ICAI Reforms Update | Digital Evaluation of All Papers

ICAI reforms updates for digital evaluation, step wise marking, MCQs, centralized checking system, revaluation of Answer sheet.

As part of its continuous efforts to improve the quality of its examination system, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has introduced digital evaluation for all papers of the CA Foundation, CA Intermediate, and CA Final examinations. This move is expected to bring in a number of benefits, including:

  • Eliminating the physical handling of answer books, thereby reducing the risk of errors and inconsistencies.
  • Standardizing the evaluation process, as all examiners will be using the same software platform.
  • Providing real-time feedback to examiners, so that they can improve their performance.
  • Generating analytical reports that can be used to identify areas for improvement in the examination system.

The ICAI has been piloting digital evaluation for a number of years, and the results have been positive. The Institute is confident that this move will further improve the quality of its examinations.

ICAI reforms for digital evaluation, step wise marking, MCQs, centralized checking system, revaluation of Answer sheet. Changes in ICAI Exams.

Recently ICAI made reforms in CA Course and Examination System for coming exams. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has always stood by the students and strived to address their concerns from time to time.

Considering the dynamic global scenario, ICAI has taken proactive and exemplary initiatives to facilitate best resources, catering to learning needs of its students, be it regarding publications, online lectures, webcasts or mentoring sessions. ICAI, being the largest accounting education body in the world, is compliant with the principles enlisted in the International Education Standards issued by the IAESB of International Federation of Accountants.

High Level Independent Committee – Give your Suggestions

In order to facilitate collation of all the suggestions/ views received, it is desired that the suggestions be forwarded issue-wise under the following heads:

  1. System/Structure of conducting Examination
  2. Format/Structure of Question Paper
  3. Evaluation Process of Answer Sheet
  4. Methodology for awarding marks including step by step marking
  5. Existing System of verification of Answer Books
  6. Re-evaluation of the Answer Books
  7. Supply of certified copies of evaluated answer books, post result to the students
  8. Procedural changes required, if any
  9. Adoption of new technology and changes, if any, required in the existing technology being used.
  10. Regulatory changes required, if any
  11. Any other matter relating to CA exams

ICAI Reforms: Digital Evaluation

CA Institute has announced that all papers of CA Intermediate and CA Foundation level exams in November 2022 and May 2023 will be put through the digital evaluation mode.

1. Digital evaluation:

As communicated in January 2019 Chartered Accountant Student newsletter , continuing further from the pilot e-evaluation for first group of Intermediate Nov 2018 exams; all papers of Intermediate and Foundation level exams in November 2022/May 2023 will be put through the digital evaluation mode bringing in following benefits

  • Doing away with stages of physical handling of answer books
  • Avoiding variations in marks awarded by examiners.
  • Eliminating scope of any totalling errors
  • Continuous review of performance of the Examiners on real time basis;
  • Generation of analytical reports enabling quality control checks; and

2. Central evaluation:

Further the Central Evaluation is being carried out in several papers of CA exams, w.e.f November 2018 wherein examiners evaluate answer books under the supervision of Head Examiner/Associate Head Examiners.

3. Machine based evaluation:

Effective May, 2019 exams, objective type questions for 30 marks have been introduced in select papers of Intermediate and Final Exams. Further the Institute has decided to introduce OMR based evaluation for MCQ’s of Elective Papers 6A to 6F of final New course with effect from November 2019 which are machine processed thus avoiding subjectivity.

4. Step-wise marking:

Provision regarding stepwise marking is being enforced whereby in case the stepwise marks are not awarded ; it will be deemed as unevaluated answer and stepwise marks will be awarded during the course of re verification of marks

5. Mandatory on-line test for empanelment of examiners:

All applicants shortlisted for empanelment as examiners are required to qualify an on-line test in the subject of their choice before inclusion of their names in the Panel of Examiners. It has further been decided that all existing examiners would also be required to undergo an on-line test in their respective subjects, once in 3 years.

Further, the New Scheme of Education and Training which was launched in 2017, is also in line with the International Education Standards. Some of the latest initiatives being undertaken by ICAI towards reforms in the CA Course and Examination System are mentioned below:

Changes introduced in CA Exam

ICAI informed students the following changes that are being introduced with effect from the CA examinations to be held in May 2019 and onwards.

1. Multiple Choice Questions

Following papers of both Intermediate and Final level exams ( both under the Old and New syllabus) shall have Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) to the tune of 30 per cent marks.

ICAICA Intermediate [New Course]ICAICA IPCC/ CA IPC [Old Course]
2Corporate and Other laws2Business Laws, Ethics and communication
6Auditing and Assurance6Auditing and Assurance
7Enterprise Information systems and strategic management7Information Technology and Strategic Management
ICAICA Final (New Syllabus)ICAICA Final (Old Syllabus)
3Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics3Advanced Auditing and Professional Ethics
4Corporate and Economic Laws4Corporate and Allied Laws
7Direct Tax laws and International Taxation6Information Systems Control and Audit
8Indirect Tax Laws7Direct Tax Laws
8Indirect Tax Laws

2. 30:70 Marks Questions

The question papers in respect of the above mentioned papers will have two parts, Part I comprising MCQs to the tune of 30 marks (each carrying 1 to 2 marks) and Part II comprising descriptive type questions to the tune of 70 marks.

3. Use HB Pencil in OMR Answer Sheet

Candidates will be required to write their answers in respect of Part I of the paper (i.e. MCQs) in OMR answer sheet by darkening the appropriate circles with HB pencil and Part II of the paper ( i.e. the descriptive type questions) in the descriptive type answer book in the normal course.

