Company Secretary course is one of the prestigious, as well as a value-added, professional course in corporate and compliance management for students from any stream. A company Secretary takes care of legal and statutory compliance for all types of companies including private, public and government companies. Company Secretary is the connecting link between corporations and government bodies. Companies Act, 2013 have different specific sections recognising Company Secretary as a Key Managerial Personnel and made the appointment compulsory for particular types of companies registered under the Act. In the case of listed companies, SEBI regulations stipulates that a qualified company secretary to be appointed in a company which have a paid up capital of Rupees 10 crore or more. There are ample opportunities for a company secretary to practice as well as teaching is another opportunity.
Institute of Company Secretaries of India is a national professional body established under Company Secretaries Act 1980, an act of parliament. To regulate and administer this course and the profession, the government has established ICSI , and is given with the responsibility of framing the rules and policies for the effective management. The Institute decides the curriculum for the course after consulting with different authorities, industry experts, global consultants, industry expectations and also considering the latest developments in the corporate world. The institute also provides for continuous educations and development programmes for the qualified professionals along with different short duration certification programmes as per the changing corporate requirements as well as upgrading the expertise.
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:
- CS executive entrance test (CSEET) : Four times a year.
- Executive Programme: Two exams a year
- Professional Programme: Two exams a year
- 2+21+2 months compulsory training for all students after completing executive programme.
The course can be started just after doing plus two examinations and no requirement to be a graduate.
CS Executive Programme- clear in first attempt
The common perception in the market is that CS course is tough and difficult to crack. The pass percentage of the course years are around 5% nationally and most of the students take more than three attempts to clear it. When we compare the executive level with professional based on difficulty of the course, executive is difficult.
Is it possible to clear in one attempt?
Cracking the course in first attempt is not impossible but the way of thinking make big difference. It is very crucial to focus on both on the psychological and theoretical aspects of the course before pursuing the course. The student need to be focussed in pass the examination in one attempt. There will be many distracting elements during the preparation time. The need of strong will power and self belief will be the important elements for clearing the course, which will giving fantastic rewards. One should be really focussed and should not give ear to any negative thoughts or talks. It is proven that the success comes from hard work and not from fear of losing. Do not believe in any market rumours, believe in your dream and focus on it, so, nobody can deny you the fruits of the course.
When you start your study, it need to be planned properly. One should keep in mind that this is one of the premier professional course, and not just another graduation. So the seriousness about the course is very important. Most of the students will have a readymade mindset that, as this is such a big course, they need to devote full time for the study. Of course they have to but, it does not mean that you should be between the books all the time, but you should have a proper time management. This is the key of success, it doesn’t matter how much time you studied, but it surely matter how effectively you studied. So no need to drop all your personal and social freedom for the course.
How to prepare for the executive stage?
This is one of the important and relatively tough stage in the entire syllabus comprising 8 papers in two modules. First module have three papers subjective and one paper which will have multiple choice questions. Multiple choice questions will carry negative mark for wrong answers.
The preparation strategy for each paper should be subject specific. The most important thing what a student need to keep in mind while preparing is the profile of a company secretary is more or less intellectual so the conceptual understanding and practical application is very important. Even in accountancy or tax papers the focus should be more on understanding the procedures and compliance aspects.
As mentioned earlier the papers are divided into two types MCQ papers and subjective papers. So let us discuss the strategy for these two types differently as it should be different.
- For MCQ based Papers:
Multiple choice question papers are usually accepted by students with lot of joy. Most of them feel that it will be very easy to answer MCQ papers rather than subjective papers. But actually it is not. The reality is that the number of questions will be 100 from questions from the entire book. If you want to answer properly a student need to have conceptual clarity.
To clear MCQ based papers, mugging up will never be an option. The study material provided by the institute should be treated as the basic material for preparation and is enough for the preparation. Additional materials can be used as reference, but the priority should be given to the materials provided by the institute.
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. Past question papers should be worked out thoroughly to know the core areas to focused, and should not take lightly.
- For other Papers
The syllabus for papers for which subjective questions will be asked is comparatively multi topic which need deep and vast study. But it is not that difficult if we have a proper study plan. The entire profession will be circling on its core areas like company law, security and economic laws. But while looking on these or other subjects one may feel strong or weak. It is the case for all. When you feel that you are strong in a particular subject, prepare effectively and score more marks but on the other hand while preparing for the weak paper, we should focus to make that strong to score what you need.
Here also we need to keep in mind that , the study should not be at any time selective, means, among 17 chapters, study only 9 chapters and try to score minimum required. This strategy in most of the time, boomerang. So study with the study material provided by the institute and update with relevant updates. Previous years question papers will a valuable tool while preparing.
To clear both the groups in your first attempt itself, one need to be focused and dedicated. The result is not to make anybody happy but to make our self happy. If we need to revise properly for all these 8 papers, we need to minimum one and half months. One important thing one should keep in mind that, this is not the time to learn anything new, this is the time to revisit and make the knowledge strong. This is an important phase of learning and preparation. The mind should not go any where during this time, as this time will decided the score you are going to make.
Do not wait anybody to remind you or act as police while you learn. Be serious and focus. 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.
For MCQ papers, most of the people do the mistake of reading and marking. What is the mistake here? The mistake is that we read once and answer straight away. There the problem lies, we read with some presumptions and assumptions, which may trap us. The question may be indirect or negative, which we consider other wise, the mark is gone. So it is very important to read twice the question while answering the MCQ, don’t mistake me, you need to read twice. A mistake is not just eating your mark for that answer but also the mark of your other right answer.
Try to answer all for which you have a sure answer, and attempt the doubtful ones at the end.
The papers on which you need to write answers, as we are just coming from schools or colleges, we may feel to write pages and pages. The length of your answer does not have any positive weightage on your marks, but short, simple and clear have. Now the next doubt is about sections and case laws. Of course writing proper sections and case laws are very important but just by writing them without proper understanding of the matter there will not help to score marks.
Last but not least, the marks are not based on the hours you spend to study, but based on the quality study you made.
Go crack it!!!!!!