Assam Judicial Services exam – iPleaders

This article is written by Shubhangi Tiwari. This article will cover in-depth all the necessary information that a judicial aspirant aiming to clear the Assam Judicial Service Exam or Assam Judiciary Exam must know. Each topic, like the latest official Notification published by APSC, the eligibility criteria, the educational requisite qualification, the important dates, the stages and the syllabus of the APCS-J exam, the books to refer to, and a plethora of FAQs that may occur in the mind of an aspirant while preparing for the Assam Judicial Service Exam, or the Assam Public Service Commission (Judiciary), are discussed in great detail.

It has been published by Rachit Garg.

How to become a Judge

Becoming a Judicial Officer is one of the most coveted ways of serving the nation and being a government servant. Being a law student provides an upperhand by being a government servant in so many different areas one of them being a judicial officer. By virtue of possession of a law degree and being a citizen of India, the entire universe of judicial services examination opens. The appointment at the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India as a Judge of the Apex Court has been elucidated in Article 124 of the Indian Constitution and Judges are appointed upon the recommendation of the National Judicial Appointments Commission upon fulfillment of the criteria that the candidate must:

Download Now

i. Have been a High Court Judge of one state or states for five years in succession, or

ii. Have been a practising advocate at one High Court of one state or states for ten years in succession, or

iii. is, in the opinion of the President, a distinguished jurist.

Similarly, the appointment of Judges of the High Court of any State has been elucidated in Article 217 of the Indian Constitution and Judges are appointed upon the recommendation of the National Judicial Appointments Commission, and the Governor of the State, and, in the case of appointment of a Judge other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the High Court upon fulfilment of the criteria that the candidate must:

i. Must have held a judicial  office in the territory of India for a period of ten years; or

ii. has for at least ten years been an advocate of a High Court or of two or more such Courts in succession. 

Article 233 of the Indian Constitution delineates the process of appointing district judges, where such appointment is made by the Governor of the State in consultation with the High Court exercising jurisdiction in relation to such State. The article further classifies another manner in which an Indian citizen could be a district judge, as long as they are not already in the service of the Union or the State, by being an advocate or a pleader for seven years and is recommended by the High Court for appointment.

The quickest, most full-proof and without-getting-into-practice way to become a judge still remains to clear the state judiciary examinations, just after law school called the State Public Commission (Judiciary), or Higher Judicial Services (HJS). This article is focused on the state of Assam, where the discussion shall be on all relevant information about the Assam Public Service Commission (Judiciary) (herein called ‘APCS-J’), popularly known as the Assam Judicial Service Exam and how to crack the said exam.

The state: Assam

The High Court at Gauhati is the Highest Judicial Court for the state of Assam. The rest of the states who make up the seven sisters have their own High Court. The state of Assam is made up of 34 districts and 7 zones and the judicial officer usually stays in a particular zone for 3 years. One of the most overlooked factors in the judicial job profile is that Judiciary is a transferrable job; as a judicial officer, one must be ready to take charge at any of the above zones at any given time.

Ordinarily, the transfer is issued in the month of December, and charges are to be resumed from 31st January. Mid-term transfers are made in exceptional cases as per requirement or better administration of justice at the discretion of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court. 

The entry into the Assam Judiciary happens at two levels, one where no experience is required which is called Grade III and one where seven years’ experience is required, which is called Grade I.

Though both are entry points to the state judiciary, there is a vast difference between the two. Grade III requires a fresher in law whereas Grade I mandates a seven year practice. Grade 1 services begin at the Additional District Judge level, where Grade III begins with the very grassroot level of the judicial services. Although Judicial Officers of Grade I services tend to have a higher tendency of retiring as a High Court judge, it is much more difficult to write and prepare for an exam after being in the professional space. Additionally, Grade I services also act as a great back up plan for aspirants who for some reason, financial or otherwise could not sit or give their 100 percent to the Grade III judicial services examination. 

Exam Centre for Assam Judiciary

The Assam judicial services exam has a trend of having only Guwahati as their centre for the exam for both Grade I and Grade III. The city is well connected by every means of transport, as it is the capital of the state of Assam. 

Eligibility for Grade I- APCS-J

As stated in the official notification dated 18.05.2023

  1. The candidate must be a citizen of India;
  2. Must hold a degree in law from a recognized university;
  3. Must be a practising Advocate in the Courts of Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction for a period of not less than 7 years.;
  4. The age should not be less than 35 years or more than 45 years for the unreserved category. A relaxation of 3 years is given for the reserved category for the upper limit;
  5. A further relaxation of 10 years is given to persons with disabilities, and a relaxation of 15 years for those who belong to the SC/ST categories.  

Details of Assam Judicial Services exam

Stage 1: Assam Judiciary Preliminary examination

Details of the paper

The Preliminary examination, popularly known as prelims, consists of 100 marks which is to be answered in 2 hours. 60% is the minimum eligibility cut-off.

Syllabus of the Paper

The Prelims cover 10 marks worth of proficiency in Assamese, the official language of the state of Assam, and 90 marks cover General Knowledge, Aptitude, English, Constitution of India, Code of Civil Procedure, Code of Criminal Procedure, Indian Penal Code, Transfer of Property Act, Indian Evidence Act, Limitation Act, Legal Theories of Jurisprudence, Arbitration & Conciliation Act, Indian Contract Act, Family Law, Specific Relief Act, Motor Vehicle Act, Industrial & Labour Law, Land Acquisition Act, Law Relating to Trust, Indian Registration Act, Court Fees Act.  For every wrong answer, there is a negative marking of 0.25.

Qualifying the Paper 

Candidates are called in 1:10 ratio, where for every one seat, 10 candidates will be asked to write the mains examination. The ten candidates will be decided on the basis of their scores during the preliminary examination.

Stage 2: Assam Judiciary Main examination

Popularly known as Mains, it is a subjective written examination consisting of papers. Papers I-III are to be answered in 2 hours and for paper IV, 1 hour is provided. Paper I-III is of 100 marks, while Paper IV is of 50 marks.

