Judicial Services Exam Preparation : Most of the students pursuing law hold high hopes to set foot in the Judicial fraternity one day. This dream can materialise only when the competitive judicial services exam conducted by the State Public Service Commissions of respective states is successfully cleared. It is clearing this examination that has been a cause of constant fright amongst students and graduates. Here we are presenting a definitive guide to Crack Judicial Services Examination. So let’s get to it.
Table of Contents
- Cracking Any Judicial Services Examination
- CONCISE SYLLABUS OUTLINE OF CERTAIN STATES
- Judicial Services Exam Preparation : Exam Pattern
- Judicial Services Exam Preparation : Integrated Approach to Prelims and Mains Examination
- Judicial Services Exam Preparation : Customised Tricks and Timelines
- Judicial Services Exam Preparation : Personality Test
Cracking Any Judicial Services Examination
Kick-starting the preparation is the most uncertain stage of this journey. It is usually advisable to start early, while in the penultimate years of LLB course so that you start to learn the art of reading the bare acts beforehand. However, starting to prepare for it in the post-graduation stage too is not difficult if our determination to clear the examination is towers high.
Even though approximately 50,000 students appear in the judicial services examinations of most of the Hindi-speaking states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh, only 1-3% of the students ace these exams. However, if you hold enough grit and determination to clear these examinations, such numbers must be taken only as a challenge and not deterrence. Moreover, the publishing of the vacant seats by the States and the upcoming examinations in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand with a huge number of vacant seats must be seen as a delight.
Qualifications to appear for Judicial services examination :
- Citizenship : An Indian citizen
- Age : Minimum age of 21 years and maximum 35 years
- Education : LLB Hons. program from a recognised University.
- Additional qualifications : Some states like Jharkhand and West Bengal require you to be enrolled in the State Bar Council in pursuance of the Advocates Act, 1961 for the purpose of appearing in Jharkhand or West Bengal Judicial Services Exam while other states like Rajasthan, Bihar Judicial Services do not require such registration at all.
CONCISE SYLLABUS OUTLINE OF CERTAIN STATES
1. Bihar Judicial Services Exam Preparation
It is one of the most sought-after states when it comes to joining judicial service as the pattern of this state is quite different from the rest. While in the preliminary rounds, it requires
- Knowledge on General Knowledge and Current affairs amounting to a 100 marker objective question paper and
- Knowledge of law subjects like Constitution, Contracts, Torts, Family Law, Mercantile Law, Company Law, Trust and Equity and Procedural Laws framed in a 150 marks objective paper
The mains examination is subjective and is quite peculiar as you can choose while filling up the form the optional papers of 150 marks each that you are willing to attempt in the mains examination, the following options are provided for a candidates’ choice:
- Constitutional and Administrative Laws
- Law of Transfer of Property / Principles of Equity / Law of Trusts and Specific Relief
- Family Law
- Law of Contracts & Torts
- Commercial Law
Out of the above-mentioned, three optional papers have to be selected. That apart, there are certain compulsory papers that you have to mandatorily write in the mains examination, they are:
- Law of evidence and procedure paper of 150 marks that includes the following:
- Indian Evidence Act, 1872
- Civil Procedure Code, 1908
- Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
- Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
- Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887
- General Studies inclusive of History, Geography in a 150 marked question paper and General Science of 100 marks
- General English and General Hindi each being a qualifying paper only, i.e., only 33 marks have to be secured in both these papers out of 100 marks.
Finally, the interview process is conducted for 100 marks.
