Judicial Service Examination

Judicial Service Examination

The Direct Recruitment to Judicial Service Examination of a candidate is possible when such an aspirant appears for the examination conducted for this purpose. The examination for Judicial Services is conducted by different states; the conducting body of the exam can be either the High Court or the Public Service Commission of the respective state. In order to be appointed as a Judge the candidate requires taking the examination conducted by the state of their choice.
The PCS (J) examination can be further sub-categorized into two levels:
⚖️ The Lower Judicial Service Examination (Civil Judge Junior Division)
⚖️ The Higher Judicial Service Examination



Requisite Educational Qualifications for Lower Judiciary

Undergraduate Degree: The candidate must possess an undergraduate degree in law which can be achieved either by completing 5 years integrated LL.B. Programme or 3 years LL.B. Programme. Maximum states have made the possession of an undergraduate law degree as minimum qualification except for the State of Rajasthan which gives an option to candidates to appear for Rajasthan Judicial Service Examination to students who are in the final year of their law degree.

Postgraduate Degree (Optional): While not mandatory, obtaining a Master of Laws (LLM) degree can enhance your qualifications and legal knowledge, making you a more competitive candidate.


Enrollment as an Advocate and AIBE:

⚖️ It is advisable to enroll yourself as an advocate after completion of your Law Degree if you intend to practice as an advocate, although most of the states do not have enrollment as an eligibility criteria to appear for the examination. The exception to this rule is the State of Jharkhand in the Hindi speaking state belt. It is important to note that the state of Gujarat requires the enrollment along with passing the All India Bar Exam (AIBE).


Eligibility Criteria for Lower Judicial Service Examinations Age and experience:

States Minimum Age Maximum Age Experience
Uttar Pradesh 22 Years 35 Years Not necessary
Bihar 22 Years 35 Years Not necessary
Madhya Pradesh 21 Years 35 Years Not necessary
Rajasthan 21 Years (Final Year Student can also apply) 40 Years Not necessary
Haryana 21 Years 42 Years Not necessary
Delhi 21 Years 32 Years Not necessary
Chhattisgarh 21 Years 35 Years Not necessary
Himachal Pradesh 22 Years 35 Years Not necessary
Uttarakhand 26 Years 36 Years Not necessary
Jharkhand 22 Years (requires to be Enrolled as an Advocate ) 35 Years
Gujarat - 35 Years Not necessary

NOTE: Experience is Not Necessary for Lower Judicial Service Examinations.


Medium of the examination

As far as the Hindi speaking state belt is concerned, a total of 10 states are included in the belt namely: Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. All these states conduct their own Judicial Service Examination; since these states lie in the Hindi speaking belt most of these states conduct exams in both the mediums i.e. Hindi and English.


The states from Hindi speaking belt namely Delhi, Haryana & Himachal Pradesh conduct their Judicial Service Examination only in English Medium.


Stages of Judicial Service Examination

The pattern for the Judicial Service Examination for Civil Judge in India varies depending on the state conducting the exam. However, in general, the examination consists of three stages:

Preliminary Examination: This is the first stage of the examination and is conducted in a multiple-choice question (MCQ) format. The preliminary examination tests the candidates on various subjects such as the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Civil Procedure Code, Indian Evidence Act, and other legal provisions related to the judiciary. The questions in this exam are generally of an objective nature and aim to test the candidate's knowledge of the legal framework.
Main Examination: Those who qualify the preliminary examination can appear for the main examination, which is conducted in a descriptive format. The main examination tests the candidates' knowledge of various legal provisions, including substantive and procedural laws. The mains examination typically comprises of five or six papers covering subjects such as civil law, criminal law, language and drafting skills. The questions in the main examination are of a subjective nature and aim to test the candidate's ability to apply legal principles and analytical skills.
Viva Voce: Candidates who qualify the main examination are called for the viva voce or the interview. The viva voce is a test of the candidate's personality, communication skills, knowledge etc. The interview panel comprises of senior judges and legal experts, who ask the candidates questions related to their legal knowledge and general awareness.


Note: It is important to note that the pattern and syllabus for the Judicial Service Examination for Civil Judge may vary from state to state. Candidates are advised to carefully read the notification issued by the respective state's public service commission to understand the pattern and syllabus of the examination.


Most states conduct their own Judicial Services Exams. To be eligible, you usually need a few years of experience as a practicing advocate.

Exam Preparation:

Prepare thoroughly for the Judicial Services Exam, which typically consists of multiple stages, including a written examination and a personal interview.

Clearing the Exam:

Successfully clearing the exam will make you eligible for appointment as a judge.
To become a judge in India, you need to meet specific requirements and qualifications. These requirements vary depending on the level of the judiciary you aim to enter, whether it's the lower judiciary (civil judge or judicial magistrate), district judiciary, or the higher judiciary (High Court or Supreme Court). Here are the general requirements:

1. Educational Qualifications:

  • Lower Judiciary: To become a civil judge or judicial magistrate at the lower judiciary level, you typically need to have an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) degree from a recognized university in India. This is usually a three-year course after completing a bachelor's degree.
  • Higher Judiciary: For higher judiciary positions, such as judges in High Courts or the Supreme Court, you must have practiced law as an advocate for a certain number of years. This varies from state to state and court to court but often ranges from 7 to 10 years of legal practice.

2. Enrollment with the Bar Council:

After completing your LLB degree, you must enroll with the Bar Council of the state in which you plan to practice law. This is a mandatory step for anyone aspiring to be a judge in India.

3. Legal Practice:

Gain practical experience by practicing as an advocate. You need to build a strong legal career by representing clients in court, handling various cases, and gaining courtroom experience. Your experience as an advocate is often a crucial factor in your eligibility for judicial roles.

4. Age Limit:

The age limit to apply for judicial positions varies from state to state and court to court. Generally, candidates must be between 21 and 35 years of age at the time of application for lower judiciary positions. For higher judiciary positions, there is usually an upper age limit, which also varies.