  • Paper I: This paper tests the General knowledge, aptitude, intelligence, test of comprehension and expression of law and General English including Essay Writing on legal topic and information technology.
  • Paper II: This paper is objective-based questions and tests problems of law as regards the Transfer of Property Act, Civil Procedure Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Indian Evidence Act, Indian Penal Code and Limitation Act.
  • Paper III: This paper consists of judgement writing, Legal theories on Jurisprudence and provisions of the Constitution of India.
  • It is imperative to mention here that the candidate is expected to refer to relevant decisions of the Apex Court and the High Court while writing answers in Papers II and III.
  • Paper IV: This is the language paper to test the proficiency of candidates in official languages of the state of Assam, which is currently Assamese.  The paper consists of 50 marks, out of which scoring 20 is minimum requirement.

The eligibility for the Interview mandates that a minimum of 45% in the Papers I, II and III and a minimum of 35% in the Official Language Paper is required. Apart from the minimum cut-off in every paper, an aggregate of 60% is the minimum requirement for being eligible for the next stage.

Additionally, the marks secured in the official language paper is qualifying in nature and shall not be counted in the aggregate marks secured by the candidates in the examination for the purpose of final selection. 

Stage 3: Interview

The Interview will be of 50 marks.

Candidates are called in a 1:3 ratio- for every seat available, 3 candidates will be contesting for the said position.

The candidate shall have to secure a minimum of 60% marks in the interview to qualify to become a Judicial Officer in the state of Assam. 

Application Process of Assam Judicial Services exam 

The application to the Assam Judicial Services Exam can be made in online mode only, and the fee payment is offline only. It is imperative that the candidate keeps sufficient time in hand as the application process requires one SBI bank branch visit and confirmation for successful application requires two stage verification. In case anything goes south, it is imperative that the candidate has some time in hand in order to rectify the process. The official notification can be found on the official website of the Gauhati High Court at Guwahati.

Step I: Registration at the Portal

To get to the application portal, the candidate needs to register at the portal with their basic credentials. This includes the following- their name, father’s name, date of birth, a mobile number and an email address that they frequently check. 

After submission of the above, a registration code will be generated. This registration code will also be sent to the registered email address, however, it is recommended for the candidate to note this registration code as it is the means to coordinate with the commission for all future references. 

A combination of the registration code and date of birth shall be the login credentials of the candidate for all the phases of the examination. 

Step 2: Form Submission

After registration, the candidate is expected to fill in the application form. The form requires primary credentials like gender, category, address, qualification, experience and other candidature specific information.

After this, the candidate needs to upload their signature and photograph with the following specifics: 

  1. The image format should be in .jpg, .png or .gif format only. No other format is accepted.
  2. The photograph should be 276 pixel wide and 354 pixel in length, with 80% of the photograph covered by the face of the candidate. 
  3. The signature of the candidate should be 276 pixels wide and 118 pixels in length, with 70% of the photograph bearing the signature. 
  4. The size of the image should be between 5-30 Kb only along with the pixel specifications. 

It is imperative that all the boxes in the application form are filled in, no field box is left blank. 

Upon declaration that everything is correct and in order, the submit candidature will be available in green colour and be activated for submission.

After submission, no more modification to the form will be possible, so this step is to be done after the form has been thoroughly checked.

Step 3: Fee Payment

The fees for the examination needs to be paid after two working days of filling the form and before the last date fixed for payment of fees. The mode of payment is cash only and requires a bank visit to the nearest State Bank of India branch only. It is highly recommended that this process of the candidate is done well within time and not to be left for the last minute.   

After filling the form, the candidate needs to print out the Fee Payment Challan by clicking the ‘Print fee payment challan form’. After two working days of submitting the form, the challan needs to be presented before bank, and the fee needs to be paid. Upon payment of the fees, the bank, in exchange for the challan, provides a journal number. 

It is crucial that the candidate checks that the challan, upon fee payment, now has the bank seal and signature. This challan copy needs to be kept carefully for any future reference. 

After two days of making the payment, the journal number, payment date and the paid amount will be reflected in the candidate’s account. It is recommended that the candidate verifies the same on the portal after two working days from making the payment and keep a physical copy of the acknowledgement receipt. 

The application form and the acknowledgement receipt generated are two very crucial documents and should be safely kept for ready reference. 

In case of any technical assistance for the submission of the online application form, emails can be sent to [email protected], mentioning the post name in the subject line. The body of the email should mandatorily mention the registration code, applicant’s name, name of the father of the applicant align with the grievance.

Application fee is Rs. 500/- only for all general category students, Rs 250/- for all SC/ST students and nil for candidates with physical disability. 

It is however imperative that candidates with physical disability are required to submit the certificate of disability in the following format: 

Specifics for the Application Procedure:

  1. No other mode of application except online will be accepted for the application. 
  2. Candidates shall not paid any allowances to appear for the examination.
  3. Any information submitted by an applicant in their application will bind the candidate personally and if found false, their candidature will be cancelled forthwith and shall be liable for criminal prosecution. 
  4. The certificate for claim of reservation must have been issued by the competent authority. 
  5. If any candidate is found canvassing directly or indirectly, their candidature shall be rejected. 

Assam Judicial Services exam eligibility Criteria for Grade III- APCS-J 

To sit for the Assam Judicial Services Exam, it is of importance that the candidate fulfils the following criteria as per the official notification of 06.02.2023

   i.     The candidate must be a citizen of India;

ii.     Must hold a degree in law from a recognized university;

Iii. The age should not be more than 38 years for the un-reserved category or more than 43 years for the reserved category. 

