How to crack CLAT 2019?
With less than 45 days to the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), preparation for the exam should be reaching fever pitch. If one looks at any previous year CLAT paper, it appears attemptable. That’s probably the beauty of the paper, seemingly doable but evasive nonetheless. However, it is important to understand that the competition for this exam starts and ends in the range of mere 15-20 marks, especially if you are focusing on the top few colleges.
So, while many aspirants will be able to achieve a standard score, it is those extra 20 marks that one needs to strive for.
To the uninitiated, the CLAT paper consists of five sections – English, General Knowledge and Current Affairs, Mathematics, Legal Aptitude and Logical Reasoning. The exam is for two hours and has 200 questions in total, with each question carrying the same one mark.
The paper has negative marking, with 0.25 mark deducted for each wrong answer. Hence, speed and precision is key to cracking the exam. As you may be aware, unlike the past few years, the examination will be held offline this year.
While solving papers, do not just solve them with the aim of scoring high. In the remaining weeks, use the opportunity to strategise and understand what sections you have a better command over, the amount of time you can spare for each section, which section fazes you and which does not. Ultimately, understand the order in which you should attempt the sections. You may also learn that solving a part of a section in the end, for instance, the reading comprehension within the English section works better for you.
Optimum number of mock papers
The answer lies in where your preparation stands. If you have largely covered the portion you set out for yourself, you can solve 10 – 15 mock papers a week. Otherwise, limit yourself to 4 – 7 mocks a week. If you are running short of time, in addition to a few mocks, you could solve only those sections from mock papers which you are not very confident about.
If you are particularly good at a section, the idea is not just to be able to solve all the questions but to solve them in the least amount of time. In fact, even while studying from any material or solving parts of a mock paper, it is essential that you time yourself.
Setting a timetable for the remaining period will help you focus and prioritize especially since the syllabus is unlimited. Make sure that you allot some time everyday for revision as piling up never works well.
In addition to solving papers, narrowing down on preparatory material is relevant.
Simply put, first identify the foremost source that you will study from. Depending upon the time you have and the grasp over the subjects, you can study from the next set of material.
If you are attending classes at a coaching centre, it makes sense to cover their material before moving on to any other source. A few examples (a) English – Normal Lewis and SP Bakshi, (b) GK – Pratiyogita Darpan, Manorama yearbook and GKToday website, (c) Mathematics – RS Aggarwal, (d) Legal Aptitude – all past year solved papers and Wiley’s ExamXpert, and (e) Logical Reasoning – RS Aggarwal.
Before you begin to solve the paper, quickly glance through it to see if the examiner has sprung any surprise. This is to understand any last minute change required in your strategy.
For instance, assume that there are more legal reasoning (principle-facts) questions as compared to the legal knowledge questions than you expected. Accordingly, you may have to alter the time that you had thought of allotting to this section and to the other sections. It is important to remember that each question carries the same mark. So it will not matter if you succeed in solving a tough question but at the same time lose out on attempting multiple more.
It is more important to remember that there are hundreds of tricks and methods doing the rounds but each candidate needs to evaluate what works best for her.
(The author ranked 37 in CLAT 2010 and was until recently working with AZB & Partners. Views expressed are personal)