ICAI CA Exams 2020: Problems Genuine CA Students are facing due to Opt-Out window closure

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) had opened the opt-out window for the CA Students on 7th Nov. 2020. The CA students were given the option to opt-out from the November 2020 CA Exams. Such students were allowed to choose to appear either in Jan 2021 or May 2021 exams.

As per the ICAI notification, the last date for the opt-out window was 14th Dec. 2020. There were no specific conditions attached to this date. The ICAI also mentioned that the opt-out window will remain open throughout the examination. But, No detailed guidelines were issued by the ICAI in this regard.

Now, here the students were confused (due to lack of official clarification) whether:
(i) The opt-out window will remain open UNTIL “YOUR” LAST EXAM? OR
(ii) The opt-out window will remain open UNTIL THE LAST EXAM OF THE LEVEL (Foundation/Inter/Final)? OR
(iii) The opt-out window will remain opened UNTIL 14TH DEC. 2020 irrespective of any condition?

The ICAI should have issued clear guidelines to clarify the exact last date with all the conditions (if any) but they did not. Without clarification, all the above 3 dates seemed to be correct.

The ICAI has recently closed the opt-out window for those students whose LAST EXAM OF THE LEVEL has been finished. It means the opt-out window for CA Intermediate & CA Final Students has been Closed.

Most of the students who were facing COVID/COVID symptoms opted out before or even during the examinations. But unfortunately, some of the students who were having severe problems due to COVID were not able to opt-out till the last exam of their levels considering the fact that the opt-out window will remain open until 14th Dec. 2020. And now, the opt-out window has been closed and such students are stuck!

Apart from that, there was also no clarification regarding the term “APPEARED”. ICAI mentioned in its notification that if any student “APPEAR” in all the exams of a Group, then his/her that Group will be evaluated with the Nov. 2020 CA Exams results. But what if any student could not appear/remain absent from exams and later on opted out?? This was also not clarified. 

Many students who could not appear in the exams, were also considering that the opt-out window will remain open until 14th Dec. 2020 and they could opt-out at any time before that. (Although they should have done it earlier!)

These are some of the examples of cases which is Genuine and yet these students are trapped now due to miscommunication.

Apart from this, there are many other cases where students cannot opt-out such as:- they need to take care of the family members who were already infected with the COVID or the CA student himself/herself was admitted to the hospital. Such students must be given another chance to opt-out by reopening the window.


The ICAI has always worked for the utmost benefit of the CA Students. It conducted the exams amid so worst situation that no other educational institute in the country would dare to do. This is a clear example of ICAI’s integrity and dedication towards the students.

But, if some genuine students were not able to opt-out due to some extreme situations, then such students must also be given another chance to opt-out. It would be highly appreciated if the ICAI re-open the opt-out window for all students. This will be really helpful for numerous genuine CA Students who have already faced a lot during this Pandemic.

Article Written By: Malvika Singh
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