This article has been written by Jyoti Singh, Team LawSikho.
First things first, you need not bother to read this email at all or buy any books for judiciary exam preparation if you are a LawSikho Lord of the Courses student.
We can confidently say that our study material covers everything you need to read to prepare for judiciary exams.
If there are any bare acts you need to buy, we will tell you.
But our study material is designed in a way that you do not need any other book.
Do not even think of getting any books before you finish reading your study material and then also, first consult us before you invest time or money in any other material.
Now, for all those who are not our students but attend our free webinars or just need guidance on which books to buy for judiciary exams. After all, we hear this question all the time, so we had to write this down in one place.
Choosing the right books always forms an important part of your preparation for any exam. The day I decided that I wanted to appear for DJS, the first thing I had to ensure was having the right books with me.
So, I went to the bookstore with a list in hand, motivated to complete each of them within the stipulated time.
However, months passed by, and those books are still neatly placed on my shelf. Why? Because even though the thought of reading two or more books for a single subject sounds fascinating, the reality is quite different.
Most of the time we don’t even finish one of them!
How many times have you bought lots of books and then did not read anything beyond the first chapter of most of them?
It is easy to collect books. Much harder to have the discipline to read them.
(I can feel a lot of you nodding in agreement :D)
But luckily, such reading of many books on every subject is unnecessary and counterproductive, apart from being unrealistic and sub-optimal use of your time, though it is very nice to imagine in your head!
Guess what, the trick is not to read the whole bunch of books you can find on a particular subject.
Instead, it is more about choosing the right content to read. The idea is to read less, but maximize your reading time.
You should be asking yourself: how can I pack the most value into every reading session, and focus on retention and skills related to expressing this knowledge in a highly organized, lucid fashion?
You got to stick to just one book. In rare cases you may have to refer to two books. In any case, you are not even buying another book before you finish the first one.
The aim is to refer to only those that provide the highest value—comprehensive syllabus coverage, simple-to-understand language, interesting layout that supports rapid learning, and plenty of samples, examples and exercises.
Now, how do you get your hands on such a book? They say, read the interviews of previous years toppers and you would know which books to go for.
Sounds easy, right? Well, the reality is far different.
Going through the interviews of various toppers leaves us even more confused than before. While some might suggest referring to multiple books for the same subject, some will ask you to stick to one book per subject and make sure you know it like the back of your hand.
Let’s discuss some of the most common questions that perplex us.
Who should you listen to?
Okay, first things first, just because the interviews of the toppers are likely to leave you confused, it does not mean that you would forsake them altogether. They are probably the best people to suggest which books to refer to since they have “been there, done that”.
My suggestion: If you aspire to become a judge of any State, I am sure that you must have gone through a lot of interviews of various toppers for that State.
For instance, I went through the interviews of Bharat Chugh, Shipra Dhankar, Vinod Joshi, Ritika Shrivastava (and that’s not all :P) as I aspired to sit for the DJS.
What I have found is, while these toppers will probably talk about different exam preparation strategies, along with different reference books, you can still find a few common ones among them. When you do find one such common book, know that it is probably the “best” book on the subject.
You can also get in touch with your college professors and tell them what kind of book you are looking for. They read and publish papers. Chances are that they have come across every text book on a subject, and had many years to figure out which are the best ones. But make sure they are not recommending some fancy pedantic books that do not help you with your exams.
For example, Anson’s Law of Contract is an amazing classical textbook on contract law.
But it will be a terrible waste of time to read it before your judiciary exams.
Explain to your teacher that to crack the exam you need a concise book that focuses on Indian law and basics, not fancy foreign doctrines.
They would be able to suggest to you which book will serve your purpose most effectively.
Your tutor at the coaching centre, if you have joined any, will also be able to suggest the right books for the state judiciary exam you are trying for. They might also provide you with study materials that will make your learning easier. If you are a LawSikho student, having taken up the Lord of the Courses, please do not waste your time or money buying any books before you consult your faculty members. We will see where you stand currently, and accordingly recommend a customized book list.
Also, we will provide you a massive amount of study material that will increase your efficiency in preparation and reduce the time you will take to get the same concept from textbooks. So the need to buy books will drastically reduce if you are a LawSikho student.
Oh, you can also get in touch with your college seniors who attempted for the exam or are currently doing so. Don’t shun them for they couldn’t crack the exam. They can share some good pointers too.
Books don’t pass exams. You have to.
Again, if more than one senior is suggesting the same book, do know that it could be the “one”.
Also, join Facebook groups and ask the community over there. Most of these communities are helpful but do take their suggestions with a pinch of salt. Some of them like to give advice and might even help you prepare the exam strategy in full. (And they have never even sat for the exam. Yikes!)
Selective reading and listening is what you need to do when you go through all these sources. Among the multiple suggestions that are being thrown at you, you have to make the ultimate decision.
The answer may not be the same for every person.
Not easy at all.
To make your job easier, I have already made a ready-made list for you.
What is the common list of books preferred by the majority?
Let’s have a look at some of the most recommended books.
MP Jain/VN Shukla (both are equally good)
R V Kelkar/Ratanlal Dhirajlal
KD Gaur/Ratanlal Dhirajlal
Law of Evidence
Avtar Singh/Ratanlal Dhirajlal/ Batuklal
Law of Torts
R K Bangia
Avtar Singh/R K Bangia
Transfer of Property
Is reading from a single book enough?
Now, the one question that can keep a judiciary aspirant awake at night. Is this enough?
Trust me, I have.
It so happened that I would finish one book and then revise it multiple times.
But a crazy thought would nag me, again and again, “Did I learn enough? Or is there more to learn in that other book?”
I would not want to leave even one book unflipped if it came to passing the judiciary exam. And I am sure many of you feel like that too.
