One of the most competitive exams, CLAT or Common Law Admission Test is an entrance exam written by students in India to get a seat in the top 16 national law universities. CLAT 2015 saw a massive turnout of nearly 40,000 students for just 2100 seats; a clear indication of the tough competition involved.
CLAT is a test which is quite different from the other entrance exams as it is based more on analytical skills, language and problem solving abilities. This is the reason why preparation for CLAT requires a different approach and strategy.
Basically, CLAT has 5 sections with varying marks. Solving the paper and getting through the five sections may sound like a piece of cake until you take realise that the percentage of seats compared to the number of applicants is just 5%. It is quite a small window to get in unless you plan well.
Following are some tips which you will find helpful in solving the different sections of CLAT.
English (including comprehension)
Forming a huge chunk of the total paper (40 marks), English and language comprehension is an important part of the CLAT paper. One cannot simply upload English into the mind just by reading vocabulary books and idiom lists. Language has to be learnt, not memorized.
In order to improve your English and comprehension skills, the best way is to read. There is a simple way through which you can enhance your English as well your general knowledge, (which is another section of CLAT). It is by reading newspapers, especially editorials. Apart from general reading, many law graduates also suggest reading Wren and Martin, to help improve your grammar.
You can read other English books and novels too; however, you will have to spend separate time to prepare for GK. Therefore, it’s best if you try to hit two birds with one stone.
General knowledge and current affairs
This section carries 50 marks. General and current affairs knowledge is quite a slippery section. In order to prepare for this, you should make a habit of reading newspapers and also weekly or monthly periodicals and magazines. While reading news, never miss any news related to law. Going through a year book is also essential as it has all the major events of the year categorized and well recorded.
Never miss editorials and opinion sections in newspapers. They can now be accessed through apps on smart-phones.
The section with least marks (20) but easiest to score because mathematics always has definite answers. Don’t worry; the test will have questions of class 10 level and not higher. Practising a few papers of the previous years will give you an idea of how to deal with them.
Some students make the mistake of not taking the Maths section seriously, considering it too difficult or time consuming to attempt. Taking this section seriously is important because a simple and well-planned practise can boost your score.
The section in which majority of students misunderstand concepts and end up preparing on the wrong lines: legal aptitude is another section which carries 50 marks.
This section tests your legal aptitude, not legal knowledge. Many students end up reading laws and articles to prepare for this section which is quite a wrong strategy.
The legal section will give you a principle or a law and then it will ask you to apply it on a given circumstance. All you will have to do is, apply the principle or the law on the situation without letting any extra knowledge from yourself change your mind.
In order to get an idea of this section, go through the previous papers and extract some principles and you will learn how to solve the section.
Another important thing to note while solving this section is the questions often bombard you with unnecessary facts just to confuse you. You should learn to weed out these unwanted facts before solving the question.
The logical reasoning section consists of questions which will test your logic, for instance, how you unscramble scrambled information. The logical reasoning section needs two things to solve it correctly: confidence and care. You should read the provided information very carefully before you arrive at an answer. There are many techniques you can use to solve this section but you first need to check which technique suits you. For some people, elimination works best in which they start striking out the least possible answers till the correct one remains.
The second most important thing is confidence. Once you have solved a question after going through it carefully, you need to move ahead to the next one without wasting time on contemplating on possibilities of it being wrong.
In CLAT, getting the answers right is as important as completing all sections of the paper in time. Students should avoid making mistakes and read the questions carefully before answering. Confidence and smart preparation is the key to solve the paper with high marks.
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