ICAI Changes CPT Route to Become CA

ICAI Changes CPT Route to Become CA
CA Foundation Sep 2024 New Bactch 26May

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) recently announced a new education and training programme for Chartered Accountants. This new programme has made numerous adjustments to all three levels of the CA Course, as well as the three-year practical training time.


CA Foundation to Replace CPT

In response to changes in the requirements of Job Market and to develop multi-dimensional Chartered Accountants, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has recently revised the chartered accountancy course structure of Common Proficiency Test (CPT) and renamed it as “CA Foundation” – to add better future competencies to future Chartered Accountants. Now new subjects have been added in CPT and exam is renamed as CA foundation- entry level exam to become CA. Moreover, the new pattern is a blend of objective and subjective paper. The basic objective of making such change is to make CA’s competitive in the Global Village. The revised scheme for new CA foundation exam came into effect from 1st July 2017. From July 1, 2017 onwards, an aspirant can register only under new pattern, and the first examination under new pattern will be held in May 2018. Surely, this step will allow only competitive students to clear this exam.

The other reason that can be attributed to making the change in the syllabus is that it has been developed in sync with the International Education Standards issued by International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB )and inputs from  ICAI members and other experts.

Why Emphasis on Regularly Changing Pattern of Exams?

Change is always constant everywhere. Just like in MBBS, Chartered Accountancy is also a  profession in Indian society & abroad. Consequently, it is seen in high esteem. Constant changes are made in the curriculum of Medical Science in line with development in research. Similarly, with the changes in Job Market and competencies, ICAI has issued the notification to replace CPT by CA foundation: the first step to becoming CA has been changed.

CA Foundation Sep 2024 New Bactch 26May

The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of CA is that the course curriculum of CA is updated regularly as a result of changes in ever-evolving business & economic scenario and requirement of new competencies in the Job Market. Passing criteria for cracking CA has become tougher. Consequently, Job Market is and will always be in high demand of CA.

What Changes are Made?

As per the latest changes, the three levels would now be renamed as Foundation, intermediate and final. New subjects have been added in Syllabus of CA foundation and the weightage given to some papers have been either increased or decreased. At present, the paper on fundamentals of accounting carries 60 marks. Now after implementing changes, the above-mentioned paper will be renamed as principles and practices of accounting and will carry 100 marks. Reason being,  it is the core subject of  CA profession.

On top of that, new subjects have been added: General English and Business & Commercial knowledge. Reason being, knowledge of these subjects is in crucial demand in the present Corporate World. This step is also taken to ensure that entry-level exam (CA foundation) becomes more difficult -to balance demand and supply of CA’s in the job market. Moreover, the foundation examination will be partly objective and partly descriptive. So, the new system is more transparent: In the present MCQ-based system most of the students do guesswork.  Consequently, in the past, even undeserving students used to reach the next level. This practice had repercussions on quality standards of CA profession.

Also Read – CA Intermediate eligibility and registration procedure

CA CPT Old Scheme Vs CA Foundation New Syllabus  

Old SchemeNew Scheme
Common Proficiency Test (CPT)CA Foundation
200 Marks400 Marks
Fundamental of Accounting


(60 Marks)

Type: Objective

Principles and Practices of Accounting


(100 Marks)

Type: Subjective

Mercantile Law (40 Marks)


Type: Objective

General English (40 Marks)


Mercantile Law (60 Marks = ICA + SOGA + PA = 45 Marks + LLP + Companies Act = 15 Marks) and

Type: Subjective

General Economics (50 Marks)


Type: Objective

Business Economics (60 Marks) and Business and Commercial Knowledge (40 Marks)


type Objective

Quantitative Aptitude (50 Marks)


Type Objective

Business Mathematics (40 Marks), Logical Reasoning (20 Marks) and Business Statistics (40 Marks)


Type Objective

Information about Schedule of both Exams: Common Proficiency Test (CPT) and CA Foundation

Type of Entry Level ExamDate
Last Date for CPT RegistrationJune 30, 2017
First time registration for CA FoundationJuly 1, 2017
Schedule of First Foundation ExamMay, 2018
Schedule of last CPT ExamJune 2019

