In this article, Vedant Shadangi of KIIT School Of Law discusses the syllabus for AOR Exam Of Supreme Court.


Advocate On Record exams is conducted and regulated by the Board of Examiners who are governed and regulated by the Supreme Court.

What do you mean by an Advocate on record?

  1. ‘Advocate on Record’ is an advocate who has cleared the AOR exam and is entitled under the Order IV of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, framed under Article 145 of the Constitution to act, as well as to plead for a party in the Supreme Court of India.[1]
  2. For appointment of Advocates On Record Supreme court of India has issued rule 2, 4 and 6 of Supreme Court Rules 1966.
  3. As per the rules also, no advocate other than an advocate on record shall be entitled to file an appearance or act for any party in the Supreme Court of India. No advocate other than an advocate on record can appear and plead in any matter unless he is instructed by an advocate on record.
  4. An advocate can be registered as an advocate on record if he qualifies the requirements as laid down by the Supreme Court in the Supreme Court of India Rules, 1966.[2]

Eligibility criteria

If an advocate wants to practice as an advocate-on-record in the Supreme Court he or she needs the following qualification

  1. The advocate must have a practice for five years as an advocate.
  2. And thereafter has to intimate to the Supreme Court that, he or she has started taking training with a Senior Advocate on the record because he or she intends to become an Advocate-on-record.
  3. After the expiry of one year’s training, the advocate has to appear for an examination conducted by the Supreme Court itself.
  4. After an advocate passes this examination, he or she must have a registered office within a radius of 10 miles from the Supreme Court building and a registered clerk. It is after this that the Chamber Judge of the Supreme Court accepts him as an advocate-on-record.

Significance of AOR Examination

Practicing at the top court of law requires expertise. Therefore, having a concrete standard of court craft and litigation practice is a must. This standard is ensured by the Advocate on Record Examination. Taking the AOR exam and conquering it is not an easy task. This 2011 report says, only 18% of the test takers pass the AOR examination. 

Passing criteria and format of exam

  1. It’s a 3 hr. exam and is held in-between the month of May and June.
  2. The exam held for four days for four different papers.
  3. The whole exam consists of a total of 100 marks and a total of 27 question divided into four papers.

The passing criteria for the exam are 50% for each subject and a combined aggregate of 60% in all the subjects. Link to the previous year question papers can be found here

Advocate-on-record exam syllabus

There are four set of paper of four different subjects namely,

Practice and procedure of Supreme Court – This includes

  • Learning important provisions of the constitution of India relating to jurisdiction of the court.
  • Supreme Court Rules and provisions of Civil Procedure Code, Limitation Act and the General Principles of court fees Act.

Drafting – This includes,

  • Petitions for Special Leave and Statements of Cases, etc.
  • Decrees, Orders, and Writs, etc.
  • Syllabus includes petitions of appeal, plaint and written statement in a suit under Article 131 of the Constitution of India; review petitions under Article 137 of the Constitution of India; transfer petitions u/s 25 of the Civil Procedure Code; Article 139 of the Constitution of India and Section 406 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973; contempt petitions under Article 129 of the Constitution of India, interlocutory applications including criminal miscellaneous petitions for bail, condonation of delay, exemption from surrender, applications for revocation of special leave, etc.
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Advocate and Professional ethics – This includes,

  • The Advocates Act and Cases reported under the Advocates Act, particularly disciplinary proceedings.
  • Cases relating to the Contempt of Court involving Advocates.
  • The Bar Council of India Rules.
  • The Supreme Court Rules, 2013.

Leading cases 

This includes all the cases as notified by the exam department. The list of the cases as according to exam of 2017 can be found here

Study materials

In its official site, the Supreme court has also provided the study materials which could be found here

Result of the exam

For result relating information, Regulation 11(i) & 11(ii) are reproduced:-

Regulation 11(i)

“A candidate, who fails to obtain 50 per cent in one paper only but obtains 40 per cent in that paper and also obtains 60 per cent in the aggregate in the remaining papers, shall be allowed to appear in that paper at anyone subsequent examination on payment of the full examination fee and he shall be declared to have passed the Advocates-on-Record Examination if he obtains 50 per cent marks in the paper in which he has so reappeared and the marks so obtained in the paper he has reappeared taken with the marks obtained in the remaining papers at the earlier examination are 60 percent of the aggregate marks in all the papers.

Regulation 11 (ii)

“A candidate who passes in all the papers at any single examination but fails to obtain 60 percent of the marks in the aggregate may, on payment of the full examination fee, appear at anyone subsequent examination in one of the papers only and shall be declared to have passed the Advocates-on-Record Examination if the marks obtained by him at the subsequent examination taken with the marks obtained in the remaining papers at the earlier examination are 60 percent of the aggregate marks in all the papers. The option will have to be exercised by the candidate at the time of filing of a proforma application for appearing in the subsequent examination and the option once exercised shall be binding on the candidate.

The Candidates are informed that in ensuring examination those who are given roll number and who absent themselves in examination without assigning sufficient reasons in writing to the secretary will be treated as not sufficiently prepared and will be dealing with under regulation 5(b) without giving further opportunity, and time may be prescribed within which they shall not present themselves again for examination except with prior permission of the chairman of board of Examiners.

Bar on reappearing for the AOR exam – Regulation 5 (b)

5(b) “If the committee on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners is of the opinion that a candidate has not sufficiently prepared himself for the examination they may prescribe a time within which he shall not present himself again for examination.

The candidates are further informed that as per registration 11 (iii) of the Regulations regarding Advocates-On-Record, a candidate, who fails in all the papers of the examinations, shall not be permitted to appear in the next examination.

The candidates are further informed that as per Regulations 11 (iv) of the Regulations regarding Advocates-On-Record Examination, a  candidate shall not be allowed more than five chances to appear at the examination. Appearance even in any one of the papers in an examination shall be deemed to be a chance.

Professional ethics an AOR must know

  1. It is not an individual service rather, it’s a public service, and hence trust is attached to the work and the advocate should not involve in any work which hampers the trust.
  2. Should follow the principle of integrity and morality in his/her work.
  3. Should do nothing which will detract the dignity of the court.
  4. Should never indulge in any misconduct.
  5. Should maintain secrecy and trust between himself and his client.
  6. Should commit his/her work towards the welfare of the society, and not towards focussing on only earning money.  
  7. Fees charged should be according to rules.
  8. Should never abuse his/her powers to fool clients.
  9. Should strictly follow the court rules and orders and should respect the court.
  10. Should work for the activity of social welfare rather than just using skills for litigation and adjudication[4].
  11. Should not use any unfair means against the opposite parties.

Difficulty level of the AOR exam

It’s true that every year the questions paper gets difficult and lengthy, and according to a source, the passing criteria has also increased[5]. There are various views on the AOR exam, and on many interviews, it is found that some find it difficult while others find it lengthy though, it’s their own perspective.

Few interviews can be found out here.


As a constitutional right, the AOR Exam conducted by the supreme court evolves out as a standard of eligibility for appearing, pleading and acting before the supreme court. It ensures that a lawyer appearing before it has the right knowledge, skill, and authority and is fit to take the case from people and fight for them in the best possible manner.


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