Assam Judicial Services exam disqualifying criteria

Apart from the basic above criteria, it is essential that the candidate does not fulfil the following disqualification criteria

  1. They are citizens of another country.
  2. They have been dismissed from service by any High Court, Government or Statutory or local authority
  3. They have been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude or has been permanently debarred or disqualified by the High Court or the Union Public Service Commission or any State Public Service Commission from appearing in any examination or selection conducted by it. 
  4.  They have directly or indirectly influenced the recruiting authority by any means for his candidature
  5. They have more than one living spouse

Details of the Exam

Stage I: Preliminary Examination

Details of the Paper

The Preliminary examination, popularly known as prelims, consists of 100 marks which are to be answered in 2 hours. 60% is the minimum eligibility cut-off for this objective-type multiple choice paper. For every wrong answer, there is a negative marking of 0.25.

Syllabus of the Paper 

The Prelims cover 10 marks worth of proficiency in the official language of the state of Assam, and 90 marks cover General Knowledge, Aptitude, English, Constitution of India, Code of Civil Procedure, Code of Criminal Procedure, Transfer of Property Act, Indian Contract Act, Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act. Law of Torts. 

Qualification for the Mains Examination

Candidates are called in 1:10 ratio, where for every one seat, 10 candidates will be asked to write the mains examination. The ten candidates will be decided on the highest number of marks scored by them during the preliminary examination.

Stage II: Final Written Examination/ Mains Examination

Popularly known as Mains, it is a subjective written examination consisting of papers. Paper I-IV are to be answered in 2 hours and for paper V, 1 hour is provided. Paper I-IV is of 100 marks, while Paper V is of 50 marks.

  • Paper I: This paper tests the overall understanding of English a candidate posses. Basics like essay writing, precise writing and grammar is evaluated.
  • Paper II: This paper tests the General knowledge and aptitude of the candidate via a objective multiple choice question paper. 
  • Paper III: This paper is Law Paper I and tests the Constitution of India, Transfer of Property Act, Civil Procedure Code and Indian Contract Act
  • Paper IV: This paper is Law Paper II and tests Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Indian Evidence Act and Law of Torts.
  • It is imperative to mention here that the candidate is expected to refer to relevant decisions of the Apex Court and the High Court while writing answers in Paper III and IV.
  • Paper V: This is the language paper and tests proficiency of the Official language of the state of Assam, as it is a qualifying paper. A minimum of 35% is mandated for the candidate to qualify for the interview round.

The eligibility for the Interview mandates that a minimum of 45% in Papers I-IV and a minimum of 35% in the Official Language Paper is required. Apart from the minimum cut-off in every paper, an aggregate of 60% is the minimum requirement for being eligible for the next stage. A relaxation of 10% in the aggregate and 5% in individual papers is provided to SC/ST categories.

Special Reservation for Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe (APST): Candidates who obtain fifty percent or more marks or corresponding grade in the written examination/ mains shall be eligible for the interview.

Additionally, the marks secured in the official language paper are qualifying in nature and shall not be counted in the aggregate marks secured by the candidates in the examination for the purpose of final selection. 

Stage III: Viva-Voce/ Interview

The Interview will be of 70 marks, and the candidate is expected to secure a minimum of 60% marks in the interview. Candidates are called in a 1:3 ratio- for every seat available, 3 candidates, who have qualified the mains examination, will be contesting for the said position.

The mains examination and the interview and all other conditions for appointment shall be as per the Arunachal Pradesh Judicial Services Rules, 2006 (as amended).

Further the rules outline the following instructions for the interview: 

  1. Selection of candidates shall be made on the basis of cumulative grade obtained in the written (mains) and the interview
  2. The objective of the interview is to assess the suitability of the candidates for the cadre by judging the mental alertness, knowledge of law, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgement, skills, attitude, ethics, power of assimilation, power of communication, character and intellectual depth and like of the candidate. 

The final evaluation of the candidate will be in the order of merit subject to overall suitability of the candidate. Selection of the candidate will be made on the basis of the marks obtained in the mains examination and the interview, subject to the cut-off marks indicated above. 

Application process of Assam Judicial Services exam

The application to the Assam Judicial Services Exam can be made online only, and the fee payment is offline only. It is imperative that the candidate keeps sufficient time in hand as the application process requires one SBI bank branch visit and confirmation for successful application requires two stage verification. In case anything goes south, it is imperative that the candidate has some time in hand in order to rectify the process. The official notification can be found on the official website of the Gauhati High Court at Guwahati.

Step I: Registration at the Portal

To get to the application portal, the candidate needs to register at the portal with their basic credentials. This includes the following- their name, father’s name, date of birth, a mobile number and an email address that they frequently check.

After submission of the above, a registration code will be generated. This registration code will also be sent to the registered email address. However, it is recommended for the candidate to note this registration code as it is the means to coordinate with the commission for all future references.

A combination of the registration code and date of birth shall be the login credentials of the candidate for all the phases of the examination. 

Step 2: Form Submission

After registration, the candidate is expected to fill in the application form. The form requires primary credentials like gender, category, address, qualification, experience and other candidature specific information.

After this, the candidate needs to upload their signature and photograph with the following specifics: 

  1. The image format should be in .jpg, .png or .gif format only. No other format is accepted. 
  2. The photograph should be 276 pixel wide and 354 pixel in length, with 80% of the photograph covered by the face of the candidate. 
  3. The signature of the candidate should be 276 pixels wide and 118 pixels in length, with 70% of the photograph bearing the signature.

It is imperative that all the boxes in the application form are filled in; no field box is left blank. 

Upon declaration that everything is correct and in order, the submitted candidature will be available in green colour and be activated for submission.

After submission, no more modification to the form will be possible, so this step is to be done after the form has been thoroughly checked.

Step 3: Fee Payment

The fees for the examination needs to be paid after two working days of filling the form and before the last date fixed for payment of fees. The mode of payment is cash only and requires a bank visit to the nearest State Bank of India branch only. It is highly recommended that this process of the candidate is done well within time and not to be left for the last minute.   

After filling the form, the candidate needs to print out the Fee Payment Challan by clicking the ‘Print fee payment challan form’. After two working days of submitting the form, the challan needs to be presented before bank, and the fee needs to be paid. Upon payment of the fees, the bank, in exchange for the challan, provides a journal number. 

