Tips to Excel in CS Examination

Student life is the golden era of a human being’s life and the most beautiful phase. Students should try to excel in every field, and for that in-depth knowledge is required. Likewise, when you plan to take up CS exams at any level, it is very important to know about the details about the exam, the syllabus, pattern etc.

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) conducts the examination for Foundation, Executive and Professional course for students in June and December every year. This exam is scheduled to be held during December 21 to December 31. Most of the students feel that CS is a course only for intelligent students. They should take every endeavor in life as a battle, should fought it with valor and manage to win the situation.


Students feel passing CS examination is very tough. They tend to develop a negative attitude and lose hope whether they will pass in examination or not. They don’t realize that like any other goal or achievement, there is no substitute for hard work and perseverance to achieve success in Company Secretary Exam. There are students who with their hard work and never-ending passion have cleared the Company Secretary exam in the first attempt –even some of them sans coaching.


Coaching and guidance for any exam always help, but if you really want to crack this exam and have a sincere dedication, you CAN do it! You just need to keep the patience and work towards your goal….

Like any other competition exam, there is no shortcut to your success in the field of Company Secretary. You have to continuously focus on your end goal and keep the patience to achieve excellence. Give your 100% and does your bit-rest of the things will automatically fall into place.

Nobody can guide you better who have been in the same situation as you are in today-hands-on experience always help. Your senior or friends who have been preparing for any level of Company Secretary Exam in the past can be of great help and guidance to you. Keep in touch with them and always ask for guidance. Joining the institute is not the only way to crack the CS Exam but someone is needed to guide you through the challenging path of Company Secretary Exams always help.


Panic is not solution for exam preparation. Stay away from exam stress. Good revision is a key to success. If you are preparing for the exams from the very beginning then this the time for revision and addition of some new and important topics to your treasure. In CS, do not change the books and notes quickly without sufficient reason. Stick to the notes and books selected earlier.

Give first preference to the study material provided by the ICSI especially for theory subjects like Company Law and Economic Law. In CS exams, Law basics must be strong so never hesitate to discuss topics with your friend for better grip. A healthy discussion helps you recall provision/ contents in a much better way. This is one of the old suggestions but this is something very important.


Students at times think of studying just two days before the actual examination. It is impossible to complete the whole book in a day.  To score good marks firstly, go for the scanner or law point and read it completely considering all the important stuff and the stuff which you feel it is rare to come in exam. Institute will always surprise you with questions which you have never seen but just do not forget to concentrate on important stuff. Secondly, you could mark out some chapters in the institute’s book and read it thoroughly and if you select the chapters on past papers analysis you won’t get disappointed in exam. Don’t ever expect that you would know every answer in the exam by studying just two days before the exam but you would at least have passing marks if you write it perfect. It would be advised to start preparing before a month of exam and do both institute’s book and scanner as it would prove to be great help.


Scanner – backbone of CS  

In CS Scanner is one of the most vital tools to succeed. So after your initial preparation don’t forget to check your preparation from scanner. In my opinion every question of scanner should be on your finger tips. This is very important for your own confidence.

To complete the question given in scanner take the help of ICSI guideline answer, as the case may be. For CS preparation, it is also worthy to note that in CS the percentage of repetition of previously asked question are a bit high as compared to CA so it is advisable that during study time note the important topics or make short notes for them. It would be very helpful for you during last time revision. Prepare short notes for frequently asked questions and revise them properly.

In CS sections and case laws are very important so this is the high and right time to lift your study standards. As per my personal opinion you should 100% go for Bare Act reading. There is no harm in developing a habit to refer bare act. Kindly understand Bare Act is not for preparation and just for reference purpose. You can always refer particular section from Bare Act very quickly.


If you have just started the preparation, you are advised to base your preparation on scanner. Use ICSI guideline answers for preparation. After scanner give sound reading to some more topics important from the exam point of view. Time management is important so take care of that. Give first preference to those subjects which are not amongst your favorite after that prepare those subjects you are comfortable with.

Here are some tips for professional studies:


