How to crack CLAT
The Common Law Admission Test (the “CLAT”) is the annual slugfest between the top aspirants for the elite National Law Universities (the “NLUs”). Currently, the examination is conducted for direct admissions to 17 NLUs, with only National Law University, Delhi conducting a separate examination of its own i.e. the AILET. For the highly sought after under graduate programs like the BALLB at the NLUs the CLAT scores are directly considered by the following NLUs. The CLAT examination itself is divided into 5 major areas – (a) English; (b) Logical Reasoning; (c) General Knowledge; (d) Mathematics; and (e) Legal Aptitude
- Candidates should have passed Higher Secondary School/Intermediate Examination (10+2) or its equivalent examination with not less than 45% marks in aggregate (40% in case of SC/ST and persons with Disability). Candidates appearing for the exam are also eligible although candidates with compartment/ supplementary in any subject are not eligible.
- There has been a lot of controversy around the age limit. However, after multiple rounds of litigation and the Bar Council of India notification, there is currently no age limit for the CLAT examination.
Pattern of the Exam
As mentioned above, there are 5 major areas in the examination which comprises 200 objective questions in a sprint marathon lasting 120 minutes! Currently, there is a negative marking on 0.25 for every wrong answer and 1 mark for every correct answer marked. The paper is completely online now. The tie break system is firstly on the basis of who has scored higher marks in the legal aptitude section of the paper in case of equal marks, then on the basis of higher marks in the board exams. Interestingly enough, the final tie break in case there is a tie in overall marks and legal aptitude marks and board marks is actually on the basis of whoever is a younger candidate.
How to Crack CLAT?
Once you have a clear idea of the pattern of the examination and the areas from which the questions are asked, you should finalise a clear game plan. Unlike so many other competitive exams, the CLAT is not about cramming up as much stuff as you can but rather about polishing skills are honing them to the point that they are simply a part of your life.
A lot of you are also perhaps taking a first look at the CLAT paper and thinking “This is easy! Thoda Padh Loonga to ho jayega”. Let me clear it up for you – it is certainly not an easy examination. Approximately 50,000 people gave the exam and if you wanted to go to a top 10 law school in the general category you have to finish in the top 2% which is around rank 1000. If beating 98% people seems easy, well then this exam is easy!
But having said that, it is equally important to remember that THERE IS A DEFINITE WAY TO CRACK THE CLAT EXAM and to go to your dream college. I am not saying that it is an easy way, just that it is a certain way! If you are ready to do what it takes to go where you want read on for the secret to the CLAT. Set out below are 5 dos and don’ts for cracking the CLAT at one go.
5 Must Do Things to Crack CLAT
- Read the newspaper – Like a religious fanatic, ensure that you have chosen one proper national daily newspaper and read it everyday from top to bottom spending at least an hour daily. This creates more reading speed, brushes up your English and gives you an advantage in the GK section which is heavily focused on current affairs.
- Solve the past year paper question papers – As a matter of life and death, ensure that you have access to all the important past year papers and a reliable solution booklet. There are many random books available. We recommend our own solution booklet since the whole team sat down and researched and debated for a whole month to come out with detailed explanations for all the questions. Since a lot of the questions in the CLAT are taken from past year papers and are anyways indicative of the kind of questions that the CLAT keeps asking, it is a must do exercise.
- Take all sections seriously – Practice the basic things like Maths and Logical reasoning. Most people simply commit the fatal flaw of assuming in their heads that they cannot do the maths section or some other random excuse!! But remember that you may not have enjoyed it (and may even have hated it), but you did pass the maths paper at 10th WHICH MEANS YOU ‘CAN’ DO IT! So ensure that you purchase basic books and practice and practice until you know that those marks are not going anywhere.
- Give the mocks as religiously as radical right wing fundamentalists – Make sure that you give mocks and revise the same with proper analysis. Do this as seriously as the actual CLAT. Take up something serious like the CP Hammerit series (which has of course produced All India Rank 1 for two years in a row now!! CLAT 2015 and CLAT 2016).
- Health is important (remember it clearly) – Above all else, ensure that you stay healthy through the preparation process. Listening to mom and dad regarding food can sometimes go a long long way! Be calm in the examination and ensure that you don’t have any nervousness problems in the middle of all of it!
5 Don’ts For Sure
- Thinking that the CLAT is too easy – A lot of people come to the CLAT with a few misplaced assumptions. One of the most popular among the myths is that the CLAT is an easy examination to crack compared to some of the other more popular exams like the engineering or the medicine exam. As mentioned above, please remember that this is a highly competitive exam which requires a lot of focus and consistent preparation like any other major exam.
- I can ignore maths because it is only 20 marks – Please understand that the exam may not be focused around the maths section but it does account for 10% of the question paper. Even more importantly, the maths section is quite elementary and basic 10th level maths. This means that a lot of people are going to score heavily in the maths section if they like maths or even fall in the more popular category of people who “don’t hate maths”. The scores of the students in most years are very close to each other and the difference between getting the law school of one’s own choice as a matter of guarantee and not getting it at all can be 0.25 marks. Getting over the fear of the maths section and unleashing one’s highest potential therefore is an essential feature of the preparation process.
- I can speak good English; so I don’t need to prep too much for English – The English section in the CLAT is not purely conversational. It includes a little bit of the same kind of reasoning that you have in the reading comprehension sections of your board exams. What it really means is that you have to be in the habit of consistent reading. Being used to English language is of course step one to cracking the English section, but the last step ends with you being really used to the language with rigorous preparation and sincerity.
- Don’t get too cocky or have too much swag if you just gave one mock – From experience, it is a mistake that is essential to be pointed out. A lot of smart people who prepare for the exam start off with a lot of sincerity and end up giving only a few mocks. It is very possible that you did well because you had prepared quite well. But an exaggerated conclusion should not be derived from the same to the point that you get lazy and lax about the sincerity required for the overall preparation.
- It is not about quantity but the quality of preparation – The CLAT is of course an exam which requires a lot of information since there are a lot of information based questions. However, it is very important to remember at the same time that the CLAT is also laden with a lot of reasoning based questions. The kind of preparation required for that is not just a marathon session. It is about developing the basic skills required for the same. Which means that the skill development exercise must be undertaken with a lot of consistency.
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