It is crucial that the candidate checks that the challan, upon fee payment, now has the bank seal and signature. This challan copy needs to be kept carefully for any future reference. 

After two days of making the payment, the journal number, payment date and the paid amount will be reflected in the candidate’s account. It is recommended that the candidate verifies the same on the portal after two working days from making the payment and keep a physical copy of the acknowledgement receipt. 

The application form and the acknowledgement receipt generated are two very crucial documents and should be safely kept for ready reference. 

In case of any technical assistance for the submission of the online application form, emails can be sent to [email protected], mentioning the post name in the subject line. The body of the email should mandatorily mention the registration code, applicant’s name, and name of the father of the applicant to align with the grievance.  

Things to be kept in mind:

  1. The number of vacancies is indicative only and may vary at the time of final selection.
  2. No allowances shall be paid to the candidates for appearing in the written test/interview, etc. 
  3. Any information submitted by an applicant in their application will bind the candidate personally. 
  4. The certificate for claim of reservation must have been issued by the competent authority. 
  5. If any candidate is found canvassing directly or indirectly, their candidature will be rejected. 

Number of attempts that you get for Assam Judicial Services exam

No judiciary exam has a cap on the number of attempts, however it has an age restriction which prevents the eligibility of the candidates after a certain point.

Candidates are eligible to write the Grade III, APSC-J exam only up till they are 38 years of age for the general category and 43 for the SC/ST ones.

Candidates are eligible to write the Grade I, APSC-J exam only between the ages of 35-45 years of age for the general category and 35-48 for the SC/ST ones. 

Evaluation of the Papers for Selection

In order to accommodate the subjectivity of the written examination, every answer is numbered and every number is then converted into a grade as the following, as per the Arunachal Pradesh Judicial Service Rules, 2006

Percentage Grade Grade Value
70% and above 0 7
65% to 69% A+ 6
60% to 64% A 5
55% to 59% B+ 4
50% to 54% B 3
45% to 49% C+ 2
40% to 44% C 1
Below 40% F 0

After converting the numerical marks of each and every question into a grade, the evaluator would convert the grade into a grade value, according to the third column above. 

The final evaluation would result by adding up the grade values and dividing the sum total by numbers of questions in total. The cumulative grade value average obtained by the candidate shall be the final result obtained by the candidate in the written examination. 

Such procedure has been adopted to indicate only the cumulative evaluation grade of the candidate which moderates the inevitable element of subjectivity and fairness to much higher degree. 

A similar procedure is adopted for the interview procedure, and a total of both shall be considered in finalizing the list of candidates selected for the post of Judicial Officer in the state of Assam. 

Everything about being a Judicial Officer 

Scope and Career of Judicial Officers

Judicial Officers of a state administer, interpret and implement the law at the very grass root level. They have an immediate bearing on the lives of people and solve pressing issues of the society at a most intimate level. At such an elementary level, the judicial officers have the authority to elevate the pain of the citizens and form the basis of how the law is to be interpreted.

Apart from what the perks the position provides, it is one of the most noble ways of providing a service to the nation and help create an impact in solving the issues of the society. Great power, obviously comes with great responsibility and the role of a judge demands a sense of commitment and dedication towards serving the people and the nation. 

Salary of the Judicial Officers

A grade III officer’s salary ranges from Rs. 27,700 to Rs 44,700 plus other allowances. A grade I officer’s salary ranges from Rs. 51,550 to Rs. 63,070 plus other allowances.

Perks of being a Judicial Officer

Other Allowances include dearness allowance, house rent allowance, medical allowance, and travel allowance, among others. They are reimbursed for electricity and water charges, newspapers/magazines, telephones and conveyance. They also receive benefits like pension, provident fund, leave encashment, and medical facilities. After retirement, judicial officers also receive domestic help allowance.  A special pay is also attached to the various posts in the judicial service. 

Life and Growth as a Judge

As per the official notification, the Assam Judicial Services and the recruitment and promotion take place according to the Arunachal Pradesh Judicial Service Rules, 2006 which lay down the specifics of the promotion of Judicial Officers from Grade III to Grade II, Grade II to Grade I and how the seats of Grade I are filled with direct recruitment and by promotion. 

It is imperative to mention here that there are Departmental Examinations that aid in the promotion of one grade to another after having served for a certain number of years in the Judicial Service. 

Training of the Judicial Officers

Training Course for Officers appointed in Grade I 

After appointment, the officer would be required to submit his/her joining Report before the Registrar General, Guwahati High Court and thereafter, the officer would be given a four week training at the Training Institute upon the following matter:

  1. Writing of judicial orders in both civil and criminal cases
  2. Framing of charges and settlement of issues
  3. Judgement writing
  4. Administrative and other matters relating to administration of office, including accounts. 
  5. Any other subject which the High Court/ Training institute may deem fit and proper. 

Training Course for Officers appointed in Grade III

Grade III officers shall have training over the following topics:

  1. Class room lectures at training institute as per the curriculum fixed in consultation with the High Court 
  2. Two months working knowledge of the Criminal Court, Civil Court and Revenue Courts
  3. On the completion of the period of six months training the officers who have completed 3 years of practice at the Bar shall be given posting
  4. The officers who have not completed 3 years of practice at the Bar shall be given further training for a period of 6 months. 

Tentative timeline of Assam Judicial Services exam

For filling of Vacancies in the Cadre of a Grade I officer in the Assam Judicial Services. 

Notification of Vacancies 31st March
Advertisement inviting applications from eligible candidates 15th April
Last date for receipt of application 30th April
Publication of list of eligible candidates 15th May
Issue of Admit Cards 16th May-15th June
Written Examination which may be objective/ subjective 30th June
Declaration of Written Examination Result 16th August
Dates for Viva-Voce 1-7th September
Declaration of Final Result 15th September
Issue of Appointment Letter 30th September
Last date of joining Judicial Training 31st October

For filling of Vacancies in the Cadre of a Grade III officer in the Assam Judicial Services. 

