How to Write Answers for Judiciary Mains Exam?

The mains exam is given the most weightage in the selection procedure for the Judiciary Examination. You will be eligible for the Interview round if you pass the second step.

The combined score from the Mains Exam and the Interview stage is the deciding factor in achieving merit for notified vacancies.

While the number of papers and subjects at the Mains stage varies from state to state, the Civil Law exam (usually divided into Civil Law I and Civil Law II) and Criminal law are common to all stages. This post shall take you through guidance on how to Write Answers for Judiciary Mains Exam?

The mains examination is the most important part of the judicial services test. In this post, we have addressed all the common doubts of Judiciary aspirants regarding how to frame a good answer. We have also elaborated a general format for drafting answers in the mains examination. This will help you in writing a decent answer to gain an advantage.

We have detailed the types of questions posed, suggestions for producing a good answer in the Judiciary Mains Examination, and the format of answers for all types of questions.

Types of Questions Asked in Mains Examination 

Questions asked in Mains Examination can be categorized on the based on two basic parameters

Marks allotted and expected length of Answer

On this basis, Questions in Mains are either:

  • Short Note Types (which are usually less than 10 marks and require only a precise answer)
  • Long Answer Types (which are more than 10 marks and demands elaboration on the point of the law asked)

Read More: How to Read Bare Acts for Judiciary Exams?

A legal opinion is sought in response to a question

On this basis, Questions in Mains can be either:

  • Factual Matrix Question (This format of questions presents a certain factual scenario and requires elaboration on some point/(s) of law in connection with the same. These types of questions are increasingly being posed in a variety of state judicial exams).
  • General Law Questions (These are regular questions that you must have encountered in your law school exams, which simply require elaboration on any topic or issue of law).

While long and short note questions are the most common types of questions in nearly all Judiciary Mains examinations, Factual Matrix Questions, which are usually long answer type questions, are also common.

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General Tips for Answer Writing in Mains Examination 

  • It is crucial to understand the question before attempting so as to have a clear idea of what is exactly asked by the examiner.
  • Practice answer writing from the previous year's question papers of Mains to be well-versed with the format and trends of  state judiciary exam.
  • Include general application of legal principles in a given set of facts.
    It is recommended to practice writing the answers. This will help you improve your writing speed as well as your thought process.
  • If the word limit to a question is not provided,  consider these two parameters- Marks allotted and scope/need of extension in the answer.
  • The length of the answer or number of pages is not a decisive factor for marking. Hence we should keep our answers brief and to the point. This will help a lot in completing the exam on time.
  • Neat and legible handwriting is also essential to ease readability. 
  • Writing in short paragraphs or pointers also helps to hold the examiner's interest.
  • You should only write either the landmark judgments or recent important case laws which can help in conveying your clarity of the concept.
  • In spite of the kind of question asked, some requisites of a good Mains level answer are: Legal Provision and concept of the law. Illustrations and/ case laws are only meant for the beautification of an answer.
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General Format of the Judiciary Mains level answer:

  • Introduction of the answer

An answer can be made impressive by starting it with a brief introduction. It can either be about the definition of the legal concept asked in the question, importance or Object of the law or Background or history of the provision.

A quick introduction can help in making a response more impressive. It could be about the definition of the legal concept, the significance or object of the legislation, or the background or history of the provision.

  • Main Body of the answer

This is the most significant and decisive aspect of the entire answer. You should incorporate all the necessary details asked in the question here.
The main body of any answer must include the relevant provisions of law, applicability or enforcement of the same, recent amendments (if any), illustrations for clarity of your conceptual knowledge.

Download Study Material For Judiciary Exams by Judiciary Gold

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  • Conclusion

While most of the candidates skip this part, writing a brief and effective conclusion can greatly impact your marks.

Here, a summary or gist of the whole answer is written along with major takeaways for the examiner to ensure that your knowledge of law has been sufficiently conveyed.

