Ridhi Shetty, who clinched Rank 105 in CLAT this year, has beautifully summed up the dos and don’ts that must be kept in mind during your CLAT Prep.
“Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man,
But, sooner or later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can”
In the month of March, a little over a year ago, I came across law as a career option for the first time; courtesy, Ananya Patwardhan, a great friend, and AIR 19 in CLAT 2017.
Being a science student (who was no longer interested in fulfilling her father’s long standing dream of having one daughter become a doctor), the idea of CLAT and law seemed as an escape for me, from doing something I had no proclivity to. As corny as it sounds, I always wanted to bring about a change, and Law seemed something that would give me just that opportunity. I decide to give CLAT a chance; it wasn’t easy trying to convince my parents, quite the struggle. Hence, to create a more convincing argument to present in front of them along with attempting to put things into perspective for myself, I decide to make a vision board. A Google search for “law schools in India”, little scrolling, trip to the xeroxwaala and I had everything I wanted for my vision board. There were two pictures of the statue of Lady Justice or Themis, one of a hostel room and the other of graduating students. It was only after I joined coaching classes did I realize that most of the pictures that I had picked out were pictures of National Academy of Legal Research and Studies, Hyderabad. That day I decide if I did make it to a law school, it might as well be NALSAR.
I’d like to share a few tips I kept handy that could be of your use as well, especially for the ones who just found out about CLAT and are attempting to kick-start their prep.
- START NOW.
Yes, people crack CLAT in a month, but, that does not give you a free pass to start preparing in the month of April. Trust me, April is not the month you want to be starting your CLAT prep especially when you almost have a year on hand.
- DO YOUR DAMN CURRENT GK
The newspapers vs. apps debate will never settle. So, try both this month and see what works for you the best. But, whatever you do, please make notes .Trust me, you will not remember everything just after reading an article once; notes will help you at the fag end of your prep when you will have to do GK from all the months, together. Notes are better than any yearbook for me, please refer to compendiums, it would be advisable to stick to compendiums from only one website; don’t go berserk trying to do 350 pages of GK from ten different websites – you are only troubling yourself here. For static, I would advise you to go berserk and crazy, read up on different websites, keep searching for more information, get hold of a Pearson and try to re-read everything.
Pro-tip: GK is the most unpredictable thing after Donald Trump himself. CLAT 2017 GK shocked a lot of people; however, it was pretty good for me, and maybe that was because I not only referred to newspapers and apps, I also tried to read articles on websites like Quint, Huffington Post, Livemint, etc. If you have time after newspapers and apps, please do refer to such websites.
- PRACTICE PAST PAPERS
Practice past year papers, and if possible pre-CLAT papers as well. By past year, I mean previous papers of SET, AILET and LSAT too. Solve them like a mock. And look out for things that keep repeating – there is a high chance that they might just appear again.
- GIVE MOCKS AND ANALYSE THEM
You will hear this every time you read such an article, and you might as well follow the advice.
I would say start giving mocks from September. It is fine if you have not finished studying the “syllabus”, no one does. Just start giving mocks, and see where you are not scoring and work on those areas. You can increase the number of mocks a month as you progress through this year.
I gave three mocks a day during the last week of April and the first week of May. I don’t recommend doing this because this will leave you really exhausted. And, the number of mocks you give do not matter. What matters is the number of mocks you analyze and take feedback from.
- MOCK SCORES
If you get a low score in your first few mocks or a ranking that’s very dismal, do not fret. You can’t expect yourself to figure in the top 10 suddenly. Remember, Rome was not built in a day. Also, if you get a rank one in any mock series, don’t get too smug; rank 1 in a sample space of 100 doesn’t count.
Mock scores should show consistent progress; my first 15 mocks were in the range of 110-115, the next increased to 130ish, I hit 150s in the last week of April.
Besides marks don’t matter, rank does. With a score of 132.75 in CLAT 2017 you would have a rank of 105-110; in 2016 you would hardly make it in to the top 1000.
(Note from Admin: Marks do matter because you need to keep a steady pace, as mentioned above. A rank given during mock tests is at times very misleading and can put one off the guard, instilling over-confidence. All you should focus on is your own performance.)
- DO NOT IGNORE MATHS
A lot of students (yours truly guilty herself) ignore Maths or leave it for later, a later which never comes.
Math is something that is very scoring and could fetch you at least 15 marks with the right kind of efforst! The key to Maths is practicing – a lot of CLAT’s Maths involves formulas and tricks which are mastered over time, and are pretty easy to grasp. Please get rid of the ”OMG MATHS SUCKS!!!” attitude, as one of my teachers would say, ”If you hate maths, how can it love you back?”
Some other things I would want you to remember would be to keep asking doubts and for that, you would probably need a mentor, preferably a senior already acquainted with this enigma called CLAT. I had contacted a few seniors on Facebook and they did help me out, but, I knew I couldn’t force them to devote their invaluable time to me. Hence, I enrolled in the CLATGyan mentorship programme. I had Nipuna Varman, a second year at NALSAR, who not only was an inspiration to me, but also shared valuable advice. She once told me that she would take me out for a treat if I do make it to NALSAR. This was in April and gave me a much-needed motivation boost. I’m holding her to this promise.
Last but not the least, believe in yourself. Always remember that you are absolutely unique, just like everyone else. XD But on a serious note, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, how much you score in your mocks yada yada; what matters is the belief that you can actually crack CLAT, and that you will make it into a law school.
It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the Master of my Fate
I am the Captain of my Soul.
– William Ernest Henley
When I made that vision board, I promised myself that come what may, I will end up at NALSAR. And, that is a promise that I kept.
I hope you do too.
All the very best! 🙂