Notification of Vacancies 15th January
Advertisement inviting applications from eligible candidates 1st February
Last date for receipt of application 1st March
Publication of eligible list of candidates 2nd April
Issue of Admit Cards 2-30th April
Preliminary Written Examination 15th May
Declaration of Prelims Result 15th June
Final written/Mains examination 15th July
Declaration of Mains result and scheduled interviews 30th August
Dates for Viva-Voce 1-15th October
Declaration of Final Result 1st November
Issue of Appointment Letter 1st December
Last date of joining Judicial Training 2nd January of the following year. 

When to begin preparation 

The ideal time to begin the preparation is when the last notification is out. The next best time is at least 18-24 months before the exam. It allows you to go in depth and prepare notes which is helpful when you need them for mains preparation. The answer key is available immediately, and if you feel that you may qualify the prelims, you might as well start the preparation for mains. The interview should be prepared for only after the mains result are out, especially by giving mocks and having one-to-one conversations with senior advocates and judicial officers. 

Self-Study v. Coaching

The field of law is growing at an unprecedented rate not just in terms of young budding lawyers but also in terms of increasing number of aspiring judicial candidates. As an esteemed career option, vast number of students are moving towards the judiciary. But the road to the bench is not easy, for a lot of students face dilemma when it comes to choosing between coaching and self-study.

Given the cut-throat competition that exists, it is imperative for every candidate to have a well-planned approach. Realistically, both approaches have their own pros and cons but ultimately the best way to prepare is to look for a well-suited approach which works well for the aspirant.

Though not exhaustively, there are some factors that might help the aspirants to narrow down their choices to a right approach-

1. Self-Study:

Self-study is the term for individual learning and preparation that is done independently without the direct supervision of a coach or instructor. It offers advantages like-

·  Flexibility and Autonomy: Candidates who self-study can create their own study schedules which cater to their own needs and obligations. It allows the individual to create a space wherein they can devise learning methods best suited to their preferences and style.

·  Self-Motivation and Discipline: Self-study requires a strong sense of self-motivation and self-control. Candidates must learn how to focus without external guidance, set goals, and effective time management. This autonomous method can develop beneficial traits like persistence and self-reliance which are important to be inculcated in every aspirant aiming for judiciary.

·  Tailored Learning Approach: Self-study gives applicants the chance to customise their learning strategy based on their learning style preferences and areas of strength and weakness. They can give additional time to difficult subjects and prioritise the study areas that need greater focus. This individual-centric method enables a greater comprehension of the subject.

For instance, any student who is aiming for Judicial Services of any respective state, might not begin with Core Law subjects like Company Law but rather might focus on light materials like Evidence Act etc.

Coaching does not provide the students with this kind of liberty and autonomy; they have pre-designed modules containing planned structures for different subjects.

2. Coaching:

Coaching is more about being guided and trained by experienced mentors or tutors who focus on assisting applicants in their preparation for judicial services tests. It offers several benefits like:

·  Expert Guidance: Candidates who participate in coaching get access to trained mentors who are deeply knowledgeable about the examination process, including the exam style, syllabus, and anticipated question types. These professionals can provide insightful advice and practical tips for navigating the difficulties of the judicial services test.

·  Structured Curriculum: Coaching institutes frequently provide a well-defined curriculum that encompasses all pertinent subjects as well as structured study resources. This methodical approach guarantees thorough coverage of the curriculum and lowers the chance of forgetting important topic areas. It is important that each and every subject should be thoroughly paid attention to while learning and it becomes more easier to cover everything when there is a well-designed and structured curriculum.

·  Peer Learning and Networking: Through the medium of coaching, candidates get an opportunity to interact with peers who have similar aims and aspirations. Together with other applicants, you can create a competitive atmosphere, promote information exchange, and create a supportive learning environment by participating in group discussions, mock exams, and study sessions. This is often helpful in creating a conducive environment for creative group learning.

We have already discussed what could be some of the best outcomes of self-study or coaching. At this juncture, here are some of the tips that might prove to be of help to a judicial aspirant in choosing the most efficient and effective study method.

a). Learning style- Candidates should evaluate their preferred learning style to determine whether they do best in a structured, guided learning environment or prefer a self-paced, independent study environment.

b). Time Restrictions: Take into account your personal responsibilities and time availability. Self-study gives those with tight schedules more flexibility, although coaching institutions could offer a set timetable for efficient time management.

c). Resources and Access: Consider the accessibility of reliable study guides, mock exams, and pertinent sources. Coaching facilities may offer thorough study guides and internet resources that might facilitate the learning process.

d). Financial Considerations: Financial considerations: Self-study might be less expensive than coaching establishments, which frequently need a financial investment. It’s critical to evaluate one’s financial situation before making a decision. Those opting for self-study owing to financial constraints can also seek guidance through instructors and study material available online. They can join a number of test series instead of full-fledged coaching to evaluate their growth and understanding of key subjects.

Mastery over concepts

In a competitive exam like the Assam Judicial Services Exam, the competence of a law graduate is examined in a range of areas. Although the exam’s material is extensive, there are some of the topics that should be prioritised in order to score well:

1. Indian Constitution

·  Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy

·  Constitutional Amendments

·  Judiciary and its role

·  Constitutional provisions related to the judiciary

2. Indian Penal Code (IPC)

·  General Principles

·  Specific Offenses and their definitions

·  Punishments and sentencing

3. Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC)

·  Investigation process

·  Arrest, Bail, and Remand

·  Trial process

·  Sentencing and judgments

4. Code of Civil Procedure (CPC)

·  Jurisdiction and Territoriality

·  Pleadings and Parties

·  Trial and Appeals

5. Indian Evidence Act

·  Relevance and admissibility of evidence

·  Examination of witnesses

·  Documentary and oral evidence

6. Law of Contract

·  Essential elements of a contract

·  Types of contracts

·  Breach of contract and remedies

7. Law of Torts

·  Negligence, Nuisance, and Defamation

·  Vicarious Liability and Strict Liability

·  Consumer Protection laws

Along with these fundamental subject areas, an aspirant should have in-depth knowledge of the following subjects:

·  The Assam Judicial Services Exam has a general knowledge portion, thus it’s critical that you have a fundamental grasp of current events, history, and geography. The focus should be on landmark judgments and recent legal developments happening both at the state and national level.

