Tamil Nadu Judiial Services Examination Syllabus Pattern

Tamil Nadu Judicial Services Examination | Syllabus, Eligibility and Pattern

Tamil Nadu Judicial Services Examination is officially called the TNPSC Civil Judge Exam. This competitive exam is held by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) under the supervision of the Madras High Court for recruitment of the Civil Judge in the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Service. The examination is the entry-level exam for law graduates to become appointed as members of the subordinate judiciary. The competitive exam is held in 3 phases i.e Preliminary, Mains and Interview. The members are appointed based on the Judiciary exam.


I. For Fresh Law Graduates 

  • Must be a fresh Law Graduate possessing a degree in Law from a recognized University. 
  • Must be eligible to be enrolled as an advocate. 
  • Must have secured an overall percentage of 45% Marks in case of Reserved Categories (i.e SCs, SC(A)s, STs, MBCs/DCs, BCs (OBCMs) and BCMs). 
  • Must have secured an overall percentage of 50% Marks in case of Open Category (i.e Others). 
  • Must have obtained the Bachelor‟s Degree of Law within a period of three years prior to the date of notification. 

II. For Practising Advocates/ Pleaders and Assistant Public Prosecutors

  • Must possess a Degree in Law of a University in India established or incorporated by or under a Central Act or a State Act or an Institution recognised by the University Grants Commission, or recognized by Bar Council of India or any other equivalent qualification and enrolled in the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu or in the Bar Council of any other State in India and; 
  • Must be practising as an Advocate or Pleader in any Court on the date of Notification for recruitment to the post and must have practised for a period of not less than 3 years on such date. (or) 
  • Must be an Assistant Public Prosecutor having not less than 3 years of experience.

Age Limit

  • For Fresh Law Graduates (For all Categories): Minimum 22 years and Maximum 27 years. 
  • For Practising Advocates/ Pleaders and Assistant Public Prosecutors: Minimum: 25 years and Maximum 35 years (40 years for SCs, SC(A)s, STs, MBCs/DCs, BCs, BCMs and Destitute Widows)


The rule of reservation is applicable for this recruitment. The benefit of reservation is admissible only to bona fide domiciles/residents of the State of Tamil Nadu. 

Tamil Nadu Judicial Services Examination Pattern

The examination will be conducted in three distinct stages:

(i) Preliminary Exam – Objective Questions / MCQ based

  • The Preliminary Examination will consist of one paper containing 100 multiple-choice questions. 
  • Each question shall carry one mark and 0.25 mark will be deducted for each incorrect answer.  
  • The duration of the Preliminary Examination will be three hours. 

(ii) Main Exam – Written Descriptive / Narrative type

  • There will be 4 descriptive papers. 
  • Translation Paper – 3 hours – 100 Marks 
  • Law Paper-I – 3 hours – 100 Marks 
  • Law Paper-II – 3 hours – 100 Marks
  • Law Paper-III – 3 hours – 100 Marks

(iii) Viva-Voce – Personal Interview

  • Viva-voce test shall be for sixty (60) marks and candidates of all categories should obtain a minimum of 18 marks for a pass in the Viva-voce.


Premliminary Examination


  • The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
  • The Negotiable Instruments Act, 1981
  • The Transfer of Property Act, 1882
  • The Indian Contract Act, 1872
  • The Specific Relief Act,1963
  • The Constitution of India
  • The Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1960 
  • Tamil Nadu Regulation of Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants Act, 2017 (Tamil Nadu Act 42 of 2017)


  • The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  • The Indian Penal Code,1860
  • The Indian Evidence Act, 1872
  • Criminal Law Amendment Acts
  • The Criminal Minor Acts (including Information Technology Act, 2000, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012)


  • General Knowledge 
  • Test of Reasoning and Mental ability.

Mains Examination

The Main Exam will consist of four written papers with descriptive or narrative/essay type questions.  Each written paper will be of three hours duration. The  syllabus for each paper is as below:

Translation Paper

  • Translation of passages from English to Tamil and from Tamil to English. 
  • The passages will be from Pleadings, Depositions, Orders, Judgments and Documents.

Law Paper – I

  • The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
  • The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
  • The Indian Evidence Act, 1872
  • Principles of pleading
  • The Constitution of India

Law Paper – II

  • Framing of Issues and Writing of Judgments in Civil Cases.

Law Paper –III

  • Framing of charges and Writing of Judgments in Criminal Cases.


The object of viva-voce test is to assess the suitability of the candidate for the cadre by judging the mental alertness, general knowledge, knowledge of law, grasp of procedural laws and principles of law, clear and logical exposition, balance of judgment, skills, attitude, ethics, power of assimilation, power of communication, character, suitability and intellectual depth, the like of the candidate, his/her tact and ability to handle various situations in the Court, Administrative and Management Skills. 

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