CLAT’17: The Expert Analysis

While CLAT’17 came as a smooth ride for most of the aspirants, aspirants indeed faced some major bumps during  the ride. We think that this year’s CLAT was slightly difficult than last year’s CLAT however it was easier than CLAT 2015 (that nightmare!). Most of the aspirants found this paper rather lengthy especially the Maths section unlike last year’s CLAT. CNLU decided to surprise all of us with the most unpredictable GK Section. While the English and Logical Reasoning sections were easy to solve, the Legal Reasoning section came out to be the easiest of all. We have prepared three categories of sectional scores which will give a better analysis of your standing in the ever-growing merit list. Continue reading

AILET’17: The Expert Analysis

AILET aspirants across the nation felt the same about yesterday’s paper. “It was too lengthy.” said one AILET aspirant coming out of her AILET centre, here at NLSIU, Bangalore. Overall, the paper was of a moderate-difficult difficulty level according to our analysis, with the logical reasoning section playing a major role in enhancing its difficulty level. An overall cutoff of 93-97 is expected to get aspirants into the NLU standing tall in the nation’s capital. Let us analyse the paper in detail now. Continue reading

Taming the Shrew: Attempting Reading Comprehension

In this article, Akash Deep Singh explains how to attempt reading comprehensions

One of the most common fear of most CLAT aspirants is the Reading-Comprehension(RC) question present in the paper. The innate resistance to this particular type of question is so large that many of you refuse to even attempt it. The usual laments being it takes too long to complete it, it’s highly subjective in nature and hence, it’s not worth the time or effort. You neglect it till the end and try to complete it in whatever time is left. This is a cardinal error that must be avoided at all costs. CLAT always has an RC question. It might be worth anything from 5-10 marks. And you cannot afford to neglect it.

Another common complaint which I have come across is it’s become difficult to attempt RC as its online now (for all we know, it might not stay so anymore but that’s not up to you). Test-takers not being able to mark the important portions of the passage anymore is a common problem. What needs to be remembered is that this is true for everyone. Being able to mark the important portions was just a helpful tool. The most important thing then and even now is to understand the underlying idea of the passage.

CLAT has never given hard RCs. The ideal time in which an RC question should be completed is 7-8 minutes. To do this, it is near-essential that you have a fast reading speed. We have already published an article on that. Please follow the suggestions given there as they will help you immeasurably not only in RC or English but through the whole paper.

Different people have different ways to attempt and ace this question. It’s up to you to practice them all out and find the sweet spot. You can employ the method I’ve given below or some modification of the same as per your convenience. So here goes:

 Take a minute to read the first few lines of each para in the passage to understand the gist of it. You will need to completely read the first para and also the concluding lines of the passage. Now read the questions, not the options, only the questions. This will give you an idea of what you are looking for in the passage. If there are too many questions, then only read the first few. Otherwise there’s a chance you might get muddled up. Go back to the passage and take 3-4 minutes to read it completely. You must have gotten the gist of it by now. This is when start attempting the questions. If you were not able to read all of the questions, you can now attempt them as you have already read the passage. You will have to refer to the passage again and again but if you have gotten the gist of it, then this back and forth becomes negligible. Another way to go about it is to first read the questions and then the passage. This gives you a hint of what you need to be on the lookout for.

Please bear in mind that none of the suggestions given above might suit you. But you can only find this out by attempting as many RC questions as possible and trying out the above strategy (or any other you may have stumbled upon in the course of your preparation) to figure out what best suits you.

-Akash Deep Singh

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Averages: A Complete Guide

Averages is an extremely important section for CLAT. Most of you have already completed this topic as it is one of the easiest topics in Maths. However, there still might be some people who have not done it. I expect this article to be useful for both the groups.

