Careers Featured

Subject-wise past years’ paper analysis of AOR exam and how to prepare for each paper

We will look at subject-wise samples of questions from past years’ papers and some tips and tricks for studying each subject.

Each paper has a different syllabus and strategy to prepare.  

Do you want to know about these? Fasten your seat belt. 

People are very confused while preparing for this paper and they waste a lot of time while doing that. At many places they spend time preparing wrong stuff and ultimately fail.

First step to prepare for such a paper is to conduct in depth past year paper analysis. This will help you to understand what kind of questions are being asked and from which areas. 

We will give you a flavor of the question paper now. 

You can find past years’ papers for further study here.

Here is the notification of the 2023 exam (the most recent one, relevant now only for study purposes).

Paper I – Practice & Procedure

The official announcement for the AOR Exam prescribes the following as the syllabus for Practice and Procedure: 

Here is what this means: 

  1. Articles 32, 129, 132, 133, 134, 136, 137, 141, 142, 143, 145, 317 of the Constitution (with case laws) pertaining to the jurisdiction of Supreme Court
  2. Supreme Court Rules (in entirety)
  3. The Supreme Court also has a 280 page Handbook on Practice and Procedure, which you must be thorough with, in addition to the 2013 Rules
  4. In addition, you must also comprehensively know the Code of Civil Procedure Code, Limitation Act and Court Fees Act. We know many AOR Exam candidates who have struggled with this portion of the paper despite practicing in the district courts.
  5. Since a vast majority of PILs and SLPs are filed at the Supreme Court, you can get questions based on factual scenarios under Arbitration, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code or other substantive laws.

Types of questions in Practice and Procedure Paper

There are basically 2 types of questions in the paper – situation-based questions, conceptual questions, or they can be direct questions. 

Type 1: Situation based questions

Here is an example of application based questions from 2019 paper I:

Type 2: Concept-based questions 

Usually, you will be tested on the difference between different types of applications, or procedures, and on jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. 

  • In 2021, for example, questions carrying a weightage of 44 marks out of 100 were asked from Jurisdiction alone in the last examination. 
  • Questions on curative and review petitions are very common too.
  • In the past 10 years about 20 questions have been asked from this topic alone. Average 10-15 marks. 

Here are a few examples. 

Here is an example from 2023 paper I:

Here’s is an example from the 2021 paper I:

Here is an example from 2019 paper I:

Here are few example from 2018 paper I

Type 3 – Direct questions

Direct questions could be based on SC rules, recent news and controversies or the AOR Rules. 

Here are some examples from 2023 paper:

In the last two papers when we did the analysis, we found almost 50+ questions from the SC Rules directly. 

Here are some examples:

You can be tested on the interrelationship between the Rules and the constitutional provisions as well: 

Several questions haveIn the past 10 years 25+ questions have been asked from the Advocates-on-Record Rules. 

Here are a couple of examples:

You can find the list of 25 questions here

Here is a question based on an issue on allocation of matters to Supreme Court judges that was in the news at that time in 2018: 

Paper II – Drafting

The specific petitions and application types are not mentioned in the syllabus. Here is what the official notification states:

Which petitions should you be familiar with?

Here are the most important ones:  

  1. Suits
  2. Writs 
  3. Transfer Petitions
  4. Civil & Criminal Appeals 
  5. Special leave petition 
  6. Petitions for appointment of arbitrator u/s 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act
  7. Contempt Petitions 
  8. Curative Petitions 
  9. Review Petitions
  10. Applications in the nature of:
  1. Impleadment 
  2. Intervention 
  3. Permission for bring on record additional documents
  4. Interim relief
  5. Stay 
  6. Modification of orders
  7. Bail 
  8. Condonation of delay 
  9. Exemption from surrender
  10. Revocation of special leave 
  11. Miscellaneous applications 

Marks distribution of the paper will be something like this.

Example from 2023 paper:

How can you do well in the drafting paper? 