2. Uttar Pradesh Judicial Services Exam Preparation
This state also holds exams in both law and general studies paper that is wider in ambit than Bihar Judicial Services as it also entails questions on international bodies and international affairs and space technology. Coming to the law subjects, it has no concept of optional papers and the syllabus is comparatively wider. The language paper in Hindi and English is 200 marks. It also includes the Indian Penal Code, 1870, Jurisprudence, and certain local laws of Uttar Pradesh in its examination, for instance:
- Uttar Pradesh Urban (Planning and Development) Act 1973
- UP Consolidation of Holding Act, 1953
- Uttar Pradesh Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act 1951,
- Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent, and Eviction) Act, 1972
- Uttar Pradesh Municipalities Act
- UP Panchayat Raj Act
Judicial Services Exam Preparation : Exam Pattern
The exam is a three-staged process :
- Preliminary examination
- Mains examination and
You need to approach all these stages with different strategies. Let discuss the versatile strategies to clear it:
The first action that you need to take is chalking out which are the states for which you are preparing. Wondering why? This is significant because the syllabus of all states is distinct and requires a targeted strategy to clear it with flying colours. For instance, certain examinations like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar Judicial Services require not only legal knowledge but a thorough hold on general studies too as mentioned earlier in this article, at the same time other states like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh only revolve around law subjects throughout the three-stage process.
In the same vein, as earlier stated, Bihar Judicial Services has language papers only as a qualifying paper, and its marks are not added to the consolidated score, Rajasthan Judicial Services on the contrary adds it to the consolidated score. Hence, it is better to go through the syllabus of different states once and choose one particular state examination based on our forte.
Analysis of the syllabus and previous years’ papers
- Thorough perusal of the syllabus is the most elementary yet crucial task that you need to do while kick-starting this journey. This involves circling out the subjects that you are supposed to ‘be in love with’ for the entire journey.
Selection and Elimination through the lens of PYQs:
Analysing the previous year’s papers is the next step in this regard, this helps you to contemplate what are the most important legal concepts in a given subject that you need to cover thoroughly. For example, Rule of Res Judicata and Res Sub-Judice is the much-loved concepts from the civil law that are asked in exams almost every year in various re-framed forms. It has two-fold benefits:
- This makes it easier for us to circle out the most relevant chapters in different subjects and prepare accordingly, i.e., selection technique!
- Second is the elimination technique. Not every topic under the sky is worth the investment considering the limited time and rigour. Now that we have analysed the previous year papers, while it helps in selecting what to focus on, it simultaneously helps in knowing what not to focus on, for example, mortgage suits under Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and execution of death sentence in Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 are hardly asked, hence we eliminate such topics from our bucket list.
The mocks available over Oliveboard are quite helpful in this process, as we customise the questions according to the particular states that a candidate is appearing for by including questions similar to the previous year’s questions asked in this regard.
While most aspirants follow a consecutive strategy of preparing for the prelims first and focus on the mains examination syllabus only once they clear the preliminary rounds, this has proved to be a bottleneck for aspirants to clear the final exam as in this manner two consequences can take place:
- The candidate is not selected in the mains examination owing to paucity of time to cover the entire syllabus or
- The candidate even though faces the interview round is ultimately a very low scorer in the consolidated marks awarded as his margin in clearing the mains examination gets is quite narrow to let him/her sweep through the final cut-off.
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Judicial Services Exam Preparation : Integrated Approach to Prelims and Mains Examination
So far, this has been the most successful strategy to clear judicial services. Preparing for the prelims only will serve a limited purpose, as once the prelims are cleared, you face the burden of making self-notes accompanied by writing practice in a limited space of fewer than two months causing intense panic. The integrated approach requires you to start preparing for the circled-out legal topics for both the prelims and mains exams. Although this appears difficult at first but it has productive outcomes as once you invest your brain in a subject for both the stages, the most difficult part of the journey is achieved and only revision is required. So how do we go about the integrated approach to each subject?
- As the preliminary rounds are objective questions oriented this requires a detailed learning of the bare acts, making short notes in a notebook on the important details that the particular section holds, for example churning out from Section 44 of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 implies knowing what are the class of Magistrates who are empowered to arrest or order the arrest of private persons.
- In order to memorize the nuances of the provisions, you may highlight them in the bare act with different colours. Additionally, write certain short details on colourful papers and stick at the door of our room and reading it even five times in a day internalises the information inside our brain. Cheers! Memorising gets even more interesting this way.
- Another good method to engage into anatomy of the provisions is by reading the provisions and mentally trying to create certain questions that could be culled out from such sections, this helps us understand the provisions better. Even referring to certain significant books available in the market that provides multiple choice questions and certain mock tests conducted by OLIVEBOARD can be helpful in solving objective questions and getting clarity over the provisions.
