Is English language Fluency Important for a CA Aspirant

Is English language Fluency Important for a CA Aspirant

  • 24/11/2019

Is English language Fluency Important for a CA Aspirant?


Is English language fluency important for a Chartered Accountancy aspirant? This is a question that you could be pondering over, if you wish to make a lucrative career as Chartered Accountant. The answer is both- Yes and No. And I’ll explain through this article why English language fluency is important for a CA aspirant and why it isn’t as well.

So let’s start at the very beginning.


CA Eligibility & English

As you would know, the first step to become a Chartered Accountant or CA in India is to appear for the Common Proficiency Test (CPT). This exam is conducted every year by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) only.

To be eligible for CPT exam, you should hold minimum Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) or its equivalent from a recognized board. The percentage of marks you got for HSC or equivalent doesn’t really matter.

Or, you should hold a Bachelor or Master degree in any stream other than Commerce, with minimum 60 percent marks.

Commerce stream graduates and post-graduates require only 55 percent marks to qualify for the CPT exam.

Students that hold Bachelor or Master degree from open universities/ Distance Learning universities are generally exempt from CPT.

If you look at this eligibility criteria, one thing stands out very clearly: That you’ll have taken English either as first, second or even third language while studying for HSC. And if you’re already a graduate or post-graduate, you’ll have studied some subjects in English too.

Therefore, ICAI will assume that you’ve some fluency in English language when you apply for the CPT exam.




Importance of English for CPT

On the note to become a Certified Chartered Accountant here is what comes first, Common Proficiency Test or CPT, the entrance exam is available in two languages- English and Hindi. Regardless which language you choose for CPT- it is important to pass this entrance exam with good score. In fact, it’s the only way to become a CA.

Here’s where English language fluency is important for CA aspirant.

CPT exam consists of four papers:

  • Fundamentals of Accounting (60 marks)
  • Mercantile Law (40 marks)
  • General Economics (50 marks)
  • Quantitative Aptitude (50 marks)

You’ll need to score at least 100 marks- that is 50 percent of the total of 200 marks from these four exams. This is possible only if you have English language fluency. Because fluency in English language will help you understand the questions better and provide the right answers.



Availability of CPT Study Material

To pass with good marks, you’ll have to prepare well for the exams and answer question papers from previous CPT exams.

Study material for CPT and previous year exam papers are mostly available in English only. Unless you have fluency in English language, you will face lots of difficulties in studying for the exam, answering previous year question papers to test your knowledge and actually answer the CPT exam papers.

Also, answering the Hindi question paper can prove really tough when you’re appearing for the main CPT exam itself. As you can see, the above subjects are pretty complex. Hence, Hindi vocabulary used on CPT exam test papers can prove hard to understand.



CA Course Material

On average, about 22 percent CA aspirants pass the final exams every year. However, this number can often vary for several reasons. When the Indian government introduced Goods & Services Tax (GST), the total pass percentage had gone down to about 14 percent only.

Once you’ve cleared CPT and are studying the main CA course, most of the study material is available in English only. That’s because majority of CA aspirants come from educational institutes where English is the medium of instruction.

This is obvious from the CA final results that ICAI declares every November. Most CA aspirants come from metro cities and have been to English-medium school and college. Hence, they have better chances of passing the CA final exam.



From CPT to CA Final Exams

Usually, it takes two to four years to appear for the CA final exams. After successfully passing CPT, a CA aspirant starts working with a Chartered Accountancy firm as ‘Article’. While working with a CA firm, every aspirant helps qualified Chartered Accountants in various processes. And most of this work is in English only.

If you become an Article with a top CA firm, chances are that you’ll be working on accounts of large Multinational Companies. Here, most communication would definitely be in English only. And if a CA aspirant doesn’t know fluent English, they’ll learn almost nothing worthwhile to appear for the next two exams.



CA Intermediate Exam & English

After working for at least 12 months as Article or Audit Clerk at CA firms, all Chartered Accountancy aspirants have to pass the CA intermediate exam. This is known as Integrated Professional Competency Course Exam.



CA Final Exam & English Fluency

The CA final exam is known as Professional Competency Examination or PCE. It consists of extremely complex topics about finance, money, economics, tax laws and of course, accounting.

There are also some websites which helps to crack these Intermediate & Final CA exams with the simple English language course guide. And without passing this Intermediate crucial exams, appearing for the finals is simply out of question.



How CA Aspirants Can Learn Fluent English

There are several ways that a CA aspirant can become fluent in English language. The best way is to take short term English language classes that will give some fluency in English. There are several such English courses available from leading institutes in India. Also, you can take simple online English language courses to improve English language fluency.

Another is by reading English books, learning English from mobile phone apps. And to some extent by speaking English with relatives and friends.



In Conclusion

As we’ve seen, English language fluency is important for CA aspirants. It’s not only necessary to pass all exams to become a CA but also in your routine work, after becoming a CA. Hence, learning English and becoming fluent in this language is very important.








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