·  English Language: The test has a portion on the English language, therefore proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking is essential to ace the language exam. It’s also important to be well-practised in reading comprehension and essays along with good grasp on grammar.

·  Assamese: Despite it being native tongue, it is imperative that the fluency and comfort in that language is maintained, both for the subjective and objective part. One of the most overlooked aspects, it has the power to make or break your career. 

Prioritise your studies and concentrate on the key topics if you wish to do well on the Assam Judicial Services Exam. Additionally, it is essential to practise past years’ question papers along with careful analysis of the exam pattern. Take mock exams to become comfortable with the exam format and develop time management skills. Regular topic reviews and in-depth knowledge of legal principles are equally crucial.

Regular mocks and practice papers help the student to anticipate questions that have been recurring in exams. It helps them understand as to what all areas they need to focus on. Some additional tips can also be useful like-

1. Start early: Considering how competitive the exam is, it’s essential to get a jump on the preparation process. Ideally, There should be ample time for an aspirant to read the entire course content and rehearse answering questions.

2. Consult a tutor for assistance: If as an aspirant you are having trouble understanding a certain subject, a tutor may be able to help. You can receive individualised instruction from a tutor, who can also aid in your comprehension of the subject.

3. Constant Motivation: Although the Assam Judicial Services Exam is difficult, it’s crucial to maintain motivation and determination. Sometimes, the information and constant study pressure may be lot to take in however do not lose sight of your aim.

Tips for the Preliminary Paper

Tip 1: One of the most underrated practices that judicial aspirants have is with regard to answering legal questions in another language. Even if it is one’s mother tongue, it is imperative that special emphasis is made on reading legalese and vocabulary that is used in day to day practice of these judicial officers. Apart from reading newspapers and legal books, it may be of crucial help that orders passed by district judges may be read by the candidates appearing for such examinations. It will be fruitful in maintaining fluency in the language and enriching the legal vocabulary required from a judicial officer.

Tip 2: Candidates often tend to make the rookie mistake of appearing for all judicial exams that happen. Being an exam that differs from state to state, it is important that the candidate targets one state and gives papers only for the paper most similar to the state in target. Aiming for all, dilutes the preparation. In some cases, some local laws of the state are always required in the preparation- in such cases, the candidate ends up wasting precious time for a state they were never keen on going anyway.

Tip 3: Having said that, the more prelims, mains and interviews you give, the more practice you’ll get. A lot of people give multiple attempts in order to calm their nerves and be accustomed to the stress they have to undergo in order to crack the exam of their choosing. 

Tip 4: An aspect that most aspirants tend to overlook is the fact that mock tests apart from telling a pattern, also help in practising answers within a time limit. It is small things like these that help in making a crucial difference in the time-pressed situation where the ability to pick and choose which questions to answer can make or break your career.

Tip 5: Get out of the law school mentality. Candidates still stuck in this tend to answer all questions, even at the cost of quality of answers. Answering with absolute surety triumphs over guesswork. It may do more harm than good.

Tip 6: Concepts along with sections. Understanding the process behind the law is the best way to remember it. It is not recommended that sections can be absolutely taken for a toss. However, this preparation can always be done before the exams, where emphasis is paid on memorizing sections.

Tip 7: Treat Prelims as a qualifying examination. Passing this exam is only a pass to sit for the main show. Analyze what is asked and what your weak areas are. The answer key is usually available immediately after the paper, so give emphasis on areas were you are more prone to mistakes so that they may not be repeated in future examinations. 

Tip 8: Bar and Bench and LiveLaw are your best friends in understanding the law and keeping you updated. Make sure you devote your time in refreshing your legal knowledge as it helps in preparing for Prelims as well as mains.  

Tips for Assam Judiciary Mains exam

Tip 1: Another aspect that most people tend to underestimate is the ability to write long subjective answers. The four papers of mains is held in two days and most candidates are unable to even complete the paper. In such cases, along with it being a time-saving strategy where chunks of the answer are prepared one way or another, the candidate also develops the physical endurance to write lengthy answers to the best of his ability.

Tip 2: In every chunk of your answer, make sure you add one stellar point, it could be trivia, or it could be case law. Memorizing them in a chunk ensures that even if a question is somewhat near to what you have prepared for, you do have a stellar answer ready. For an IPC question, add aspects of CrPC or the Constitution.

Tip 3: Candidates often tend to falter in understanding when and how to begin the preparation. The sooner, the better, definitely applies, but it is also important to brush up on basics and prepare and write answers of five marks each. It is imperative that the preparation of prelims and mains is done in tandem and the best strategy is to keep writing in small chunks. This helps in quick revision strategies and aids in building the ability to write more.

Tip 4: Pay special emphasis on sectional cutoffs. Though it is advised you be thorough with the syllabus, it is human that some areas will be stronger than other. Even in cases where you are planning to leave certain topics altogether, make sure that you do it such a way that at least the sectional cutoffs are met. 

Tip 5: Given the amount of emphasis that is paid on cases of the High Court, make sure that apart from landmark Supreme Court cases, you also keep a close tab on the landmark judgements being passed by the Gauhati High Court. 

Tip 6: Answering the whole paper is paramount. It is imperative that you get in the habit of writing for two hours and writing for two hours quickly. Apart from writing stellar answers, it is imperative that you also are able to complete all the whole of the mains paper. This sole ability will give you an edge over nearly half the population writing the paper.

Tip 7: Writing the facts of the case along with the facts, however brief, helps in casting a good impression on the evaluator and gives an impression that you are thorough with your preparation in this exam.  

