Secluding herself from any kind of distraction and following a strict study schedule motivated Mannarkkad girl, Varada KP secure the All-India second rank in the Chartered Accountants Final Examination (Old Syllabus). With a score of 548 out of 800, she outshone 72,921 candidates across India to crack the exam in her first attempt.
Hailing from Mannarkkad, situated in the foothills of the Western Ghats in Kerala, the 21-year-old credits her father for inspiring her to consider chartered accountancy as a career option. “I always had an inclination towards Mathematics which made me take up Commerce in class XI. On noticing this, my father suggested I appear in the CA exams after finishing school,” she says.
Being only the second from her entire family to have become a chartered accountant, Varada looked up to her maternal cousin (also a CA) while preparing for the exams. “She helped me understand how the CA industry functions, what kinds of career opportunities are available and also how to clear the exams.”
Varada’s father runs an Ayurveda medicine shop and her mother is retired from a cooperative bank. She has two siblings – an elder brother and a sister. While her brother is a quality control manager in a supermarket in Thuravoor, Varada’s sister is a Kochi-based Homeopathy doctor.
A planned daily schedule helped Varada stay focussed and driven enough to finish the vast syllabus of CA. “Since my childhood, I have preferred to wake up early in the morning to study. Prior to my CA final exams, I used to get up around 3-4 in the morning to study for seven hours a day,” she says, adding that the calm of the morning enabled her to concentrate better.
After completing BCom from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in 2018, she went to Chennai for three months (April to September) to take coaching classes for cracking CA exams. “Once I returned home, I spent the remaining months leading up to the exam revising every chapter thrice a day. This helped me gauge the status of my preparation and also work on my weak areas.”
Although she did not practice mock papers, she followed various reference books to strengthen her grasp over law, auditing, direct taxation (DT) and indirect tax (IDT).
Watching Malayalam comedy shows and taking short naps helped Varada to de-stress and boost her confidence.
Similar to most toppers, she too detached herself completely from every social media platform including Facebook and WhatsApp. “I also skipped every family function since 2018 to keep myself from any distraction,” she says, adding that she prayed in a nearby temple every day to feel strong.
Although Varada is unsure of her long-term plans right now, she aims to work in a multinational company outside Kerala. “My family is quite liberal and has no restrictions whatsoever on where I want to work and stay,” she says, adding that her plan is to eventually settle in Kerala.