauses Act, 1897
2) Members and Shareholders
10Paper 3 + Paper 41) Legal status of Registered Companies
2) Clubbing provisions and Set Off and / or Carry Forward of Losses
11REVISIONRevision of Week-2
12REVISIONRevision of Week-2
13Paper 1 + Paper 21) Administrative Laws
2) Debt Instruments
14Paper 3 + Paper 41) Limited Liability Partnership
2) Deductions from Gross Total Income & Rebate and Relief
15Paper 1 + Paper 21) Law of Torts
2) Charges
16Paper 3 + Paper 41) Other forms of business organizations
2) Computation of Total Income and Tax Liability of various entities
17REVISIONRevision of Week-3
18REVISIONRevision of Week-3
19Paper 1 + Paper 21) Limitation Act, 1963
2) Distribution of Profits
20Paper 3 + Paper 41) Institutions Not For Profit &NGOs
2) Classification and Tax Incidence on Companies
21Paper 1 + Paper 21) Civil Procedure Code, 1908
2) Corporate Social Responsibility
22Paper 3 + Paper 41) Financial Services Organization
2) Procedural Compliance
23REVISIONRevision of Week-4
24REVISIONRevision of Week-4
25REVISIONRevision of Week-1
26REVISIONRevision of Week-2
27REVISIONRevision of Week-3
28REVISIONRevision of Week-4
29Paper 1 + Paper 21) Indian Penal Code, 1860
2) Accounts, Audit and Auditors
30Paper 3 + Paper 41) Start-ups
2) Assessment, Appeals &Revision
31Paper 1 + Paper 21) Criminal Procedure Code, 1973
2) Transparency and Disclosures
32Paper 3 + Paper 41) Joint Ventures; Special Purpose Vehicles
2) Case studies
33REVISIONRevision of Week-5
34REVISIONRevision of Week-5
35Paper 1 + Paper 21) Indian Evidence Act, 1872
2) An overview of Inter-Corporate Loans, Investments, Guarantees and Security, Related Party Transactions
36Paper 3 + Paper 41) Setting up of Business outside India
2) Concept of Indirect Taxes at a glance
37Paper 1 + Paper 21) Special Courts, Tribunals under Companies Act & Other Legislations
2) Registers and Records
38Paper 3 + Paper 41) Conversion of existing business entity
2) Basics of Goods and Services Tax ‘GST
39REVISIONRevision of Week-6
40REVISIONRevision of Week-6
41Paper 1 + Paper 21) Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
2) An overview of Corporate Reorganization
42Paper 3 + Paper 41) Various Initial Registrations and Licenses:  Mandatory Registration – PAN; TAN; GST Registration; Shops & Establishments; SSI/MSME; Additional Registration/License – ESI/PF; FCRA; Pollution; Other registration as per requirement of sector; IE Code; Drug License; FSSAI; Trademark; Copyright; Patent; Design
2) Concept of Time, Value & Place of Taxable Supply
43Paper 1 + Paper 21) Indian Stamp Act, 1899
2) Introduction to MCA 21 and filing in XBRL; Global Trends and Developments in Company Law
44Paper 3 + Paper 41) Various Initial Registrations and Licenses: RBI; Banking; IRDA; Telecom; I & B; MSME Registration; UdyogAadhar Memorandum; Industrial License, Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum (IEM); State Level Approval from the
respective State Industrial Department.
2) Input Tax Credit & Computation of GST Liability- Overview
45REVISIONRevision of Week-7
46REVISIONRevision of Week-7
47Paper 1 + Paper 21) Registration Act, 1908
2) Part II- Board Constitution and its Powers
48Paper 3 + Paper 41) Maintenance of Registers and Records
2) Procedural Compliance under GST
49Paper 1 + Paper 21) Right to Information Act, 2005
2) Directors
50Paper 3 + Paper 41) Identifying laws applicable to various Industries and their initial compliances
2) Basic overview on Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST), Union Territory Goods and Service tax (UTGST), and GST Compensation to States.
51REVISIONRevision of Week-8
52REVISIONRevision of Week-8
53Paper 1 + Paper 21) Information Technology Act, 2000
2) Key Managerial Personnel (KMP’s) and their Remuneration
54Paper 3 + Paper 41) Intellectual Property laws (Provisions applicable for setting up of business)
2) Overview of Customs Act
55Paper 21) General Meetings; . Virtual Meetings
2) Meetings of Board and its Committees
56Paper 31) Compliances under Labour Laws (Provisions applicable for setting up of business)
2) Compliances relating to Environmental laws (Provisions applicable for setting up of business)
57REVISIONRevision of Week-9
58Paper 2  + Paper 31) Legal framework governing Company Secretaries:
2) Dormant Company
59Paper 2  + Paper 31) Secretarial Standards Board; Mega Firms
2) Strike off and restoration of name of the company and LLP; Insolvency Resolution process; Liquidation and Winding-up: An overview
60REVISIONRevision of Week-10

