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Clat's here: Are you ready?

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), is being conducted this year by the National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur, on May 13, 2012. Though most of you would be well-prepared by now for the exam, here’s a last-minute reassurance check, writes Nishatha Abraham Bijeesh.

education Updated: May 09, 2012 11:09 IST
Nishatha Abraham Bijeesh

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), the doorway to 14 national law schools/ universities and their under-graduate and post-graduate degree programmes (LLB & LLM), is being conducted this year by the National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur, on May 13, 2012. Though most of you would be well-prepared by now for the exam, here’s a last-minute reassurance check to update you on everything you need to know about the CLAT paper for the undergraduate programme (LLB).

Just a few days to go...
Here are a few pointers that will help you score better in each of the five sections of CLAT 2012:

English, including comprehension: This section will test your aptitude in comprehension passages and grammar. In the comprehension section, you will be assessed on your understanding of the passage and its central theme, meanings of words used in the passage etc. The grammar section will include questions on correction of incorrect grammatical sentences, filling of blanks in sentences with appropriate words etc.

If you have not mastered vocabulary building, focus on what problems you face in the English section while taking CLAT mock tests. “Identify your weak points and work on them in these last few days. You can look at the high-frequency words (such lists are usually provided by coaching centres),” says Rajneesh Singh, national product manager for law at IMS Learning Resources Pvt Ltd.

General knowledge/ Current affairs: This section will test you on your knowledge of current affairs (broadly defined as matters featuring in the mainstream media between March 2011 and March 2012). If you haven’t been a regular magazine or newspaper reader, here’s what you could do for last-minute preparation: “To get into the top three NLUs, you need to score at least 32-35 marks in this section. Pick the right GK materials. CLAT Essentials by Abhinav Shrivastava is the best resource. The Panorama yearbook by Pratiyogita Darpan would be another excellent reference book. The clatgk.com test series is yet another source of GK questions,” says Singh.

A quick recap of recent happenings in the legal field will help. Look up legislations such as the introduction of the Citizens CharterBill that was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011, advises Alok Kumar Ranjan, director of Law Ambition Institute, a coaching institute for law entrance exams.

Mathematics: Re-visit your elementary mathematics formulae and concepts i.e. maths taught till the class 10 to crack this section. “Try to choose and attempt at least three-12 easy questions out of the total 20. If you are good at mathematics, then scoring 17-19 marks would not be difficult” adds Singh.

Logical reasoning: This section will assess your ability to identify patterns, logical links and rectify illogical arguments. The type of questions asked will be from a wide variety of logical reasoning questions such as syllogisms, logical sequences and analogies. Visual reasoning will not be tested.

Singh adds, “There are two types of questions in this section – logical (verbal/critical) and analytical. Analytical questions need a lot of practice before you can reach a comfort level. The logical questions won’t be difficult to tackle if you have some basic logical sense in place, otherwise a little bit of practice will help you tide over (Books for practice — MK Pandey). If you’re already good with logical reasoning, then solve LSAT pattern questions.”

Legal aptitude: For the legal aptitude section, take note that you will not be tested on any prior knowledge of law or legal concepts. If a technical/legal term is used in the question, that term will be explained in the question itself. The questions will be designed to test you only on your “legal aptitude.”

This section will test your legal “reasoning,” not legal “knowledge.” According to Singh, practise is again the key to cracking this section. “If you’re good at logical reasoning, you’ll do well in legal reasoning as well. Try getting your hands on the previous years’ question papers. Questions get repeated from this section quite often with little or no changes.” CLAT usually never tests your knowledge of legal terminology unlike entrance exams of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University or SET (Symbiosis).