ICAI CA Exams Nov. 2020: Will January 2021 CA Exams Happen? Reasons Why CA Students are doubting it

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has recently opened the opt-out option for the CA Students. CA Students who are facing some issues due to COVID-19 are allowed to opt-out from November 2020 CA Exams.

But as the next CA Exams will be in May 2021, it will be too long to wait for the CA Students. Therefore the ICAI (after immense pressure from the students) allowed Alternate Exams for opted-out students only. These alternate exams will be held somewhere around Jan 2021 end or Feb 2021 start.

The CA Students who will opt-out from the Nov. 2020 CA Exams will be given an option either to appear in Jan 2021 attempt or directly in May 2021. But here is the main point of concern arises. Students are now doubting the ICAI that there will be NO ALTERNATE EXAMS WILL BE CONDUCTED IN JAN/FEB 2021. But why so?? Why students are doubting the ICAI that the ICAI may cheat its own students?? Here are some of the points which I consider why CA students are doubting ICAI (which is somewhat Valid also):

1. Why No Schedule Announcement for the Jan/Feb. 2021 Exams?

We all know that the ICAI has just issued these Alternate Exams only after the immense pressure from the CA Students. Otherwise, it would have been issued with the opt-out window announcement itself. This was absolutely an Unplanned move from the ICAI just to ease the pressure.

The ICAI authorities are saying that they will issue a detailed announcement regarding the Jan/Feb attempt in mid-December. And you know what, what the last date of the Opt-Out window?? It is 14th Dec 2020. If this window is for opted-out students, don’t ICAI think that the students must be given the schedules so that they could actually decide whether to opt-out or not and also whether to opt-out to Jan/Feb Or Directly to May Attempt? 

2. Impact on May 2021 Attempt:

If the Alternate Exams actually happens somewhere around Jan 2021 end OR Feb 2021 start, then as per the normal course of the ICAI, results will be issued in the next 50 to 60 days. That will fall in the March end/April first week.

Now, the next exams will be in May 2021. When the Exam forms for May 2021 attempt will be issued? When Admit Cards be out? And most importantly when the exams will happen? Will May 2021 exams also be POSTPONED??

3. Past Experience with the ICAI:

In the past attempt also, the ICAI waited until the last week and then it canceled the exams. Now students are doubting that the same possibility may happen this time too.

ICAI is somewhere planning to cancel/merge one attempt i.e. either Nov. 2020 or Jan/Feb 2021. If the majority of students opt-out, then Nov. exams may be canceled and shifted to Jan/Feb 2021 or even maybe conducted with fewer students in Nov. itself.

If the majority of the students appear in Nov. 2020 exams, then Jan/Feb 2021 may be canceled and merged with the May 2021 attempt or even ICAI may be forced to cancel the Nov. attempt due to lack of exam centers.

Unfortunately, there is a possibility of this and this has happened in past too. Some students also blamed that even if they chose Jan/Feb 2021 attempt during the opt-out yet they were receiving mail that THEY HAVE BEEN SHIFTED TO MAY 2021 EXAMS. When these things are happening, doubts are very natural to arise.

4. Exam Centers of the ICAI:

The issues of exam centers are not yet resolved. Many exam centers are still in the containment zones. The conditions of the exam centers are not okay. Even many exam center coordinators are denying about the conducting of the exams. These issues are definitely adding woes to the student’s worries.


I am really very happy that the ICAI has actually announced the one alternate exams for the opted-out students. I really appreciate this important and good step taken toward the welfare of the students. But just issuing one unplanned announcement won’t help.

We have many doubts about the opt-out window and many consequential changes that need to be answered. We need a complete detailed announcement on the opt-out window and what would happen if any student opt-out from the exams. The issue of the last attempt of the old student is also one of the major questions which urgently need to be answered. The result dates, the exemption carry forward, the rank list, etc. there are many such questions. The ICAI must answer all this OFFICIALLY and as soon as possible.

As I said in my last article, even after so much ups and down and confusions among the student, I still believe that it is only the ICAI which can resolve all this. I still believe the same. PLEASE ICAI DON’T LET US DOWN! 


Article Written By: Malvika Singh

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Malvika Singh

Malvika Singh

I am a CA Final Student.

3 thoughts on “ICAI CA Exams Nov. 2020: Will January 2021 CA Exams Happen? Reasons Why CA Students are doubting it

  • November 12, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    What will be the possible solution for a candidate who already had choose the opt out option of January but Wanted to give exam in November only? what was the solution for that?

  • November 13, 2020 at 9:35 am

    Management of exams in icai indicates inefficiency and lack of accountability students have to suffer in the process

  • December 6, 2020 at 3:45 am

    For May 2021 Attempt
    See already Nov attempt is delayed by a month (usually over till 16th Nov but this time it’s 9th Dec) & Jan exams are going to start from 21st Jan & will over by 6th Feb.. Now normally results will be announced by 50 Days of cycle.. That is 25th march.. & exam form has 15-20 Days of time to be filled up. Now a student who couldn’t clear in Jan attempt need some time to prepare and fill the forms.. It can’t be done in a month.. So I hope & believe institute will postponed the exams by 15–30 days for sure.. ✌🏻


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