In the Chartered Accountancy curriculum, we spend a major portion of our day attending classes. Do we get any time apart from our studies? Obviously, no. Now, how would we feel if, in this mind-cracking hustle, someone comes up to us and says, “Hey, do you prepare notes for theory subjects?” What would be our first reaction?

“Is this person talking for real?” “Notes for theory subjects?” “Really, mate?” “Practical-subjects are what we’re interested in, mate! We prepare no notes for theory subjects. We were filling up notebooks practising sums.” “You know, we ain’t no high school urchins, decorating notebooks with theory.” Now, the actual question that stacks the back of our mind is, “Do people really indulge themselves in something like that?” Well, yes. They do.

Naturally, the next thing that crops up to our mind is, “Where do they get so much time?” They don’t. Just a little application of some strategies and they’re good to go. We are going to discuss some strategies in this article to prepare notes of the theory subjects, separation of notebooks, indexing, practising and much more. You can also check the article to know how to score good marks in theory.

Check Out |  How to Score Good Marks in Theory

What strategies are we talking about to prepare notes of theory subjects?

We are talking about the following little strategies that can make a huge difference:

Separate notebooks for separate places

We don’t even make separate notebooks for theory subject tuitions, do we? And here I’m talking about making separate notebooks for separate places. What does it mean? It means that we might try making two separate notebooks – one for tuition classes and one for home. Now, we generally do the markings and take down the notes in the tuition material itself. So what is the purpose of making a separate notebook for tuition?

What are we supposed to write in them?

We write in them, stuffs like:

  • New things learned in the class
  • Important things that we want to remember for exams
  • Important points to remember (as suggested by the teacher)
  • Section numbers learned along with the date on which it has been taught to us
  • Standards on Auditing along with the date on which it has been taught to us
  • Topics to cover on the day before the exam (as suggested by the teacher)
  • Questions that might come in the exam (as suggested by the teacher)
  • A chronological index of topics covered
  • Doubts that crop up during the lecture
  • Doubts to be cleared with the teacher after the lecture

While attending classes, we think that these things are easy to remember and hence we don’t need to waste an entire notebook for it. But suppose, the teacher suggests 5 questions in each lecture and there are 100 lectures in total. Is it practically possible to remember all the 500 questions? No. Even if we note them down in the books itself, we would have to search for them during the revisions. But if we note them down in a notebook, we would see a separate question bank at the end of the whole session of lectures. We can just refer to them whenever we want. Just a proper usage of organisation and management can help us in the long-run.

Practising the lesson learnt

Now, fetching a decent score in theory subjects is no witchcraft. We don’t need to cast a spell-like Sabrina or boil potions like Professor Snape to get through this. All we need is “A gin-clear mind, self-induced sleep, and clear intent”, as Miss Wardwell said once.

Practising the lesson learnt means giving a thought to what we learnt in the class.

Suppose, the teacher taught us 3 sections from The Companies Act, 2013. Now, all we have to do is –

  • Read the textbook and try to recall what the teacher taught us. This way, we activate our mind.
  • Now we read it again to confirm that we completely understood it.
  • Now we read it once again to analyse the section and its relevance and the points we need to remember.
  • And now, we make a note of what we remember in our second notebook.
  • If we forget a point, we should note it down with a different colour ink so that we know our weak-spot, the next time we revise from our notebook.
  • Noting down our mistake or forgotten piece is very important. The next time we revise, the distinct colour will remind us not to forget that point.

We all think that this must take the whole night. But that’s not true. Even with the slowest speed, it will not take us anything more than 1 hour. We will see that 1 hour a day invested in theory subject won’t go in vain. It WILL help us in the long-run. This seeming wastage of time is actually an unknown investment of time.

Distinct Division of Notebook for Notes

A proper organizational skill is a key to the doors of success. We need to organise our notebook for notes as per our convenience along with making it strategically easy to understand during the time of revision. Organization and division are important to the extent we cannot even imagine.

