How to Crack CLAT
How to Crack CLAT
How to Crack CLAT
- July 15, 2016
- Posted by: Team Clat Possible
- Category: Tips for Law Entrance Exams
The Common Law Admission Test acronymed CLAT is the gateway exam to 14 premier law universities, in the country popularly known as National Law Schools or National Law Universities. CLAT is for law what the CAT exam is for management and the JEE is for engineering. Needless to say a common question among prospective students is – How to Crack CLAT.
CLAT serves as the litmus test to test whether or not you have it in you to become a lawyer, and to that end qualify for and educate yourselves at world class Universities.
Origination of CLAT
Though the first National Law University (NLU) was established way back in 1988 in Bangalore and several other States followed suit, each university conducted its individual entrance examination till 2007.
It was only through a Public Interest Litigation in 2006 that the entrance exam for the NLUs was centralised. As a result the first Common Law Admission Test was conducted in 2008 by the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.
At present there are 17 NLUs participating in CLAT.
CLAT Examination Paper
The paper itself is divided into 5 sections comprising of:
- English including Comprehension (40 marks)
- General Knowledge and current Affairs (50 marks)
- Elementary Mathematics (Numerical Ability) (20 marks)
- Legal Aptitude (50 marks)
- Logical Reasoning (40 marks)
There are 200 questions in all carrying 1 mark each. The duration of the exam is 2 hours and it is conducted online. There is also a negative marking of 0.25 marks for each incorrect answer.
All these sections are unique and require a different strategy while solving them.
English Section in CLAT Exam
The English section includes questions from comprehension and grammar to test your proficiency in the language. Comprehension exercises range from understanding the theme of the passage, the meaning of the words used, synonyms, antonyms etc.
The grammar section is quite vast and includes correction of grammatically incorrect sentences, usage of appropriate words etc.
In order to fare well in the English section one needs to build a strong hold over the vocabulary. This, obviously, cannot happen overnight and needs dedicated effort over time.
Reading comes in handy for gaining an edge in this area. If you’re not habituated to reading a lot, you can start with reading the newspaper.
A sizeable number of people who have cracked CLAT or are involved in preparing students for the same swear by The Hindu to be the first stepping stone. (This is also fruitful in your GK prep, but we will come to that later).
Apart from this Norman Lewis’ Word Power Made Easy is another book that you must consider holy.
General Knowledge Section in CLAT Exam
The next section is one of the most dreaded sections- General Knowledge.
The primary reason why aspirants are never fully prepared for GK is due to the sheer vastness of the subject. Nevertheless, it has a weightage of 25% in the paper and should not be neglected. It can be cracked through a diligent reading of the newspaper everyday.
You should also read a monthly news magazine like the Pratiyogita Darpan to recap the events of the month.
Maths Section in CLAT Exam
The Maths section is relatively easy as it tests your knowledge of maths only up to standard 10th. So all of you who haven’t opted for maths in your +2/ have a phobia of maths, can breathe a sigh of relief.
Preparation for this subject will require you to only brush up the topics that you have already studied. If you want a little more assurance or help, you can seek help from RS Aggarwal’s ‘Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations’.
Logical Reasoning in CLAT Exam
Logical reasoning includes a wide variety of questions such as syllogisms, logical sequences, analogies, etc.
The best way to hone your skills in this department is to practice as many questions as possible. Most of them are fun and do not require you to remember names or big, lofty words. Practice will enable you to discover shorter methods for yourself and you can save a lot of time here for the other sections you are not very confident in.
Legal reasoning is another section besides GK that carries a weightage of 25% in the paper.
In this section, a principle of law is stated in the question which has to be applied to a set of facts. Therefore, it requires no previous knowledge of the laws operating in the country. There may also be questions of Legal GK which include questions about legal history, the Constitution of India, etc.
How to Crack CLAT: Suggestions for you
Now that you’ve gained a sectional insight into the paper, there are some general suggestions for you to follow while you prepare for the inevitable.
It is recommended that you join a coaching institute for CLAT.
An institute has experience about the exam that has been happening for the past several years and gives you the direction in preparation. They have dealt with a number of students and are aware of the individual needs and can accordingly recommend a study plan/additional exercises to you.
You will also benefit from the curriculum that they’ve developed to keep your focus on the areas in each section that have been in the trend in the previous papers, are tricky to understand and require more guidance. Thus, the tips and tricks of writing and preparing for the paper are made available to you and you have expert guidance at any time you want.
Not only this, classroom learning has the added advantage of learning from your peers and their mistakes since this is a competitive exam and you must weigh your performance against others.
Sustained Hard Work is the key to success
The key to crack CLAT is sustained hard work. Preparation for sections such as English, GK and Legal reasoning needs to be intensive and consistent. You will have to read the newspaper regularly which serves multiple purposes:
- It keeps you in loop of the current affairs
- It builds your vocabulary
- It improves your comprehension ability
- It increases your reading speed.
Solve Mocks Tests
The other side of hard work is solving mocks and past year papers. Once you get into the mode of solving papers, you can work on increasing your speed and accuracy. The aim should be to complete one mock in one sitting without taking any break (like it is your CLAT attempt).
This will help you keep the moment and not lose concentration. Another trick to prepare your body is to take the mock during the hours when CLAT will actually be conducted so that your mind is fully alert at those hours of the day.
Follow a disciplined Time Table
Make a time table and follow it. As simple as it may sound, following a time table is one of the most arduous things. But, it is advisable to make a time table as realistic as possible so that you do not have unreasonable expectations of yourself.
If you want to keep up with school while you’re preparing for CLAT, you can use the weekends to study or assign any three days in the week. However, reading the newspaper should be mandatory on each day.
You should also make sure that you’ve accommodated periodical revisions in your time table. If you omit revision, a lot of effort that you’ve put in goes waste as the plethora of information in your head is bound to get jumbled up.
You can Crack CLAT
Last but not the least, do not lose hope in yourself and keep yourself determined. Keep preparing while you can and do not procrastinate.
The last thing you’d want to do is freak out right before the exam and waste time in getting yourself back together (Unfortunately, I did that before AILET and was shaking during the first 15 minutes of the paper, firstly due to the sudden bout of nervousness and then due to the panic attack for choosing the wrong moment to self-doubt.)
Solve as many questions as possible and get your doubts clarified. This will enable you to discover your weaknesses and overcome them. Once you’ve gained momentum, keep going at it by dedicating yourself to solving more and more questions.
Keep a cool head and trust your hard work. As the exam draws nearer, try taking the exam in a quite classroom and on a computer so that you’ve placed yourself in an exam-like situation.
Enjoy your preparation and CLAT will be a bed of roses. J