It is recommended that one should develop a reading habit. Read editorials and newspapers daily and focus more on burning Socio Legal issues among other things from reputed media houses.
By Amandeep Rajgotra
Since the final dates for the Common Law Admission Test 2020 (CLAT) has been changed yet again, the CLAT Consortium of NLUs has again changed the exam pattern. As per the new exam pattern of CLAT 2020, the test will be conducted in online mode, new test centres will be issued to the candidates.
CLAT is an aptitude-based exam where the intent is to test the student’s interest towards law and not their knowledge of law. A degree in law has got huge popularity since many decades, and the reason which makes it a favorable choice for students is primarily that the course is neutral to all the streams whether commerce or engineering. Further, it has huge scope in terms of career and respect in the society.
Keeping this intent in mind, the CLAT consortium has come up with a new pattern wherein they also plan to extensively test the student’s reading and comprehending skills as they feel that these skills are imperative for the budding law aspirants. Hence, the approach that was best suited for old pattern of CLAT, may not be the same for CLAT 2020.
CLAT comprises of 5 sections, namely English Language, Current Affairs, including General Knowledge, Legal Reasoning, Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Techniques, each section requiring a different approach. However, one thing that stays uniform throughout the five sections is your Reading and Comprehension skills.
Section wise strategy
It is recommended that one should develop a reading habit. Read editorials and newspapers daily and focus more on burning Socio Legal issues among other things from reputed media houses. If that is something you have not been doing already, it is recommended to create a depository of the important editorial articles from the last one year and go through them thoroughly. It will definitely help you at this stage.
Go through the sample papers and analyse the type of questions that are asked in these exams. Also don’t forget to go through the previous year papers. Though there is a new pattern this year, the previous years question papers will you to understand the basic concepts and the approach to such an exam. This has also been reiteraited by the CLAT consortium in their notifications/tweets.
General Awareness & Current Affairs – This year, we expect to have questions which will require more reading and will test students deeper understating of ongoing important news/events. The questions on current affairs will be asked in passage format. There will be series of questions based on Arts and culture, International Affairs, Current Affairs. The only success mantra is to be regular with the current affairs.
The one of the best places to study current affairs is the Newspaper as the kind of questions coming up in CLAT are using certain newspaper articles as well as Editorials. The pattern that is released by the CLAT Consortium has proven one thing for sure that most parts of the question paper would be interpretative in nature. To increase your speed you need to practice as many mock tests you can get your hands on so that you have the practice of keeping your concentration for 2 hours completely where you need to interpret on the way while you are reading.
Legal Aptitude – Legal Aptitude section is the most important section. The total number of questions will be 50 and each question will carry 1 mark. It will be divided into two sections-Legal Knowledge and Legal Reasoning
a) The candidates must first understand the meaning of the questions asked before attempting them
b) To ace the Legal Knowledge section, the candidates must master the common Legal Terminologies
c) The candidates must have a fair idea regarding the recent happenings in the Legal world.
Elementary Mathematics – Many students are scared of mathematics, but if a student is regularly practicing the basic concepts it is sure that he/she can solve most of the questions from this section. Including:
a) Reading-based questions in Math will make the level slightly more difficult and hence our faculty has already started giving its flavor. With focus on preparing students for Mathematics section with aplomb, inculcating with the need to practice number of quantitative aptitude questions is necessary.
b) The section will include short sets of facts, graphs or other diagrammatic representations, along with Data Interpretation including topics from Ratio Proportion, Average, Percentage, Profit and Loss and Mixture Allegations.
c) Thorough understanding of the concept is important and hence students should solve atleast 20-25 questions on daily basis.
Logical Reasoning – Being one of the most unpredictable sections, it contains around 9 – 10 passages with total 30 questions from it. For this section you only have to worry about Critical Reasoning and Complex arrangement a.k.a. Puzzles. Critical reasoning in itself is a vast topic. It demands a good comprehension ability and critical thinking ability. Questions like assumptions, strengthening and weakening arguments, conclusions etc will be covered in this topic.
English Language – This section mostly has questions that test your reading skills. A lot of students tend to leave Reading Comprehension because they lack aptitude for reading. The reasons to leave reading comprehension are that it consumes time and also, the accuracy level is low. As per the sample paper released by CLAT consortium there will be 29–30 questions in this section. There will be 6 passages (with 4–5 multiple choice questions) that will test your comprehension ability. Work on your reading speed and grammar to excel in this section. Practice as many RC passages as you can. Also work on your vocabulary to get a good command on RC. Any book with ample number of RCs will do the trick.
One must identify the grey areas as soon as possible. Identify your strong and week subjects. Don’t categorize a subject as your strong or weak based on how much you enjoy studying it, but on the basis of how much you score in them. The sample size should be good to determine this and should not be based on just a mock or two. Once identified, allocate more time to your weak areas without totally avoiding your strong sections.
Just follow the above mentioned and stay positive. All the best!
(The author is National Product Head LAW, PRATHAM TEST PREP. Views expressed are personal.)