What does it require to be a successful lawyer or judge? Some might say reading a bunch of heavy books and memorizing various articles and sections, but that is not the whole truth. Behind every successful lawyer or judge, there is a person who believes in the idea of steely determination and iron will power. So, basically, how to prepare for CLAT (The Common Law Admission Test)? Before you start preparing for CLAT or any other exam, you need to bring this fierce passion in your attitude. Once you can bring this fire in your attitude, you are almost there!
WHAT IS CLAT?
The common law admission test is a centralized test for admission to 21 national Law Universities. The students who qualify this exam get the golden opportunity to study law in one of the most prestigious institutions, the NLU’s.
Usually held in the second week of May, this exam consists of 200 questions that need to be answered in 120 minutes. Currently, there is a negative marking of 0.25 for every wrong answer and 1 mark for every correct answer marked. The paper was conducted online from 2013-2018, however, in 2019, it has been conducted in an offline mode.
On the process of how to prepare for CLAT, we may come across two sets of students. First, the ones who have been preparing for long, say 1-1.5 years, and the others who are thinking to crack CLAT in just 30 days. Well, it is possible for both the categories to ace the exam! Provided you have the courage, determination, and conviction to do so.
The only suggestion for the ones who have been preparing for long is to revise, revise and just revise. In the last 30 days before the exam, which will decide your career prospects, you must be ready to put in your heart and soul to this exam. Revise the things which have been done, stay alert and be aware of the current affairs (though you might not get a question on something that has happened few days before the exam, since most of the items are interrelated you need to be prepared for everything).
Now coming to the ones who are thinking to start 30 days before the exam, there is no need to be afraid or think that the arrow is out of the bow because there are students who crack the exam by preparing in this minimal time. All that is required is smart work with a tinge of self-confidence.
These are the steps that both kinds of students should follow when beginning their preparation for this imperative CLAT exam.
STEP 1: ANALYZING PREVIOUS YEAR PAPERS
Analyzing the trends is the best way to gauge the number of efforts that would be required. It also gives the students the right direction. Once you know the pattern of questions being asked, you will automatically be focusing on the key areas. You can either buy the previous year’s papers or use the internet to get access to them. Analyzing the papers for the past 10 years would be more than enough to prepare for CLAT.
STEP 2: UNDERSTANDING THE COMPONENTS OF THE EXAM
By now, you must have analyzed the sections that are there in the paper. The paper is divided into 5 sections: LEGAL APTITUDE, GENERAL KNOWLEDGE AND CURRENT AFFAIRS, MATHEMATICS, ENGLISH, and LOGICAL REASONING. With a limited amount of time at your disposal, you should first know your strong areas. Focusing more on the areas that are comparatively tough for you would eventually lead you to the answer to the question of how to prepare CLAT?
LEGAL APTITUDE (50 marks)
Two things need to be understood here, firstly, this section is not a hard nut to crack and secondly, it carries a high weight. If you want a good rank, you need to understand and learn important concepts. Legal aptitude can be broadly bifurcated into- legal awareness and legal reasoning, both being equally important. The syllabus includes- the Indian contract act, law of torts, IPC, family law constitutional law, legal maxims, landmark judgments, and important cases.
MATHS (20 marks)
This section comprises of basic mathematics which you have done till class 10. The best way to do this section is by purchasing a book that primarily focuses on quantitative aptitude questions that are usually asked in various competitive exams, for example, “Universal’s mathematics” is one of the most sought after books for months.
LOGICAL REASONING (40 marks)
This section, just like mathematics, is quite easy and involves the application of mental ability. Alertness and quick instinct can prove to be beneficial, while hastily attempting this section could be a blunder. The syllabus includes Statement assumption, Statement argument, Puzzles, Blood relation, coding-decoding, Syllogism, and Direction based questions, Ranking, and analogy.
Only practicing more and more questions could help you ace mathematics and logical reasoning.
ENGLISH (20 marks)
The syllabus for English is not defined as such. However, It includes- English vocabulary, English proficiency (idioms, substitutions, etc)
English usage error and English comprehension. English cannot be learned in a day, and nobody on this earth can teach you grammar rules in a single day. Therefore, students must not underestimate this section. Devoting a minimum of 1.5 hours every day to English is a must.
The ones who have been preparing since long should use newspaper reading as a means to improve their vocabulary. While the other ones who just have 30 days in their hand should avoid getting deeper into synonyms, idioms, etc as this would only confuse them and distract their minds. So what should they do? They should focus only on previous year papers and solving reference books to unwrap their question, how to prepare CLAT?
GK (50 marks)
The most dreaded section for the students is GK. But gk is the only section that can provide you with an edge over the others. Most of the students leave this section because of its immense nature. The best way to do this section is to divide it into 2 parts- Static GK and the current affairs. A variety of books are available for the static portion, for example-“Lucent’s General Knowledge”.
While for the current affairs you can buy magazines and also use the internet. Skimming through the current affairs of the past 9-12 months would suffice. It is better to study this section smartly. With just 30 days in your hand, trying to do everything would be insanity. Thus, it is better to use the internet and YouTube for doing Gk. You never know you might be lucky and get questions only out of the stuff which you have read.
STEP 3: ATTEMPTING TEST SERIES
Researches have shown that students who attempt more questions are likely to be in a better position than the ones who just focus on learning concepts. Thus, everyone should spend more time in attempting mock test series. This not only helps you to analyze your preparation but also boosts up your confidence level. Also, don’t forget to analyze your mistakes. It is better to jot down the common mistakes and should be read a day before the exam.
STEP 4: TIME MANAGEMENT
Time management is very essential, not just for students but for everyone. You would be required to manage time both while preparing and while attempting the mocks. However, it is more important to manage the time in the exam hall. For this, you will require to manage the time while attempting mocks.
You will have to answer 200 questions in 120 minutes. The race here is with the ticking clocks. So, 2 out of 5 sections (GK and Legal aptitude) should be done in less than half of the time that is. 60 minutes. Math, logical reasoning and English altogether should be done in about 45-50 minutes. Remember to keep 15 minutes for revision. This way of managing time will bolster up your hard work and efforts.
STEP 5: KEEPING YOUR MIND CALM AND CONFIDENCE HIGH
“ONE OF THE IMPORTANT KEY TO SUCCESS IS SELF CONFIDENCE,
AN IMPORTANT KEY TO SELF CONFIDENCE IS PREPARATION”
After a continuous preparation for days and months, it is essential to keep your mind calm and confidence high. This ultimately solves the mystery, how to prepare CLAT? Self-confidence helps a person to keep faith in himself and his efforts. Avoid studying a few hours before the exam and stay away from the students who you think might confuse you. Your self-confidence should reflect in your attitude. It is really important to root out demotivation because if you are not confident, chances of making silly mistakes are high. Self-confidence doesn’t magically make you better at what you do, but it does prime you to take risks that are necessary to achieve your goals.
Lastly, keep your spirits high and actions right as the key perquisites required to make the stars shine in your favor are- a focused mind and a clear soul.
All the Best!