Rochit Bakliwal is a first-year undergraduate student of Gujarat National Law University.
– Rochit Bakliwal (1st year, GNLU)
Hey Guys!! Preparing for CLAT 2020? Feeling many butterflies in the stomach as CLAT 2020 is approaching you? Chill out!! Remember what Michael Jackson once said ‘You Are Not Alone.’ Everything that you guys are feeling right now has been felt by every one of us who prepared for CLAT.
- What will happen if I don’t make it to the top NLUs?
- What will happen if I get ill on that day?
- What if the questions of G.K. that I am preparing for, don’t come in the actual paper?
- Will I get judged if I fail to crack it?
- Should I look for other career options?
The list never ends. Our mind keeps pondering over these questions again and again till the ‘final day’ comes and you find yourself writing the paper in the midst of thousands of students.
It is extremely normal to think about these questions (So Relax! Take a chill pill). But at the same time it is extremely important to stay calm and composed even if the CLAT exam is now so near (Corona virus would be ‘coughing’ with slow claps from behind though), even if in the mocks you are not able to score well and even if you have taken a drop and have no other alternative left. But trust me if you believe in yourself, miracles do happen.(I am no exception)
In this blog, I’ll be telling you extremely important tips and tricks for preparation that you will find nowhere else (‘No Plagiarism’ as this is what basically we are taught in law schools). I can say that these are some really practical tricks developed by me to crack one of the premier entrance tests for law in India. Keep in mind that CLAT is an examination that tests your basic skills (You don’t need to be a Ramanujan or a Newton for that matter).
“You don’t have to just work hard, you need to work smart.” You have heard this line many a times. Haven’t You? But I guess no one told you HOW? Don’t worry. I’ll try to bridge the gap. (So just hang on with me for few minutes)
A brief introduction of myself; I am from Jaipur, Rajasthan. I gave CLAT 2019 and secured an All India Rank of 410. I passed Class 12th in 2019 from Science background (Yeah! You read that right. I had P.C.M.) Most of the aspirants think that if one is from Science Background then it is impossible to crack CLAT with 12th. But trust me it is not the case at all. The stream you have in Class 12th doesn’t really affect how you will perform in CLAT. Earlier Arts students could show off their strong grip in subjects like history, political science etc. But now CLAT Consortium with the introduction of the new pattern has taken that away to much extent. It is now an even playing field.
So starting off, For CLAT 2020 paper, now you have 150 questions (be happy as in CLAT 2019 we had 200 questions) to deal with in 120 minutes. There are now 5 major sections as you all must be knowing by now (I hope!) namely English Language, General Knowledge, Legal Reasoning, Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Techniques. So I’ll be dealing with each section one by one.
Before coming to each section, I’ll be giving you some practical tips that I followed that helped me a lot. It might sound very obvious to some of you but trust me most of the students do not follow them.
1st Tip- Solve Previous Years Question Papers
First of all you should look carefully and solve the previous year papers(Doesn’t matter that the pattern has been changed) before doing anything else. It is extremely important as it will save a lot of time of yours as you will be able to discover all by yourself what to study and what not to(Knowing what you don’t have to study gives a really good feeling. Doesn’t it?).
2nd Tip- Give Mocks and Do thorough Analysis of each.
Now as the pattern has been changed, it is extremely necessary for you to give many mocks as they‘ll help you in getting a real good hang of the actual paper that awaits you in near future. But wait! Do remember that you don’t need to hurry up giving n number of mocks (As you binged watch Money Heists episodes on Netflix in one single day). So, what should you do? Instead of giving 3 mocks in a single day and spending 6 hours for it, you should try giving 1 mock each day in 2 hours and try to analyze that mock for the next 4 hours(Too much of numbers? Can’t help, I love Maths). Giving mocks without analysis is same as eating food without digesting it. It will do no good to you (Or even harm you!).Moreover, try to have an experimental approach while giving mocks and then see which approach best suits you and then stick to that.
3rd Tip- About joining a Coaching Institute
First thing what students do when they even think about writing CLAT is to join a highly reputed Coaching Institute. They think that without joining a coaching institute, it is not possible to crack CLAT. I do not agree to this at all. It is very much possible to crack CLAT with or without a coaching institute. But let me tell you, I was also in a reputed Coaching Institute in Jaipur (I am being brutally honest) and travelled nearly about 20 Kilometers every single day. But according to me, the experience was not worth it. As there are thousands of students studying, most Coaching institutes select 10 to 15 students out of them who consistently get top ranks in the Institute and all their focus shifts entirely to them. Other students who have a lot of potential feel to miss out and get derailed from the right track. They start thinking that they’ll not be able to crack CLAT. So what should you do? One thing you must do is to take the material from two to three Coaching Institutes and join their mock series. According to me self-study is the key to crack CLAT.
