Exam prep Education

Decoding CLAT 2020

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After more than a decade of conducting the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), it is time to embrace a major pattern change. Recently, The Consortium of National Law Universities issued a press release which indicated changes to the pattern and number of questions in the forthcoming CLAT 2020 on May 10.

An entrance exam is designed to test the students’ aptitude to pursue a course in a university. When this objective is not fulfilled, it is important to revamp the exam to suit the end. The two most important skills for budding lawyers include comprehension and critical reasoning skills. Law schools also mandate that students possess these two skills to cope with the teaching methodology adopted by most law schools. In the recent years, the professors at National Law University (NLUs) have felt that CLAT has failed to test these skills, and has instead tested the memory quotient of law aspirants. In short, CLAT has not succeeded in testing students’ real aptitude to pursue law, resulting in a mismatch between selected students and law school requirements.


CLAT Consortium has proposed to substantially reduce the number of questions in CLAT from 200 to 120-150 questions. This is a welcome move and brought relief to students as cracking 200 questions in 120 minutes put tremendous time pressure on students.

Further, students will no longer be required to cram facts for the General Knowledge (GK) section as questions in this section will be asked only on current affairs, rather than static GK topics such as history, geography, science and so on.

The English section in CLAT 2020 will comprise of only comprehension passages with a view to test their understanding of the passages, contextual meaning of words and inferences drawn from the passages.

Instead of testing the arithmetic aptitude of candidates, the focus of the math section will be on testing data interpretation skills of students, which is more relevant for law aspirants.

Logical Reasoning (LR) section will place more emphasis on critical reasoning skills. This section will include a variety of questions to determine students’ ability to reason through an argument logically and make an objective decision. It will test their deductive reasoning skills.

The CLAT Consortium has realised that it is rather unfair to quiz students on their knowledge of legal concepts even before they enter the law schools. This section will now test students’ ability to deduce conclusion from a given set of premises. The section would continue to have propositions and a set of facts to which the said proposition has to be applied.

With less than 200 days for the D-day, it is important for the CLAT Consortium to release the sample paper and detailed syllabus at the earliest.


1. Read newspapers, especially the editorial section. This habit will strengthen your comprehension skills, enhance your vocabulary.

2. Exposure to varied questions on logical reasoning is vital.

3. Read issue-based current affairs, rather than merely memorising random facts.

4. Practise comprehension passages of varying difficulty levels.

5. Keep a calm mind and quickly adapt to your study strategies to face the new CLAT pattern.

The writer is Director, Sriram Law Academy.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 2:39:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/decoding-clat-2020/article30229495.ece

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