Ah yes, it’s that time of the year! It’s unbelievably satisfying to watch students struggle through the next few months with the burden of CLAT coupled with the additional burden of the Boards. Anyway, since sadistic pleasure is not the point of this article, let me move on to its main purpose.
It is around end-Feb as I’m writing this and if your CLAT preparation is in full swing, then that’s great. If not, you might want to start soon and with a bit of intensive preparation, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t crack it. As you’d know (and if you don’t, you probably should), the CLAT paper is divided into five sections consisting of English, General Knowledge, Math, Legal Reasoning and Logical Reasoning. Each section is different and requires a different skill-set. Therefore while preparing one would inevitably come across strong and weak sections. What will be decisive in your scoring is how you manage time during the paper and tackle your difficult sections.
Although everyone attempts the paper in a different order, I’d personally recommend that you start the paper with GK and move on to sections you’re good at. This is because attempting GK first essentially allows you to get quarter of the paper out of your way in about 10 minutes. Even if you don’t attempt it first, enough stress cannot be laid on how important it is not to attempt GK last. It wouldn’t be a wise idea to leave GK to the last 5 minutes as you can easily read through all the 50 GK questions in about the same time as one would attempt 3-5 math or logic questions.
With regard to preparation for GK, you can read the newspaper every day and make notes, but if on the off-chance that you’re a normal human being, going through GKToday monthly summaries and Jagaran Josh should just about cut it. It certainly worked for me. As far as GK prep is concerned more important than how much you read is how much you remember. There’s no point in reading through hundreds of pages of material but remembering squat, is there? Devise ways of remembering certain facts and statistics (sadly, my method is too politically incorrect to include in this article).
Next, there’s the English section. If you’re proficient in the language, you would probably think you’ve got this section in covered and can easily get 35+. But chances are, you won’t. Therefore, preparing for it in advance will help you avoid a rude shock. The English section will have at least one comprehension passage, so continuous reading and practice would go a long way in scoring more marks. Other than that, there may be antonyms, synonyms, sentence jumbles, foreign phrases (that’s English too, apparently), fill in the blanks and other exercises. For this, practicing past year papers and other mocks should get you through.
For the legal section, there will be questions on legal reasoning and maybe even a bit of legal GK thrown in too. Legal reasoning depends mostly on common sense, so reading the questions carefully and a lot of practice would serve you well. Legal GK is a bit tricky, and involves quite a bit of reading and basic understanding of the Constitution. Therefore, I’d recommend going through various online sources and past papers for this section.
Logic and math are sections which give rise to divided opinions amongst aspirants. Some of you may find these sections very easy while others may find them quite hard (*insert inappropriate joke here*). However, the only difference between the two sets is that some of you just have to practice harder than others. Nonetheless, it still involves a lot of practice and preparation otherwise you probably won’t complete the paper on time. And that might suck.
Math comprises only 20 marks, or 10% of the paper. So, winging it and hoping for the best makes sense, right? Sadly, it doesn’t. These 20 marks are eventually what separate you from the other 40,000 students writing the paper and also determine whether you finish the paper on time or not. If practiced well, math is actually quite scoring, with 13-15 an easy score on an average paper.
Lastly, the most important thing to do in April is mocks. Attempt as many mocks as you can. Attempting at least 30-40 mocks before CLAT is a must. CLAT can be quite an unpredictable paper, so attempting mocks of varying difficulties is an essential to ensure you are ready for the exam pschologically. Moreover, mocks are helpful because you see a lot of new questions which can be useful.
Yeah, that’s about it. Study hard. Try not to fool around too much, else you’ll be the guy in the meme attached below. All the best!
AIR 40, CLAT 2016
This article is part of the “Bust CLAT” series written by students who aced CLAT’16 to get into NLSIU. For other articles in this series, click here, here, here, here and here. For expert CLAT guidance that increases your chances of scoring high in CLAT’17, click here.