Almost every one of us is quite familiar with this primary class formula for determining Average, i.e. Sum of quantities / Number of quantities. But to use this formula you need a pen and a paper. Jotting down the numbers given in the question and then trying to solve them will unnecessarily take up your time. Therefore, in this article, I’ll try to explain how to solve most of the questions related to averages asked in CLAT (there still will be some questions which will require a pen and a paper) without using pen and paper or the above-given formula and save your ‘precious’ time. So, let us start:

While solving questions on averages, keep one thing in mind, i.e. assume the average of quantities as quantities in possession of equal points. For example, if it is given that average of 10 quantities is 15, assume that there are 10 people/things each having 15 points in its possession. Now, let us move forward by solving some examples –

Q.1. A batsman scores of 87 runs in the 17th match and thus increases his average by 3. Find his average after 17th match.

Sol. As mentioned earlier, assume 17 matches as seventeen people with equal runs, i.e. average. Now, by scoring 87 runs in 17th match, he increased his average by 3. So, 3 runs flow from the 17th person to all other 16 persons, i.e. a total of 16*3=48 runs from 17th person to other persons. Now, 17th person has 87-48=39 runs which is the average.

 

Q.2. Average weight of 10 people increased by 1.5 kg when one person of 45 kg is replaced by a new man. What is the weight of this new man?

Sol. One thing is clear from the question that the weight of the new person is more than 45 kg as his entry increases the average weight. Also, if the average, i.e. equal points of every person, increases it must flow from the new person. Now,the total extra weight that this man has brought with him is 1.5*10=15 kg. So,the weight of this new person is 15+45 = 60 kg.

 

Q.3. Average of five numbers is 27. If one number is excluded the average becomes 25. Find the excluded number.

Sol. Since exclusion of one number leads to a reduction in average, the number must be greater than the average, i.e. 27. Extra quantity this number takes away with it is 2 from each of the remaining four numbers as the average after exclusion is 25. So, total extra quantity taken away is 2*4=8. Hence, the number which was excluded is 8+27 = 35.

 

Q.4. Average of 10 matches is 32. How many runs should one score to increase his average by 4 runs?

Sol. To increase the average by 4, i.e. to make it 36, one should score (36 + 4*10) = 76 runs. Here, by scoring 76 runs in 11th match, one can give away 4 each to each of 10 other matches thereby increasing the average of 10 other matches to 36 and keeping 76-40= 36 for the 11th match.

 

Q.5. The average age of the mother and her six children is 12 years which is reduced by 5 years if the age of the mother is excluded. How old is the mother?

Sol. Before mother’s exclusion, the average age is 12 years. Mother’s exclusion takes away 5*6=30 years from the children. So, the age of the mother is 12+30= 42 years.

 

CLAT questions are generally similar to the above-given examples which can be quite easily solved without using any formula or pen-paper. Other types of questions, where you will be given numbers and asked to compute the average, it can be done by using the formula –

Sum of Quantities / Number of Quantities

For natural numbers, the average of n natural numbers is given by: (n+1)/2. (As sum of n natural numbers is n (n+1)/2).

Anil Bhadu

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Cracking The Vocabulary Section

Vocabulary is a nightmare for most people as the English language seems to have an infinitely large number of words and seems to throw new ones at you every now and then. So, in this small write-up, I have attempted to give you a few tips which would help you ace the vocabulary section.

First and foremost, you should buy a decent book on English vocabulary and start going through it at the rate of about three pages a day. Yes, it might seem a bit intimidating at first, but you have to sweat it out. Underline the words that you didn’t know existed and try and use them in your day-to-day conversations in the right context. By the end of the month you should have ideally completed the book, and believe me you will start making more sense of the literary world around you, you will understand more of what the erudite journalist in “The Hindu” is trying to express and the world will seem so much better. Continue reading

Blood Relations Decoded

In this article, a student of NLSIU shares his tried and tested method to crack Blood Relations.

Blood relation questions are the easiest to crack and it is imperative to not only attempt these questions in the competitive examinations but also get them correct. You can’t afford to lose marks in these questions. The reason for this is quite simple, you can be sure of your answer unlike the critical reasoning questions which are quite subjective in nature. In critical reasoning questions, many times it may seem to you that two choices are equally relevant. Sometimes even more than 2 options may seem so! I assure you, you won’t face the same problem with blood relations.