Here are a few examples of how we might practice the skill of organization and division:

  • We might arrange our notes in a chronological order
  • Or, we might divide them like separate space for Section Numbers, separate space for Case Studies, a separate section for definitions and differences, etc.
  • Also, we might divide the notebook into 3 parts. One would be what we understood from the lecture, one would be the extra points we discover from the ICAI’s Study Material, one would be the questions for written practice (YES! Theory Questions for Written Practice) from Practice Manual, etc.

Thus, we see there are a lot of ways we can use division. But, in the end, it’s solely up to us what method we choose that suits us. The basic purpose is to hold a similar chunk of information at one place so that it can be dug out easily, whenever needed.

Selection of Colourful Ink

Why colourful ink? Seriously Karen, could it be more girlish!? Well, see it for yourself. When we use colourful ink, it helps us as a memory technique. Therapists prescribe their patients (who have a hard time recalling things), colourful gums. It has been proven quite effective. The purpose of colour is to set a visual image in our mind. Suppose, we use Red ink for Section Numbers, Yellow ink for Case Studies, Green ink for Fines and Penalties, and so on an so forth. Now, I am not saying that it will help us recall 100% of the study syllabus. But, it accelerates our learning and improves brain activity. It does help in the examination hall to recall a lot of information that might have been lost deep down in our last two brain cells.

Creation of Keys or Codes While Prepare Notes for Theory Subjects

What are Keys or Codes?

Keys or Codes are generally used by those who maintain a journal or a diary. It is a form of a symbol. Suppose, we write a long answer and use the letters FC and VC. In the end, we mention that FC denotes Fixed Cost and VC denotes Variable Cost. So, there it is. That is exactly what we call a key. It is generally used when there is a lot to write and usage of short-forms or symbols seem feasible.

Give us a “for instance” for notes

While preparing notes, we can use keys or codes. For instance, we can doodle a small book whenever we are writing about a case study or we might make ₹ or $ near Fines and Penalties and mention the key at the beginning of the end of the notebook.

Application of Bookmarks

There a huge variety of sticky bookmarks available in the market. We might use Blue bookmarks to mark the beginning of the Definitions section in the notebook. We might use Green bookmarks to mark the beginning of the Differences section in the notebook, and so on. When we use bookmarks, it makes our notes appear easy to locate. This saves time. This prevents the attack of anxiety while looking for that particular Auditing Standard 15 minutes before the examination.

Usage of Visual Effects

We’re not talking about Avengers visual effects here. We’re talking about using as many tables, charts, graphs, as possible. Ultimately, these are the tools that help us land near the marks we desire to score. This aid in memorizing and recalling answers while sitting in the exam hall.

Importance of Index

Why is Index so important? There will be a moment when we’re standing outside our examination centre in the scorching heat. Our “so-called” friend will continuously nag us, “Hey, did you study this? Did you study that?” and we will have our own list of last-moment revision. At that moment, we can’t use Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak to get rid of those people. We can’t even call forth Freya’s excellent magic potion. We’re on our own and hence, the manually prepared index is going to save us.

Security of Notes

“What, now we need to get our notes insured?” No, Susan! Hear me out. We do not discuss these issues ever. NOTES GET STOLEN. Yes. That is true. That is an inevitable truth and yet, we somehow miss it out. Not this time, though. We need to prepare for the worst. Speaking from personal experiences, there is a huge possibility that our notes might get stolen. What can we do? We can start by making a copy of our notes. Then, remember to take it back from the person who borrowed it. A lot of times, we forget or are too shy to ask it back. If we don’t care enough, the other person is obvious to take advantage. So, “Saavdhaan rahein, satark rahein!”

Now, as exhausting as it sounds right now, once we get into the notes-preparing process, there’s no going back because of how oddly satisfying it is. But a gentle reminder is set to warn us that we do not forget the Practical Subjects. They are important. No question of less or more quantum of importance.

Thus, all we need is a Strategy that might help us beat even “Sharma Ji ka ladka”. Alternatively, “Sharma Ji ka ladka” might use correct strategies and keep up his long-living family name. It goes both the ways. It’s up to us where we decide to make the chip fall.