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Posted at: Mar 20, 2019, 8:21 AM; last updated: Mar 20, 2019, 8:21 AM (IST)TESTING TIMES: CLAT

Be prepared for race against the clock

Be prepared for race against the clock

Amit Poddar

Common Law Admission Test is an all-India exam to get admission into 21 reputed National Law Universities of India. The move from the online CLAT to offline mode may be a welcome change for the student community, who, at this level, may not be very comfortable with the online exams. This year the cutoffs are likely to go up as in the paper-based exam aspirants are more comfortable than in an online test. For those preparing for CLAT, the plan should be to prepare on all the five areas which come in the exam, viz. English, Numerical ability, Reasoning, Legal Aptitude and General Knowledge.  

Here weshare some tips on how to crack this exam:

Learn to handle the time pressure

There are 200 questions divided into five sections and the time given is 120 minutes with negative marking for the wrong answers. So, the time crunch will always be there and the only way out can be the two golden words — ‘Be Selective’. It is not about doing all the questions; the exam is a lot about leaving the questions where you are not so sure. There has to be an ‘exit time’, which means to be out of a question as soon as possible. As time management is crucial in this exam, students should take 10-12 mock tests to get the feel of the actual exam. Analysing the mock and identifying the strengths and weaknesses should be the next step.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses

Leaving questions which are beyond the abilities of an aspirant can save the much-needed time which can be used in solving other ‘doable’ questions. This habit is something very different from the board exams where a student is advised to do every question. Doing away with this habit may take some time. So, while practicing at home keep this in mind. There has to be a clear cut difference which aspirants should keep in their mind about strategies to be used in this exam CLAT. And any rigid mindset can be detrimental.

English including Comprehension

For English, reading newspapers every day and writing down 10 to 20 words can help students boost their vocab, reading comprehension and GK. Apart from this, solving passages, para jumble, critical reasoning questions should be done regularly. Some foreign expressions and idioms are also seen in the paper quite often. The practice should be done regularly in all the areas. Practicing English is like taking medicine, you need to take a daily dose to improve your skills. At least one hour should be given to English practice daily and sometime should be given to general reading as well.

Be well-versed with the Legal Aptitude section

This section may be a new section for most of the aspirants. So, be very thorough. Start looking at the different types of questions which have been asked in previous years and try to clear the basic concepts as soon as possible. Legal maxims should also be revised as some questions were seen in the earlier CLAT exams. Mostly questions are based on facts and principle. Being thorough with the constitutional laws, torts, etc. may require some real hard work. Even legal GK questions are expected in this section as was seen in the last two years.

Elementary maths section can be very doable

The name 'Elementary', fully justifies this and it will be a big mistake not to attempt this section in the CLAT exam. With the basic knowledge of mathematics, one can easily attempt a good number of questions and get all of them right as well. This can definitely increase the overall scores and help a candidate clear the overall cut offs.

Logical Reasoning

For reasoning one should go through questions based on critical reasoning, arrangements, puzzles, blood relations, syllogism, analogies, series, coding-decoding,  cause and action, etc. A lot of practice is required to develop the ability to solve these types of questions.

Be Smart 

This may sound strange but the exam is also about leaving questions. Going through all the questions is of utmost importance and doing that will definitely mean leaving questions where you are not sure of. Attempt questions where you are absolutely sure. Eliminate options smartly and choose the best among the given options. Have that eye to identify easy, moderate and difficult questions. The questions and the answers are right in front of you. Be smart! The only way to develop this knack is to attempt a lot of mocks before the actual exam.

Be flexible in approach 

All the aspirants are in the same boat, so one need not be very happy if the paper is easy and one need not be very sad if the paper is tough. Cut-offs are higher if the paper is tough and vice versa. So, another golden rule is “no preconceived notions”. Don’t think of the number of attempts before actually looking at the paper. Number of attempts would go down by the whole group if the paper is tough thereby reducing the cut offs. This can ease out the exam pressure and would result in sensible attempts rather than wild guesses.

GK section holds the key 

A good number of questions can be attempted here in very less time as doing or leaving a GK question may not take more than 10 seconds.

General knowledge and current affairs questions can be dealt with properly, only if a student has given time to daily newspapers and magazines. GK capsules and ppts on current events really come in handy for the students and can keep their interest in this particular area during the preparation. The aspirants from now on should carefully go through the last one year current affairs and also go through the static GK portion daily. So, going through a good compilation of the events of past and present holds the key in this section. Questions come from different areas like History, Geography, Polity, Sports, Science, Economics, awards etc. This section particularly can help students score a lot of marks in very less time. 

If you can dream it , you can do it. So, go and get your dreams.

All the best!

— The writer is senior regional Head, T.I.M.E.

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