  • Format of a Short Note in Mains Exam

Since short notes carry fewer marks and are usually asked on short concepts of law, the elaborative general format can be skipped in this.

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Tips for Answering Factual Matrix Questions

Since factual matrix questions are usually elaborative and demand more specific information, completely sticking to the general format will not be sufficient.

The following format is recommended for these kinds of answers:

  • Introduction

Since the object of asking a factual matrix question is to test if a candidate can decode what law and legal provision will be applicable in the given facts, the introduction should lay down the law/legal principles which will be relevant in the mentioned factual scenario. This needs to be brief and on point.

  • Main Body

In this part, you should emphasize the appreciation of facts along with elaboration on the law, legal provisions that are relevant in the facts.

Clearly laying down the ingredients of law and establishing a connecting link between the facts and law is very important in this part of the answer.

You should also make sure to mention illustrations or case laws that are based on similar facts and convey a better idea of the applicable law.

At this stage, justifying your answer with logical and legal reasoning adds quality to it.

Read More: How to deal with Negative Marking in Judiciary Exams?

  • Conclusion

In conclusion, summarize the whole answer.

For example: If the question is whether the offense of theft is made out in the given facts?

After discussing the law of theft, its provision and ingredients, and justifying your answer that theft here is/is not made out, the conclusion should simply lay down a summarized and direct answer that the theft is/is not made out in these facts along with its reasons.

Things to Remember While Answering Factual Matrix Question

  • Always write an answer that is balanced both in the incorporation of facts and legal principles.
  • Avoid directly answering. This means like in the previous example of a question on theft, built on the answer by discussing ingredients of theft and appreciation of facts in its light rather than simply writing that offence of theft is/is not made out here.
  • Always use the Deductive approach (General to specific) while answering factual matrix type of questions.
  • Do not forget to consider all the aspects of the relevant law and set of facts and justify your chosen answer elaborately. The examiner by questions like these aims to test your skill of applying the law in factual situations.

In conclusion, summarizing the whole answer along with writing a direct answer concerning the factual matrix is a good technique.
For example: If the question is whether the offense of theft is made out in the given facts?

After discussing the law of theft, its provision and ingredients, and justifying your answer that theft here is/is not made out, the conclusion should simply lay down a summarized and direct answer that the theft is/is not made out in these facts along with its reasons.
Things to Remember While Answering Factual Matrix Question-

  • You should always write an answer that is balanced both in the incorporation of facts and legal principles.
  • Avoid directly answering. This means like in the previous example of a question on theft, built on the answer by discussing ingredients of theft and appreciation of facts in its light rather than simply writing that offence of theft is/is not made out here.
  • When responding to factual matrix questions, always apply the Deductive technique (general to specific).
  • Remember to consider all parts of the applicable law and facts, as well as to expound on your proposed remedy. With questions like these, the examiner is attempting to assess your ability to apply the law in factual situations.


 

FAQ's

How do I prepare for bare acts for Judiciary Mains Examination?

Start your preparation with bare acts as most of the questions in the mains exam are from bare acts. Make sure to study 5-10 bare acts everyday.

How to handle panic during the Judiciary Mains examination?

To avoid stress or any sort of panic during the exam, focus on what you know the best. Attempt the sections that you are confident about and start answering the ones you know the answers first.

Which are the best books to learn about Indian laws?

Code of Civil Procedure by Jatin Kumar Das and Code of Civil Procedure by T.P. Tripathi are the best books for reading about Indian laws.

How to prepare for Judiciary mains exam?

Make a study plan that covers all the topics as per the latest syllabus and start your preparation accordingly for the exam. Read all the definitions of bare acts and practice them without seeing them. Focus on the latest amendments of each and every act of  Syllabus to score good marks in the exam.

How do you prepare notes for Judiciary Mains Exam?

You can prepare notes by noting down important terms and highlighting concepts. 

How do you clear Judiciary Mains Exam in first attempt?

The best way to clear Judiciary Mains Exam in first attempt is to read newspapers regularly and practice as much as you can.