Tips for Assam Judiciary interview

Tip 1: With a lot of video recordings available now on the internet, it is productive for the candidate to listen to such videos and develop their skills for answering and asking questions in a stern yet empathetic manner. These videos are especially useful in times of a break when the mind seeks a bit of peace in between study sessions. It also helps in portraying a good image at the interview level that the candidate is aware and knows how to maintain the sanctity of the post being held by them.

Tip 2: If ever given an opportunity to assist a judicial officer during or after law school, it is important that the candidate grabs it with both hands. No one in the business can provide better insight than the person doing the very same job. The candidate gets an opportunity to get their insight and the rigour of the law, under the tremendous pressure that their decisions could fundamentally alter lives. It is recommended that even internships should be litigation based so that the candidate is able to see the law in practice and can have absolute clarity on procedure. 

Tip 3: Include time for a break. You have no little to no control over the result of the exam. It is imperative that you allocate time for your health, family, mental and physical exercise and even for yourself. The world will not stop and you need to accommodate the changing times with it.

Tip 4: Keep abreast of the recent judgements of the Supreme Court and the Gauhati High Court. Even a list of amendments and new statutes along with current affairs is a good strategy. 

Tip 5: Make sure you have a conversation that flows. The evaluators are here to judge you on your overall personality and to determine whether you can hold the dignity of the position and power that you are about to receive. 

Tip 6: Staying Calm and confident does wonders, and even if you are not, fake it till you make it

Tip 7: First impressions last. Make sure you have the most flattering outfit that aids in your self confidence and is formal enough for the interview. Make sure small things like your hair, tie, earrings, nails and shoes are in place. 

Tip 8: A common factor in most Judicial aspirants is that they love to teach. It helps them be in touch with the subject. Additionally, apart from prepping them for the interview, it also helps them in gaining clarity over the concepts as they have to be extremely thorough with the concepts themselves in order to explain it to another law student. 

Tips for Assam Judicial Services exam result

Tip 1: Understand that your marks are only fifty percent of the game. Though it depends on how your paper went, it also depends on how difficult the overall paper was. It is imperative to look at competitive exams in the percentile and not the number game.

Tip 2: Consistency is key. Even if you study for 2-3 hours, make sure you are consistent and just revise the bare act on days you do not feel like preparing for the Judicial Exam.

Tip 3: Everyone can only suggest what works for them, you will have to sit and figure out what works and does not work for you. There is no ideal way. And the preparatory stage is extremely isolating. For great gains, great prices are to be paid. Do not let a few rejections be a hurdle towards a bigger goal. 

Strategy for how to strategize

1. It is imperative that you read the bare acts and have the procedure imprinted in your brain. Even if you begin preparing for judiciary in the very last two years of law school, there is a high chance of you cracking it in the first attempt. What is important is the clarity you have towards the subject.

2. Subjects like procedural law require their understanding to be in motion. In such a case, assisting a judge or interning an advocate is fruitful as they know the flow of power and all available options.

3. Dedicate a specific timeslot to build fluency in the official language of the state every single day. Despite being a negligible contributor, one tends to forget that these are qualifying in nature and have the ability to make or break your result.

4. Some people allocate months of the year and some people allocate time of the day towards mastering a concept. Take time and understand which strategy suits you the best and ensure that you pay attention to your strengths as much as you do to your weaknesses.

5. Interviews are mainly used to determine a candidate’s fitness for a judicial position. During an interview, the interview board assesses a candidate’s confidence, ability, and commitment. It is crucial that the candidate develops the ability to think of their feet.

6. For the interview, make sure you develop storytelling skills. And have an answer to all probable questions- HR ones and the legal ones. And everyone loves a witty answer.

7. Start early: Considering how competitive the exam is, it’s essential to get a jump on the preparation process. Ideally, there should be ample time for an aspirant to read the entire course content and rehearse answering questions.

8. If, as an aspirant, you are having trouble understanding a certain subject, a tutor may be able to help. You can receive individualised instruction from a tutor, who can also aid in your comprehension of the subject.

9. Although the Assam Judicial Services Exam is difficult, it’s crucial to maintain motivation and determination. Sometimes, the information and constant study pressure may be lot to take in however, do not lose sight of your aim. 

Books that are recommended

Basic commentaries of all the books are essential in gaining mastery over concepts and learning landmark case laws: 

CPC: Takwani

CrPC: Kelkar

Constitution: V N Shukla, M P Jain

Contract Act: Avtar Singh

Torts: Bangia

IPC: Ratanlal and Dhirajlal

Transfer of Property: R. K. Sinha

Concise books like A K Jain are helpful for revision purposes, especially before the interview stage. 

For everything else, the Bare Act with commentary suffices. For article writing, reading newspapers like The Hindu and Indian Express helps in the formulation and expression of thought. For the Assamese section, bare acts of diglot edition where the entire bare act is available in Assamese is crucial- for understanding legal concepts and developing fluency in the language. Previous years’ papers also aim to be fruitful in this regard.

For the General Knowledge syllabus, books like Universal and Lucent are helpful. Apart from that, websites like G.K. Today, and Lead the Competition are also helpful in preparation of Judicial Examinations. 

Learning from the Toppers

Sukanya Hazarika, Rank 10 of the Assam State Judicial Services, 2021-22, cleared her judicial services examination in the very first attempt, after preparing for it only in her final year. According to her strategy in cracking the paper she highlighted the preparation to be done in a holistic manner as the prelims and the mains are extremely close in time. Therefore, she advises to fully focus on the Bare Act and be extremely thorough with the law. She emphasizes knowing concepts and states that every subject demands a different approach. The Penal Code demanded knowing the concepts thoroughly whereas the procedural ones mandated knowing the flow of power. Her preparation for cracking the paper was also aided by various YouTube videos, she stated.