So, did I go about checking out every book there is on a particular subject? No, I quickly figured out how wrong an approach it would be.
For one, whether you should go for one book or multiple ones depends a lot on your exam strategy and the strategy adopted varies from one person to another.
Some people recommend going through several commentaries on the same subject to develop a better understanding, while others stick to a single book.
We prefer that you focus on one single book because you need to become an expert on the subject. You just want to crack the exam. If you learn everything that is there to learn about CrPC, you are basically reducing your chance of cracking the exam although you might be gaining a lot of knowledge.
Is the goal to gain knowledge or to crack the exam?
You can pick up one book only and develop a thorough understanding of the subject from the exam perspective.
A book may have 20 different case laws mentioned about a section. You may not need to either read or remember all of it.
Tackling multiple books will shorten the amount of time you can put into one. So, while you are gaining command over the subject, you might not be able to get exam-ready. Many smart and hard working people never crack judicial exams because of this grave mistake, which does not seem like a mistake at all!
How can studying more than what is necessary be deemed a mistake!
Just remember this: if you go through a lot of books, you will certainly develop a vast amount of knowledge, but you might still fail to clear the exam.
How to study the local laws?
Having said this, the next question that props up is how to go about preparing the local laws.
Do you need to go through lengthy commentaries or a mere understanding of the bare act would suffice?
In this regard, an understanding of the bare act will suffice.
If you go through the interviews, you will notice that most of them would suggest you to just go through the bare acts in case of local laws. Detailed studies of commentaries on these subjects may give you awesome knowledge, but take away precious time from preparation.
Remember that knowing all that law is not enough to crack the exam. There is much more than just knowledge!
For instance, it is even more important that you are able to express that knowledge appropriately and with good presentation skills when it comes to writing subjective answers. Similarly, developing the ability to apply legal knowledge to a complex fact situation may be necessary in many exams.
Then you have to develop very good time management skills.
You need time to practice all that, refine your approach and skills rather than spending all your preparation on reading as many books as possible.
How important is it to read the Bare Act first?
A thorough understanding of the Bare Act is the sine qua non for acing the judicial service exams. You should never read the commentary without reading up the provision from the Bare Act.
The right way to go about it is to read a particular provision from the bare act, break the section into parts to develop a better understanding.
Even before that, you should study the anatomy of the entire bare act.
Here is a sample of how to break down a section into small portions to understand each part better:
The next step is to read the illustrations appended to that section, and then move on to understand it in detail through your commentary.
The reason being that a lot of questions are handpicked from the language of the Bare Act itself during the prelims.
Moreover, reading the bare acts helps in sharpening your own cognitive skills by allowing you to understand the art of interpretation. While certain questions of law need to be explained further, and for that, you might need the help of textbooks, you would need to develop the habit of reading a section and analyzing every word (and even article) of it to recognize legal loopholes and argue on contradictory ideas.
Not only will this come in handy for your mains exams but it will also help you the most after you become a judge in real life.
You need notes
I need to say this too. While books can be of help, the best way to benefit from the books is preparing easily digestible notes from them.
Very, very few books are such that they are good for last-minute summary reading.
Those tomes do the expository job well with extended paragraphs, fleshed-out illustrations and occasional tables and flowcharts.
However, the last night before your exam, if you have to revisit the third para of page 467 and check that underlined sentence again to find out what the particular case law was, it is not going to be much help, right?
For that reason, you need to create accessible, easy-to-carry notes that contain the most important information in a clearcut and free-flowing format. You should miss out on any must-remember information but please, do not make it 60-pager as many do.
Building notes out of textbooks is an art that I always failed at. Either it was too thin and contained nothing, or it was too thick and was about to become a replica of the book.
However, the right note to revise and re-revise has a lot of advantages such as:
- It helps you in structuring your answers better.
- It allows you to develop a better understanding of the subject.
- You will also find it beneficial for your mains exams.
- The process of revision will become much easier.
Even if you get those reference books in hand, you would need intelligent and student-friendly notes as well to ace the judiciary exam.
If you are a LawSikho student, you need not worry about this. We have got this covered for you.
How can you benefit from our Lord of All Courses – Judiciary test prep course?
Talking about notes, let’s just say that it is as tedious a task as can get. Especially if those notes are to be precise and exam-ready, and not merely copy-and-pasted from the textbooks. That’s where the problem lies.
When you are attempting for one of the toughest competitive exams in India, every single minute and every ounce of energy is valuable. Would you use the precious hours to study or cut pages, draw lines and make notes instead? Of course, not.
That’s one of the things with which our Judiciary course can help. We have meticulously crafted high-quality, easy-to-follow notes, designed from the viewpoint of a judiciary aspirant.
Every piece of note that is being created for the judiciary papers is to the point and follows a unique structure that makes you revise everything you learn over and over again.
By the time you are done with the complete compilation of our notes, you remember everything you have learnt from the start to the finish.
It’s like arranging a puzzle, piece by piece. Once the puzzle is done, the whole picture should present itself in its own right. You should be able to connect the chapters into one complete story and make sense of the different sections and articles, read with one another.
For a fact, if ten different students have the same set of books, their preparation level would vary from person to person. Why? Look closely and you will see how the one with the most solid preparation is the one carrying the best notes in hand. With the right notes, you can finish your preparation for the exam in a matter of a few months!
That’s how powerful and impactful notes can be, and Lord of the Courses provides you with ready-made notes like that, with no effort on your part whatsoever.
Want to know more about it? Read on for full details.
In conclusion, before going for any textbook, please do give it a serious thought. In my experience, choosing books for a competitive exam is more like choosing your life partner.
The wrong one can make your life hell.
The right one can make your life heaven.
In either case, you have to put your effort anyway. 😉
To your success,
Judiciary team, LawSikho
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