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Record low pass rate: Only 12 per cent clear this year’s ‘lengthy’ SC AOR exam (but more women this year)

Failure is clearlyan option
Failure is clearlyan option

The Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record (AOR) exam saw its lowest pass rate in four years when results were announced yesterday.

Last year’s record-high of 22 per cent dove to 12 per cent, but the male-female ratio improved.

65 out of 544 candidates who appeared for the June 2014 exam have cleared it to get the prestigious designation for exclusive rights to file before the Supreme Court.

Around 25 per cent or 16 out of the 65 successful candidates were women.

In the June 2013 exam, 107 out of 488 candidates who had appeared cleared, and 21 per cent of the successful candidates were women.

The 21.92 overall pass percentage last year was an improvement over the June 2012 figure of 14 per cent and the 2011 figure of 18 per cent.

The three-hour exam was held on 3, 4, 5 and 6 June 2014.

The 100-mark question paper carried 27 questions divided into four sections – practice and procedure, drafting, leading cases and advocacy and professional ethics – 24 of which had to be answered.

In previous years, candidates were given a choice to answer any four out of all the questions in the section on leading cases, but this year all nine questions in that section had to be answered.

Jasmeet Singh, one of the candidates who cleared the exam, said: “The reason for the low pass percentage is the lengthy paper rather than the difficulty level. The difficulty level was not so much but the length of the paper was probably [the reason why] many [candidates] couldn’t even complete their answers.

“Few lucky ones who completed it and who had a better handwriting could have slightly had the edge. [If a judge is checking your answers] he doesn’t have time to read every line you have written and you have to present your paper well.”

According to a source close to the registry, Justice UU Lalit set the drafting paper, senior advocate PP Rao set the paper on practice and procedure and additional solicitor general Indira Jaising set the paper on leading cases.

Photo by Hans Gerwitz

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