CA Foundation Examination Complete Course Guide

CA Foundation is a part of the revised scheme introduced by the ICAI. CA Foundation is an entry-level test designed for students who want to pursue the CA Course. Exams for the CA Foundation will conduct twice in a year in May and November. CA Foundation is replacing the current entry-level test CPC (Common Proficiency Course). A student after appearing in 12th examination can register for the CA Foundation course. The complete CA Course is of 4.5 years duration.

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CA Foundation – New Entry Scheme

The ICAI executed it’s a plan to make the entry-level difficult, not like IIT-JEE or PMT but better than CPT, in the form of CA Foundation. As we all know the CA Course is easy to enter and difficult to exist. CPT is considered much easier compared to its other two levels i.e. CA Intermediate and CA Final. So, in order to fill this gap, an initiative has been taken by the ICAI by replacing CPC with the CA Foundation.

ICAI president said that they are introducing the subjective pattern in the CA Foundation because of the objective pattern in the CPT it welcomes the guesswork of hundreds of candidates and in this way, many ineligible candidates get entrance in this course. To overcome such vulnerabilities in the entrance test of CA Course ICAI has introduced CA Foundation in place of CPT.

Your Journey to CA Foundation Examination 

It is your complete journey that you will follow in CA Foundation Examination May/ Nov this year from registration to appear in the examination

  1. Eligibility –After appearing in the 12th examination you will be eligible to get register in this course so register yourself.
  2. Preparation – Once you are registered you have to undergo through a study period of four months to appear in the exam.
  3. Application Form – Apply for the Foundation exams that mean fill the application form through the ICAI portal.
  4. Admit Card – ICAI issues the admit card generally 21 days before the exams. You can download your admit card from the ICAI portal. You will not get the admit cards offline.
  5. Error Correction – If any error has occurred in filling the application form regarding the center/medium then one can apply for the correction. ICAI has provided the facility of two correction window, each has a separate time limit.
  6. One Month Preparation Prepare well for the exams. Don’t limit yourself just to crack this exam. You should prepare for a high score.
  7. Result – It is probable that the CA Foundation result will declare within 2 months from the Exams.

Important Dates for CA Foundation Nov 2020 Attempt

Last Date for registration for May 2020 attempt31st Dec 2019
Last date to submit Application Form26th Feb 2020
Last date to submit Application Form (with late fee)4th Mar 2020
CA Foundation May 2020 Attempt Exam DatesCanceled (will be conducted along with November 2020 Attempt)
Correction Window Reopen-I7th Jun 2020 – 9th Jun 2020 (Now postponed until further notice)
Opt-Out Facility Window17th Jun 2020 – 20th Jun 2020
Opt-Out Facility Window Extended Dates21st June – 27th June 2020 (Open till 11:59 PM)
28th June – 30th June 2020 (Open till 11:59 PM)
Last date to register for Nov 2020 attempt31st August 2020
CA Foundation November attempt Exam Forms5th August 2020 to 25th August 2020
CA Foundation Nov 2020 Exam Dates9th, 11th, 15th & 17th NOVEMBER 2020
Admit Card Release DateTo be announced soon

CA Foundation Exam Latest Updates from ICAI

ICAI has canceled the May 2020 exams that were earlier rescheduled in August 2020. 

Source: ICAI Announcement dated 3rd July 2020

These exams have been merged with the November 2020 CA Foundation Exams. Students who have registered for the May 2020 exams will have to fill a new application for the November 2020 exam. All the fees paid, any exemptions and benefits allowed will be carried forward to the next attempt—November 2020. 

ICAI has also extended the date to register for Nov 2020 exams from 5th August 2020 to 25th August 2020.

Source: ICAI Announcement dated 1st July 2020

Eligibility for Registration in CA Foundation

Exams for the CA Foundation will conduct twice in a year i.e. MAY and November. A student can register in this course after appearing in 12th examination constituted by the law or recognized by the Central Government and appear in the Foundation examination after passing 12th Examination.

The students are required to undergo through a study period of four months after the registration in the CA Foundation course to appear in the Exams. That means if one wants to appear in the May 2020 examinations then he is required to get himself register on or 31st December 2019 or if one wants to appear in November 2020 examinations then he will be required to get registered in this course before 30th June 2020(31st August 2020).

