Self Study: A Reality or Myth for SEBI Grade A 2023?


The title regarding the upcoming SEBI Grade A 2023 might have intrigued you with several questions and you will find all answers here in the blog. The SEBI Grade A 2023 notification will be out soon. Not much time is left. This exam is a highly anticipated exam among the aspirants preparing for regulatory bodies’ exams. The difficulty level of the exam is such that most of the candidates prefer coaching over doing just self-study. But, there are candidates who have cleared the exam solely based on self-study.

In this article, we’ll see if it is really possible to clear the SEBI Grade A exam without coaching. If yes then how? If not then why? But before that, we need to understand the SEBI Grade A exam first.


SEBI Grade A Exam Pattern

The exam of the SEBI Grade A consists of 2 papers in both phase 1 & phase 2, as follows:


Paper 1General Awareness- (Financial Awareness, QRE)10060 Min30%
Paper 2Commerce, Accountancy, Management, Finance, Costing, Company Act, Economics10040 Min40%
Aggregate Cut-off   40%


Paper 1Descriptive English10060 Min30%1/3rd
Paper 2Commerce, Accountancy, Management, Finance, Costing, Company Act, Economics10040 Min40%2/3rd
Aggregate Cut-off   50% 

Thus, the SEBI Grade A exam expects the following things from you at the least:

1.      Basic Financial Awareness

2.      A good knowledge of specific subjects: Commerce, Accountancy, Management etc.

3.      Knack of writing Descriptive English.

Is it possible to clear SEBI Grade A Without Coaching? :

If you are fairly good in all these 3 aspects, you may be able to clear the exam without coaching. The candidates with a Commerce, Economics background, who are largely familiar with the specific Subjects of Paper 2, may find it relatively easy to study. The UPSC aspirants may also be able to study for SEBI Grade A without coaching.

For the candidates who are freshly graduated from a non-commerce background, studying for the specific subjects of Commerce, Accountancy etc. will be a lot tougher at the beginning. Thus, they are advised to take aid of some coaching at least at the beginning.

However, we also have to consider that this is a competitive exam. The relative edge that the commerce or UPSC background students get, can be wiped out by other candidates working extra hard with a specialized faculty at coaching. Thus, either you have to be very good at what this exam expects from you or you must take help from some coaching institute without any hesitation.

Also, let us understand what we mean when we say, self-study.

Self Study for SEBI Grade A

We come across many successful candidates boasting about them clearing the exam only on the basis of self-study. Remember that self-study is studying solely on the basis of reference books, making your own notes without referring to the class notes. Today, we can get access to the notes of all the major institutions and classes online. We have to understand that when any topper mentions about self-studying, he/she may have used those notes. Thus, it is not just self-study that they relied on.

Learn more about self-study from our faculty member CP Joshi sir, here:

Now, let us see what are the pros & cons of self studying.


1.      Self-made notes are always priceless. As we write according to our understanding.

2.      We can devise a plan according to our own strengths & weaknesses.

3.      It is a lot more flexible as we can devise time to prepare according to our schedule.

4.      It may reduce unnecessary stress & anxiety that one has to go through when following the set timetable, as there’s no outside pressure that pushes us to work extra hard.


1.      Self-study could be time-consuming as you may not understand everything at the first go. Also, the notes that you’d make will take a lot more time to complete.

2.      There’s so much information available today for exam preparation. You need to understand ‘what not to use’. And you may not have the right guidance in that regard.

3.      Only a few people are able to maintain the consistency in self-studying, because there’s lack of motivation and absence of a mentor who could guide you from time to time.

4.      More time and energy is spent on making timetables, setting priorities than actually studying.

5.      For better results, we have to assess our progress constantly. In self-study you may not get the right kind of direction to assess your performance and plan accordingly.

So, What do you need? Coaching or Self-Study?

Till now you must have understood different aspects about coaching and self-study. If your foundation for SEBI Grade A is stronger, then you may study without coaching. This is possible only if you’re from a Commerce or Economics background, or a UPSC aspirant who has been preparing dedicatedly for 2-3 years. You can still rely on self-study if you don’t belong to any of these categories, but that might be time-consuming which may be disadvantageous to you.

But, coaching can address various concerns of yours that you may encounter during self-study. There will be a systematic way of teaching, planning and mentorship in the coaching, which may help you prepare faster for the exam. Coaching may let you know the things that you ‘should not do’ in your preparation, otherwise, you may get lost in the information overload that we have today.

At the end, every student has his/her skillset that determines their ability to clear the exam with or without coaching. If you’re wise enough to understand that, then you may not need any mentor to guide you, but if you’re confused about it, then you should get help from experts. Take the decision wisely without wasting any more time as the SEBI Grade A notification will be out any time now.

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