With CLAT just three weeks away, it’s time to buck up and study in a systematic manner. Hema Raman, Director, Sriram Law Academy, provides tips for aspiring students.
What should students do to ensure that they attempt the entrance exam in the most efficient manner?
Firstly, students must have a calm mind. Students get rattled when they’re confronted with unexpected. This exam is full of surprises and one should learn to anticipate and react according to the situation. Secondly, students should read and analyse the paper carefully for the first five minutes before they begin to answer the questions.
Should students be vary of the negative marking that has been introduced in CLAT this year?
Students must keep in mind that it is no longer the maximum number of questions that need to be answered. Now that the negative marking system has been introduced, they should attempt to answer the questions they are very sure of. Students should attempt the questions which they know perfectly well, and proceed to questions where they are able to eliminate at least two options and make an intelligent guess to arrive at the final answer. They should avoid questions they are unsure of.
Your advice to the candidates appearing for the entrance test this year.
Time management is crucial to cracking the law paper as students have to attempt 200 questions in 120 minutes. A structured preparation through the year would be useful. However, students who started their preparation late need not worry. They just need to be selective and adopt a systematic approach to their study. For example, the Concise Pearson GK Manual should suffice for general knowledge.
How should students vet the previous year law entrance exam papers?
Students should refer to National Law College papers since 1988. Some of the best question papers have been set by these colleges in the 1990s and 2000s. There is no book available to match the standard of these papers. At the end of a day of study, practise previous year papers, or at least one mock paper.
Can you elaborate on how students must study for each of the different sections in CLAT?
Maths: Use a stop watch to see how much time you take to solve each of the questions. You have to be able to solve 20 problems in 15 minutes. You may not be able to achieve this target initially, but you’ll have to practise till you’re able to crack the questions in the stipulated time.
English: Wren and Martin is the standard reference for grammar. Word power made easy can also be referred to for vocabulary. Students must bear in mind that the level of questions asked in CLAT, especially with regard to vocabulary, will not be as difficult as what is asked in CAT. Yet they should practise — comprehension passages, simple vocabulary, idioms and phrases, tenses, articles, prepositions; spotting errors in sentences; rearranging sentences, et al.
General knowledge: This is divided into current affairs and static GK. The latter is vast and you need to allocate sufficient time towards studying it. Static GK encompasses history and geography . You need to know about the freedom movement 1857 onwards, personalities, books and authors, international organisations, important dates and their significance, committees and commissions. Current affairs of the last one year, including issue-based questions international summits (keep the five W’s in mind), the major awards, new appointments, all organisations dating from the UN to BRICS.
Logical reasoning: Questions on alphabet and number analogy, blood relations, direction sense test, coding test, statement and conclusion, puzzles, syllogism, and critical reasoning are asked. One could refer to Analytical and Logical Reasoning by R.S. Agarwal.
Legal aptitude: This will test your legal aptitude to see whether you have the skill to become a lawyer. These questions typically have a legal principle followed by a factual situation and students are expected to choose the most appropriate option as the answer. You need to invest time in studying the Constitution. For example, who elects the president? Students need to have a good knowledg e of Latin legal terms.