Law applicants are required to give the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). The CLAT is an entrance examination that is conducted at the national level for admissions into the graduate and the undergraduate courses. The total marks of the examination are 200 which are Multiple Choice type of Questions (MCQs). The questions assess the candidate’s aptitude in 5 parameters namely English that includes Comprehension (40 Marks), General Knowledge / Current Affairs (50 Marks), Elementary Mathematics / Numerical Ability (20 Marks), Legal Aptitude (50 Marks) and Logical Reasoning (40 Marks). With the examination round the corner students are bound to be excited and nervous hence, they tend to look for tips to help them clear the examination. Based on these areas are a few tips that can help you to clear the examination.
Tip 1 The English including Comprehension: this section will be testing the applicants understanding of the passage and its central theme, meanings of words used in the passage etc. The grammar section will include questions on correction of incorrect grammatical sentences, filling of blanks in sentences with appropriate words etc. To improve your skills in grammar, reading and comprehension and language skills here are a few things you can do:
- Grammar: A useful tool to improve your language skills is by referring to Wren & Martin. This book is a perfect guide for improving your grammar as well as your comprehension skills because it has exercises and examples for each topic. It also comes with a key that you can use to verify if your answers are correct.
- Reading and Comprehension: In order to crack this section you need to get a copy of the Wren & Martin as soon as possible as it has very good examples for improving you comprehension skills. It has sample passages that contain questions on most of the aspects covered in the English section.
- Expose yourself to the language: you can start by making use of the various resources available to you such as the Internet, newspapers, journals, magazines, television, books etc. Most importantly converse with a friend who is good at the language if possible, it is the most effective way to increase your confidence. It is absolutely essential for you to make a habit of reading as this is one of the best ways to improve your language skills. Reading English newspapers, listening to English news and writing a few sentences in English will definitely help you in the long run. When you read; it not only helps you to improve your grammar but it also increases your vocabulary. While reading if you come across a word that you do not understand make it a point to open a dictionary therefore ensure that you have a dictionary nearby whenever you are reading something.
Tip 2 General Knowledge / Current Affairs: this section tests the applicant’s knowledge of current affairs mainly and is one of the most scoring sections of CLAT. You need to Read newspapers regularly and keep a tab on all the various matters that were highlighted by the media in the last one year or you can refer to books such as “CLAT Essentials” by Abhinav Shrivastava is the best resource. This book is concise, to the point and will be enough reading for the last 5 days leading up to the exam another option The Panorama yearbook by Pratiyogita Darpan. Apart from this information about the awards (sport, national), the Commonwealth games, the upcoming Olympics and recent happenings in the legal field e.g. Legislations like the introduction of the Citizens Charter Bill that was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2011are topics that you should be well versed with.
Tip 3 Mathematics / Numerical Ability: it would be better if you revised the elementary mathematics formulas and concepts i.e. math’s topics that are taught till class 10. Practice the various topics as much as you can as it will give you confidence and ensure that your concepts are clear. This will help you to perform well.
Tip 4 Legal Aptitude: students should remember that they will not be tested on prior knowledge of law or legal concepts. If a technical/legal term is used in the question, that term will be explained in the question itself. The questions will be designed to test you only on your “legal aptitude” mainly your legal “reasoning” and not your legal “knowledge”. To crack this section if you are good at logical reasoning then this section will be easier to clear.
Tip 5 Logical Reasoning: This section will assess the candidate’s ability to identify patterns, logical links and rectify illogical arguments. The type of questions asked will be from a wide variety of logical reasoning questions like syllogisms, logical sequences, analogies but your visual reasoning will not be tested. This section consists of 2 types of questions namely logical (verbal/critical) and analytical. Analytical questions need a lot of practice before you can reach a comfort level. The logical questions won’t be difficult to tackle if you have some basic logical sense in place, otherwise a little bit of practice is essential. You can refer to M K Pandey. If you’re already good with logical reasoning then try solving LSAT pattern questions. For all these sections refer to previous years question papers to get familiar with the pattern of the question paper and to know the type of questions asked.