Every year a determined toll of candidates want to pursue CA. It is not any simple exam; certain criteria need to be fulfilled before admission. Learn the difference between CA CPT vs CA Foundation from here.
Chartered accountancy aspirants should always be up to date with the latest information and changes regarding the CA examinations. CA aspirants often have one such area of doubt is the difference between CA CPT and CA Foundation.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India or ICAI used to conduct the CA Common Proficiency Test or CPT as an entry-level examination for aspirants to seek admissions to the chartered accountancy course offered by ICAI. CA CPT was the sole examination CA aspirants had to arrive to enrol in a CA course until 2019. The ICAI introduced a revised scheme where they changed the entry-level examination to CA Foundation.
When a student is preparing or researching chartered accountancy, it is vital to know everything that has been changed and improved over the years. Therefore, a student might have many questions when pursuing a CA course. The primary one is ‘what is the difference between CA, CPT and CA Foundation?’ The answer to this question has been elaborated on in the article below.
Before diving into the preparation of the CA Foundation, it is essential to know the recent changes and updates made by the examination conducting body/authorities regarding the examination. If students are unaware of these changes, they will face issues and complications during later stages, leading to a lack of performance.
Common Proficiency Test or CPT was the first level that CA aspirants had to clear to pursue a CA course from the ICAI. The ICAI examined to test a student’s knowledge and capabilities in various areas related to commerce. CA CPT was conducted offline, i.e., pen and paper-based and consists of multiple-choice questions. Aspirants needed to be registered for the CPT examination after passing class 10. They could sit for the examination after graduating high school (Class 12) with commerce. Graduates and Postgraduates were exempted from sitting for CA CPT and could take direct admission to Integrated Professional Competency Courses (IPCCs) if they met the requirements.
Since 2019, the ICAI has conducted the CA Foundation exam for CA aspirants as the entry-level examination to CA courses. As an outcome, many changes in the examination structure and pattern are witnessed. The most notable was the change from an objective approach to a higher subjective one. The objective of this change from CA CPT to CA Foundation was to make selecting competent candidates easier and convenient and eliminate the possibility of guesswork when taking the CA entry-level examination. Other than the exam pattern, there have been other significant changes which are mentioned in detail below.
CA CPT vs CA Foundation
The change from CA CPT to CA Foundation was a huge one. This decision was taken in circumstances of specific changes in the education system and keeping in mind the need to improve the assessment techniques for CA candidates. The table below highlights the vital characteristics of both the exams to help in better understanding the difference between CA CPT and CA Foundation.
|Particulars||CA CPT||CA Foundation|
|Mode of Examination||Offline (Pen and Paper-based)||Online|
|Language of Examination||English/ Hindi||English/ Hindi (Although, section B of Paper 2 will be in English only)|
|Duration of Examination||4 hours (Two hours for two session)||Paper 1 and 2: 3 hoursPaper 3 and 4: 2 hours|
|Marking Scheme||A penalty of 0.25 negative marks for each incorrect answer||Negative marking (-0.25 marks) for only Paper 3 and 4|
|Type of Questions||Objective||Subjective + Objective|
|Frequency||Twice a year (June and December)||Twice a year (May and November)|
|Examination Fee||INR 1000||INR 9000|
Another significant change that ICAI has implemented apart from the CA CPT to CA Foundation is the syllabus and subjects to be covered by the CA entry-level examination. One of the vital reasons ICAI implemented this change was the necessity for better assessing students and keeping parallel with the changing business environment and the demand for knowledge on the new subjects. A detailed list of topics from the subjects covered in these exams is given below.
|CA CPT||CA Foundation|
|Subjects||Topics Included||Subjects||Topics Included|
|Accounting (Fundamentals of Accounting)||
||Principles and Practice of Accounting||
||Business Laws & Business Correspondence and Reporting||Section A (Business Law)
||Business Mathematics, Logical Reasoning and Statistics||Part A
||Business Economics & Business and Commercial Knowledge||Part 4A
Frequent changes in exam patterns, syllabus, the format of popular exams like CA Foundation are standard. However, they are also necessary to ensure that the candidates who wish to arrive for such examinations are informed and prepared with what is demanded by the constantly changing business and corporate environment in the present. Therefore, aspirants need to be prepared with what these examinations ask and always keep track of what is being revised and reformed.