Judiciary Exam or Judicial Services Examinations are also popularly known as PCS(J), which is an abbreviation for Provincial Civil Service Judicial Examination.
Stages of Judiciary Exams: The Judicial Services Exams are conducted in three stages. They are:
- Preliminary Examination: Objective type questions (MCQ)
- Mains Examination: Subjective type question (written answers)
- Personal Interview: Evaluates your personality, prompt knowledge, decision making, etc.
After you qualify, you become a member of the subordinate judiciary.
Different Indian states conduct the Judicial Services Exam. They have their eligibility criteria, exam pattern, and exam syllabus. Even the actual pay is different. Here are some of the names:
How to Study for the Judiciary Exam in 2023
Here are 13 ways to start preparing for judiciary exams in the best possible way.
1. Select the States You Wish to Appear For.
The exam pattern of the judiciary exam for each state differs slightly from one another. Therefore the first thing to do when you prepare for the PCSJ exam is to select the states you wish to appear for. Once you do that, you can accordingly start studying for it.
2. See Question Paper of Previous Years.
There is a solid reason why you should go through the previous 10-year question papers of the chosen state judiciary exam. When you go through the old papers (do not worry about the answers now), you get an estimate as to how that particular state frames the questions.
This is very important as you start to develop an idea about what to expect and what kind of questions to prepare for.
3. Read Bare Acts Several Times.
Bare Acts are the primary source of almost all law questions asked in state judiciary exams. Bare Acts are the backbone of law, and every multiple-choice question, short answer question, and long answer question have their root from bare acts.
They are helpful even when you write detailed answers. If you have a good command over bare acts, you can mention sections, references, and more from these acts in your subjective answer.
For the best PCSJ preparation, go through bare acts as many times as you can. There is no cap. Make a habit of reading and revising them every day.
When you read bare acts from the book or PDF, keep a notebook near you. Take notes of little things that surprise you or make you think hard. Writing really helps! Thus the website name WritingLaw!
4. In Bare Acts Focus on ‘May’ and ‘Shall’.
While reading bare acts, focus particularly on places where the use of ‘may’ and ‘shall’ makes the difference. This is confusing, but if you read it a few times, you will emerge victoriously. Once you crack the difference between ‘may’ and ‘shall’ you won’t forget it ever.
For example: In section 164(1) of CrPC, proviso says that confession may also be recorded by audio-video electronic means in the presence of the accused’s advocate. Here examiner can confuse you by using ‘shall’ in place of ‘may.’
5. Know Where to Give Less Time.
Bare Acts and other laws are vast. But there are some portions of all acts which are not asked frequently.
For Example, Chapters 7, 9A, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, and 19 of the Indian Penal Code are not asked profoundly. And even if asked, the questions are heading-based, which do not require in-depth knowledge of these. So all you need is to go through the headings and titles of these sections. This will save your time, energy, and you will b able to focus more on essential chapters.
6. Understand Where to Focus More.
Use the resources at your disposal. Talk to your seniors, discuss with your friends, ask your teachers, and make a list of important sections and chapters of the bare acts. Once you do that, you should allot your maximum time on these.
7. Go Through Landmark Judgements.
Before you appear for a law exam, you must be clear of the landmark judgments and latest case laws of the last two years. They are also crucial for the current affairs section.
When you write subjective answers and mention facts or statements about recent cases and judgements, the copy checker would form an opinion that the student is well updated and informed. He might mark you generously!
8. Do Not Burden Yourself With Fat Reference Books.
Yes, I am repeating it. Kindly don’t read reference books at this stage when you are preparing for preliminary. Now you may ask what reference books are?
For Example, Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth or books by JN Pandey are considered to be some of the best books for the Indian Constitution. But at the preliminary stage, these are not required.
So, are these reference books useless? No. They are not! But just that, if you are in the initial stage, you should first read the actual acts. These books are for the later stage.
However, if you have a doubt about any topic, you can certainly refer to these books for clarification. Just make sure not to indulge too much, else you won’t be able to thoroughly finish the bare acts first.
9. Make Synopsis of All Topics.
Don’t read long answers for revision. Make a synopsis of all topics while reading so that on the D-day, when you wish to go through any topic, you can revise it one glimpse. Make bullet points. Number it 1,2,3,4 or A,B,C,D…
10. Use Charts, Diagrams, and Pictorial Representation.
While preparing for judiciary exams, make ample use of charts, diagrams, and graphs, etc. in your rough notebook. Use these to practice several times. Pictorial representation helps you remember better.
Also, when you revise a chart multiple times, its image is imprinted in your brain. So when you are sitting in the exam hall, these charts instantly come to your mind.
11. Speak Orally What You Studied.
At the end of the day, speak to yourself about whatever you studied today. It does not have to be loud. But it should be audible, at least to you. Once you do that, you will remember it better. Do not hum. Speak what be studied. If something needs counting on your fingertips, do that. Do not be shy about it.
If there is a mirror around, look at it and then vocally revise. Your hard work of the day should be such that, in the evening or at night, you are not ashamed or hesitant to look in the mirror and say ‘yes! I studied this much today!’
12. Do Not Panic and Get Disheartened.
Always remember any single exam is not the end of the road. This world has many doors. The legal field has many opportunities. You might have seen the books and PDFs and wondered, ‘how am I going to remember all that!’ You are not alone. Almost everyone feels this initially.
What is important is how to start? It doesn’t matter how fast you go. What matters is the direction. Suppose your mother asks you to bring curd from the market. The dairy shop is on the east side of the market. Now, what is sensible here? Racing on your bike on the west side and reaching there in 5 minutes or walking slowly and reaching the east side of the market in 20 minutes?
Take your time. Keep all bare acts aside except two or at max three. Start the first chapter. When you get bored, read the other bare act. Do not think about the rest dozen acts. In the beginning, at a time, focus on a maximum of two or three bare acts.
13. Revise Every Day.
Let me give you the market example again. It is Sunday, and you go to the local vegetable market with a slightly torn jute bag. You buy potatoes from one place, put them inside your bag, and move to the next shop to buy onions. While you were going there, a few potatoes fell off. You didn’t notice and pick them up.
You buy onions, put them in the bag, and walk to buy tomatoes. Onions too fall off, and you fail to pick them. They also increase the size of the hole in the bag. This keeps happening. At the end of your shopping, will you have anything relevant in your possession?
Now imagine the market as all the whole syllabus. Different shops as different bare acts. The torn bag is your mind. You fill it, but things slip. (It is natural. This is how the human brain works.) You fail only when you do not stop, go back, and pick up the fallen information.
Going back and revisiting what you learned the previous day and the week before and the month before is called revision.
Do not rush to learn twenty new things in a day. Learn just five new things every day. But revise the fifteen old stuff you read before.
Failure and Success Exist Together.
Despite your strong efforts, if you fail, rise and strike back with greater force. In the end, you have to understand that people like you and me are the ones who pass these exams and people like you and me are the ones who do not. It is up to you and your actions that decide in which group you will be.
Know that at the end of the day, good life for yourself, your parents, your wife, and your kids matter the most. If you have the knowledge, you will find a channel to ensure happiness in your family.
Even after three-four years of rigorous studies, if you could not qualify for an exam, you can use this knowledge, open a coaching centre, and lead a good life. You may become a professor at a law college. Teach online or offline law tuition. The possibilities are many. What matters is how prepared and knowledgeable you are for it!
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