The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is scheduled for May 14, 2017, and with just a few days left, most candidates must be anxious about the paper. That’s not surprising as CLAT has been unpredictable for the last few years, with the exam being conducted on rotation by the National Law Universities (NLUs) for admission to their undergraduate degree programmes.
CLAT, unlike other law entrance exams, is a computer based test and hence, one cannot approach the same with a strategy similar to other law entrances. One must adapt to the online format and have the ability to manoeuvre quickly through the test. An online format can slow one down, unlike the pen and paper format. Here are a few tips on cracking CLAT from Gautam Puri, co-founder Career Launcher, vice chairman and MD, CL Educate:
What one can expect in CLAT 2017?
CLAT is unpredictable but given the noise around the last two CLATs, one can expect the paper to largely stick to previous patterns. Not many big changes are likely to happen in the paper and it’s expected to be of average difficulty level.
CLAT has five sections with 200 questions with 0.25 marks deducted for every incorrect answer.
1. Verbal ability (English): This section will have 40 questions and given the trend in the last few years, one must expect questions from all the fields, ie reading comprehension, vocabulary and grammar. This section in 2016 was largely dominated by vocabulary-based questions and reading comprehension, with a few questions based on grammar. However, one can expect few reasoning-based questions too, like previous years. The focus should be on attempting the vocabulary questions first, which help save time.
2. Mathematics: Usually this section is perceived as very difficult by some candidates, though the difficulty level is generally low. The questions are primarily based on what one has studied in class 9 and 10. This section is largely dominated by arithmetic, but, of late, things have been mixed up in this section in CLAT with more topics being included. Attempting the doable questions first is the key. This section could be a game changer in case the paper is very easy like the one in 2016.
3. Logical reasoning: The initial years of CLAT focused more on verbal reasoning but for the last four years focus has shifted to analytical reasoning. Practice is the key to excel in this section. Always read the options before attempting this section. There could be tricky areas.
4. General knowledge: This section in the last two years has been dominated by current affairs. A careful analysis of the past papers will reveal that the months to focus are from December 2016 to April 2017. Also, being an online paper, the examiner has the advantage of setting the desired paper at the last moment, as was the case in 2016, where questions based on events two days prior to CLAT were part of the paper. One must not waste too much time on questions one is not sure about. Review and mark for later and move on.
5. Legal Aptitude: This is the tie-breaker section; in case two or more students are tied at the same total score the marks in this section determine the rank. Considering past trends one must focus on getting 39-40 in this section. Prepare for both scenarios: More fact-principle based questions as well as more legal GK questions. Be thorough with area of contract, law of crimes, Torts and Constitution.
1. Take at-least one mock test based on CLAT Pattern.
2. First attempt the section you are most comfortable with and in which you are likely to get a high score.
3. Solve the questions you know and leave the ones you don’t.
4. Ensure you do not leave any question unread – it could be an ‘easy’ one and could add up to a good score.
5. Start with the ones you can make quick decisions on and then move on to the others.
6. Catch up with the latest news – till the last day. Anything till May 13 night should not be ignored.