It is an aptitude test which tests your abilities in five different areas. These are: English, general knowledge, legal reasoning, logical reasoning, and maths.
The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) does not have a prescribed syllabus, although broad guidelines are provided at www.clat.ac.in about the type of questions that can be asked in the test.
English: The broad areas tested in the 40-mark English section include vocabulary, grammar and comprehension. Reading speed matters. Try to go through the opinion or op-ed pages in newspapers daily for awareness of current events as well as reading speed, vocabulary and grammar. Books like Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis also help.
Maths: Elementary maths studied up to Class 10 is tested in this section. Though it has just 20 marks out of a total of 200, a full score in this section can make or break your chances of getting into a good law school. “Ten 10 to 15 minutes should be devoted to this section. Tips and tricks for doing quick maths prove to be handy," says Gupta.
Legal reasoning: This is by far the most important sections of CLAT since it carries 50 marks. This section mostly consists of questions where a legal principle and corresponding fact scenario is given. “Apply the principle to the facts and determine the correct answer. Prior knowledge of law is not required for attempting these questions. Going through old papers of NLSUI Bangalore helped a lot as the legal principles given in these papers closely resembled the ones in CLAT,” says Gupta.
Logical reasoning: This section consists of two parts - ie critical and analytical reasoning. Analytical reasoning contains questions ranging from topics such as directions and blood relations to number series and sequences. “Critical reasoning, which is much tougher, contains questions such as strengthening/weakening arguments, determining assumptions implicit in a passage, deriving conclusion, etc.
Since there is negative marking involved, there is no harm in leaving questions of critical reasoning if one is not sure about the answers. However, such questions can be mastered by practising old LSAT (Law School Admission Test) question papers. For analytical reasoning, Verbal Reasoning by RS Aggarwal is the best source,” he says.
General knowledge: This section carries 50 marks. You can refer to magazines containing summaries of all the happenings of the preceding month/fortnight. For static general knowledge, a quick reading of Pearson’s concise general knowledge is sufficient.