How to crack Judiciary exams- Books, Tips & Strategy

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Judicial Services Examination or the PCS (J)-Provincial Civil Service-Judicial Examination which they are commonly referred to, are entry-level exams for law graduates to become members of the subordinate judiciary. The state governments under the supervision of the respective high courts appoint members of the lower judiciary based on the competitive examination.

The syllabus varies across states. It is broadly divided into Civil law, Criminal Law and Language paper. The weight given to the language paper is around 20 percent to 35 percent. The mains examination constitutes six to seven papers and almost 70 percent of the questions are of law.

        Cracking the judiciary exam is not an easy task, mere knowing the law or having enough legal knowledge does not suffice. Starting from the basics and molding your knowledge though time with proper schedule is required. As simple as a bar act requires to read in a way which shall reflect your concepts in the examination. Bare Act is taught directly from elaborative texts in most law schools. Reading a general explanation from the texts does not suffice, directly going through the bare act, forms the basis and gives insight into the nuances of the concepts and language used.

        Two major benefits of investing one’s time and going through the bare act in detail are: Getting exposure in relation to the contents and basics of the Act. Secondly, it will form a foundation stone for the Judiciary Mains Examination Preparation as reading the Bare Act over and over would provide you an upper hand. Before starting the Judiciary preparation, one must ensure that they arrange the best authentic material to study. One must compile the content available from all sources.

        The few subjects which covers a major portion of the Examination for Civil Judge, Judicial Magistrate First Class, Junior Law Officers and District Attorney Examinations shall help one score better. The subjects to be covered first for any competitive exam are: Criminal Procedure Code, Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, The Constitution of India and the Code of Civil Procedure.

        One must give their best in all three stages of the Judicial Exam: Preliminary Stage, Mains Stage and the Interview Stage. For the preliminary stage, MCQs is the pattern. Basic knowledge about the bare acts is sufficient but for certain states (Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, etc.) the pattern is changing with time. The second stage of the examination is the Mains which covers subjective question formations and also language part that is Hindi, English and other state-specific languages. For Mains part, a full understanding of the subject is required to attempt the questions in the examination. The last and the final stage is the Interview part which judges overall traits of one’s personality. This part should be focused on from day one of the preparations of this prestigious examination.

In preliminary examination the requirements as:
(1) understanding of the basics from the bare act and illustrations
(2) comprehension of celebrated case laws, (i, e.) application of legal concepts in factual situation
(3) finding of factual information apart from changes in law (temporal variation) either by amendment in statute or by reversal or by overruling of decisions
(4) legal maxims, its meaning and application.

While tracking this progress you should also keep in mind the time limit/ deadline. One of the best ways to track this would be to prepare a chart for each subject, wherein you regularly update your progress with the syllabus.

G.K. and Current Affairs is one of the important sections in Judicial Service Examination. One of the best way to prepare for general awareness and G.K. is to read newspaper daily. Though most of the newspapers these days are flooded with commercials, The Hindu and The Indian Express can be relied upon for better preparation of Current Affairs and G.K.

In civil services aspirants are required to pass a three stage examination (Preliminary, Main & Interview /Personality Test). In mains, law is one of the optional apart from General Studies Law is one of the most scoring subjects in civil services exam but we are required to understand the nature of questions and specific areas from where the questions are being asked by UPSC. You must also know where lies the most relevant material and how to comprehend that which are required to be reproduce in the answer.

Recent year questions of mains examination reflects that the questions have not only been asked from often repeated areas but also from the areas which have not been touched so far, The current development and happenings also condition the mind of question setters and they raise new issues from the same area, some papers like Constitution, Cr. P.C, C.P.C, Evidence, S.R. Act are more dynamic in nature and poses problem for aspirants and it requires rigorous analysis of the questions. As far as other Papers are concerned, it is more Bare Act oriented and the nature of question being very simple, so it has more potential to yield the better results. Therefore, approach of study and the answer writing pattern of these papers should be different. So some Papers apart from analysis and comprehension requires support of current development whereas other papers expects orientation of Bare Act along with illustrations and case laws.

        The candidate for a sincere preparation of Judiciary apart from being glued to the book shall also be aware of what is happening around. The candidate should read the latest and important judgments and what important observation/ verdict was made in the case.  Candidates preparing for the exams can also solve the questions chapter-wise, so that they are aware about what more needs to be done in a particular topic. This way candidates will be thorough with the questions asked chapter-wise.

Preparing notes will give methodical and comprehensive knowledge of the legal topic. Moreover, preparing notes gives self-confidence and can also be preserved for future use, reference and most important for last minute revision. time management is an extremely essential ingredient to prepare for the examination. Judicial examination of every State has a different syllabus. It is very important to be aware of the syllabus of the State for which you are appearing. Once you are aware of the syllabus, you should prepare a timeline outlining the subject and areas to be covered along with the deadline for preparation, preparing notes, revision and re-revision. While preparing for the exam, time should be managed in such a manner that the candidate has enough time left for revision at the end.

  1. Aspirants should try to develop the broad conceptual base.
  2. Understanding of the linkages with the topics and other Papers of law.
  3. To apply law in real factual situation.
  4. Temporal and spatial variations along with why this variation has happened and what is its implication.
  5. To produce analytical content in the answers of mains examinations.
  6. To innovate methods to remember the Base act (i.e.) the concerned provisions of the act) and important case laws on the point.

Recommended Best Books for Judiciary Exam in 2020
Best Books For Constitution of India Are:

(1) Constitution Bare Act

(2) MP Jain

(3) M Laxmikanth

(4) Pratiyogita Darpan

Best Books For Code of Civil Procedure Are:

(1) CPC Bare Act

(2) C.K Takwani

Best Books For Indian Penal Code Are:

(1) IPC Bare Act

(2) K.D Gaur

(3) Ratanlal & Dheerajlal

Best Books For Code of Criminal Procedure Are:

(1) CrPC Bare Act

(2) Kelkar

Best Books For Indian Evidence Act Are:

(1) Evidence Bare Act

(2) Batuklal

Best Books For the Indian Contract Act Are:

(1) Contract Bare Act

(2) Avtar Singh

(3) R.K Bangia

Best Books For Hindu Laws Are:
(1) Hindu Law Bare Acts
(2) Paras Diwan
(3) Mulla

Best Book For Muslim Law Is:
(1) Akil Ahmed

Best Books For the Transfer of Property Act Are:
(1) TPA Bare Act
(2) R.K Sinha
(3) Poonam Pradhan

Best Books For the Specific Relief Act Are:
(1) SRA Bare Act
(2) Avtar Singh

Best Book For Negotiable Instruments Act Is:
(1) NIA Bare Act

Best Book For Law of Torts Is:
(1) R.K Banghiya

Judicial service is a worthwhile option for those who aim to serve the public with a high social esteem. It offers a secure and safe career with a comfortable compensation package. You must consider before you take the plunge into the judicial service, that the chances of a member for the lower judiciary making his way all the way up the ladder are rather remote. Hence if you harbor dreams of becoming a Supreme Court judge someday then this may not be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you want a secure and safe career and wish to be in public service, albeit with a comfortable compensation package-instead of the vagaries of litigation, then the judicial services may well be the right choice for you. All the very best for the examination.


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