Here are few things required while writing answer to such questions:

  1. Identification of the Supreme Court-level issue when you read the question- you need to identify the issue that attracts the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
  2. Comprehensive knowledge of relevant case law (before and after) and application to the situations presented  (not limited to leading cases alone). 
  1. Knowledge of the format of the draft – many intelligent candidates make the mistake of assuming that they are already learning these with their senior or because they have done a few matters at the Supreme Court – your senior may not be drafting all of these petitions, and drafting in the examination hall in limited time (under 30 mins) is very different from drafting for a real client when you have much more time (3-4 hours sprint min.).  
  • If you practice in district courts/High Court outside Delhi, it is not a good idea to uproot yourself and lose the competitive advantage to learn from a senior AOR 
  • Also, your senior may not be using all these petitions day in and day out. Plus, your job will be to contribute to them and not to ask them to invest in you, otherwise you will not find AORs willing to give you a certificate of training

For instance, many candidates get confused between drafting questions of law and grounds in an SLP.

  1. Drafting practice (in handwriting, not typing ) to write accurately, legibly and to complete in time (so that you have confidence, there is no nervousness or anxiety)

Start drafting with pen and paper. This is obvious, but most lawyers are not habituated to do this. All of us use computers and laptops for drafting in our day to day life. You will struggle in recalling basic stuff and it is difficult to write so much without practice.

Even if you keep these tips in mind, you will definitely score well in this paper. We will teach you a some drafting work in this bootcamp. 

Paper III – Advocacy & Professional Ethics

The total number of cases under the above headings is not specified, but there are at least 51 important cases. 

Here is a list prepared by the board – it is separately published and not a part of the AOR notification. 

These are not exhaustive – questions can be asked outside these, but if you prepare from this it will be sufficient.  

Let us examine the past years’ papers questions of the AOR exam for Advocacy and Professional Ethics. 

You are expected to attempt 4 questions of 20 marks each (as per 2021 paper) and 2 out of 4 questions of 10 marks each. 

Again knowledge of case laws is very important and they have clearly mentioned that you will get additional marks for discussing them. Usually you get 1 compulsory question and choice in others.

Here are a few examples:

2023 paper:

2019 paper:

2021 paper:

Here a few inferences to prepare: 

  • You will be asked critical questions to explain a topic. Your opinion may also be asked. Few questions could be direct. 
  • Most popular books to prepare for this paper are Sanjiva Row (link) which consists around 656 pages; Contempt of Courts Act book by Samraditya Pal (link), which are huge reference textbooks – you can’t prepare for an exam and they do not teach you how to write your opinion, which the questions ask.
  • You also need to practice handwriting answers. 

Paper IV – Leading Cases   

You can find a list of 64 leading cases here in this notification from page 10 to 12 provided for the upcoming examination. 

There were 12 questions in the paper in 2021 last time out of which 6 were to be answered.

Let us see the kinds of questions asked:


Notice that the questions are quite specific, and not descriptive, so writing generic or vague answers, which worked in college to enable you to pass, will not work in the AOR Exam.

You cannot just stick to the facts and issues of the case – so reading from a commentary like M P Jain or V N Shukla won’t suffice. 

How much do you need to read for the leading cases paper? 

The total number of pages for all the prescribed cases, if you read them from beginning to end, will amount to much more than 40,000 pages, assuming an average of 80 pages per judgment, which is very reasonable for leading constitutional law cases. 

How should you prepare for this paper?

  1. The key here is to identify what are the different types of propositions that are relevant for a leading case and list them out. Many leading cases may have more than one important proposition that was explained. With guidance, this becomes super quick.
  1. Then, you can identify the court’s observations for each proposition. 
  2.  For each proposition, you must identify the precedents and assimilate this together.

You will arrive at a chain of cases for each proposition. You will then read them in groups. 

  • Certain cases, like Maneka Gandhi vs. UOI and Ashok Hurra’s case, are asked very frequently. Prepare for these on priority, and in great depth. Practice writing answers for them. 

Here are a few versions:




  1. Make notes/flashcards so that you can remember these when you revise later.
  2. Your notes need to be only in bullet points – you should practice finding the important points in the SCR headnotes (available for free here) (because you will need to find answers from here if you don’t remember).
  1. Then, you need to practice writing. This is the hardest part. Here, the goal is to ‘compress’ because you do not have the luxury of discussing the issues at length in a 3 hour exam. 
  1. Always check if the decision has a minority opinion – dissent, partially concurring, partially dissenting opinion, and identify the point of dissent/concurrence. Questions are frequently asked on this. .
  1. In addition to connecting the chain of cases on a proposition together, it is a good idea to also add connected issues pertaining to statutes. For example, see this questions from the 2019 paper: 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *