Preparing for CLAT | A Detailed Guide

The most loved, most hated, most awaited time of the year is here: exam time! The Common Law Admission Test or CLAT is essentially a test to determine an individuals’ ability to undertake the law course in the best law colleges in Delhi and across the nation. Being a lawyer is still considered one of the holy trinities of education and career-building, alongside Engineering and Medicine, and that too, with good reason. However, over the past few years, this trend of becoming a lawyer via an integrated law degree course has started to pick up an even more accelerated pace. Keeping this trend in mind, the competition gets tougher every year in the quest for a seat in a law degree college and ultimately, into a high-end law firm.

This, however, is not a discouragement post, telling you how tough it is to crack the competition, but a healthy reminder that with hard work, and a few expert tips, you can definitely ace this exam with flying colours. All it needs is a careful analysis of scenarios with logic and dedicated discipline. There have been several changes in the pattern of the exam, and all those have been geared towards making the examination paper more application-based rather than theory-based. This levels the playing field for many and provides all candidates with a truly fair shot at cracking the exam w.r.t any other candidate.

The official website for CLAT dictates that the UG Programme for law admissions paper is generally divided into 5 sections

  • English Language
  • Current Affairs, including General Knowledge
  • Legal Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Quantitative Techniques

So in order to ace the exam, let’s look at each section in further detail.

  1. English Language: The English language section relies on nothing but the improvement of the vocabulary of the candidate = facing the exam. The best way to improve your vocabulary is to read. As a lawyer, you will be doing a tremendous amount of reading and it is a good bet to get ahead and read. Try reading faster as each day progresses. The only way to improve your English is to have more exposure to it in variable forms. Read about things that lie outside of your comfort zone to grasp the tonalities and intricacies of the language.
  2. Current Affairs, and GK: GK questions will not be present in the 2020 CLAT exam, however, brushing up on current affairs then, becomes an even more important task. Read newspapers and news publications of high authority and cross-check facts from all channels. Stay ahead of the curve instead of catching up- on events.
  3. Legal Reasoning: This section gives examiners an opportunity to assess the legal understanding of the candidate. This is essentially a legal principle vs situation kind of test, where you will have to find answers via a paragraph given to you.
  4. Logical Reasoning: Logical Reasoning remains the same and is pretty much unchanged and with quite good logic. (Excuse the pun!). Logical reasoning of previous year papers and of LSAT will be good enough practise for this section.
  5. Quantitative Techniques: There has been a pattern change in the type of questions this time around. Even though the questions will be class 10th maths, the way in which the questions are framed, is tricky and different – more graphical analysis based rather than quantitative stuff.

General Tips

In order to maintain a healthy preparation regimen, here are some general tips we should follow no matter what area of our skills we might be working on.

  • Make the internet your friend.- Research ways and modes to prepare, how to strengthen weak areas, and how to go about preparation in a systematic way.
  • Time – Time is of the essence when preparing for a competition, manage how much time you are giving to give to various sections of the exam and how much time you are spending on problems of a particular type. This will help you manage your time efficiently during the examination as well.
  • Talk to former examinees – People who have done well in previous examinations, who have already taken spots in the top LLM colleges in India, can always guide you better on how to go about preparation and also give you some “insider info” on how to be better at the examination.
  • When you prepare, focus on quality preparation instead of counting hours. You can be in front of a problem for hours and achieve nothing, on the other hand, a 30-minute session of clarity can completely change the way you approach this exam. Focus on quality!
  • Study Group – Make a brain trust of people preparing for the exam and are committed to doing well and are working tirelessly. You should be a part of a study group, so as to help one another out with things you have difficulty grasping/are doubtful of.
  • Preparing for CLAT might seem like a tumultuous task (some vocabulary to practise), however, if you break it down into its core components and address them all with organization and a clear mind, the sky’s the limit. Happy Lawyering ahead!