On completing the syllabus for module 1, a similar weekly-monthly study plan can be made for Module-2 as well, which is not elaborated here.

Module-2 also consists of 4 subjects.

Paper-5: Corporate & Management Accounting

Paper-6: Securities Laws & Capital Markets

Paper-7: Economic, Business and Commercial Laws

Paper-8: Financial and Strategic Management

CS Executive time table (daily) for full-time preparation:

The candidate may prepare a daily-routine time table for their preparation and must ensure that it is quite flexible enough to be followed practically.

TimeActivity
6.00 am to 7.00 amRead the newspaper/current affairs/ info-capsules
7.00 am to 8.00 amRead the relevant topics for Paper 1 / Paper 5 (pertaining to the module)
9.00 am to 12.00 pmRead the relevant topics for Paper 1 / Paper 5 (pertaining to the module)
12.00 pm to 1.00 pmSummarise and revise your notes until then
2.30 pm to 5.00 pmRead the relevant topics for Paper 2 / Paper 6 (pertaining to the module)
5.30 pm to 8.00 pmWatch video lectures of the same topics covered during the day
8.30 pm to 10.00 pmRefer previous year questions and practise answer writing

On the alternative days, instead of Paper 1 (or 5), the student must follow Paper 3 (or7) and instead of Paper 2 (or 6), they must follow Paper 4 (or 8).

Study materials, tips and strategies for success: 

CA CS CMA Free Lectures

The study materials provided by the ICSI are well authored, easy-to-understand books that are sufficient to write answers, provided that you aid your preparation with some guidance or online coaching lectures. This helps in quicker and faster preparation.

Apart from making the best study-plan and strategy, the key to success lies in sticking to the schedule. Also, it is important to incorporate certain good habits in the routine such as physical exercise, reduced social media usage, eating healthy food, etc. Moreover, nothing worth achieving ever comes without hard work and determination.

All the best!!

CS Executive Syllabus with Subject wise details – June 2020

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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Also Read:

CS Executive Important Topics

Download CS Executive Previous Year Question Papers

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FAQs regarding CS Executive Study Plan

What are the subjects in CS Executive Module 1?

The subjects in CS Executive Module 1 are:
Paper-1: Jurisprudence, Interpretation and General Laws
Paper-2: Company Law
Paper-3: Setting up of Business Entities and Closure
Paper-4: Tax Laws

What are the subjects in CS Executive Module 2?

The subjects in CS Executive Module 2 are:
Paper-5: Corporate & Management Accounting
Paper-6: Securities Laws & Capital Markets
Paper-7: Economic, Business and Commercial Laws
Paper-8: Financial and Strategic Management

How to clear CS Executive in first attempt?

There are 3 main components of clearing the CS Executive exams in the first attempt:
1) First time preparation
2) Revising and practicing the concepts
3) Strategizing to take the exam in a way that maximizes your score
Here’s a comprehensive guide to clearing CS Executive in the first attempt.

I’m a working professional so I don’t have time for regular coaching classes. How can I prepare for CS Executive?

For working professionals, it is advisable to enrol for online classes. Better yet, you should enrol for online classes which have a mobile app so you can study while travelling to and from work. This also gives you the flexibility to study anytime, anywhere even during breaks at your work.

Where can I get CS Executive previous year question papers?

You can get the complete compilation of CS Executive previous year question papers here.