If you have a knack for judging and assessing every piece of information you read, and a zest for justice, you can pursue a degree in law. A career in law not only helps you in making a good lawyer but also opens opportunities in various arenas such as journalism, corporate legal advice, consulting, Public sector undertakings, development sector and many more.
The CLAT or Common Law Admission Test is an entrance exam for pursuing an undergraduate degree in law from 22 of the major National Law Universities of India, including National Law University- Delhi, and GGSIPU law courses.
The CLAT entrance exam is designed to test and assess your reasoning and legal knowledge. The CLAT is a 2 hour test comprising 150 MCQ questions each carrying 1 mark and 0.25 marks is deducted for every wrong answer. There are 5 sections of the examination where each section has questions that are based on passages. The passages can relate to any historical, fictional, or factual data.
The different sections of the test along with the distribution of the number of questions are given below.
|Sections||Approximate number of questions|
General preparation strategies
The CLAT requires a committed and efficient preparation methodology involving more focus on reasoning, current affairs and English language skills. A time period of 6 months to 1 year is considered ideal for preparing CLAT. You can either consider taking a coaching or you can start on your own as well.
Following are some of the general strategies that you can keep in mind while preparing for CLAT.
1. Inculcate the habit of reading
Since the CLAT consists of passage based questions, it is imperative to focus on improving your reading skills. By reading I mean, skim reading as well as deep reading. Try to read articles, journals, newspapers and books so that you have a thorough knowledge of current affairs, historical events or legal matters. This also means that there are less chances of facing any issue while attempting the questions. You should be able to catch any important pointers while skim reading the passages. Reading is beneficial from the point of view of every section except the quantitative techniques.
2. Try to analyse and draw conclusions while reading
Keep in mind that the CLAT tests your analytical and logical skills. So make it a point that whenever you read something, try to analyse the why and how portion or you can also think of applying any basic rules and underlying principle to it. Try to derive conclusions, inferences and observations while reading any material.
3. Practice sample papers
Practicing sample papers will let you know what kind of questions will be asked. Hence you can prepare accordingly. Also by practicing papers, you will understand your weak areas that can be improved. Keep a notebook for writing the weak areas and then check if you have made any progress in those areas. This way your preparation will be efficient. Make sure you practice at least 3-4 mock papers every week.
Section-wise preparation strategies
1. English language
What to expect
This section will have 450 words of fiction or non- fiction passages from historical or contemporary topics. The level will be moderate such as that of grade 12th English. There are roughly 28-32 questions that means 20% of the entrance test.
You will be asked questions pertaining to
- drawing inferences and conclusions
- meanings of words and phrases individually or according to the passage
- comprehending the summary of the passage
- While attempting the questions, go through the passage to understand it’s crux. Then later, read the questions and again deep read the passage to mark your answer.
- Practice more and more sample papers and attempt the questions as above mentioned.
- Read good newspapers, legal news, books to improve your vocabulary and new word meanings.
- Word power made easy by Norman Lewis
- Objective General English by RS Aggarwal
- Newspapers and magazines
2. Current Affairs
What to expect
The section has 450 word passages from news articles, journals or any non fiction article. It has about 35-39 questions covering 25% of the test. You can expect passages from these areas.
- Contemporary world and India issues
- Art and culture
- World affairs
- History and polity
- Legal information
- Make sure you read and analyse every bit of current affairs or GK . Study it in depth rather than focusing on the fact.
- You must read the opinions and editorial portion of newspapers.
- Join any good group that conducts discussion on current affairs to cover more topics.
- Try to study everything related to the matter. For example, while reading about the number of National Parks in India, read about any cases related to National Park or any famous personality involved in any way and things like that.
- Lucent’s General Knowledge
- Manorama Year book
- Newspapers- The Hindu, Telegraph, Indian Express
- Magazines- The Chronicle, India Today
3. Legal Reasoning
What to expect
This section also includes 450 words of passages of any factual situations of legal matters, public policy issues or moral philosophical topics. It again consists of 35-39 questions, about 25% of questions.
The questions asked enquires about the following.
- Identification of basic rules or principles.
- Application of rules and principles to factual situations.
- Changing the rules and principles to alter any situation.
- You must inculcate the habit of reading and analysing it on the basis of above parameters. Focus on applying legal rules and principles.
- This section does not require your prior knowledge of legal information. Just pay attention to the passage and the questions, apply your analytical skills and you are good to go.
- Read legal and moral issues, then try to apply general propositions to those.
- Legal Awareness and Legal reasoning by AP Bhardwaj
- Legal Aptitude by AP Bhardwaj
4. Logical Reasoning
What to expect
This section has 300 words of passage of any news article, fictional or non fictional depictions. It will have about 28-32 questions that is roughly 20% of the test. You will get questions like:
- Recognising arguments or conclusion
- Analysing patterns of reasoning
- Assessing effectiveness of the arguments, any contradictions, relationships or analogies
- Infer and application of those inferences to new situations
- Read and infer logical explanations while reading any article.
- You can practice logical reasoning based questions to have a hold on this section.
- Also make sure that you practice questions related to syllogisms, relations, analogies, etc.
- Logical Reasoning by RS Aggarwal
- Analytical Reasoning by MK Pandey
5. Quantitative Techniques
What to expect
This section will have short passage based questions consisting of numerical facts, graphs, pictorial or diagrammatic representations. The questions can be of data interpretation as well. This section has 13-17 questions that is roughly 10% of the entire test. Hence minimum weightage is from this section.
- Focus on getting your basics of class 10th mathematics right.
- Try to derive and infer numerical and diagrammatic information.
- You can practice more questions from ratio, proportion, basic algebra, statistics and mensuration.
- Quantitative Aptitude by RS Aggarwal
- Quantitative Aptitude by Abhijit Guha
- Magical book on quicker Math by M.Tyra
- Class 10th NCERT mathematics
So folks that’s all for the preparation strategies. I hope you will find this useful. Practice on the above mentioned lines and you’ll surely get a seat in one of the NLUs.
All the best!