Effect of multiple attempts in CA Exam
August 08,2022

Should I be concerned about multiple attempts in CA exams?

When it comes to competitive exams, many a time they may not allow you to take multiple attempts and may have a restriction on the number of attempts. In CA there are no limits to the number of attempts a student is allowed to take. We are all very well aware of the fact that CA is a challenging examination and requires rigorous preparation and coaching. With that being said

Do the number of attempts in the CA exam really matter?

It is very difficult to answer this question with a simple “Yes” or a “No”. There are a couple of factors that you have to take into consideration before we finalise on conclusion. The number of attempts comes into play, depending on where you wish to work. So it really comes down to the aspirations and goals that a student has. So ultimately the topic of discussion is not just the pros and cons of clearing the exams in a simple attempt. Clearing the exams in the least number of attempts is what any student aims at. But what really matters is if the number of attempts taken will negatively impact a student's career or not. 

What is the ideal number of attempts needed to clear the CA exams?

Again there is no definite number of attempts when it comes to clearing your CA exam. It completely depends on the eligibility criteria set by the organization you are trying to get into after you have cleared the CA exam. If you are looking to get a placement in any of the big 4 CA firms, i.e. Deloitte, Ernst& Young, KMPG or PwC, then their criteria for recruitment is going to be far more complex for candidates when compared to other firms even if they are MNCs. This is because their operations are widespread across many firms, they will be looking to pick only the best of the best when it comes to Chartered Accountants. So, in this case, taking more than a single attempt to pass the CA exam will be detrimental to your chances of getting placed in such reputed organizations. 

But there are many other well-reputed organizations that need an accountant. So the opportunities for you to get a job are never going to be limited. Again if your ultimate goal is to start your own firm then the number of attempts is not going to come into play. So you then clearing the exam in a single attempt will be your personal goal. 

Some hard facts about clearing the CA exams

So when it comes down to the bottom line here are some things you need to keep in mind. If you have gone to any job portal sites, you would have seen the requirements needed by most companies. Some organisations very directly will mention the number of attempts that is acceptable.

Taking a long time to clear the papers will affect you in two ways:

  • Personal Toll
  • Professional Prospects

When it comes to a personal matter, the number of attempts is clearly very important. Why? Because time is one commodity that you do need to invest in when you are preparing for the CA exams. The more attempts you make, the more amount of both time and money you will need to invest. Each attempt will cost you money- not just with evident registration charges but also the money you will invest in coaching and resources. Attempting the same exams, again and again, is also going to take a toll on your confidence levels as well.

With regards to the career prospects, there are many companies that are particular about the number of attempts. This is because they use this as a barometer to judge the student's ability and intelligence. They could also judge if a student has the passion and seriousness needed for his career. According to statistics clearing papers becomes more of an issue when you reach the CA final exams when compared to CA Intermediate or the CA foundation level papers. The good news is that you can see the job requirements of your dream company posted on job portals. So you can always check the criteria before applying. So, if we choose to look at this scenario constructively we can see that the number of students choosing the course and have cleared the course successfully has increased dramatically over a period of time. The number of students who have cleared the exam in the first attempt has also increased by a good number.

Here is a rough number of how important it is to clear your CA exam in the first attempt.

Jobs in Corporate: Generally the number of attempts does matter

Jobs in CA firms: Final attempts do matter but having a good experience is more important

Establish a CA firm/ Join Family firm: The number of attempts does not matter


Will I not get a good job because of too many attempts for my CA exam?

It is almost impossible that you do not end up getting any good jobs if you are a qualified CA despite the number of attempts. Every organization no matter how big or small needs a CA to deal with its accounts. As mentioned earlier getting a cleared with the least number of attempts should always be your primary goal. If you have taken more than 2 attempts you may not land your dream job right away but you will eventually get there. Hang in there. 

The key to doing well is to make sure you have sound knowledge of key subjects. You should be able to demonstrate to the employer that you have got that extra edge that forces the employer to hire you over others. You need to keep yourself updated with the latest international developments and practices in order to stay in the race.

The first attempt only matters when landing your first job. Post that the employer will be more focused on your experience and what you bring to the table. You should be able to highlight what kind of skills you have acquired during your tenure with the firm and lay more emphasis on the kind of performance you have showcased in your workplace. 

If you wish to start practice 

As mentioned earlier it doesn't really matter the number of attempts you have taken if your ultimate goal is to start your own firm or join your family firm. What is of more priority when you establish a business are your networking skills, decision-making ability, leadership skills and communication skills. These will help take you a long way when you are investing in yourself and setting up a practice. Once you have decided that your long term objective is to start your business then invest this time to build the right network of clients and win their confidence. So that this time to clear the exams and acquire knowledge with this in mind. 



When it comes to clearing your CA exams in the first attempt, apart from the first job you land it doesn't play a lot in the long run. Experience is the key factor in this case. Many a time this who have taken 2 to 3 attempts to clear their papers end up being in a better position than those who have cleared in their first attempt. This is because career growth is solely dependent on your performance and dedication to work. Your position and remuneration will increase when you become a key asset to the organization. 

Over time the number of attempts you have taken will not play a significant role. Your knowledge of the subject matter, as well as the knowledge you have gained at work, will be of more importance. It will ultimately overweight the importance given to the “number of attempts” criteria. So put your best foot forward, work smart, work hard and achieve your goals even if you may have to take a new path to reach your objective. 


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