Higher Judiciary


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




The Higher Judicial Services refers to a cadre of judicial officers who hold higher positions within the judiciary and plays a crucial role in the administration of justice. The recruitment process for Higher Judicial Services officers involves an examination conducted by the respective State Public Service Commissions or the High Courts of the states. The examination is open to practicing lawyers as well as judicial officers at the lower levels, such as Civil Judges or Magistrates. The Higher Judicial Service (HJS) Examination is an opportunity for practicing lawyers to establish a career for themselves into the field of judiciary.



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.


  • No person shall be eligible for appointment by direct recruitment unless, he or she -
  • (a) Is a citizen of India;
  • (b) Has attained the age of 35 (thirty five) years and has not attained the age of 45 (forty five) years on the first day of January in the year in which applications for recruitment are invited;
  • (c) Has been continuously practicing as an advocate for at least 7 years as on the last date of receipt of applications


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.


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.