As pointed out by Sandipan, in light of the “socially sensitive measures” undertaken by NUJS, CLAT 2011 will most probably focus less on English, seeing as it’s considered to be the territory of “convent-educated metro background kids”. But you must remember that the CLAT is not the only Law Entrance Exam that you’ll be taking, so it makes sense to be well-prepared for this section anyway; since the NLU-Delhi paper is a fairly grueling test of your linguistic as well as time-management skills. Personally, being passionate about language, this was the section I enjoyed doing the most.
The amount of effort you need to put in for English actually depends to a great extent on your current level of proficiency in it. I would place the maximum emphasis on Reading Comprehension, because that explains why the section on English exists in the CLAT paper in the first place. Seeing as Law School and the legal profession require you to read extensively and critically, it is only natural that aspirants be tested on the same. If you are well-read and have a good grasp of the language, this section shouldn’t be a tough nut. If you aren’t such an avid reader, then a piece of advice: buckle down, and START READING!!!!!!!!
I would divide the kinds of questions in this section under the following heads:
1. Reading Comprehension: The level of the CLAT Reading Comprehension is simple enough, but you need to practice reading a comparatively more difficult passage than the CLAT in lesser time, and answer inference-based questions rather than fact-based ones for the NLU-Delhi paper. The kinds of questions that come under this are:
a) Essential theme
b) Information explicitly stated in the passage
c) Information suggested or implied by the author
d) Application of the author’s ideas to other analogous situations
e) The tone, mood or the author’s verbal techniques
2. Vocabulary: This section is one that’ll help you with the entire English section, apart from the specific vocabulary questions. A poor vocabulary is probably single-handedly the greatest barrier to comprehension, and comprehension is something on which your success as a CLAT aspirant, as a Law student and as a lawyer hinges.
Since there really is no end to vocabulary, I obviously can’t recommend one source that’ll take care of that. Personally I’m opposed to cramming word lists, synonyms and antonyms. Unless you work actively with words and use them creatively and contextually, you won’t remember them.
A good starting point for your vocabulary prep is the book Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis. What I like about the book is that it gives words in manageable chunks, and they are usually related by their etymology. Plus it keeps checking your understanding and recall of the words at regular intervals.
Of course, the best way to improve your vocabulary in the long run is to read, read and read. Extensively. With an eye out for new words and expressions. Newspapers, magazines, novels, short stories…whatever.
Starting today, 5 words will be put up regularly, along with their synonyms, antonyms and an appropriate contextual sentence for each of them. We’ll try to group them into classes as far as possible.
3. Grammar: The grammar questions are fairly simple; there are certain nuances of the language that you need to bear in mind. They can be acquired through careful observation of the way the language works. The major categories of questions under this are:
a) Sentence Completion
b) Sentence Correction or picking out the incorrect sentence
c) Transformation of sentences without changing the meaning
d) Phrasal verbs
These sections will be dealt with individually and in detail in the next three posts.
Till then, keep reading!