CA Final, CA Foundation, CA Intermediate

CA Exam Pattern for Foundation, Intermediate and Final


Want to know the CA Exam Pattern 2018?? Chartered Accountancy Course is divided into four levels CA Foundation, CA Intermediate, 3 Years Articleship Training and CA Final. Each level tests students on different paper patterns based on their level and maturity.

ICAI has a tendency to bring changes as per the demand of industry from time to time. It has revised the whole syllabus on 01/07/2017 in which CA Foundation has replaced CPT, CA Intermediate has replaced CA IPCC and CA Final (new course) has replaced CA Final (Old Course).

And once again, ICAI has issued a notification where ICAI brought some changes in the Paper pattern at CA Intermediate and CA Final level and also introduced some tests during the articleship training period.

Here in this article, we are discussing the various ca exam patterns at different levels in the CA Course.

CA Foundation Exam Pattern

CA Foundation is the entry-level test in CA Course which tests whether students are capable to pursue Chartered Accountancy or not.

CA Foundation Exam Overview

Registration ModeOnline
FrequencyMay & Nov
Mode of ExamOffline
Time Duration of Examination3 hours per paper
Total No. Of Papers in CA4
Negative MarkingAllotted in only fourth subject with 1/4th marks
EligibilityCandidates appearing for class 12th, candidates who have cleared class 12th, candidates after completion of graduation
Difficulty LevelModerate


Candidates can register for CA Foundation Course after appearing in 12th Examination constituted by law or recognized by the CG. Thereafter, you have to undergo a study period of 4 months after registration to appear in CA Foundation Examination.

Exam Pattern for CA Foundation

The CA Foundation exam pattern is based on partially subjective and partially objective questions. CA Foundation syllabus is covered into four subjects

  1. Principles and Practices of Accounting.
  2. Business Law and Business Correspondence and Reporting.
  3. Business Mathematics and Logical Reasoning and Statistics.
  4. Business Economics and Business and Commercial Knowledge.

The first two papers in the above list are subjective and the latter two are objective-based. There is no negative marking in the subjective papers but objective papers contain negative marking where each wrong answer will deduct your 0.25 marks.

Students appearing in CA Foundation Exam have to score a minimum of 40% marks in each individual subject and 50% in aggregate of all the subjects to qualify for this entrance test.

To know about CA Foundation Pattern you can Solve CA Foundation exam/ sample papers 2020.

Also Read: How to clear ca foundation in first attempt

Exam Pattern of CA Intermediate

After qualifying CA Foundation candidates are eligible to pursue this course where they meet the first level as CA Intermediate. The syllabus of CA Intermediate is covered into 8 subjects and 2 groups. ICAI conducts the subjective based test in CA Intermediate.

Students can appear in a single group or both groups at a time according to their preparation and they must secure 40% marks in each and every subject along with 50% marks in aggregate of all the subjects at one sitting.

Conducting BodyICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountant in India)
Level of ExamNational Level
Registration ModeOnline through Official Website
FrequencyIn the month of May and November
Exam ModeOffline
Medium of ExamIn both Hindi and English Languages
Total No. Of Papers8
Total Marks100 Marks per paper
Negative MarkingNo Negative Marking
Question PatternBoth Objective and Subjective

Objective Exam Pattern from May 2019

CA Intermediate exam pattern is slightly changed from this year. ICAI has issued a notification in which students are informed that from May 2019 attempt, following papers at such level will be partially based on objective type questions –

Intermediate (New Course)IPCC (Old Course)
Paper SubjectsPaperSubjects
2Corporate and Other Laws2Business Laws, Ethics and Communication
6Auditing and Assurance6Auditing and Assurance
7Enterprise Information System and Strategic Management7Information Technology and Strategic Management

ICAI has informed that the above papers will comprise 30% objective type questions and the remaining 70% would be based on the present CA exam pattern. Objective type questions will be MCQ based questions, having one or more marks. Unlike CPT, there will be no negative marking for the wrong answers. Students shall also note that objective-based questions will be compulsory and there be no internal and external choice in them.

To Know About CA IPCC Exam Pattern you can analyze the previous year papers.

3 Years of Articleship Training

Articleship training can be commenced once you have cleared either single or both groups of CA Intermediate. This training is a mandatory part of the Chartered Accountancy course. Till now, students are not required to appear in any exam amid their articleship period except ITT and OT programs.

However, ICAI has announced some mandatory tests amid the articleship period to test the practical knowledge of the candidates which has gained from the practical training and it will also test the candidate’s ability on how to implement theoretical knowledge in the practical world. The test will be a compulsory part of your practical training. Council has decided to conduct two tests after the first and second year of articleship training.

For the first-year students, the test would conduct 75 marks, and the duration for such will be 2 hours. While the second-year student will have to face a 100 marks test and the duration for such will be 3 hours.

Students completing their first and second year of training in a particular quarter are required to appear in the subsequent quarter for such a test.

Grades will be assigned on the basis of student’s performance and such grades will appear in your CA Final Marksheet. Unlike CA exams, a student can appear in such tests a maximum of two times only, in order to improve his/her grades.

CA Final Exam Pattern

After qualifying both the groups of CA Intermediate, one can get himself to enroll for the CA Final course. CA Final is the last level in the Chartered Accountancy curriculum and its vast syllabus is divided among 8 subjects. As per the present assessment, CA Final is a completely subjective based exam pattern.

Conducting BodyICAI- Institute of Chartered Accountant in India
Level of ExamNational Level
Registration ModeOnline
FrequencyMay and November
Exam ModeOffline
Medium of ExamIn both Hindi and English Languages
Duration of Exam3 Hours per paper
Types of question PatternObjective and Subjective
Total Marks100 Marks per subject
Total SubjectsAs per old and new syllabus total of 8 subjects
Negative MarkingNo Negative Marking

However, from May 2019 CA Final attempt, ICAI has introduced a partially objective based exam pattern in the following subjects similar to CA Intermediate –

CA Final (New Course)CA Final (Old Course)
Paper SubjectPaperSubject
3Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics3Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics
4Corporate and Economic Laws4Corporate and Allied Laws
7Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation7Direct Tax Laws
8Indirect Tax Laws8Indirect Tax Laws

The objective-based questions will be MCQ based questions and they will form a compulsory part of the paper. Although, ICAI has cleared that there will be no negative marking for such wrong answers.

After clearing this level, you will become a Chartered Accountant. Hope you found this information on the CA Exam Pattern helpful, any query can be asked in the comment box.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How many papers have to be attempted by the aspirants for the CA foundation exam, CA intermediate/IPCC exam, and CA final exam?

Ans: For the CA foundation exam aspirants have to appear for 4 subject exams, for CA intermediate/IPCC aspirants have to appear for 8 subjects including both old and new subjects, and for CA final exam aspirants have to appear for 8 subjects including both old and new subjects.

Q2. What is the study time required for the CA intermediate/IPCC preparations?

Ans: The study time required for the CA intermediate/IPCC preparations is 8 months.

Q3. Can CA aspirants use calculators in the CA foundation, CA intermediate/IPCC, and CA final exams?

Ans: CA aspirants are allowed to use calculators in the CA foundation, CA intermediate/IPCC, and CA final exams as per ICAI guidelines. The calculators used by the aspirants must be battery operated, have only 6 functions, and only 12 digits with 2 memories.

Q4. Is ICAI study material enough for the CA Foundation, CA IPCC, and CA final exams?

Ans: Yes, ICAI study material is enough for the preparation of CA foundation, CA IPCC, CA final exams point of view.

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