This article is written by Abhyuday Agarwal, COO, iPleaders.
Last minute preparation for any exam is a time of experience anxiety. The uncertainty of knowing whether you are prepared or not until the exam is over can be haunting.
As the All India Bar Examination draws near, I want to share a few pointers with you which will guide you in your preparation. This will ensure your preparation is guided, you know what to spend time on and you have a plan to proceed.
Purchase Bare Acts and ensure you are ready and familiar with Bare Acts
The first step in preparation is to purchase bare acts (or compiled bare act manuals) corresponding to the subjects mentioned in the syllabus for All India Bar Examination (see the AIBE XIII syllabus here). You can print them online from Indiankanoon, but we suggest that you purchase a print version from a publisher such as EBC, Professional or Universal so that there are no inaccuracies and all amendments are updated.
Between 60 – 80 percent of the questions in any All India Bar Examination since December 2013 have been based on bare acts, but that does not mean that they are easy in any way.
Identification of the correct bare act after reading the question and then quickly browsing through the bare act is not always an easy task, especially when you have less than two minutes per question. Doing this for 100 questions can be exhausting.
I have personally heard many candidates mention to me that they got tired after following this process for 25 – 30 questions and resort to guesswork (which they believe is calculated, but which does not guarantee that they pass with a minimum of 40 marks).
Also, many subjects in the syllabus cover multiple statutes. For example the subject of Family Law, carrying 8 marks in the AIBE XIII syllabus, covers over 10 statutes (and customary laws applicable to Muslims).
Hence, you must purchase all necessary bare acts, open and browse through the table of contents and the section headings so that you build a mental map about the structure of each bare act. BarHacker’s hacksheet’s (available in the Standard version) can significantly speed up that process.
It is critical that you use the same copy of the printed bare act for preparation, mock exams and the real exam. Using an online version for practice and a print version or a print version from a different publisher for the real exam will be disastrous.
Prioritize your preparation – go for 40 pass marks
You can’t afford to spend time preparing every subject from scratch. You need to prepare for the subjects which carry the most marks first.
BarHacker standard program provides focussed preparation on subjects that matter most. We suggest that you focus on subjects that ensure preparation for 70 marks. We also ask you to prioritize your preparation strategy. Amongst the subjects with the most marks, start preparing for subjects with the clearest scope, such as IPC, CrPC, CPC and Evidence Act.
One more tip in this regard – you can leave out 6 subjects (from the total of 19 subjects), which together carry only 13 marks as per the syllabus. That enables you to still prepare for 87 marks.
After that, you can leave out a few subjects that carry 4 marks and focus on the remaining subjects that ensures you are prepared for about 70 percent of the syllabus.
Exam taking strategy
In the exam, your goal is to obtain 40 marks. Therefore, when you attempt the question paper, you need to make sure that you are certain about 45 – 50 marks (thus providing enough scope for accidental mistakes, incorrect or ambiguous questions or any other errors).
Also make sure that you take out about 3-4 minutes to read the paper to identify questions pertaining to the same subjects. Nowadays, questions from different subjects are jumbled and are not bunched together. If you identify all questions of the same subject together, you can attempt them together too, which will increase your speed and accuracy. If you fail to do that, there is a high chance that you will get confused and exhausted. There is also a risk that you will create an unmanageable mess of carry-in materials in the hall, because you have limited physical space available (you only have a school desk or college desk available).
Ensure your concepts are clear
While there may not be a lot of concept-based or application-based questions, we believe that having a basic understanding of the concepts is important to be able to browse the bare acts carefully. The BarHacker course (Standard Version) (see here) provides such grounding in a very rapid way, with highly simplified study materials and guidebooks. It’s simpler and quicker than a Jhabvala, a Bangia or a Sujata guidebook, because it is oriented towards a specific purpose.
Why do you need to brush up with concepts now through a separate course? Is this going to be a revision of LLB syllabus? When you studied law, different subjects were taught in varying levels of detail. Your understanding of concepts in a subject depended on quality of teaching, your own attendance, quality of notes taken, quality of guidebooks available, use of other’s notes, etc. However, solving AIBE questions pertaining to different subjects will require you to have a consistent level of understanding of the different subjects involved.
Get any other carry-in materials
You might want to prepare your own notes and case lists that you make when you study different subjects. If you are a BarHacker student (standard version), keep a printout of the Hacksheets ready. You will be using Hacksheets along with bare acts to answer the questions asked in the Bar Exam.
Practice mock tests the right way
Past years’ papers are now available on the All India Bar Exam website directly, but make sure you do not practice these questions to learn the answers. You need to learn how to find the answers. Use the same physical set of bare acts, Hacksheets and carry-in materials which you will use in the real AIBE to assess your preparedness and to improve with each mock.
If you are already confident about your preparation, you can try the BarHacker mock tests (available in both Standard and Basic Versions) which have 13 mock tests for your practice (including past years’ papers) for practice.
You will be able to practice these in a timed environment so you develop the ability to find answers in limited time and crack each question. You will be able to find out which subjects you are weak at. As you attempt the mock tests, you will get familiar with using your carry-in materials.
Before you go…
If you are already a BarHacker student please make sure you have attempt at least 5 mock tests using the strategy above before you sit for the AIBE, and attend the live online class on Saturday from 4-5 pm where I will have a session with you on how to fine-tune your preparation. We will be sharing the link separately with you over email.
If you have not attempted any mock test until now then make sure you attempt 2 mock tests before the class on Saturday, for maximum benefit from the class.
If you are not a BarHacker student, you can still follow the tips above to prepare effectively. Remember that success is a matter of preparation and preparing in the right direction. Don’t prepare without having a direction, it increases stress and risk of failure.
Also, don’t fill suitcases of carry-in materials, you will not be able to browse through them in the exam.
Many people fail the Bar Exam every year on account of having the wrong carry-in materials and the wrong preparation strategy. BarHacker has helped many such students pass.
Failure makes you lose a few months of seniority in practice, in comparison to a few thousand rupees spent on the correct preparation and training.
If you are interested, feel free to call us on 01139595032 to speak to a counsellor on how BarHacker can help you crack the All India Bar Examination.