How I got 1st rank in CPET 2020

At the beginning of 2020, I was just another final year law student with three months to go for my semester exams and after which I planned on applying for an advocate’s license or opt for a Master’s degree in Human rights. Of course, nothing went as per the above scheme due to the Pandemic and nobody had foreseen that the lockdown would extend for months altogether.

Unsurprisingly my plans were not the only ones that were disrupted; the entire academic calendar with regards to admission, exams etc., had been thrown into chaos. It was in this confusion that two major announcements regarding the future of the students were made –

  • The Final year exams that were previously cancelled were going to be mandatorily conducted for award of a valid degree (mostly via online mode)
  • The Government of Odisha announced that CPET – Common Post-Graduate Entrance Test would be conducted for the first time and the registration for the same began towards the end of August.


The announcement of CPET 2020 was welcomed by the students as a respite since earlier the Government colleges were free to conduct their own selection mechanisms and this led to a lot of delay as very as a multiplicity of exams a student had to appear to secure a seat. But by CPET, all the Govt. colleges and universities were unified and a student merely had to fill up a form stating their particulars, choice of course of studies, and colleges in which they wished to continue their education (in order of their preference).

After successful submission of the form, a date would be fixed for the examination and the student could sit for the same thereby making themselves eligible for a varied range of colleges of their choice.

You can read about the exams and its particulars in detail here on its official website.


Though the examination scheme was made with excellent intention, it suffered from the drawbacks of almost all other government schemes – improper planning. Below I list the problems I faced during my preparation period:

  • There was no time period available in which we could make an intelligent guess and prepare accordingly – I countered this problem by simply assuming the shortest possible time in which the exam may be conducted after the form fill-up because as we all know too well – Work expands to the time allotted. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I was able to stick to my study schedule. LOL.
  • There was no syllabus other than the very ambiguous words – “From the core papers of the concerned subject of the LLB syllabus” which meant that I had study at least 20 subjects in less than a month – In order to resolve this, I made frantic calls to the SAMS helpline, my college professors, friends, anyone with a remote legal knowledge. And after much research (and common sense) I came up with this subject list for the LLM entrance exam (do remember this is the list I followed so since it is not the official list, it may not be accurate)- Jurisprudence, Constitution, Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Indian Evidence Act, Contract, Torts, Code of Civil Procedural, Transfer of Property Act, Family law, Company law, Intellectual property law, Human rights, Labour law, Environmental law. Basically the CLAT syllabus and previous year utkal university LLM entrance examination subject list.
  • The date of PG entrance exam was very close to my final exams which meant I couldn’t give undivided focus to the entrance preparation, however, I believe this situation was unique to my exams and may not be extended to other exams in future.


On 21st November, after much difficulty and numerous website crashes (which is commoner than you would imagine) I opened to see my result – I got 1st rank in LLM (HR) and 2nd rank in LLM (LAW)


  1. Know your materials and time available–
    1. Make a list of the subjects you will be preparing
    1. Write no. of MCQs available in your guide book for each subject. Remember to note down the number of pages of reading material available if any.
    1. Now calculate the number of working days you have – here working days means deduct your days off (that’s your rest day don’t study on those) and buffer days which are basically days reserved for catching up every week in the event you have fallen behind on any work or simply revising if you are already up to date.
  2. Solve all questions blindly.
    1. And solve it fast. The idea is to see how much you already know. I scored horribly in my first run, but from that I realized I already knew about 20-30% of the answers.
    1. This step shouldn’t take much time. Just check your score and remember to mark the ones you got wrong in the book
  3. The second round of answering.
    1. Speed read through the reading material available in the book already and then try answering the questions. You will find a remarkable jump in your scores now
    1. In the event there is no reading material available for certain subjects, go through the ones you have marked as wrong and memorized the answers to those questions. And practice the questions after the memorization.
  4. The last round –
    1. You might have still got a few wrong so this time highlight those ones and this time mark the answers in the guide book
    1. During the last run, go over the highlighted questions first.
    1. And when you are finished glance through the entire set, not solving, not memorizing, just looking and being relaxed that you already know your stuff. The idea is to calm the mind and not get worked up in an anxiety.
  5. Current affairs –
    1. Look through the headlines of Livelaw during your free time
    1. Or if you are occupied with chores you can listen to their weekly round up on youtube while working.


  • The books I followed for the exam is – Singhal’s guide to LLM examinations (it covered a lot of the subjects), Guide to Orissa Judicial Service examination (Preliminary) by OLR publications for Procedural law and Transfer of Property Act, and Human rights from Ascent’s Law Guide for LLM Entrance which my friend Seemron so kindly sent to me for practicing. (She’s an absolute sweetheart by the way.)
  • If you are short on time like I was, then you can divide the subject list into three categories – primary subjects which were the ones I thoroughly read and took my time with, Secondary subjects in which I speed read, did 2 rounds of answering and then simply glanced over, and tertiary subjects where I skimmed through the material and glanced through the answers. Keep in mind though the categorization should be done only after you have blindly solved all of them once at the very least.
  • The above categories can be based on difficulty, time required for revision or simply the length of the subject. In any case, I divided mine on difficulty and this is my table –
Primary (High priority)Secondary (Medium priority)Tertiary (Low priority)
ConstitutionFamily lawJurisprudence
IPCCompany lawTransfer of Property
CrPCContract lawIntellectual property
Evidence Labour law
CPC Environmental law
Human rights Torts


Since there was no rhyme or reason to the exam this time with all this uncertainty, I am attaching the question paper for this year as well as my (amateur) analysis and what would the revised subject list would be. You can find the pdf version of the this year’s exam paper here – Please don’t mind my answers or meaningless scribbles.

Now, according to my analysis there are –

  • 6 questions from jurisprudence
  • 9 questions from constitutions
  • 11 questions involved case laws or quotes  (keep in mind that this was not stand alone but also fell in purview of other subjects, which is why the total number here is greater than 70 since I have made case laws a category while simultaneously putting the question in its related law as well)
  • 7 questions from Indian Penal Code
  • 7 questions from Indian evidence Act
  • 3 questions from Family law
  • 8 questions from Intellectual property law
  • 7 questions from Transfer of Property law
  • 5 questions from Torts
  • 7 questions from Contract law which includes Indian Contract act and Sale of Goods Act
  • 7 questions from Company law
  • 4 questions from current affairs.

Another thing I observed was that a few of the questions asked were a combination of acts, so I would highly advise that while studying a particular section, find out if there is a corresponding provision in  any other act (that is be very mindful of statutes in pari materia.)

And this concludes my analysis and everything I have to offer on this highly requested subject. In case of any doubt or queries, don’t fret over reaching out to me on my social media handles. I would love to help you.

Till the next post, HAPPY HUSTLIN’ HON!

3 replies

  1. Although I am not a law student, I was highly impressed the way everything was laid out giving insights into every aspect of the concerned exam and how to go about it. Even I learnt a thing or two. Thank you for this 😊


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