In this article, Neha Lodha (All India Girl Topper and AIR 9 in CLAT 2015) explains how to prepare for the General Knowledge section.
General Knowledge is a very important part of the CLAT paper. Solving mock tests and past year papers makes one realise that it is a high scoring and time saving section. Apart from the fifty mark weightage that this section has in the paper, GK also comes in the form of general legal awareness questions in the Legal Aptitude section. It is not uncommon for paragraph based questions in Logical Reasoning as well as the comprehensions in English to come from the current events happening all over the world and if one prepares thoroughly for the GK section it also gives them an advantage in solving such questions.
Having stressed on the importance of GK in CLAT now I move on to explaining how you should prepare for this section in the last two months. People who have been abreast of world affairs through newspapers and magazines are at an advantage because they just need to revise what they have been reading till now. But no worries if you haven’t started yet! All you need to learn is how to study smartly.
The course for this section is divided into two parts, static GK and current affairs. No fixed pattern is followed in number of questions from each part, so you need to be thorough with both of them.
The current affairs portion generally would come from May 2015 to April 2016 but you should also keep a track of any major events that happened few months before or after this period. It includes major national and international events, sports, science and technology, awards etc. Devote at least one hour each day to revising current affairs. Buy a good year book (Manorama Year Book is a good option) which will give you information in a consolidated form. If your coaching provides you with a monthly compendium of current affairs then you must start reading it. Magazines like ‘Pratyogita Darpan’ and ‘Competition Success’ have brief stories on these current events and they also have question papers of various competitive exams being conducted around the year which gives you some idea of the kind of questions that can be asked. Solving past year papers isn’t particularly helpful for this portion as the questions are old but they give you an insight on the pattern being followed.
Static GK is very vast and you cannot possibly remember everything. The key to this section is observing the pattern followed in past year papers which helps you to determine the parts from which more questions are asked. According to my analysis, the questions in history are mostly related to the British era, the Mughal period, the Mauryan and Gupta empires and the Indus valley civilization. There are also a few general questions from geography, science and political science and question like ‘First in India/World’, ‘Highest, Longest, Shortest’, books and writers etc which can be prepared from a good reference book like Lucent Publications, Arihant etc. You will also find Static GK quizzes on the internet. Try to inter-relate things or associate them to something which helps you in recollecting what you have read. Make poem or jingles like what you used to do in school for revising dates in history or learning the periodic table, it makes memorising easier.
Although reading and revising everything is very important you also need to test how much you have learnt so that you can work on the portions you are weak in. Solve online quizzes on websites like gktoday, jagranjosh etc. You can ask your siblings or friends to ask you questions or take your test. There’s quizzes on LawKey too. Optimize your time on social media by following pages which keep you updated (like LawKey :D). This makes learning fun and you are able to retain more by repetitive reading. Also don’t forget to keep a track of the events happening in the legal sphere as it will help you in the Legal Aptitude section.
General Knowledge is the easiest section and in order to do well you just need to stay calm, plan your time and keep revising. And please remember, you do not be need to be scared of the vastness of this section or the fact that you started late. If you start working now, you will be able to do well.
Hope this was useful and Good Luck! 🙂