- Now that our understanding of the provisions is clear won the given topic by solving and memorising provisions, we can shift our focus on making self-notes on that particular topic for the purposes of mains examination. This too can be you by referring to certain decent books published only for the purposes of mains examination, for instance, A. K. Jain’s Guide has been quite acknowledged amongst many successful judiciary aspirants. Reading these guides along with respective subject books for them can be collectively consolidated into short self made notes for mains. Some well received books are:
- C.K. Takwani for Code of Civil Procedure, 1908,
- J.N. Pandey for Constitutional law,
- R. Kelkar for Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973,
- Pillai for Indian Penal Code, 1870
- V.P. Saarthi for Indian Evidence Act, 1872
- A.K. Jains’s Comprehensive Guide for all subjects
Updating those notes regularly with reference to recent case laws and amendments adds a cherry on the topping and also enhances our chances of clearing prelims with good scores. For the purpose of keeping abreast with latest judicial decisions, you can routinely read articles published on SCC Online, Bar and Bench and might also take the help of certain decent Youtube Channels available over digital media.
Similarly, switch to another legal topic when one gets covered. If you start covering each topic in this integrated approach, both the difficult stages where our legal acumen is tested can be a cakewalk.
Judicial Services Exam Preparation : Customised Tricks and Timelines
Although it is true that every individual aspirants’ grasping capacity is unique to him/her and generalising certain timelines for different subjects is certainly not appropriate, nonetheless, it is equally important to contemplate and frame certain targeted time frames for completing different subjects. For instance, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is quite lengthy a subject and completing this subject with the integrated approach would denote a longer time frame, two months generally. Further, you can sub-divide the preparation regime of this subject by making certain precise targets, for example, you can fix 3 days for completion of the different types of trial enumerated in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and for the sake of making short graphical representations of the trial as a chart for quickly imbibing it.
One entire day can be given for completing maintenance proceedings (Section 125-128) along with its relevant and recent case-laws. One unique suggestion to aspirants is that you can learn the different interim maintenance allowances set by different states and inculcate them in your answers in order to make your answers in the mains examination unique and content-full enough to grab the attention of the examiner as a brownie point. Maintenance provisions enshrined under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 can be read conjointly with it.
Similarly, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 is yet another important subject that usually requires one month to be thoroughly completed. You can demarcate one day to learn Order 39(grant of temporary injunction) and combine its reading with Sections 38-40 of the Specific Relief Act that revolves around the remedy in such cases. Hence interlinking the subjects for the purpose of reading can be another exciting approach to cover the syllabus.
Subjects with less content like Limitation Act, 1963 and Specific Relief Act would entail a lesser timeframe, extending a maximum of 3 days each. Moreover, in order to break the monotony of covering the lengthier subjects these small subjects can be covered along with them in order to keep the learning routine upbeat.
Judicial Services Exam Preparation : Personality Test
Interview is nothing but a test of the candidates’ personality. It entails a test of your confidence and humility. Building these required traits is a time taking process and hence you must religiously follow one or some of the globally or nationally eminent leaders and jurists who remained grounded and served humanity while being seated at the heart of power. Reading their autobiographies, good legal books like The Court Room Genius induces you to learn the art of holding patience in your respective journeys and yet hold your heads high with the right amount of confidence.
Interconnecting contemporary social realities with legal concepts and the Judicial wing’s role in social welfare vide rulings can also help a candidate clear the interview with flying colours. Many candidates endorse taking mock interviews with various esteemed coaching institutes to eliminate fear and boost confidence.
Moreover, as interview involves a round of through question-answer session, you can engage into a soliloquy in the mirror and answer the plausible questions that could be asked from you at the interview. This helps you to frame better responses to their questions.
Although there might be many methods to crack judicial services but the most important aspect would be keeping yourselves constantly motivated throughout this journey. This can be done by keeping yourselves surrounded by disciplined peers, guidance of certain seniors and mentors. Remember, discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons!!!