  • Plan your preparation and set dedicated time lines.
  • Some of the subjects may be interrelated, read them one after the other.
  • Prepare for two courses at a time, if possible, one theory and one practical.
  • Strictly adhere to the syllabus.
  • Use scanner- check the pattern of questions asked in the previous examination and the weight age of chapters in the syllabus. Look for a few questions which are repeatedly asked.
  • Make your own notes while preparing. Scribble in your books, underline important points, and make small pointers.
  • Cover the study module and also refer good authors and Bare Acts.
  • Focus on conceptual understanding and co-relations among various topics. Don’t focus on memorizing, but understanding and analyzing the topic.
  • Cover latest (6 months prior to the examination) amendments, they are extremely important.
  • Update yourself through the departmental websites as the books would not contain these updates.
  • Two revisions per subject before the examination is must practice as much as you can.
  • Pick up questions from scanner (every chapter) and try solving them regularly.
  • Practice speed writing and emphasize a lot on good presentation of answers.
  • Highlight the important points, focus on good handwriting and avoid cutting or over-writing. Give a long answer- an introduction, a body and a good conclusion.
  • In case related questions write facts, dispute, decision, justification and legal references.
  • Use legal language; cite cases and sections to the extent possible. Substantiate your point by citing reference from good authors.
  • Read the concepts thoroughly, practice them regularly and be confident in the examination.
  • Pick up your best prepared question to be answered first.
  • Stay away from social media and other distractions, at least for a month before the examination.
  • Keep yourself motivated; don’t let anybody’s comment get to you.



  • Don’t do the selective study. Go through all the chapters and concepts thoroughly. It gives you a better choice.
  • Don’t keep thinking about the mistakes in the previous examination.
  • Don’t go for superficial study, get the basics right.
  • Don’t get misguided by rumors and myths. Cross check information with institute’s website.
  • Don’t cut off from everything; pursue any extracurricular activity like music, dance, painting or sports during preparation to relax your mind.
  • Don’t disturb your routine, and sleep cycle, especially close to exam.
  • No need for panic in examination. Have faith in your hard work. Be confident. Try to meditate for two-three minutes before the exam start with.
  • Read difficult questions again and again, try to concentrate rather than feeling stressed.
  • Don’t spend too much time on any question. Time management is the key.
  • Don’t leave any question unattended. Answer all questions.
  • Eat well, sleep well and study well.


Here are some tips to improve your answer.

  • Before you start- write a heading to each answer.

Example1- If the question is “what are the provisions to be compiled within Buy-back of securities, in the case of a listed company?”

The model heading should be

Answer to Qs. No….


Before your conclusion- Give nice conclusion to each answer.

Example1- If the question is “what do you mean by repatriate to India under the FEMA 1999?”

After you answer write the following conclusion paragraph.

Thus, repatriate to India means bringing into India the proceeds from outside India, and this is dealt with by section2 (y), section 8 and section 9of FEMA 1999.
You may aware that quoting relevant case laws and sections give a chance to score more marks in CS Exams. But, most of the students feel difficult to get a command over case laws and sections, even after realizing its importance.

Here are few simple tips to remember the same.

  1. In each chapter identify the important case/section.
  2. Maintain a separate notebook for writing that important case/section.
  3. Thus, you must build a library in your own handwriting, day-by-day.
  4. On a daily basis before you go for sleep, study those cases/sections noted on that particular day.
  5. Once in 3 days remember the cases/sections studied in the previous 3 days.
  6. If you forget the same, then open the notebook and refer, and close the book, and try to remember again.
  7. Make this a practice. Thus on a daily basis you will slowly get command over the case/section.
  8. Every day in the bed in night (before sleeping), close your eyes, and turn-off the lights, and try to remember the case/sections come to your mind, then those sections/cases will remain in your mind for a long time.
  9. Try to say important sections with your friend/classmates etc like a quiz competition. This will slowly create a mind of taste towards the subject.
  10. Wherever you see numbers like book page numbers, bus number etc; try to identify the numbers with a Companies Act section. For example if you see a bus number as 227, then co-relate it with section 227 of Companies Act- powers and Duties of Auditors.


Thus, the simplest way to master case laws/sections is to mingle with case laws/sections on a daily basis and study the same with a passion.

Improve your CS exam preparation by adding some value.

  1. Always try to prepare simple notes from study material, in your own handwriting.
  2. Always use the study material as a base, and refer few good books, especially for subjects like tax, accounts, WTO etc.
  3. Regularly allot one hour to read business newspapers (such as business line, economic times etc), this will make you up-to-date to current corporate affairs.
  4. Regularly watch a business news at anyone of the business TV channels(such as CNBC TV18, NDTV Profit etc)
  5. In legal areas (Company law, Labor, Economic laws, SEBI etc) refer to the original Bare Act for reading relevant sections.
  6. At least twice a week visit ICSI, ICAI and ICWAI websites, this will make you professionally fit.
  7. Once in week regularly visit official portals of MCA, SBI, Ministry of Finance and RBI, this will make you subject wise professional.


Try to take pure vegetarian food in the last days of your exams, this will contribute to increase in memory and will give you a fresh mind set.

All the tips mentioned here are suggestions that will surely help you in controlling stress busters. It would help you to excel in your CS examination and would keep you updated with knowledge as well as other information regarding your professional course from time-to-time.

Jaspreet Kaur


Focus word: conceptual understanding, analysis, dedicated, revisions, hard work, management, memorize

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