Protests are planned and twitter storms have unfolded as disgruntled CMA aspirants are sharing their struggles online. The June session of Cost & Management Accounting (CMA) examinations has seen numerous logistical difficulties throughout the country that have made it nearly impossible for students to give this exam. The pen and paper examination adopted the computer based mode since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. This change has not been planned well by the The Institute of Cost Accountants of India as several students reported to either defunct or mismanaged centers.
The Free Press Journal spoke with CMA aspirants to hear their personal accounts of this exam session.
“The computers at the centers are constantly facing internet issues, the testing administration has been unsuccessful,” said Akshay Agarwal, Manager at MEPL classes for CMA Inter Exams(Kolkata).
“On June 27, the students received the law paper on the day of the Operational Management and Strategic Management(OMSM) examination in several centers. The exam was not conducted on time. Several accountants were not allotted centers, while many other centers did not upload papers,” he added.
The myth of a whisper-quiet exam room’ was shattered for Manish Pandey, a CMA student from Navi Mumbai, “The exam room was very chaotic, people kept walking in and out of the center and disturbing the students. If one tried to cheat, it was very easy to do so.”
Manish travels 25kms to reach his exam center. “The centers were much closer when I appeared for a paper based test. Now despite being computer run the exams don’t start on time,” he said.
Deepak Aghav, another CMA student from Maharashtra was asked to connect his personal hotspot to his examination computer. “The internet was down in many centers.”
Several centers in Thrissur, Mallapuram, Chennai, and Delhi have cancelled their examinations without prior notice. “Many CMA aspirants work at MNCs and had to ask for leaves during the examination days. Cancellation did them no good.”
Pawan Gaikwad, a CMA Final Student faced problems with the paper itself. “We are asked to solve numericals on a rough sheet and upload it on the software using a QR code. This is a time consuming process and it cuts into our writing time.”
The candidates did not follow any particular seating arrangement in Aurangabad, “The roll numbers are just for the sake of out Admit Cards. Students would sit wherever they pleased.”
The Institute of Cost Accountants of India is representing the problems of the aspirants. Member CMA Sandeep Kumar said, "These problems were faced during the December examination too, but when we spoke out the disciplinary committee silenced us."
"More than 600 children reported to a lot central and only 200 laptops or computers were available. At some centers, children are seen using their mobiles during the exam," he added.
"I think there has been rigging with the examination standards and the tender has been handed over to incapable persons," said CMA Sandeep Kumar who will be protesting at Jantar Mantar along with 500 other students on July 5, 2022.