ICAP | what it is, How to Pursue CA, Exam Techniques, Myths

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) is an autonomous regulatory body of chartered accountants that was established in 1961 to regulate the accountancy profession in the country. It is the only institute that provides Chartered Accountancy (CA) certification in Pakistan. The course of ICAP provides both theoretical education and practical training that equips the students with different attributes required to become a professional accountant.

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in chartered accountancy, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we shall guide you about Exam techniques of CA and different myths related to this degree. But first here’s a set of questions that will give you some basic idea about pursuing CA.

What is a Chartered Accountant (CA)?

A chartered accountant (CA) is an international accounting designation given to accounting professionals in most of the countries across the world, except the United States. Chartered Accountants focus on areas such as audit, financial reporting, taxation etc.

What is the Eligibility Criteria for Chartered Accountancy?

People who intend to join the Chartered Accountancy profession are required to have any one of the following qualifications.

  • Must have Higher Secondary School Certificate with a minimum 50% aggregate marks.
  • Must have ‘A’ Levels with minimum two passes, or equivalent qualification.
  • Graduates (14 or 16 years of education) with a minimum of 45% marks.

How much is the Membership Fee of ICAP?

To know about the membership fee of ICAP, you can check all details by accessing the following link.


What is the duration of CA?

It takes almost 5 to 6 years for a CA student to complete the certification, inclusive of training period of 3 years.

How many papers does a CA student need to clear?

There is a total of 21 papers that CA students have to clear. However, there are some exemptions given to students as well. You can check the following link for paper exemptions.


How many levels are in CA?

There are 4 tiers/levels in the CA qualification.

  • 4 papers in Level 1 (AFC)
  • 9 Papers in Level 2 (CAF)
  • 6 Papers in Level 3 (CFAP)
  • 2 Papers in Level 4 (MSA)

For your convenience, we have attached an image of the CA program structure. See the image given below

How many attempts are available at AFC level?

Three attempts for each paper are available to the students at the AFC level. However, if a student has passed two papers from the four papers in three attempts then two additional attempts for  remaining two papers will be given to the student.

Note: Attempt will only be counted if the student has appeared in the exam.

How many attempts are available at CAF level?

Six attempts for each paper are available to the students at CAF level. However, if a student has passed seven papers in six attempts then two additional attempts for remaining two papers will be given to the student.

Note: Attempt will only be counted if the student has appeared in the exam.

How many attempts are available at CFAP and MSA level?

Six attempts for each paper are available to the students at CFAP level and unlimited at the MSA level. However, if a student has passed three papers in six attempts at CFAP level then unlimited attempts for remaining papers will be given to the student.

Note: Attempt will only be counted if the student has appeared in the exam.

How many papers can a student appear in for a single attempt of AFC, CAF and CFAP?

Students are allowed to give four papers of AFC, five papers of CAF in the single attempt or they can give six papers of CFAP level in a single attempt.

How to Apply for CA?

You have to go to the ICAP official website and complete the student registration form to register yourself for the CA course.


Now we shall discuss some of the myths related to Chartered Accountancy (CA).

Myths regarding Chartered Accountancy Course

  • It is not true that CA students don’t have any social life. It’s all about the planning of your day and how much time you give to your studies.
  • CA is quite a difficult course. That’s a fact. But nothing with as much worth as this qualification comes easily. It’s important to work hard but also make sure that the hard work is being applied in the right direction.
  • There’s a myth that you have to be a spreadsheet genius to become a chartered accountant. Wrong! No one is an expert from the get-go. You can learn it by taking coaching classes and studying hard to complete the chartered accountancy course.

CA Exam Preparation Techniques

  • Never deactivate social media accounts. Isolating yourself from the world is never the right way to go. So, rather than deactivating you socials, you should dedicate 15 to 20 minutes to look at or post something of value to your socials.
  • Don’t switch off your phone. But don’t check every notification that appears on your screen either. Stay in touch with your friends that are also prepping for the exam, to talk to them for a few minutes and ask them about their preparation and take guidance from them if you are facing any problem in exam preparation.

  • Keeping different eatables and snacks in your room will help energise your mind and you will be able to do well in exam preparation.
  • Use colourful sticky notes to write formulas and important points which will help you in remembering them easily.
  • You should always go out for a walk or run for 30 minutes during exam days. This small session will refresh your mind and will help you focus more when you resume your studies.
  • Never lock yourself in the room and isolate yourself from other family members. Talking to your siblings and having lunch and dinner with your family will relax your mind.
  • Ask for guidance from mentors and teachers who can give you advice regarding the paper. If you are facing any problems in any concepts, you should clear them out immediately to continue forward.

Most of the CA students feel a lot of stress during the exam so above-mentioned techniques will keep the students relaxed, motivated and focused during the exam season.

So that’s pretty much all you need to know about ICAP, CA myths and exam preparation. Do let us know in the comments section if you have any thoughts or questions pertaining to this article. If you feel that this article carries value, pass it along among your friends and family. Good luck and Godspeed!

Written by Umer Zahid