4th Tip – Stay Positive throughout your Journey
It is very important to stay positive throughout your CLAT preparation (I consider it as the most important thing to crack CLAT). Students usually give a year for the preparation. It is a very long time indeed. One will tend to have many ups and downs in the journey. Sometimes your ranks in mocks will be up to the mark, at other times they may not. Don’t get demotivated by your failures. It is vital for you to assess your progress every now and then and learn from your mistakes. One can get frustrated during the preparation period. Some will even think to leave everything and look for something else (But Guys! Please hang in there. Don’t panic.). Trust me when I say this that the life after CLAT will be worth the efforts you are putting right now. So, whenever you are feeling low (I felt many a times) talk to someone who makes you feel good about yourself, be it your parents or your friends. Moreover, play some sport (I played Badminton everyday) and take gaps after studying and do something else which is constructive and which helps you to relax.
Now I’ll be dealing with each section.
- English Language– Now the English section will be full of reading (I feel the bibliophiles out there are like Yay! This is my thing). It will contain many reading comprehensions. So read articles of a good English Newspaper every single day (I’ll suggest ‘The Hindu’). This will improve your reading speed, vocabulary and most importantly you will be able to infer and conclude the meaning of the passage in very less time. Moreover, in the vocabulary based questions in the R.Cs, don’t just mug up the word and its meaning that is the answer of that question, the other 3 words in the options are as important as the actual answer (Please do not skip them. Flaunt those words in public and get a pseudo feeling of being a Shashi Tharoor).
- General Knowledge-In G.K. section, you will be provided with passages of around 450 words each and you will be asked to solve question related to that. You’re in depth knowledge on that topic will be tested. So, now you don’t have to mug up every single news, but keep an eagle eye on the important issues happening in India and around the world. Moreover, try to focus more on the current affairs after 1st September 2019. (Disclaimer: Sometimes they even ask questions from news that is extremely recent. So be prepared for it.) Again, newspaper will come to your rescue. So be thorough with it.
- Legal Reasoning – So in Legal reasoning section, you’ll be getting a passage of around 450 words. It will include the legal principles or rules (That may be twisted and may not sound well to a prudent person like you all) and factual situation. Apply such rules and principles to the facts while keeping your humanly emotions far away. ‘Make sense of an argument made by someone else’ (Though you’ll not follow this after you join a Law School). Always remember this line when you attempt legal reasoning questions. Moreover, try to know the reason why the other three options in the questionnaire not correct. This is going to help you a lot in facing any new and tricky question (CLAT throws a variety of tricky questions every year. So be prepared to expect the unexpected).
- Logical Reasoning- So this section is one of the favorite part of almost all the students who want to crack CLAT (It gives them a feeling as if they are Sherlock Holmes). It will contain passages of around 300 words each that will require critical reasoning to solve it. We can practice critical reasoning very easily in our day to day lives as well. C.R. includes arguments(that we all love to have), assumptions(that we all love to make), inferences(that we all love to do) etc. So this section can be learnt wherever we are (Even while watching K.D. Pathak in Adaalat or Harvey Specter in Suits).
- Quantitative Techniques- It will include short sets of facts, propositions, graphs or other pictorial representation. Try to find the answer by using the method that helps you to solve it in the least possible time(Try to act like an Aryabhata. Maybe soon you’ll be one. Who knows?). Use the options to find the answer if that takes lesser time. (Time is money. Isn’t it?). But this part is what students fear a lot (While literally there is nothing to fear about it). There is nothing more important than doing this section well in exams. Because this will be the make it or break it section for many of you. This will certainly help you in having an edge over most of the students. So do attempt it whole-heartedly.
All in all, to conclude, it is extremely necessary for you all to realize that ‘You Are Never Late For anything.’ Even if you have just started preparing for CLAT, I can assure you that you can still make it to the top NLUs of the country if your focus is head on. Exams like CLAT requires a great will power as well consistency and if one is focused enough, anything is possible. Sticking to the core sources throughout the year will help you a lot and will save a lot of time of yours. One has to be persistent enough and should do smart work instead of hard work to reap the maximum benefits and to increase the probability of finally making it through.
After you are done with everything and you see ‘the date’ of CLAT in the Calendar (Still no one knows the date though), try to stay as relaxed as possible. Do not fear at all. Think as if you are the best (You really are!!). You are going to rock it.
Dream big! If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success. – James Cameron
Since solving mock tests on new paper is important, you can check Acing CLAT’s sample papers in the resource section after login. GNLU students have designed the mock test papers for the upcoming law students; who else will better guide you than those who have been there and done that!
Stay Safe & All the Best!