The correct way to go about blood relation questions is to draw a family tree and use some standard signs and practice them over and over. The target is to become so proficient that as soon as you see these relations you can visualize the signs. In order to make your work easier, I will be listing down certain signs which are standard and you can use them while making the family tree. (You may choose to use different signs according to your own convenience).

Listed below are the signs that should preferably be used, remembered and further practiced to save time:

img1

Generally, in CLAT, blood relations problems would involve up to three generations and not more than that. The first and the foremost thing to understand is to place the 3rd generation i.e. grandparents at the top, below that comes the second generation i.e. parents, maternal aunt and uncle, paternal aunt and uncle, brother/sister in laws. Below that comes the first generation i.e. grandson/granddaughter.

To illustrate further:

img2

If we concentrate on these relations, then all other relations can be fit in some way or the other. Say for instance Arjun is the nephew of Kabir, and and it is given that Kabir is the only brother of Aditya, then instead of of being confused about what sign should be used to illustrate the relation between Arjun and Kabir, simply illustrate the relation between Kabir and Aditya and then represent the relation between Aditya and Arjun as has been done below:

img3

An important point to remember, never ever make assumptions about the gender of a person until and unless it is specifically mentioned. For example, if it is given that Karan is the grandparent of Simran, it does not mean that Karan is a male or Simran a female. It can be the other way round as well. You have to look for hints. It is recommended that you should look for pronouns if nothing has been specifically mentioned about the gender of that person. Look whether ‘he’ or ‘she’ has been used and then you can be sure about it. Also it is strongly recommended that you should indicate the gender in a bracket in the family tree itself as has been illustrated above.

Some important relations are provided below. You should remember these relations to solve blood relation problems. Assume every relation given below for a hypothetical X. For e.g. X’s mother’s (or) father’s son- X’s brother:

Mother’s (or) father’s son – Brother

Mother’s (or) Father’s Daughter – Sister

Mother’s brother – Maternal Uncle

Father’s Brother – Paternal uncle

Mother’s (or) Father’s sister – Aunt

Mother’s (or) Father’s father – Grandfather

Mother’s (or) Father’s mother – Grandmother

Son’s wife – Daughter in law

Daughter’s husband – Son in law

Husband’s (or) Wife’s father – Father in law

Husband’s (or) Wife’s mother – Mother in law

Husband’s (or) Wife’s brother – Brother in law

Husband’s (or) Wife’s sister – Sister in law

Sister’s husband – Brother in law

Brother’s (or) Sister’s son – Nephew

Brother’s (or) Sister’s daughter – Niece

Illustrated below are two questions that would further teach you how to draw an appropriate family tree:

1. Pointing to a lady, Rajan said, “She is the daughter of the woman who is the mother of the husband of my mother.” How is the lady related to Rajan?

img4

2. Pointing towards a person in a photograph, Anjali said “He is the only son of the father of my sister’s brother.” How is that person related to Anjali?

img5

Also it is strongly recommended that you use a pencil so that you can make changes to questions which involve multiple parts.

So, practice diligently and intelligently, and get ready to ace this topic in CLAT. ALL THE BEST!

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Reason Your Way Through CLAT

Dealing with the Logical Reasoning section

One thing I’ve often heard from people, who ask me for help with CLAT preparation, is that people with a science background have it easy when it comes to Logical Reasoning and Maths as they have ‘that bent of mind’ (but are woefully silent on what exactly they mean by that). I always try to dispel this misconception by giving them my example. I had humanities in school and I have always struggled with Maths, however, I have always been good at Logical Reasoning. So trust me when I say that you can make Logical Reasoning your strength no matter where you come from.

