In today’s interview we have with us, Sri Subhajit Behera, whose hat is overflowing with feathers! He shares his journey from being a law student to youngest Assistant Public Prosecutor in Odisha to finally joining the judicial service! He also goes into detail regarding his preparation strategy for the much coveted exam! Enjoy!
1. Congratulations on cracking the prestigious and much coveted judicial services! And thank you for your time! Would you mind introducing yourself to our readers?
First of all thank you very much for your wishes and it’s my pleasure to share my experience with all. Hello everyone! I am Subhajit Behera, I have done my BA.LLB. with Criminal Law Honors (2012-2017 Batch) from KIIT School of Law, Bhubaneswar & LLM in Criminal & Securities Law (2018 Batch) from the same institution for which I received the University Gold Medal for securing the highest CGPA. In the very same year I got appointed as a Cadre Assistant Public Prosecutor in the Home Department, Government of Odisha after clearing the Assistant Public Prosecutor Exam conducted by Odisha Public Service Commission. I am currently posted at SDJM Court, Kamakhyanagar, District : Dhenkanal, Odisha and have been conducting prosecutions since 2018. I recently cleared the OJS 2019 Examination with Rank 5.
2. Before we get to the preparation part, I must ask the quintessential questions – why law?
I feel Law permeates through almost all the aspects of society and gives one a sense of wisdom, rationality and empowerment. Also, the growing relevance and recognition of legal education in the society motivated me to opt for law as a career.
3. Why did you decide to prepare (read slog for thousands of hours) for judicial services when more lucrative options are available in today’s legal industry? Especially with the enhanced temptation of the corporate life?
To be frank, corporate work culture never amazed me. As far as other career options are concerned, I consider academics as a very interesting and dynamic profession. However, Judicial Services has been my dream job since the very beginning due to the divinity and satisfaction attached to it. Hence, I chose it over others.
4. Having made up your mind when did you start preparing for OJS?
I started preparing for Judicial Services right from the 2ND Year of my LLB.
5. Do you believe coaching is essential for cracking the exam?
The essentiality of coaching is absolutely subjective and varies from individual to individual. But, in my opinion one should join a coaching at least once to get proper exposure about the subjects & exam pattern. Coaching also helps in gauging the level of competition which the aspirants would have to face subsequently.
6. How did you go about your preparation? Is the age old formula of making notes – cramming – mock test still as good as gold?
As far as my preparation strategy is concerned, I do not believe in rote learning. While preparing for exams like Judicial Services, one should be absolutely clear with the fundamental concepts of laws, especially the Procedural Laws because the exam pattern is now shifting towards practical/problem based question approach, so merely cramming could land one in trouble. Regarding notes, I totally support the idea because that has been my approach since my preparation began. Further, mock tests are a great measure for testing one’s answer writing and time management capabilities.
7. How did you remain consistent with your preparation during the entire period leading up to the final interview?
My consistency was a result of my passion towards achieving my aim of seeing myself in the Judicial Services. I always took the advice of my family members, friends and colleagues, watched inspirational movies and listened to motivational songs whenever I felt like giving up.
8. What was your reaction to the result?
I was extremely elated and overjoyed upon knowing the results.
9. How did you memorise the sheer overwhelming amount of laws required for the exam?
I simply analysed the laws extensively and made thorough research. Hence, I never felt the need to memorize them. I understood the concepts and the basic ideas and produced whatever I understood in my answer scripts keeping the answers as natural and original as possible.
10. There’s a difference in being in the top 10 and qualifying the exam. What is something that you believe you did differently that has helped you achieve your rank?
I believe rank is a mere number. All the aspirants who qualified are equally talented, determined and passionate. As far as my score is concerned, I believe I could make optimum use of time to present the answers in the most lucid and crisp manner as possible.
11. On a daily basis, how much time did you devote to the preparation?
Ordinarily I devoted around 7-8 hours daily towards preparation with necessary breaks in between and when the exams neared I increased the preparation time to around 13-14 hours with necessary breaks in between
12. How did you unwind and rest after a long tiring day of studies?
I had to manage both work and studies simultaneously and hence I had to adopt a balanced approach. Whatever free time I used to get, I spent it watching movies, listening to songs and using social media.
13. How did you look after your health during the preparation period since there are many aspirants that keep falling ill during this strenuous period?
Taking care of health during the strenuous preparation stage is highly important. Eating healthy food and having a balanced diet is necessary for the brain to function properly. I too fell ill around 2 times during the preparation days. However, I did not take much stress, took adequate rest and tried to make up for the time lost, after my recovery.
14. How did you make your notes? (If you did, that is)
My approach towards making notes was that of a question-answer pattern. I used to study Bare Acts & textbooks thoroughly and used to prepare my own set of questions along with their answers and these were complemented by previous year’s questions and sample questions.
15. Often those who prepare for competitive exams, quit technology and social media. What is your thoughts on this?
I have never endorsed the idea of quitting technology &social media before exams. I opine that if positive use of technology & social media is made then it can help reduce exam related stress and anxiety, boost mood&enhance knowledge in several ways. In my case social media has helped me get rid of stress even on the day before my mains examination.
16. Would you like to give a parting message to aspirants?
I would just like to say that everyone has their own unique strategy and method of preparation. Aspirants may take tips from the successful candidates but eventually they would have to devise their own method of study which would suit their lifestyle and time schedule. If an aspirant is hell bent on joining the services, they should prioritize studies over everything else till they achieve their goal. I wish all the aspirants Good Luck. Thank you.