Darshana Nath, Rank 22 of the Assam State Judicial Services, 2019 recommended devoting an hour to English grammar and two hours to General Knowledge every single day of her preparation. She gave special importance to repeated revisions which allowed her to memorize the bare Act. She further recommended reading Assam Tribune and an Assamese regional newspaper in order to brush up her general knowledge as well as her Assamese. She found that the mains paper focused a lot on concepts. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to prepare concepts as well as bare acts as there is not a lot time in between the prelims and the mains. 

Manashi Mandal, Rank 28 of the Assam State Judicial Services, 2019, was a 2014 graduate from Assam University who finally cleared the paper in 2019 after beginning her preparation for the paper in 2015. It is of importance that this was her 7th Attempt towards becoming a Judicial Officer in the states of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura, which were her target states and the second time when she reached the Viva-voce stage This was her fourth attempt for the state of Assam. She emphasised on making her own notes and keeping a thorough revision of the same. She highlighted on knowing the syllabus and knowing areas of sure-shot questions by past paper analysis. The agenda should be to reach a particular score, not be master of all the topics under the sun. Mandal also stressed on paying attention to non-law subjects as they are qualifying in nature and help in gaining an upper hand on the same. 

Give yourself a Fixed Time

Once you turn 27/28 years of age and your friends from law school are senior associates or at least are arguing and getting favourable orders, it is but natural to feel dejected and at a loss of self-esteem. Given your financial background, make sure you give yourself a certain kind of deadline. Could range from three years to seven, but once that deadline has crossed, it is important for your own mental health to go out there in the world and be financially independent. If your resolve is strong enough, you will be able to take the exam even when you are working.

It seems like an important time at this juncture to remind you of certain people who failed at their agenda of clearing a competitive exam but pursued to become pioneers in their own field anyway. 

  1. Ravish Kumar was a UPSC aspirant, but could not clear it. Today he is the recipient of Ramon Magsaysay Award, known as the Nobel for journalism. 
  2. Former President of India, Ram Nath Kovid, was a UPSC aspirant. He did not get marks high enough to get into IAS, so he opted to pursue law. 
  3. Sudhir Mishra, was also a UPSC aspirant, but failed to clear this exam. Today, he is a pioneer in environment law and is the managing partner of Trust Legal
  4. Bharat Chugh could not clear the Haryana Judiciary after giving the interview. Soon after he became the youngest candidate to clear the Delhi Judiciary Exam, only to leave the Judicial Services to set up a thriving independent practice in Delhi. 

Everyone has their own tangents in life; some we can anticipate, some we cannot. It is important to be honest with the kind of effort you make towards the exam, but it is equally important to know when to draw the line and hang up your boots. It is only when you close one chapter is when another one can begin. 

How is APSC-J examination held?

The exam is held in three parts

  1. The Preliminary Examination (qualifying in nature, MCQ based) 
  2. The Mains Examination (written examination, subjective type)
  3. The Viva-voce or the interview

The exams pan out over a year and the vacancies are irregular. However, it can be estimated that a vacancy in the Assam Judiciary comes once in every two years. 

Who conducts the  APSC-J examination?

The Guahati High Court conducts the Assam Judicial Services Exam where it recruits freshers and lawyers with seven years of practise into being judicial officers to administer and implement justice in the state of Assam. 

Whom and How do I contact for any queries regarding the Judiciary Exam?

The best way to contact the Officials conducting the exam is through email. The official portal suggests the email to be: [email protected], whereas the notification mentions [email protected] to be contacted in case for any technical issues in submitting the application form. 

Can a practising lawyer be eligible to write the Assam Judiciary Exam? 

Having a practice is not a hindrance in writing the judiciary exam as long as the criteria for the same are met. In fact, the higher judicial service exam mandates a practice of seven years for a candidate to be eligible to write the paper. 

What kind of internships should I pursue to become a judge?

Internships are the best way to know the ground realities of the profession. Being as close as possible to seeing the law in motion, is the most crucial to any judiciary aspirant. It is imperative that this be the litmus test for any internship one thinks to apply for. Internships under lawyers/judges of the District Judiciary show the law in a light which will bring great clarity of thought to the aspirant. Even internships under practising High Court lawyers and sitting High Court judges are fruitful as they bring forward various procedural and substantive questions of law under scrutiny. 

Further, it is common amongst judicial aspirants to be legal clerks to sitting High Court judges, as it allows them to be in touch with the subject and develop the legal acumen required to assist the Judge, and sustain themselves financially. 

How to select a judiciary course to excel in the Assam Judicial Services Examination?

It is absolutely non-negotiable that the course provides assistance in Assamese as a language, among various other things. Further, it is important that the course moves at a brisk pace, but also allows you to accommodate your shortcomings and leaves room for self-study. Additionally, it is imperative that state-specific guidance is provided. Among others, LawSikho provides tailor made opportunities and checks all the boxes required. It is self-paced but also helps you in keeping your preparation levels in check with the syllabus that needs to be covered. 

The judicial exams pave way for one of the most coveted positions in the government. The impact you create in people’s lives is direct and immediate. It is a position of great power and perks and creates a shift in the lifestyle that impacts generations of successors. However, it is one of the toughest exams to clear for the process of it is extremely taxing. The mere anticipation of whether or not one has cleared the paper takes a toll. A lot of brillant students from law schools tend to pursue this option to only leave dejected and unfulfilled. The world in Law Schools is vastly different from the real world and judiciary is on the extreme end of the spectrum. It is imperative to understand that none of the law school abilities decide whether one can crack the judiciary exam. One may be surprised by how many people who started their preparation in the very last semester of law school have cracked the paper, and people who were clear about their goal are still in pursuit. There is no straight jacket formula, and it is only dedicated effort that can aid in cracking the exam. Let your past baggage not decide how your future is to be. Be honest with your preparation and leave no stone unturned. No preparation ever goes to waste- it may aid in this preparation or for bigger things. 


Students of Lawsikho courses regularly produce writing assignments and work on practical exercises as a part of their coursework and develop themselves in real-life practical skills.

LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals, and various opportunities. You can click on this link and join:

https://t.me/lawyerscommunity

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more amazing legal content.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *