AIBE – All India Bar Exam – Complete FAQs

All India Bar Exam - AIBE - Complete FAQs

Looking at the number of queries we get about the All India Bar Exam , we have compiled this list of Frequently Asked Questions.

What is AIBE ?

The AIBE – All India Bar Examination is conducted by the Bar Council of India, as a mandatory pre-qualification for practicing as an advocate anywhere in India.

Prior to 2017,  it was being conducted once every year. In 2017, it was conducted twice – once in March and again in December.

 

What is the Schedule for AIBE?

The exact dates will be announced by the BCI on the All India Bar Examination website, giving students almost three months from the announcement to the date of the actual exam.

AIBE XIII (13) Mock Tests - Sample Papers & Previous Papers Online Practice Pack :
  • Nine Previous AIBE Question Papers - AIBE IV to AIBE XII (2014 to 2018)
  • Fifty Full-Length AIBE XIII (13) Mock Tests - Sample Papers  from a Question Bank of over 9500 AIBE specific questions
  • Fifty Mini-Mock Tests - 25 Questions each, for quick practice sessions
  • Each Mock test - Sample Papers can be attempted unlimited number of times for consistent practice
  • This practice pack is complete online and can be accessed anytime - anywhere via Smart phones, Laptops, Desktops and Tablets
  • Note : No hard-copies are included.
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What are the Exam fees for AIBE ?

The fees below are an estimate based on the previous exams.
Rs.3,560 for general and OBC category candidates
Rs.2,560 for SC/ST candidates
(Additional Taxes or Fees may be charged)
* The exact fees should be confirmed from BCI’s official notifications.

 

What is the cut-off or minimum pass marks for AIBE ?
Do I get any benefits while applying for the AIBE since I belong to the SC/ST category?

As of now, the minimum ‘pass marks’ or ‘cut-off’ marks for AIBE is 40%. In other words, if you get 40 questions correct out of the 100 questions in the AIBE, you will be eligible to get your ‘Certificate of practice’ from the BCI.

While there are concessions in the exam fees for candidates from the SC/ST categories, there are no benefits or change in the minimum pass marks. It is 40% for all candidates.

 

Will I get a percentage/percentile/ranking score as the result of my attempt in the AIBE XI?

No. The Bar Council will not release any detailed percentage/percentile/ranking/section-wise scores or other details for any advocate.

Advocates attempting the All India Bar Examination would merely get a pass or fail result. The Bar Council of India will notify the list of advocates who have successfully passed the AIBE and they will receive their Certificate of Practice from the BCI.

 

What is ‘Practicing Law’? Is it different from a job or employment or any other business that I take up on the basis of my LLB qualification?

The term ‘Practicing Law’ refers to calling yourself an ‘Advocate’, filing a ‘Vakalatnama’ on behalf of a client and/or appearing in courts of law on behalf of a client.

You can take up a job / salaried employment in any company or start any business on the basis of your LLB qualification; but then you will not be a ‘Practicing Lawyer’.

 

Can I practice law immediately after completing my LLB, without clearing the AIBE ?

Yes, you can. See the following process steps:
1. After completing your LLB, whenever you wish to practice law, you will have to enrol as a ‘Practicing Lawyer’ in the rolls of your State Bar Council.
2. You will receive a ‘Provisional Certificate of Enrolment’, which will enable you to start practicing law.
3. You will have a two-year window to clear the AIBE and continue practicing law.
4. If you do not clear the AIBE, you will have to stop practicing law – after two years from the date of enrolment with the State Bar Council.
5. You can continue to take the next AIBE exam(s).
6. You can recommence your law practice after you clear the AIBE and receive the ‘Certificate of Practice’ from BCI.

 

Is there any Age-limit, Limit on Number of attempts or Minimum cut-off marks for taking the AIBE ?

  • No, there is no age limit for AIBE.
  • No, there is no limit on the number of attempts – you can retake the exam till you clear.
  • No, there is no minimum or cut-off marks. If you have cleared your LLB degree exams, you can take up the AIBE.

 

When is the AIBE conducted ?

  • Prior to 2017, the exam was held once every year – during the first quarter.
  • In 2017, the exam was held twice – in March and again in December.
  • There have been references by the Bar Council that the AIBE will be conducted at least twice in a year.
  • The exact schedule of the exam will be subject to BCI’s decision and announcements.
  • Keep monitoring the Bar Exam website and also LawMint.com to keep track of any announcements, syllabus changes etc.

 

Who should take the AIBE ?

All LLB students who graduated during or after the academic year 2009-10 will need to clear the AIBE to practice law in India.

 

If I don’t clear the AIBE, will my LLB degree be invalid ?
If I don’t clear the AIBE, can I still take up a job or pursue higher studies?
Can I work with an advocate or a practicing law firm while preparing for the AIBE?

AIBE is only a pre-requisite for practicing law in India. Your LLB degree will not be affected. You can take up any job on the basis of your LLB or pursue higher studies.

If you are working in a law firm or with an advocate, you can practice as an advocate only during the two year window from the time of enrolment and later, when you clear the AIBE.

If you have not cleared the AIBE during the initial two year window, you can continue to work as an Apprentice / Assistant or any other role which does not need you to be a practicing Advocate.

 

I don’t intend to practice law after LLB. Should I still take the AIBE ?
I am taking up LLM or other higher education after LLB. Should I still take the AIBE ?
I am taking up a job or employment after LLB. Should I still take the AIBE ?
I will travelling abroad after LLB. Should I still take the AIBE ?

It is highly recommended that you take the AIBE exam at the earliest possible after completing your LLB, because :
• You would have recently studied all the topics that are covered in the AIBE exam, your memory will be ‘fresh’, making it easier to prepare.
• The syllabus of the AIBE will also be based on the most recent LLB syllabus that is prescribed by the Bar Council of India.
• You will also have the text books and material from your LLB course – which you can refer for AIBE.
• There is no ‘expiry date’ for your AIBE results. You can practice law at any time in the future, after completing the AIBE.
• Clearing the AIBE is also an additional qualification that you can add to your resume.

 

What are the basic steps to take up the AIBE  ?

1. Complete your LLB degree.
2. Enrol with your State Bar Council and receive a ‘Certificate of Enrolment’
3. Complete the Online / Offline application for the AIBE as announced by the BCI.
4. Prepare thoroughly and appear for the exam.

 

When will I receive the preparatory materials from the BCI for the AIBE?
Is the AIBE going to be testing on new areas, or what I have learned in law school?
Do law students need to take coaching classes for the same?

As of now, the BCI does not provide any preparatory material for the AIBE exam. The syllabus for the exam covers the same subjects as are prescribed by the Bar Council of India for the three-year and five-year LLB programs at law schools in India.

The exact syllabus will be released by the BCI in their official notification before the exam. You can refer to this detailed analysis on the Evolution and Scope of the AIBE – All India Bar Exam syllabus.

 

I enrolled into LLB before the academic year 2009-10, should I still take the AIBE ?

The enrollment date into LLB does not matter, if you have graduated during or after the 2009-10 academic year, you will need to take the AIBE.

 

I finished attending college before the academic year 2009-10, but I cleared my LLB exams later, should I still take the AIBE ?

The main criteria here are the academic year in which you completed all the requirements for your LLB and received your results, qualifying for your LLB degree.

If your LLB results were announced during or after 2009-10 and/or you completed your degree in 2009-10 or later, you will need to take the AIBE.

 

I graduated before the academic year 2009-10, but I never practiced as a lawyer, should I still take the AIBE ?
I graduated before academic year 2009-10, can I still take the AIBE ?
I graduated from an Indian law school in 2008 and am completing my LLM overseas. I plan to come back to India and practice law. Will I have to appear for the AIBE ?
I graduated from an Indian law school in 1997. I know that I do not need to appear for the AIBE to practice law in India, but can I appear for it anyway ?

No. If you graduated before 2009-10, you don’t need to take the AIBE.
No. If you graduated before 2009-10, you don’t need to and you cannot take the AIBE voluntarily.

If you graduated before 2009-10, refer to your State Bar Council and Bar Council of India rules on the process for commencing practice as an Advocate.

 

I am an advocate enrolled with a State Bar Council in 2006 and am currently practicing before the district court. Will I be required to appear for the AIBE?

As mentioned by the BCI, the examination notification only applies to students graduating from the academic year 2009-10 onwards. If your law degree was awarded prior to academic year 2009-10, there is no need to appear for the AIBE in order to qualify to practice law in India.

You will however have to follow the processes and criteria set by your State Bar Council and the Bar Council of India to practice.

 

I had enrolled as an advocate in previously. But my ability to practice law is currently suspended as I am a full-time salaried employee with a company or with the Government. If I want to return to the practice of law, will I be required to appear for the AIBE?

This is quite a common situation. A number of qualified LLB degree holders are employed with various companies as full time employees or may be engaged in other businesses. They may want to resume private Law practice after their retirement or early exit from full time employment.

As mentioned by the BCI, the All India Bar exam notification only applies to students graduating from the academic year 2009-10 onwards. If your law degree was awarded prior to academic year 2009-10, there is no need to appear for the AIBE in order to qualify to practice law in India.

You will however have to follow the processes and criteria set by your State Bar Council and the Bar Council of India to practice.

 

If I fail my final year law examination at my law school, how soon can I appear for the AIBE ?

The three basic rules for taking up the AIBE are:
(1) You should have completed your LLB degree, i.e. received your degree from your University.
(2) You should have received your degree on or after the academic year 2009-10
(3) You should be enrolled with your State Bar Council as a practicing Advocate.

 

 

I have submitted my application for enrollment with the applicable State Bar Council. If I don’t receive my enrollment certificate before last date of receipt of application forms for the AIBE, how do I undertake the AIBE ?
What if my final year law school examination results have not been declared and I am unable to submit all documents required for enrolment? Will I still be permitted to take the AIBE ?

You will have to register with your State Bar Council at the earliest and receive the enrollment certificate. You should follow up with them in case of any delay.

As such, the AIBE exam does not interfere with your corporate career or Legal practice aspirations. You can enroll as a practicing Advocate and you get a two year window to clear the AIBE.

If you take up a corporate career after your LLB, you can still start your practice at a later date by enrolling with your State Bar Council and your two year window to clear the AIBE will start from then.

But LawMint does strongly recommend taking up the AIBE at the earliest possible.

 

I am a Law Graduate from a foreign University and wish to practice law in India. Will taking the AIBE be sufficient to make me eligible?

Based on our current understanding of the BCI rules, break down your situation into two parts.

Part 1: Without factoring in the AIBE exam, you will have to fulfill the basic criteria to practice law in India. I.e. Your degree should be recognized by the Bar Council of India; (You may need to take up additional examinations in India as prescribed by the BCI) and you should enrol yourself as a practicing Advocate with the Bar Council of the state where you wish to practice.

Part 2: You will have a two year window to clear the AIBE post enrolment, else you must cease practice and resume after clearing the AIBE.

We strongly urge you to reach out to the BCI for better clarity around your specific situation and get an official confirmation on the course of action.

 

If I enrol with the State Bar council, but I am not able to take up or clear the AIBE for a few years, will my seniority be affected?

According to Section 17 of the Advocates Act, seniority is determined by the date of enrolment with the State Bar Council and not from the date of passing the AIBE. However, you will only be able to practice law in India once you pass the AIBE.

Please refer to the BCI and your State Bar Council rules and also the Advocates act for details.

 

Where is the AIBE  conducted ?
Where can I appear for the AIBE ?
Can I take the All India Bar Exam online ?
Can I take the AIBE in a international location (outside India) ?

Considering that this is a National Level exam, it is conducted in multiple cities. Normally, it is held in the state capitals and also some major cities across India.

Previously, the exam has been conducted in the following cities: Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Belgaum, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Bilaspur, Bokaro, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Delhi, Dharwad, Goa, Gurgaon, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Jammu, Jodhpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nanded, Noida, Patna, Raipur, Ranchi, Shimla, Surat, Trichy, Visakhapatnam

The exact details of the examination centers will be announced in the official BCI notification.

As of now, the AIBE is conducted as a physical ‘Paper & Pen’ exam in the official exam centers. There is no online exam format and the exam is currently conducted only in Indian cities.

 

What language will the AIBE be conducted in?
Will I get the preparatory materials in the language I choose?
Does it make a difference which language I choose for attempting the AIBE ?
Do I have to take the AIBE exam in the same language as the State I am enrolled in ?

As per the official FAQs on the BCI website, the AIBE will be conducted in nine languages which are: Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Oriya, and English.

However, on the AllIndiaBarExamination.com website, it is mentioned that the exam will be conducted in eleven languages.

You can safely assume that the exam will be conducted in most of the major languages of India.

Irrespective of the language you choose, the questions will be same. They will only be translated into different languages, so the difficulty level will be same.

As we had mentioned on another article, BCI has stopped providing any specific study materials for the exams. The Syllabus will be announced ahead of the exam and students are expected to prepare or revise using their LLB text books or you can enrol for online prep courses on LawMint.com

You can take the AIBE exam in any of the languages offered, as per your comfort and convenience. For example, if you are enrolled with the State Bar Council in Tamil Nadu, you can choose to take the AIBE in Telugu, Kannada, Hindi etc. It will not affect your ability to practice in the state of your enrolment.

AIBE XIII (13) Mock Tests - Sample Papers & Previous Papers Online Practice Pack :
  • Nine Previous AIBE Question Papers - AIBE IV to AIBE XII (2014 to 2018)
  • Fifty Full-Length AIBE XIII (13) Mock Tests - Sample Papers  from a Question Bank of over 9500 AIBE specific questions
  • Fifty Mini-Mock Tests - 25 Questions each, for quick practice sessions
  • Each Mock test - Sample Papers can be attempted unlimited number of times for consistent practice
  • This practice pack is complete online and can be accessed anytime - anywhere via Smart phones, Laptops, Desktops and Tablets
  • Note : No hard-copies are included.
Inclusive of all taxes

Pay through Credit-Debit cards, Net-Banking, UPI or Wallets
We use PayTM & Instamojo gateways for secure payments

Is the AIBE an open book exam?
What materials can I take with me into examination center for the AIBE?
Can I carry my phone, tablet, laptop, eBook reader or other electronic devices?

Students can take any reading materials or study aids that they choose, such as the preparatory materials, textbooks and bare-acts. In short, any printed or handwritten material can be carried-in to the AIBE examination.

Electronic devices are not allowed. Which means that laptop computers, mobile phones, tablets, eBook readers or any devices equipped with a radio transceiver (such as pagers) are not allowed into the exam center. To be on the safer side and avoid any complication, students should not carry any electronic devices whatsoever.

Since there may not be an official provision for safe-keeping of mobile phones during the exam, students should leave their phones at home or make arrangement to store it outside the exam center.

 

What is the maximum time allowed for the AIBE ?
Can I leave the examination center once I finish?

The time limit for AIBE will be a maximum of three hours and thirty minutes (3 hours 30 minutes; i.e. 210 minutes in total) to complete the AIBE.

Candidates with physical disability may be allowed additional time based on prior approval by the BCI.

Like most exams, there may be a restriction on leaving the exam hall or carry out the question paper before the first one hour of the exam.

In any case, we strongly urge the candidates to attempt all questions, even if it is just a best guess or a random choice. Since there is no negative marking, any correct answers will only add to your scores and wrong answers will not have any negative bearing on the overall marks.

 

What is the minimum percentage of marks required for clearing the AIBE ?
Is there a separate cut-off in the AIBE for different subjects or sections?
How will the scores for AIBE be announced?
Is there a ‘Rank list’ for the AIBE?

As of now, the minimum required score to clear the AIBE is 40% (that is, 40 out of 100). There is no negative marking in the AIBE.

There is no section-wise cutoff or separate marking, you just need to score 40% overall.

The results of the AIBE will be announced around a month after the exam. Candidates can login to the official website and confirm results.

As such, no marks, grade or ranks will be announced – candidates can only see a pass / fail status.

There is no ‘Rank list’ announced for the All India Bar Examination.

 

What things should I carry with myself when I appear for the AIBE ?

As per the official instructions, you should carry a black or blue ball point pen.

LawMint suggests carrying two normal ballpoint pens, such as Reynolds or Cello. Use only one color (Blue or Black) throughout the exam.

Carry the admit card for the examination, a valid photo-identity card proof, and any reading materials or study aids that you require, such as preparatory materials, textbooks, print outs and handwritten notes.

Any electronic devices, such as laptops, mobile phones, tablets, eBook readers or any device equipped with a radio transceiver (such as pagers) are not allowed into the examination center.

You can refer to the AIBE  – exam center checklist article for detailed explanations.

 

When can I leave the exam hall during the AIBE examination?
Am I allowed to take the question paper back with me?

Yes. After the OMR answer sheet has been submitted to the examiner, candidates can exit the hall and carry out the exam paper with them.

There may be restrictions on how early a candidate can exit the examination; or candidates exiting before the minimum time period may not be allowed to carry out the question paper immediately.

 

What if even after clearing the AIBE, I do not receive my Certificate of Practice?
Can I appear in the courts on the basis of my declared result?

As per BCI clarification, a candidate will receive your Certificate of Practice soon after the declaration of results of the AIBE, but in the interim period he/she can practice on the basis of the declared result.

 

Is there any revaluation method or can I apply for re-evaluation of my answer sheet if I am unhappy with my result for the AIBE ?

As of AIBE X, BCI has introduced a facility for re-checking of the Answer sheets. However, since the OMR sheets are automatically marked, the chances of a discrepancy will be minimal. If candidates do wish to reconfirm their results, the summary of the official instructions is as follows:

Examinees who want to get their answer sheets rechecked are requested to follow the below instructions:
– Rechecking requests will be accepted between specific dates on payment of a nominal fee (It was Rs.200 for AIBE X 2017)
– Candidate would be informed about their rechecking result within 7 working days after the application for revaluation is received.
– Candidates who want to check their answer sheets themselves will have to book a time slot and visit Bar Council of India premises as per the allotted time schedule; which will be informed to them after their revaluation application is received by Bar Council of India
– Under no circumstances will the Xerox of answer sheet and answer key be given to the candidate.
– Candidates need to send the complete rechecking application in the attached format along with the Demand Draft for the prescribed fee in favor of the Bar Council of India payable at New Delhi.
– Any Rechecking request with demand draft which has date after the cut-off date would be rejected.
– This revaluation facility is completely at the discretion of the BCI and may be withdrawn at any time. 

 

During what timings and on what days are the applications for the AIBE available?
Where would these application forms be available?

BCI will announce the official dates and the registration process well ahead of the examination. It is expected that the entire process will be Online and no physical documents will have to be sent.

We will track the BCI announcements and publish the details on LawMint.com website. So keep checking LawMint regularly. You can also register for our weekly newsletter for latest updates.

 

Does failure in the AIBE hamper my scope for higher legal studies?

No. The All India Bar Exam is only a qualifying examination for being able to practice law in India. It does not have any bearing on your existing LLB degree or affect your chances for any higher studies.

We do suggest that clearing the AIBE is a positive achievement, which you can highlight in your resume or profile while applying for any employment or higher studies. It shows that you have been tested and found eligible to practice as an advocate in India.

 

Are there any recommended books to study for success in the AIBE ?

The AIBE exam syllabus is based on the common LLB syllabus that is approved by the BCI for all three year and five year LLB courses in India. The specific topics that are included for the AIBE will be notified by the BCI at the time of the Exam announcement.

Meanwhile, you can refer to our article where we have analyzed the AIBE syllabus over the years. It will clearly show you the topics on which you should focus. You can also refer to the LawMint articles on how to prepare for the AIBE.

Our ‘Essential’ and ‘Comprehensive’ courses will help you with the basic preparatory material for AIBE, hundreds of practice questions and full-length mock tests. Also included with the courses are carry-in materials that can be printed and taken along to help you answer the questions in the open book exam.

 

Does the score in AIBE affect my career as a practicing advocate?
Will it affect my ability to be a Senior Counsel in practice?
I want to enter the Judicial Services. Is it mandatory for me to clear the AIBE ?

As mentioned earlier, your AIBE results will only have a pass / fail. No specific scores will be published. In any case, the AIBE scores will not affect your career or higher education.

But clearing the AIBE will become essential wherever one of the pre-qualifications is to be a practicing advocate. Since you can practice only for the initial two years without clearing the AIBE, you will have to pass the AIBE exam to continue practicing as an advocate.

LawMint does recommend that all LLB students should clear the AIBE even if they do not have any plans to practice as a Advocate. This is to ensure that this pre-qualification is completed even when the students’ memory is relatively ‘Fresh’ with the latest syllabus.

Also, considering the significant overlap with the LLM entrance and Judicial Services syllabus, preparation for AIBE will only help you with the other pursuits.

 

Can I get a refund for the fees paid for the AIBE if I am unable to appear for it?
Will the fees be adjusted for subsequent attempts?

No. Fees once paid towards the AIBE exam will not be refunded or adjusted against any subsequent attempts. BCI may however offer some concessions to candidates who are repeating the exam. The exact details will be confirmed once BCI’s official notification is published.

 

How will I know if my application for the AIBE has been accepted?
What documents will I have to submit along with my application form?

The instructions on the documentation to be submitted and the application procedure will be published in the AIBE notification by BCI.

The application process is expected to be completely online. After the online submission, you will get a confirmation or acknowledgement number. If you do not receive your admit card when it released by BCI, you can contact the AIBE help desk number for clarification.

AIBE XIII (13) Mock Tests - Sample Papers & Previous Papers Online Practice Pack :
  • Nine Previous AIBE Question Papers - AIBE IV to AIBE XII (2014 to 2018)
  • Fifty Full-Length AIBE XIII (13) Mock Tests - Sample Papers  from a Question Bank of over 9500 AIBE specific questions
  • Fifty Mini-Mock Tests - 25 Questions each, for quick practice sessions
  • Each Mock test - Sample Papers can be attempted unlimited number of times for consistent practice
  • This practice pack is complete online and can be accessed anytime - anywhere via Smart phones, Laptops, Desktops and Tablets
  • Note : No hard-copies are included.
Inclusive of all taxes

Pay through Credit-Debit cards, Net-Banking, UPI or Wallets
We use PayTM & Instamojo gateways for secure payments

Your comments and feedback are welcome.

This compilation of FAQs is an unofficial list that is based on LawMint team’s understanding of BCI’s previous notifications, previous AIBE rules and other publicly available information. This should not be construed as being officially endorsed or approved by the BCI.

We will continue to keep this article updated as and when we receive fresh inputs and official updates.

AIBE – All India Bar Exam – Complete FAQs
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