How To Prepare For PCS(J)- Judicial Service Examination

Updated: Jun 7


There are only a few among in thousands of law graduates who cracked the Judicial Service Examination to realize the dream of entering the highly respected Indian Judiciary. For those who have an inclination towards public service, the judiciary can be a worthwhile option. The Judicial Service Examination provides a secure and comfortable tenure. Besides, it gives an opportunity for the selected candidates to serve the country. Around 50,000 to 60,000 candidates appear for Judicial Service Examination each year, but only those candidate who studied with a purpose, smart, and hard work will get success. In order to succeed in the Judicial Services Examination, a candidate can either adopt the self-study mechanism or can take the assistance of a coaching institute. For the Preliminary examination, the focus remains on the bare Act study thoroughly whereas, with regard to mains examination, conceptual clarity about the various concepts of law is needed. As far as interview is concerned, apart from the thorough knowledge about the current affairs as well as the basic general knowledge, the focus should be on various important concepts of laws as specified under IPC, CPC, CrPC, and evidence Act.


WHAT IS JUDICIAL SERVICE EXAMINATION

Judicial Service 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 government under the supervision of the respective High Courts appoint members of the lower judiciary based on the competitive examination.


ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

LOWER JUDICIARY SERVICE

The eligibility criteria for appearing in Judicial Services Examination is a degree in LLB and he/she has enrolled or qualified to be enrolled as an Advocate under the Advocates Act, 1961. No experience is required and final year candidates can also appear. The age limit varies according to the state. It is usually between 21 to 35 years.


HIGHER JUDICIAL SERVICE

Candidates must be graduates in law and have a minimum number of years of litigating practice, usually seven years.


STRUCTURE OF THE EXAM

Judicial service examination is held in three successive stages namely Preliminary Examination, Mains and viva-voice/interview.

Preliminary Examination- the preliminary examination serves a screening for mains exam. It comprises objective type questions. The marks secured in the preliminary examination are not counted for the final selection. The percentages of qualifying marks vary as per states. The minimum qualifying marks in the preliminary examination is 60 % for general and 55 % for reserved categories.


MAINS EXAMINATION

The mains examination is subjective type. The exam comprises three to four papers. The marks secured by candidates are counted for the final selection. Candidates equal to three times the number of vacancies are called for viva-voce or Interview.


VIVA-VOCE/ PERSONAL INTERVIEW

This is the final stages of selection where candidates are assessed on general interest, personality and intelligence among other factors.


SYLLABUS

The syllabus varies across states. It is broadly divided into civil law, criminal law and language paper. The weight given to language paper is around 20%to 35%. The mains examination constitutes 6 to 7paper and almost 70% of the question are of law.


STATES CONDUCTING JUDICIAL SERVICE EXAMINATION

Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Sikkim, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Goa, Karnataka, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala, Odisha, West Bengal.


HOW TO PREPARE

Candidates must prepare a plan of action and implement the same diligently. Besides knowledge of the subject, one must also be aware of current affairs. Candidates should first understand the syllabus and then begin their preparation. They should create a proper study plan. Reading newspapers and magazines is a must, says Prof. k Madan of Delhi Law Academy. Candidates prepare for interview mostly from online sources or any other ways. Like watching videos for presentation, personality development etc. Candidates prepare thoroughly on one subject of interest in case the interview panel inquiries about it. We should start reading laws together and picked any topic at any time which made me comfortable in switching from one law to another. And then, Candidates cotemporary topics especially related to the field of law.


SCOPE

The position of a judge is the most respected post in the India legal system. Candidates appointed through judicial service examination enjoy a secure and comfortable tenure. A career in judicial service for fresh graduates selected through an entrance exam conducted by the respective State Public Service Commission (UP, MP, Rajasthan etc) or the High Courts (Delhi) . an entry through this assures time-bound promotions and secured tenure. The second level is higher judicial services for practising lawyers. The selected applicants get posted as Additional District Judges, which and their promotion is faster. Candidates appointed as civil Judge( junior division) have the powers of Judicial Magistrate ( second class) and those promoted to chief Judicial Magistrate have the power of judicial magistrate ( first class). Candidates appointed as Additional District and Session Judge are posted to High Court and in an exceptional case to the Supreme Court.


Judicial service is a worthwhile option for those who aim to serve the public with a high social esteem. It offers a secure with a high social esteem. It offers a secure and safe career with a comfortable compensation package.


WHEN SHOULD CANDIDATES START THEIR PREPARATION FOR JUDICIAL SERVICE EXAMINATION? ( Coaching Important Or Not )

Even though 9 to 12 months are the ideal time to prepare for the exam but I think candidates should start preparing for it during the second year of the integrated five-years LLB course and from the First- year of a three year LLB- course. The current trend is that candidates start preparing for judicial services examination only after completion of their LL.B degree. If they begin their preparation early through self- study mode, there will be no requirement of any type of coaching. The candidates should make a habit to read the newspaper and legal magazines that cover model question papers, interviews of the selected candidates. Its depend to all candidate whether coaching important or not.


BOOKS LIST

For prelims and mains, candidates focus on Bare acts. But there are certain books which helped to frame good answer writing-

IPC- (INDIAN PENAL CODE) -Writer- Pillai’s criminal law book and S.N Mishra

CPC (civil procedure code) writer- C.K Takwani

Crpc (criminal Procedure code) writer- R.V Kelkar

Indian Contract Act – Avatar Singh

Indian Evidence Act- Batuk Lal, Avatar Singh

Family laws-Hindu law – paras diwan,

Muslim law – Akeel Ahmad.

Indian Constitution- J.N Pandey, B.K Sharma

Transfer of property act- T.P Tripathi, Avatar Singh

Land law- R.R Morya. And bare acts are sufficient for the remaining local laws and minor acts.


I would like to tell our readers that there is nothing which a person cannot do if he/she has determined to do so. Every candidate always should believe in himself. Sir APJ Abdul kalam’s quote

“you become the captain of the problems, defeat the problem and succeed".

I am ending my article with these lines

“Apne sapne ko zinda rakhiye, agar apke sapno ki chingari bhujh gyi hai,

To iska matlab yah hai ki aapne jeete ji aatmyahatya kr li hai.”


Dream big, work hard and make it happens. All the best for judicial aspirants.

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