Cracking the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), which will be conducted on May 10, can be a cakewalk if you approach it with the right strategy. CLAT is an all-India entrance examination conducted on rotation by 16 National Law Universities (NLUs) for admissions to their undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes (LLB and LLM).
Do not take any mock tests on the exam day or do any last-minute preparations. Considering that the CLAT is being conducted online for the first time, it is very important to go through the instructions carefully. Keep a tab of time while taking the paper and each section. Before you start answering the questions, ‘click’ on the question paper which gives you the entire paper in a scrollable format. This is critical for your time management strategy. In case of any technical glitch, do not panic. In fact, you would not lose time at all. The test authorities take care of the same. The system locks your time and there is no scope for loss of time.
In the last three days, just go through your notes and solve the problems again and again till you have mastered them. After all, as the adage goes, ‘practice makes you perfect’. During these last three days, you should spend ample time looking at the analysis of the previously-attempted mock test papers. This would give you a fair idea of your weak areas. The practice should mostly be done in the online mode so that you develop comfort and stamina to take the final paper, especially during 3pm to 5 pm as the actual exam time. With the test format changed to online, students will need to look into the strategy on how to approach the questions as the practice is more aligned to a print-based paper. However, we expect the structure of the test to remain the same.
Read the passage quicky once to understand the main idea. In case certain areas of the passage are beyond your understanding at first, do not worry. Now read the questions and come back to the relevant portion of the passage in order to eliminate options. Grammar, spellings take very little time. Attempt them first. Para jumbles are very scoring. This must figure right on top of the sequence.
Do not waste too much time on questions that you are not sure about. Mark them for review and come back at a later time. Current affairs would span from April last year to March this year. At this point, however, there are two things you must keep in mind. For static GK, read through a standard GK book oriented towards CLAT.
Mathematics questions are mostly based on the Class 9 and 10 syllabi. You should not have much problems sailing through this section. If there is any question that you do not understand, just skip it. Use of choices must be mastered to crack the questions faster.
Analytical reasoning and quantitative ability questions are based on logic. Practice is the only key to crack this area. Also there is a reason why you’re given four options with every question. Make good use of them. Never make the mistake of attempting a question without reading the options. This may not be the best section to start with.
For legal reasoning, you should be able to grasp the key points. The application of these key points to facts also needs to be done with caution. Having a little legal knowledge helps too.
All the sections are more about speed rather than memorising, the general knowledge section being an exception. For me, the last month before the test was the period of intensive practice that made all the difference. Solving many mock papers helped me manage the two hours of the exam efficiently. I attempted the legal reasoning section first, followed by the mathematics and logical reasoning sections while keeping the GK part for the last. Archismita Raha, CLAT 2014 all-India rank 5
(The author is vice chairman, CL Educate Ltd.)