Parallel Attempts – There will be three parallel attempts

CPTCA Foundation
June 2018May 2018
December 2018November 2018
June 2019June 2019

The new subjects added and their syllabus is as follows:

General English (40 Marks)

Topic :      Comprehension Passages and Note Making


Subtopic : Comprehension Passages

Subtopic: Note Making

Topic:  Developing Writing Skills


Subtopic: Article Writing

Subtopic: Report Writing

Subtopic : Writing Formal Letters

Subtopic : Writing Mails

Subtopic : Resume Writing

Topic: Basic English Grammar


Chapter-1  Introduction to Basic Writing

Chapter-2: Nouns, Pronouns and Verbs

Chapter-3 Articles, Adjectives and Adverbs

Chapter-4 Prepositions, Conjunctions and Interjections

Chapter -5 Direct-Indirect, Active -Passive Speech

Chapter 6 :Vocabulary Root Words, Synonyms, Antonyms, Prefixes, Suffixes), Phrasal verbs, Collocations and Idioms.

Paper 3 (Section A) : Business Mathematics and Logical Reasoning

Following few topics added in Business Mathematics

Algebra  of Matrices, Inverse of a Matrix and determinants, solving system of equations using matrix method (Cramer’s rule) involving not more than 3 variables.

Nominal rate of return

Compound Annual growth rate (CAGR)

Logical reasoning is new paper carrying 20 Marks

Number series coding and decoding and odd man out

Blood relations

Seating arrangements

Direct Tests


Paper 3 (Section B) : Business Statistics

No Change

Paper 4: Business Economics & Business and Commercial Knowledge (100 Marks)

Part I: Business Economics (60 Marks)

  1.  Introduction to Business Economics

(a)     Meaning of Business Economics

(b)     Objectives of Business Firm- Profit Maximization, Sales Maximization, Growth Maximization.

  1.   Theory of Demand and Supply

(a) Meaning and determinants of demand, Law of demand and Elasticity of demand ─ Price, income and cross elasticity (b) Theory of consumer’s behaviour – Marshallian approach and Indifference curve approach (c) Meaning and determinants of supply, Law of supply and Elasticity of supply.

(d)  Demand Forecasting

  1.   Theory of Production and Cost

(a)     Meaning and Factors of production

(b)     Laws of Production – The Law of Variable proportions and Laws of Returns to Scale, Producer’s equilibrium

(c)     Concepts of Costs ─ Short-run and long-run costs, Average and marginal costs, Total, fixed and variable costs.

Price Determination in Different Markets

(a) Various forms of markets – Perfect Competition, Monopoly, Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly (b) Price determination in these markets.

  1.     Business Cycles

Meaning of Business Cycles

Phases of  Business Cycles

Features of Business Cycles.

Causes behind these Cycles.

Paper 4 Part II Business and Commercial Knowledge


Introduction to Business

Nature of Business,  Profession and Employment.  Objectives of Business. Business  and Commercial Knowledge. Economic  and Non-Economic Activities.

Business Environment

Micro     and     Macro     Environment,     Elements     of     Micro     Environment     –

Consumers/Customers, Competitors, Organization, Market, suppliers, Intermediaries, Elements of Macro Environment – Demographic, Economic, Political-legal, Sociocultural, Technological, Global Environment.

Business organizations Top Indian and Global Companies.

Government Policies for Business Growth

Policies creating conducive business environment – Startups,E-commerce.

Liberalization, Privatization, Foreign Direct Investment.

Organizations facilitating Business

Indian regulatory bodies – SEBI, RBI, IRDA, CCI, FMC, CBDT, CBEC Indian Development Banks – IFCI, IDBI, SIDBI, EXIM Bank,NABARD

Global organizations and world trade bodies – IMF, ADB, WTO, OECD, SAARC, ASEAN, OPEC.

Accounting Bodies – IFAC,IASB, IESB, CAPA, SAFA, AOSSG.

Common Business and Commercial Terminologies

Finance, Marketing and other business terms. Stock Market Terminology.

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