The preparation for the Judicial Services Examination requires a structured approach and a focused mind. Candidates are advised to go through the curriculum thoroughly and plan accordingly before beginning their preparation. Since this is such an extremely competitive exam, it is advisable to start preparation early, possibly in the 3rd year of the 5-year LLB program or in the 1st year of the 3-year LLB program. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that the number of vacancies is extremely low, and vacancies are not released every year in numerous states. As a result, even if the candidates have a preference for a particular state, most candidates prepare for more than one judicial exam to enhance their chances of passing at least one of them. The candidate must prepare according to the State-specific paper pattern and syllabus for each topic if they choose to take this approach.
The Exam is conducted in three stages i.e. Preliminary, Mains, and Personal Interview. It is suggested that one should begin preparing for the Mains exams first, because the material is extensive, and this will automatically prepare the Candidate for the MCQ-based Preliminary tests as well.
Because the exam pattern for each state is different, it is recommended that the candidate first decide and select the state/s for which they desire to appear.
As a result, the candidate should review the previous year's question papers from their chosen states to understand the type of questions to expect for each topic, as well as the parking structure.
The candidate should prepare a question bank of frequently asked questions and relevant questions from previous year's exams in the chosen state, which will further aid the candidate in preparation.
The focus should be on the bare acts, which should be read several times to ensure that the candidate understands the law and improves his or her analytical abilities as well.
Preliminary Exams (Prelims)
The candidate must be familiar with the Bare Acts, as most of the MCQs are built on the Bare Act's foundation. It is advised that the Candidate prepare reference notes in a notebook while reading the Bare Acts to absorb significant parts that they can refer to while revising the following day.
Preparing a Question Bank of MCQs based on previous year's question papers from the chosen states and solving them will offer the Candidate an advantage and a better understanding of the questions that may appear. This question bank can also come in handy when it's time to revise.
Candidates are advised to refer to monthly current affairs guides or pdfs for the General Knowledge or Current Affairs section and make it a practice to read newspapers daily. It is also necessary to review judicial decisions, which can be found on subscription-based websites or apps such as Live Law or Bar and Bench. For the Language section, reading the editorial page of a newspaper such as the Hindu or the Indian Express for at least 30 minutes a day is advised.
Since the Prelims are qualifying exams, it is recommended that candidates enhance their speed and accuracy to complete the test on time. This can be practiced by giving speed tests or comprehensive test series in practice books or online mock tests as well.
As stated before, it is common practice to prepare for the Mains exams first since it is a subjective exam, which will automatically prepare you for the Prelims as well.
While studying for the Mains, it is critical to prepare a timetable and set specific goals. An example of a definitive target in your timetable may be to study at least four subjects every day, allotting two hours to each subject, and gradually increasing your study time as the exam approaches.
Candidates must develop the habit of practicing writing answers in a timed way by following the timetable outlined above. This could be accomplished by using a timer to practice 2-3 answers from the Question Bank daily. To improve writing speed, the candidate could also practice previous years’ question papers from the selected states.
It is critical to take notes, and each answer must include at least one case law to support the candidate’s conceptual representation. Candidates must keep track of relevant case laws while taking notes to refer back to them during revision.
The notes prepared could be in the shape of mind maps, charts, diagrams, graphs, or even pictures to help the Candidate remember or retain the information better.
For Essay Writing, candidates must start reading the Editorial Sections of The Hindu and The Indian Express to understand and keep themselves up to date with the contemporary legal and socio-legal issues. This will also help in relating the topics to the Law that is to be studied.
Also, by picking up topics from the ongoing affairs in the Country, candidates must practice writing essays and evaluate themselves based on their time, speed, accuracy, language, and understanding of the subject matter.
The PI is an interview that assesses the Candidate's confidence, behavior, prompt knowledge, and decision-making abilities when faced with a variety of questions. They are primarily framed in such a way to determine whether the candidate is qualified for the judicial position. Pausing for a few seconds, formulating an answer in the mind, and then answering it, could mirror the behavior or confidence positively.
This will reduce the risk of inaccuracy while also conveying a positive or a better impression.
The questions asked in the PI could be two-fold, the procedural laws, general awareness about recent happenings, legal developments in the country and the candidates' opinion on these, and general questions about the candidate's chosen state, hometown, and why they want to be a judge.
It is critical to keep up with the national news in the country and any local news relevant to the chosen state and hometown for this purpose.
Personal Interviews are conducted in high-pressure atmospheres. The Candidate must sit for mock interviews to understand, practice, and experience the real-time interview environment, which will help him/her understand how to tackle questions that are mainly subjective.
The Candidate must practice the similar or repeated type of questions that are generally asked in Personal Interviews as minimum words as possible since the interview board is always looking for a short yet apt answer to whatever question has been put forward. This would ultimately acquaint the candidate with the interview process and make them feel more confident while giving the interview.
Coaching or Self-Study
Self-study will always be vital, whether the candidate takes coaching or not. Simply enrolling in judicial coaching does not guarantee that they will pass the exam. Only a small percentage of those who enroll in coaching classes pass the exam. As a result, effective self-study and selecting the appropriate type of assistance will be most beneficial.
On the other hand, using the services of a judiciary coaching that meets the candidates’ needs, on the other hand, can ensure that they get more out of self-study and have all the support they need to prepare for a challenging exam like the judiciary.
Reading newspapers for current happenings in and around the Country and the Selected State as well.
Reading legal magazines for current happenings in the Legal Industry.
Subscribed to Live Law or Bar and Bench for important verdicts.
Reading Bare Acts and relevant judgments.
Recommended Books for Judiciary Examination Preparation
Indian Penal Code
Indian Evidence Act
Indian Contract Act
Indian Contract Act by R.K. Bangia
Modern Hindu Law by Paras Diwan
Indian Limitation Act by J.D. Jain
Civil Procedure Code
Civil Procedure Code with Limitation Act by C.K. Takwani
Arbitration and Conciliation Act
Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 by Lawmann’s
Muslim Laws with Model Nikahnama-Bare act with short Notes by Universal
Jurisprudence by J. G. Riddall
Criminal Procedure Code
R. V. Kelkar's Criminal Procedure by R.V. Kelkar's
Most successful candidates urge applicants to follow the golden rule, which is to concentrate on the Bare Acts. Solving MCQs from question banks or test series available online is also highly recommended by successful candidates. The reason for this is that it is necessary to train the mind in two areas:
The two most important aspects of any exam are time management and accuracy. The reward will be greater if time is managed well.
To read a detailed article on the pattern of the Indian Judicial Services Examination, please click here.
Also, for more information on Judicial Services Exams of different States, please click here.
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