CA Foundation Examination – Complete Course Guide

What is CA Foundation?

CA Foundation, earlier known as Common Proficiency Test (CPT), is the stepping stone towards becoming a Chartered Accountant. It is an entry-level exam conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) twice a year, in May and December, for all those who want to get into the CA profession.

Who all are eligible to take the CA Foundation exam?

To be eligible for writing the CA Foundation exam, the candidate must have-

  • constituted by law in India or an examination recognized by the Central Government or the State Government as equivalent to it
  • Must have registered for CA Foundation. All those who have appeared for the Class 12 examination can register. However, only those registered candidates who have cleared the Class 12 exam can appear for the CA Foundation exam.
  • Must have undergone a minimum study period of 4 months after registration
  • Must register with the Board of Studies of the Institute on or before the 1st day of January or the 1st day of July for the examination to be held in May/June or November/December, respectively.

It is to be noted that as per ICAI’s October 13, 2020 announcement, students will now be able to provisionally register under the CA Foundation Course after passing Class 10 exams.

CA Foundation Registration Procedure

CA Foundation registration can be done by-

  2. Enter your basic details such as Salutation, Full Name, DoB, E-mail Address, Mobile Number, etc., and click on “Generate OTP.”
  3. Next, enter the OTP received on your registered mobile number and verify the same. The login credentials will now be sent to your registered mobile number and email ID.
  4. Using the login credentials received, login at
  5. After logging in, you will be able to see two options. Select “Student Cycle” on the left side.
  6. On the screen that appears, click “Apply for Foundation.”
  7. Now, enter details like Father and Mother’s Name, marital status, Aadhaar Number, PAN Number, Pin Code, etc. After entering all the details, click on “Save and Next.
  8. Next, select the medium of study. Choose from English or Hindi and click on “Save and Next.”
  9. The next step is to upload a photograph of yours. This should be in the PDF or JPEG Format and less than 1 MB. After uploading the picture, click on “Generate OTP” and enter the OTP received.
  10. Now, pay the registration fees.
  11. On successful payment of fees, the system will automatically generate the form and a successful transaction message. Take a print out of the form and courier the same to the postal address of ICAI along with the required documents. Upon completing the registration process, the study material will be sent to the candidates through the Centralized Dispatch System (CDS).

The 2021 CA Foundation dates for registration for May/June is January 1, 2021, and for Nov/December is July 1, 2021.

CA Foundation Syllabus

The CA Foundation exam has four papers of 100 marks each-

  • Paper 1: Principles and Practice of Accounting– The paper acquaints the aspirants with the basic standards and principles of accounting and helps them apply the same in preparing financial statements.
  • Paper 2: Business Laws and Business Correspondence and Reporting Section A- Business Laws (60 marks): It familiarizes the students with certain provisions of specific business laws and their application. Section B- Business Correspondence and Reporting (40 marks): It helps aspirants develop the requisite communication skills required for business reporting and correspondence.
  • Paper 3: Business Mathematics, Logical Reasoning, and StatisticsSection A- Business Mathematics (40 marks): This part familiarizes aspirants with the mathematical tools necessary in business, economics, and finance. Section B- Logical Reasoning (20 marks): It helps students inculcate logical reasoning skills and use them in a practical environment. Section C- Statistics (40 marks): It acquaints the students with statistical tools necessary for computation in finances and business.
  • Paper 4: Business Economics & Business and Commercial KnowledgeSection A- Business Economics (60 marks): Through this section, the student learns about the concepts and theories related to business economics and how to apply it in practical situations. Section B- Business and Commercial Knowledge (40 marks): This section helps students understand various business and commercial concepts and the ongoing developments in the commercial sector.

It is to be noted that Paper 1 and 2 are subjective in nature. Meanwhile, Paper 3 and Paper 4 are objective type papers, and each wrong answer attracts negative marks.

Criteria for Passing CA Foundation

A candidate shall be declared to have passed the CA Foundation examination if- 

  1. They obtain a minimum of 40% marks in each paper, and
  2. A minimum of 50% marks in aggregate of all the papers


How many attempts are there under the CA Foundation course?

The CA Foundation registration is valid for a period of three years, which translates into six attempts. However, a candidate can re-validate their registration for another three years by paying the requisite fee.

When are CA Foundation results declared?

The CA Foundation results are generally declared with CA Final results. The results of the CA Finals are declared in January and August.

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