However, due to the delay in the Class 12th Central and State Boards Results declaration, ICAI has modified the eligibility criteria and allowed provisional registration for students who have not cleared their 12th Exams. We have explained the other requirements in case of provisional registration in our CA Foundation Registration Guide. (Link is given in the next section)

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CA Foundation Registration Procedure

You can register for the CA Foundation course through the ICAI portal under the Course registration forms under students tab by making the requisite payment. Once the payment is successful it will automatically generate the form which is required to get print.

You have to deposit such form within 7 days duly signed by the candidate along with the following documents –

    1. Attested Copy of the Admit Card/ Marksheet of class 12th examination issued by the respective board.
    2. You need to affix a latest colored photograph on the hard copy of such registration form.
    3. If the student is Resident of another country, then attested copy of proof of Nationality.
    4. Attested copy of proof of special category certificate i.e. ST/SC/OBC, differently abled.
    5. Attested copy of 10th Marksheet/ Admit card indicating the Name and Date of Birth.

Although registration is not a one-time procedure. Once the registration is done for the Foundation course it will be valid for three years. In addition to that, it can be revalidated any number of times for further three years by depositing a nominal fees decided by the council from time to time.

If you are willing to appear in CA Foundation Nov 2020. Read CA Foundation Complete Registration Procedure and Eligibility Guide.

CA Foundation Registration Fees

A student can register for the CA Foundation course with the prescribed fees –

  S.No.Details of FeesRupees For Foreign Students (US $)
    1.Cost of Foundation Prospectus20020
    2.Foundation Registration Fees9000700
    3.Subscription for Students Journal (For one Year- Optional)20020

Once the above registration process is completed the Study Material will be dispatch to the candidates through the Centralised Dispatch System (CDS).

Exemption: ICAI has given 75% concession in the registration fees for the CA candidates from some specific states. Read more details at CA Foundation Fee Structure.

Duration of Study Period for CA Foundation Students

Once your registration is done, open your books and prepare well for the CA Foundation exams. Don’t just think to crack the exam instead of it prepare for a high score. Dream big from the beginning so that you will not face failure in the entire journey as a CA student.

You will get four months study period after the registration which is more than enough to secure 70% marks. Select the correct coaching institute which can provide you proper guidance or you can also opt for CA Foundation online classes and study at the comfort of your home ,work hard and work smart.

CA Foundation Application Form (Exam Form)

Registration in the course is not enough to appear in the Foundation exams. You have to fill the exam form to inform the ICAI that you are appearing in the Exam. You can fill the CA Foundation Application form from the ICAI portal after making the requisite examination fees.

Where due to any unavoidable circumstances if the registration details entered by the candidate does not match with records maintained by the ICAI, for example, your registration number and date of birth showing some error then you can be offered to register provisionally.

You are expected to check your profile before filing the application form online. In case your photograph and signature are not attached then you are required to attach your photograph and signature and the candidates who wish to change their photograph or signature can do so, in such a case you are required to print the PDF of the form.( Affix his/her photograph, duly sign the form and get them attested. Attestation can be done only by a Practicing Chartered Accountant or Head of an Educational Institution or a Gazetted Officer) and submit it to the Exam Deptt. in the normal course. But the candidates whose photograph and signature are already appearing on the PDF are not required to send the hard copy/print out of such PDF at the Exam Deptt.

While filing the form candidates are also required to upload the attested and scanned declaration. The size of the scanned file should be within 100-300KB  and the file should be in the JPG format.

After completion of the above formalities, you are required to send the printout of such form in an envelope (without folding)  by speed post to the Joint Secretary Exam (Examination Department), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, ‘ICAI Bhawan, Indraprastha Marg, New Delhi – 110002.

CA Foundation Admit Card

Admit Cards are required to sit in the Examination Hall. ICAI generally issues admit cards 14 days before the exams. ICAI has ceased to send the admit cards physically. Now you can only download Admit Card for CA Foundation online from ICAI website.

You can download the admit cards maximum three times. Take the print out at least 10 days before the exam to avoid last minute hurry.

