Sanjhi Agrawal, CA Topper: "Both experience, marks are important"
Urmila Rao, 18 Jun 2014

: New Delhi
Exam:Chartered Accountants Final
(new course exam) held in May 2010
Rank: First
Marks: 545/800
Total Percentage: 68.13

DELHI-based Sanjhi Agrawal, 22 is a BCom (Honours) gold medalist from Shri Ram College of Commerce. Currently an article (trainee) with global consultancy firm Ernst and Young in Gurgaon, Sanjhi shares that clearing the final exam didn’t mean a back-breaking study schedule for her. 

Having topped Professional Education-II (the second stage before the Finals), she was already clued into concepts.

Having a father for a CA, uncles and nephews in the same profession, the inclination towards this field was natural for Sanjhi, an alumnus of Mayo College Girls School, Ajmer.

Though her elder brother, Vaibhav an IIT Delhi student, chose to pursue management studies at IIM Indore, Sanjhi opted to follow in her father’s footsteps.

The support and encouragement of her doting mother Renu, was reassuring. “My mom used to drop me at my coaching centre at 6 a.m., located a good 23 km from our residence,” shares Sanjhi, who also topped her Class 10 and 12 board exams, earning an All-India second rank.

Her father Raj Kumar’s advice came in handy. “During Professional Education-II preparations, dad coached me in Audit, Law, and Accounts,” says Sanjhi. She cleared PE-I in 2006 without professional coaching.


Sanjhi’s strategies
Financial Reporting: Attended coaching classes of Parveen Sharma and studied the material provided by him.

Strategic Financial Management: Rreferred to the notes of Rajesh Makkar. (Bought it from Puja Law House, a bookshop at ITO, Delhi)

Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics:Referred to books of Vinod K Aggarwal. Also studied last 10 years’ papers.

Corporate and Allied Laws: Books by Munish Bhandari helped her understand the concepts better.

Advanced Management Accounting: Notes by Sanjay Aggarwal
Information System Control and Audit: The study material provided from the CA Institute was good enough.

Direct Tax Laws: Notes by Vinod Gupta, procured from Puja Law House
Indirect Tax Laws: Took coaching from Ajay Jain and also referred to material provided by him.


“The questions were much the same as in Class 10 and 10+2,” Sanjhi clarifies. It’s her final year of the 3-year articleship which gets over in next nine months, after which she will obtain a CA membership.

Preparing for success
Regular office timings preceded by thrice-in-a week professional coaching didn’t leave Sanjhi with much preparation time. She started with theory subjects on weekends giving three to four hours on an average before taking study leave in January. Once the timings were consolidated, Sanjhi went on to strategise her study plan.

She started with a broad monthly schedule, breaking it down to weekly allocation of timings per subject, on to per day preparation, slicing it downright to hourly basis. By February end, as per self-set itinerary, she had familiarised herself with all the eight subjects once. 

“Then came apportioning the days, for instance,12-13 days for Direct Taxation, 7-10 days for Law,” explains Sanjhi. The days on which she would finish her ‘per chapter- per hour’ scheduled topics earlier than the stipulated time, she would reward herself.

“She used the time to watch TV or catch up with friends,” her mom explains. And 7-8 hours sleep was never compromised on. An average of 12-hour of day study with regular breaks was pretty much the regular routine.   

Did coaching help?
While preparing for PE –II, Sanjhi joined a coaching class, run by Parveen Sharma and Ajay Jain, for two subjects, Accounts and Costing. And in the final year, it was Accounts and Indirect Taxes. The former is a core subject and the latter was a new area for her, she said.

With 500-600 students in one class, is coaching a big help? It provides guidance, motivates and orients students in a certain way, says Sanjhi who paid, ''10,000 as fee for three months of coaching. One reason why classes don’t help some students is because they are irregular, observes the ex-Mayo school captain and debating champion. Now, who can debate that?

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