You would really want to take a tip or two from Gayatri Gupta, Rank 9 at AILET and Rank 89 in CLAT this year, who shares her insights on what the preparation for CLAT entails.
I must start by confessing that I never dreamt about becoming a lawyer. I always believe in taking small steps. Based on a random gut feeling, for the first two months of 11th standard, I was a med student. However, I quickly realized that Medicine and I weren’t a good fit when I dozed off in a Biology class. I ended up shifting to a stream which is ironically considered even more boring – Humanities, but then it seemed more fancy to me with its variety of career options! During this period, my sister nudged me to take a CLAT mock test. Maybe it was fate that tricked me into believing that these entrance exams were not that tough and were fun too at the same time. I enjoyed taking the test and after some research and counseling which involved talking to a lot of people in this field, I decided to choose Law as my career. Getting into NLSIU, NALSAR or NLUD became my immediate goal for the next two years.
Now, began the preparation phase. Since 11th standard was supposed to be relatively free from any external pressure and expectations, I decided to make full use of it. I tried to get a hang of maths formulas, dirty my hands with different types of reasoning questions, increase the horizon of my legal knowledge and develop strong foundation in English basics. Usually a lot of people feel torn between preparation for board exams and the CLAT entrance but utilizing my time well in 11th, the tussle became less daunting and more manageable. Only thing left was to practice and practice as much as possible.
Last few months before the entrance were purely focused on GK and mocks. GK is a course without any boundaries but if handled tactically, it is not insurmountable. To me, it seemed as if every major event was happening only in those two years, from elections to Olympics and everything in between. For Current GK, I preferred daily newspaper reading and preparing my own notes from sites like GKtoday, CLATGyan, JagranJosh. Closer to the exams, monthly magazines and revision of my own notes made me confident. For static GK, I must admit that I didn’t work on it from the beginning of my prep days and this procrastination certainly bothered me till the end. However, for static GK, I would not recommend anyone to follow my lead. Start from Day 1 and don’t let it be your Achilles heel.
I used to enjoy taking mocks as those two hours were fully devoted to one thing and trust me, they were the most productive two hours. This really helped me a lot: Try and take as many mocks as you can and of course, analyse them. Ascertain where and why you went wrong with a certain question. Moreover, take mocks from two to three different sources so that you are prepared for varied difficulty levels and different types of questions. Also, try taking them during 3 to 5 pm so that you are well acclimatized and are able to give your best performance on the D-day (CG Admin approves). In fact, I cannot stress upon this point enough. Mock tests are the best way to get yourself accustomed to the real test environment and learn.
I must admit that preparation for this exam is not without its challenges and hurdles. There were many moments when GK seemed endless, Maths too difficult or English comprehension passages incomprehensible. There were some moments when my motivation level plunged down but I soon realized that these are the real testing times and being optimistic is the key. In such situations Calvin’s initial advice comes pretty handy i.e. one needs to keep moving forward step by step.For example, to keep myself motivated in order to continue my prep, I would set some targets on the completion of which I would reward myself with something entertaining; like 1000 MCQs per week would result in a movie outing.
Through all this planning, preparation and hard work, having fun and refreshing oneself is very necessary and essential. Everyone can have different ways to unwind themselves. For me it was playing board games, relishing ice cream and movie outings, meeting my cousins and playing with my dogs. They kept me energized, happy and sane. I feel that they even boosted my performance and helped me realize that CLAT is nothing else but just a test. If I look back on the last two years, I would say I thoroughly enjoyed the journey which made it a lot easier to put in the effort that a good result demands. So, one last piece of advice – Keep calm and Study Smart!
AIR 9 – AILET 2017, AIR 89 – CLAT 2017