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ICAI exam



The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) conducts the Chartered Accountancy (CA) exam, which is one of the most prestigious and challenging professional examinations in India. Passing this exam allows individuals to become Chartered Accountants, highly respected professionals who play a vital role in the financial and corporate world.

This guide provides comprehensive information about the ICAI exam, covering its purpose, eligibility criteria, exam structure, syllabus, application process, preparation tips, and career opportunities.

Purpose of ICAI Exam

The ICAI exam serves two main purposes:

  1. To ensure that individuals who become Chartered Accountants possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and ethical standards to practice professionally.
  2. To maintain high professional standards for the accountancy profession in India.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the ICAI exam, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Passed 10+2 or equivalent examination with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics (PCM) or Business Studies as compulsory subjects.
  • Minimum percentage of marks varies depending on the level of the exam (Foundation, Intermediate, and Final).
  • Registered with the ICAI as a student member.

Exam Structure

The ICAI exam is conducted in three stages:

1. Foundation Course:

  • Objective type questions covering subjects like Accounting, Business Laws, Economics, and Statistics.
  • Duration: 4 hours.

2. Intermediate Course:

  • Subjective and objective type questions covering subjects like Accounting, Corporate Laws, Cost Accounting, Taxation, and Auditing.
  • Duration: 8 hours per subject.

3. Final Course:

  • Subjective and objective type questions covering advanced subjects like Financial Reporting, Management Accounting, Direct Tax, Indirect Tax, and Auditing.
  • Duration: 8 hours per subject.


The detailed syllabus for each level of the ICAI exam is available on the official ICAI website. It is crucial for candidates to thoroughly understand the syllabus and focus their preparation accordingly.

Application Process

The ICAI exam application process is conducted online through the official ICAI website. The process typically involves:

  • Registration: Create an account on the ICAI website.
  • Filling the application form: Provide required personal and academic details.
  • Uploading scanned documents: Upload scanned copies of relevant documents like photograph, signature, educational certificates, etc.
  • Payment of application fee: Pay the required application fee online.
  • Downloading the admit card: Download the admit card from the official ICAI website.

Preparation Tips

Here are some helpful tips for preparing for the ICAI exam:

  • Start early and plan a study schedule based on the exam syllabus and your learning pace.
  • Refer to ICAI study materials and resources like textbooks, practice manuals, and mock tests.
  • Develop a strong understanding of accounting principles and concepts.
  • Practice regularly with objective and subjective type questions.
  • Join online or offline coaching classes for additional support and guidance.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage stress effectively.

Career Opportunities

Chartered Accountants enjoy a wide range of career opportunities in various sectors, including:

  • Public Accounting: Auditing, taxation, consulting, and financial advisory services.
  • Corporate Accounting: Financial reporting, cost accounting, management accounting, and internal audit.
  • Investment Banking: Mergers and acquisitions, equity research, and portfolio management.
  • Financial Services: Banking, insurance, and wealth management.
  • Government and Public Sector: Public finance, taxation, and governance.
  • Academia: Teaching and research in accounting and finance.


The ICAI exam is a challenging yet rewarding journey for individuals aspiring to become Chartered Accountants. With dedication, strategic preparation, and a passion for the field, candidates can successfully navigate the exam and embark on fulfilling careers in the financial and corporate world.

Additional Resources:

Note: This guide provides general information about the ICAI exam. It is recommended to refer to the official ICAI website and study materials for the latest updates and details.