4. Late Entry in Exam Hall

Late entry in the exam hall will be permitted upto 2.15 PM (IST), i.e. upto half an hour from the time question papers are distributed. This will be applicable to all the papers including the composite papers mentioned above. Candidates are advised to plan their travel time carefully and reach the exam centre well in time.

5. Early Exit from Exam Hall

Exam will conclude at 5.00 PM(IST). No student will be allowed to leave the exam hall before 5.00 PM(IST) even if he has completed the paper. Candidates are required to remain in their seat even if they had completed the paper. This will be applicable to all the papers including the composite papers mentioned above.

6. Unfair Means

A candidate will be required to submit a) OMR answer sheet b) Answer book used for answering the descriptive answers ( relating to Part II) and c) MCQ booklet to the invigilator before leaving the exam hall, after the conclusion of the exam.

Non submission of the MCQ booklet to the invigilator after the conclusion of the exam, will be deemed to be an act of unfair means and will be dealt with accordingly.

Other details in respect of the composite papers are as follows:

  1. Single Paper: Each of the above-mentioned papers is a single paper for all purposes and intent- i.e. for passing requirements, exemptions, statement of marks, verification under Regulation 39(4) of the CA Regulations 1988, inspection/providing certified copies of answer books, etc.
  2. Both Part of Question Paper: Candidates are to ensure that they have received both parts of the question paper. In case, they do not receive both the parts of the composite paper, they should bring it to the notice of the invigilator concerned at the exam centre who will provide them both.
  3. No Negative Marks: Candidates will be required to answer all the MCQs. There would be no internal or external choice in them. The MCQs may be either knowledge-based or application-based. The skill level would be either “knowledge and comprehension” or “application and analysis”. There will be no negative marking for wrong answers. No reasoning is required for answers to MCQs.
  4. Multiple Sets: MCQ booklet will have multiple sets, i.e. A, B, C and D.
  5. Exchange Pencils or Erasers: Candidates who wish to change their answer, can correct the answers on the OMR answer sheet, by erasing the earlier answer completely and choosing a new answer. Candidates are advised to carry HB pencils and erasers to the exam hall. No exchange of pencils or erasers will be permitted in the exam hall. Any attempt to exchange pencils or erasers in the exam hall during the exam will be deemed to be an act of “Unfair Means” and will be dealt with accordingly.
  6. Error in OMR Answer Sheet: Candidates should write the details sought on the OMR answer sheet, in the boxes provided thereon, in black ink pen and darken the circles thereunder in HB pencils, carefully. In case of any error in writing the details, the OMR answer sheet will not be replaced. They should bring it to the notice of the invigilator who will do the needful.
  7. Marking MCQ in Descriptive Answer Book: Candidates are advised not to mark answers in respect of the MCQs in the answer book meant for descriptive type answer book or in the MCQ booklet. Such answers written in the descriptive answer book or in the MCQ booklets will not be evaluated.
  8. No Marking for multiple Answer: No mark will be awarded, in case no circle is darkened or more than one circle is darkened in respect of a particular question in the OMR answer sheet.
  9. Single OMR Answer Sheet: In Paper 4 and Paper 7 of Intermediate Level exam, the practice of Sections A and B will continue. However, in the composite paper, OMR answer sheet will be only one for both the Sections. Candidates will be required to answer the MCQs of Section A and Section B in the same OMR answer sheet. However, the descriptive component of the question papers will have to be answered in their respective designated answer books marked A and B.
  10. Complete 3 Hours: There is no segregation of timing within the 3 hours duration, separately for answering descriptive type questions and objective type questions. Candidates will be free to use the time as per their convenience.
  11. 15 minutes Reading Time: Reading time of 15 minutes will continue to be allowed in the composite papers, as in other papers.
  12. Question Paper before exam time: Both the question papers will be provided to the candidates at 1.45 PM(IST), i.e. 15 minutes before the commencement of the exam.
  13. Time to get Answer Book: Both the answer books will be provided to the candidates at 2.00 PM.(IST) in the normal course.
  14. Roll Number Sticker: Candidates will be required to remove the roll number sticker (containing the roll number in bar coded format) available on the attendance register against his/her name and affix the same at the designated place on the cover page of the descriptive type answer book.
  15. Roll No. Sticker on OMR Answer Sheet: There is no requirement for affixing the roll number bar code sticker on the OMR answer sheet.
  16. Submit Separately MCQ Booklet: Candidates are advised not to staple or tag the OMR answer sheet with the descriptive type answer book. Further, they are advised not to keep the OMR answer sheet inside the MCQ booklet while submitting the same. MCQ booklet, OMR answer sheet and the descriptive type answer book are to be submitted to the invigilator separately.
  17. Acknowledgement on Admit Card: The Invigilator will sign and hand over the acknowledgement on Page 2 of the admit card to the candidate, for having received each of the answer books, in separate columns on the reverse of the admit card, upon receipt of the OMR answer sheet and the descriptive answer book after the conclusion of the exam.
  18. Extra Time for Handicapped: Physically handicapped candidates will be given extra time as per the existing arrangements, in the normal course, as per the guidelines in place.
  19. Bilingual Question Papers: In the case of Hindi medium candidates, Papers 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 of Intermediate Level (Both Old and New Syllabus), including the MCQ component will be bilingual. In other papers of the Intermediate level exam, question papers will be in English only for all candidates including Hindi medium candidates.
  20. OMR Answer Sheet only in English: OMR answer sheets will be in English only for all candidates including Hindi medium candidates.

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