The All India Bar Examination will have one hundred (100) multiple-choice questions spread across various subjects. The subjects are taken from the syllabi prescribed by the Bar Council of India for the three-year and five-year Ll.B. programmes at law schools in India (as set out under Schedule I to the Bar Council of India Rules).
These subjects are divided into two categories: the first comprises subjects that may be considered ‘foundational’ in nature, those that form the basis for large areas of law; the second comprises other subjects, which a new entrant to the legal profession must also have a basic understanding of. Schedule I to this document contains the list of subjects that would be tested in the All-India Bar Examination and the weightage ascribed to each of these areas.
The All India Bar Examination shall be structured with multiple-choice questions (that is, the correct answer would have to be marked out in the Optical Mark Recognition (‘OMR’) format answer sheet provided, and no writing of an answer would be required.) These questions will be divided into ‘knowledge-based’ and ‘reasoning’ questions, and advocates will be allowed a maximum of three hours and thirty minutes (3 hours 30 minutes) to complete the All India Bar Examination. The emphasis throughout is on assessing an advocate’s understanding of an area of law, rather than on the ability to memorise large texts or rules from different areas of law.
The All India Bar Examination will be ‘open-book’, which means that advocates may bring in any reading materials or study aids that they choose, such as the preparatory materials provided for the All India Bar Examination, textbooks and treatises, and even handwritten notes. Advocates may not bring in any electronic devices, such as laptop computers, mobile phones, or any device equipped with a radio transceiver (such as pagers) at the examination centre.
The results generated after the answer scripts are corrected will simply state whether an advocate has or has not qualified for practice (that is, whether the advocate has passed or failed the All India Bar Examination); no percentage, percentile, rankings, or absolute marks will be declared.
The preparatory materials shall contain model question papers and an examination guide for the All India Bar Examination; aside from this, model question papers will be available on the website of the Bar Council of India (www.barcouncilofindia.org). The preparatory materials are being prepared with inputs from well-respected members of legal academia.