Law is a lucrative career in India. Many students aspire to study in top notch law colleges of India. CLAT gives students the chance to fulfill oneâ€™s aspirations by joining NLUs (National Law Universities). With the exams being postponed and pattern being changed, there is fear and panic among students. So, in this blog, I would share some insights into how to plan your studies so as to ace the preparation.
- Structure of exam- There are five sections in any law entrance examination viz: English, Legal, Quantitative aptitude, Reasoning and General Knowledge. In the new pattern for CLAT, the subjects are same but number of questions have been reduced. In the past a candidate had to attempt 200 questions in 120 minutes but the good news is the candidates have to attempt 120-150 questions in 120 minutes, with 0.25 marks as negative marking. So, less questions and the same time which gives more time to focus on questions and in turn improves oneâ€™s accuracy.
- Pattern of exam- In the new pattern one will come across â€œComprehension based questionsâ€ in all sections. So, one needs to expand reading areas ranging from editorial columns of leading newspapers, grab good non -fiction books, opinion- based articles, read and listen to news related to business, politics, trade and commerce, news creating buzz among masses etc.
- Legal Reasoning-Earlier this section was focused on legal aptitude questions, having prior knowledge of law but now this section has been replaced by legal reasoning where you are not required to have prior knowledge of law. In this section, you will be expected to read passages of around 450 words each. The passages may relate to fact situations or scenarios involving legal matters, public policy questions or moral philosophical enquiries. One can read general awareness of contemporary legal and moral issues to get an insight. Moreover, one needs to understand and infer rules and principles set out in the passage and know how changes to the rules or principles may alter their application to various factual situations. Here oneâ€™s comprehension skills will be tested.
- English Language- A students needs to be an avid reader to crack this section. One can read fiction & non -fiction like biographies and auto-biographies. In the exam you will be provided with passages of 450 each from contemporary or historically significant fiction and nonfiction writing. To ace this section, one needs to read and comprehend the main idea in the passage, understand keywords and phrases, compare and contrast different viewpoints and arguments and opinions and read between the lines to understand the complete meaning of the text. One should start with reading questions first and then read the passage as it will save time while reading as you will look for answers pertaining to the questions only. Another strategy is to visualize while reading by
framing pictures in mind so as to be clear about the passages. To ace the vocabulary, one can go by root word approach.
- Logical reasoning- This section will consist of passages with 300 words each. Each passage will be followed by questions ranging from strengthening and weakening of arguments, resolving a paradox, drawing inferences, critically analyze patterns of reasoning, and assess how conclusions may depend on particular premises or evidence; Infer what follows from the passage and apply these inferences to new situations; Draw relationships and analogies, identify contradictions and equivalence, and assess the effectiveness of arguments. One needs to know tips and tricks to crack this section and go by eliminating the wrong answer choices.
- Quantitative techniques- This section will have questions based on interpretation of data involving various graphs like bar graph, line graph, charts like pie-charts, tables, flowcharts etc. These questions will apply various 10th standard mathematical operations on such information, including from areas such as ratios and proportions, basic algebra, mensuration and statistical estimation.
- Current Affairs including General knowledge- In this section, you will be provided passages of up to 450 words each. The passages will be derived from news, journalistic sources and other non-fiction writing. The questions may include an examination of legal information or knowledge discussed in or related to the passage. One should read international affairs, contemporary events f significance from India and world, historical events of significance, arts and culture.
- Focus on speed and accuracy- Since paper will â€œcomprehension based, so it will take time to read and understand the passages so one needs to practice speed reading and focus on accuracy and attempt questions only if one is confident of as every wrong answer has negative marking.
To sum up, give as many mocks as you can and practice sample papers, stay updated with latest news by reading or listening news. One must focus on tips and tricks and work on speed to complete every section well in time and with good accuracy. Practice and reading are the key