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CLAT on May 10, here's how last year toppers cracked it

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) will be held this year on May 10, 2015. Last year toppers Archismita Raha and Ankita Agarwala have some advice for you before you take the test.

education Updated: May 08, 2015 16:11 IST


The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) will be held this year on May 10, 2015. Last year toppers Archismita Raha and Ankita Agarwala have some advice for you before you take the test.

Archismita Raha

CLAT or the Common Law Admission Test, which is the entrance exam for getting through the different National Law Universities, tests the students on five sections, namely, English, Mathematics, Logical Reasoning, Legal Reasoning and General Knowledge.

All these sections are more about practice and speed rather than reading or memorising; the General Knowledge section being the only exception. So you can prepare in a relatively shorter time for the exam and thus few days between the completion of the boards and CLAT becomes extremely crucial.

For me also, the last month before the test was the period of intensive practice and preparations that made all the difference. A friend who was also planning to take the exam had a huge collection of mock test papers and during the last month we regularly solved as many papers as we could. Solving so many papers turned out to be immensely helpful as most questions of the CLAT paper was covered somewhere or the other and this helped me to learn to manage the two hours of the exam efficiently.

Also, this helped me to decide my strategy regarding the order of attempting the sections, which becomes a point of confusion during the exam. I personally tried all possible permutations and combinations during these mock tests and decided on the one which suited me the best. I attempted the legal reasoning section first, followed by the mathematics and logical reasoning sections while keeping the General Knowledge part for the last. Apart from this, another thing I did in the last few days was random web searches about whatever issue that came to my notice apart from reading the regular current affairs compendiums. This covered the General Knowledge section for me.

Nevertheless, most importantly, performance in short-duration competitive exams like CLAT is largely dependent on being calm and composed on the day of the test because once a person starts to panic during the test, the required speed and consistency during the two hours of the test is bound to get affected.

In order to maintain the composure, I personally tried to convince myself about the other career options I had and that this exam was definitely not the end of this world. Also, I made an active effort to avoid thinking too much over a question as it can be misleading and waste time. After all, CLAT is not that difficult to crack, you just need to practice hard and be composed to ace it.

(By Archismita Raha, a student of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, CLAT 2014, All India Ranking (AIR)- 5)

Ankita Agarwala

The Common law admission test includes questions on five different subjects- English, Mathematics, General Knowledge, Logical Reasoning and Legal Aptitude. Hence, the course of preparation for CLAT entails regular practice to improve accuracy and efficiency rather than sheer memorisation. The general knowledge section calls for regular reading. My strategy towards the preparation for the CLAT entailed being regular with the preparation for the General Knowledge section of the paper along with meticulous practice for the other sections. I spent the last month before the examination going through various GK compendiums that were available online. The key to not getting worked up in the last few days would be to ensure that one does not have a lot of work piled up for the end. I dedicated the fortnight before the exam to taking mock tests and developing a suitable technique to answer the paper. I had developed for myself a definite order in which I approached the different sections of the paper to ensure that I had the time to attempt most of the questions.

It is important to approach the paper with a strategy for time management. While taking the mocks, I would constantly try to work on areas like increasing my reading and problem solving speed so that I could attempt more questions. The advantage of solving mocks in a timed, exam-hall set-up, also extends to helping one stay calm during the actual paper. Since CLAT calls for solving 200 questions in 2 hours, it is important to relax and stay composed during the test. I tried my best to remain confident and convinced myself that the real test isn’t very different from the mocks I had taken and scored well in. Since the CLAT follows the system of negative marking, it is necessary to have a balanced formula to tackle that and ensure that one does not lose a lot to it by being either careless or over-cautious. Since my strategy was of attempting maximum possible questions, I took a chance in situations where I could not decide between two of the given choices. I avoided guesswork in questions which were entirely unfamiliar.

(Ankita Agarwala, ist year, BA LLB(Hons), the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, CLAT 2014, All India Ranking (AIR)-7)