After downloading, in case you found there an error in Center/Medium (resulting from wrong details submitted in the application form), then you have an opportunity to rectify such error related to the Center/Medium. Read the steps you need to follow to rectify the errors of your admit card in our CA Foundation Admit Card blog.

Correction Window in CA Foundation

The Correction facility has two window one of which is without fees ( called correction window) and another one is with correction fees (called “corrections with fees-window”) of Rs 1000/- per application.

  1. Free Window Facility–  Under Free Window Facility a student can change his/her Center/Medium within one week after the last date of submission of Examination form(without late fees). The details of the form are available on  ICAI website.
  2. Correction Window Facility (with fees)– Under this window, a student can change his/her  Center/Medium with the payment of Rs. 1000/- per application. Generally, this window is open for correction upto one week before the exam. But request made immediately before 7 days will not be entertained by the ICAI under any case.

In an announcement by ICAI, dated on 6th June, the re-opening of the correction window from 7th to 9th June 2020 was postponed.

Opt-Out Window Facility for CA Foundation Nov 2020

Seeing the concern of students and the current nationwide situation caused due to the spread of COVID-19, ICAI has introduced an OPT-OUT option for students. 

This option is ONLY available for candidates who have already registered for the MAY 2020 attempt. Under this facility, students can carry forward/shift their candidature to the Nov 2020 Examination cycle. 

Opt-Out Option for May 2020 Attempt

Note: Your application for MAY 2020 attempt will be canceled after selecting the OPT-OUT option. You will have to refill the Application Form for CA Foundation Exam. However, your already paid exam fees will be carried forward for the Nov 2020 attempt accordingly. 

Applications for any change will not be accepted later. It will be treated as final. 

For more queries, visit this FAQ page at ICAI

* Due to the cancellation of CA Foundation May 2020 exams, the opt-out facility is no longer required and you now have to register for Nov 2020 exams.

CA Foundation Syllabus and Study Material

The entire Foundation syllabus is divided into four subjects –

  1. Principles and Practices of Accounting
  2. Business Law and Business Correspondence and Reporting
  3. Business Mathematics and Logical Reasoning and Statistics
  4. Business Economics and Business and Commercial Knowledge

To complete the syllabus, you need to download the study material and buy some of the most recommended books.

CA Foundation Exam Pattern and Papers

The first two papers (accounting and law) are subjective, consisting of theory and practical questions while the latter two (mathematics and economics) are objective with MCQs. Negative marking of 0.25 will continue to remain in the objective papers as per the revised scheme.

ICAI has also given a detailed Revised Exam Pattern with marks and weightage distribution in all four subjects. You must refer to the latest Exam Pattern before starting your preparations for the Foundation Exams

You can also download the new mock test papers as per the latest scheme of CA Foundation for practice. 

Related: Do you know these simple time-saving tricks to use a calculator in CA Foundation Exam?

CA Foundation Result

The result for the CA Foundation will be declared with its other levels either with the CA Intermediate or CA Final that means approx two months after the exams. You can check your CA Foundation Results through ICAI website/SMS/Email. You can see the steps on how to get your results on our blog and also check the toppers list and pass percentage.

CA Foundation Coaching

For a successful result, there is a need for correct mentors. We have provided correct guidance to thousands of students till now. As you can see VSI CPT results and VSI IPCC results in every attempt, we have given AIRs and top marks in both. We don’t limit our students to just get pass. See our miracle wall, even an average student with us score high in the CA Exams. Join VSI for  CA Foundation classes and begin your Chartered Accountant journey.


Ques 1. What is the registration fee charged by ICAI for CA Foundation Exam?

Ans. Rs. 9200 for Indian students and US$ 720 for foreign students.

Ques 2. What is the exam form fee for the CA Foundation Exam?

Ans. Rs. 1500 for selecting a centre in India, Rs. 2200 for Kathmandu centre, and US$ 325 for the overseas centre (excluding Kathmandu centre).

Ques 3. What are the criteria for negative marking in CA foundation paper?

Ans. ¼ mark is deducted in objective papers for every wrong answer.

Ques 4. How many times can I appear in CA Foundation Exam?

Ans. Your registration is valid until 3 years, so you have a total of 6 attempts. After this duration, you have to renew your registration.