The Logical Reasoning section is fairly easy and can help you increase your score and boost your confidence. Since it accounts for one-fifth of the paper, it is advisable to devote around 25-30 minutes out of the two hours to this section. You should try and aim for thirty marks or more here which is not that difficult a target to achieve. According to me, there are three things any NLU-hopeful should keep in mind while attempting this section: speed, accuracy and the importance of reading the questions carefully.

Most of the questions in this section are in groups, based on the same problem, and therefore once you’ve solved the initial question in the group, it should not take you a lot of time to answer the consequent ones. Also to increase your speed without compromising on accuracy and efficiency, you can use certain techniques or quick tricks. One illustration of this could be EJOTY (5-10-15-20-25) which makes solving question based on alphabet series and coding-decoding easier and faster. You can either learn these tricks from some book, or study material, or create some on your own. Just make sure they are easy to remember and also to apply.

There is a huge variety of questions that can come in this section ranging from blood relations, coding-decoding, and syllogisms to critical reasoning. All of these require a lot of practice and clarity on the most efficient way of going about them. You only need to spend an hour or two each day on this section; practicing 6-7 questions of each type everyday should be more than sufficient to ensure that you perform well in this section. Daily practice will go a long way in helping you build your speed and increasing your accuracy.

One really important thing I noticed while looking at mock tests and CLAT papers was that the wording of the question is very important. Often people are in a hurry and do not read the questions carefully and thus lose out on precious marks. While answering questions based on syllogisms, it’s necessary to look at the options carefully and answer accordingly. This applies to other types of questions in this section as well.

All of this is, of course, my personal opinion, and there might be some people who disagree with me on the ‘ideal’ strategy for attempting the section, so feel free to make your own strategy. However, I cannot help but emphasise again on the need to build upon your speed and accuracy which is only possible through regular practice and a thorough understanding of the types of questions and their requirements. Apart from all this, all I can do is tell you that Logical Reasoning is quite scoring so don’t worry and just prepare well!

Aditi Gupta

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Getting Rid of the Math Phobia

Mathematics-the word is enough to put many people off track their preparations and lose concentration. However, this phobia of Mathematics is based only on a reluctance to actually get down to solving problems and can be easily eliminated with a bit of dedicated practice. Since a significant portion of law aspirants have had a two-year break from Mathematics after high school, this is one section which tends to get ignored owing to its relatively less weightage in CLAT. Although this section carries only 20 marks, it is arguably the most crucial part of the entire paper and can be the difference between you going to a top notch NLU or settling for a lower one. This is a section which can give you an edge over your fellow exam-takers.

By strategically approaching Mathematics with the correct temperament, one can easily maximize his/her chances of getting a decent rank in CLAT. The way to approach this section primarily depends on the individual’s grip over the subject. For a person who is comfortable with the subject, attempting it at the very outset of the examination may be a good idea. This provides one the opportunity to secure maximum marks in Maths because there is no chance of the answers being ambiguous as can be the case with the likes of English or Legal Reasoning. On the contrary, for a person who is scared of Maths and feels under-confident while solving Mathematics, the section should be kept for the latter part of the exam. This is because it can get exhausting if you are struggling with calculations and are unsure of your answer. If you are scared of Mathematics, attempting the section in the beginning would lower your morale. You don’t want this to happen in a two-hour examination.

As for the time to be allocated to Mathematics, the ideal time limit should be around 16-17 minutes. It can vary a bit from person to person. However, in no case shall it be given more than 20 minutes as that would considerably reduce the amount of time that could be given to other sections. Attempting around 18-20 questions with an accuracy of 95% should be sufficient and would be a great score if the level of the questions is quite high (as was the case in CLAT 2015).

While practicing, focus on the various ways of approaching a problem and finding the most efficient way to solve it. Rather than practicing a whole lot of similar questions, one can cut down on the number of questions but attempt the same question in more than one way to find out which way suits one the best. With practice, it is quite easy to identify the questions which would take less time in solving and would be the ones to watch out for while taking the examination.

So, just get rid of the dampening fear of Mathematics, practice diligently and intelligently, and get ready to ace this section in CLAT. ALL THE BEST!

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