Here is an awe inspiring note from Jyotsna Vilva who clinched Rank 15 at the CLAT this year, and made us all extremely proud, at CLATGyan!
In the 10th grade, I decided to announce to my parents that I wanted to pursue law. Before I could explain why, my brother decided to chip in, “It’s because she is watching Suits now”. While my brother did ruin my triumphant reveal, I’d like to make it clear that, no, Suits is not the (only) reason as becoming a lawyer was my dream.
I got myself enrolled in a 2-year classroom CLAT prep programme. But of course, the fun of high school activities got in the way and my CLAT books lay forgotten and untouched for more than a year. It was only as school was drawing to a close, and board exams were looming closer that I remembered that I had to get into a college in the coming year, and had to get serious, whoops!
I started off by doing quite a few mocks, without any preparation at all. Needless to say my scores weren’t very great. I decided to ditch my monotonous board exam studying in the month of February and focus on CLAT (But please don’t do that, your boards are also pretty important, despite whatever Vir Das tells you :P).
My main focus was the GK section, as that was my weakest area. Newspaper reading never really interested me, and instead, I chose to read current affairs from several monthly compendiums, and practise questions from websites like gktoday. I made sure I kept up to date with current affairs throughout the year, and constantly revised and re-revised what I had read, as learning 12 months’ worth of news at the end, would have surely been a Herculean task. Static GK was saved for post-boards mugging.
Math, initially, seemed scary. How could the chapters that seemed so easy in 9th grade feel so difficult now? But there’s no way around it. Learn the basics, learn the formulas, and practise, practise, practise. But don’t get emotionally attached to a sum. If it isn’t working, leave it (Tip: this could be an advice for life too!).
English was a strong area for me, and so required very little preparation. I focussed mainly on vocabulary, and Latin words and other foreign terminology.
For the logic and legal sections I familiarised myself with the topics first, and then strengthened my competency and speed by taking mocks. A LOT of mocks. I must’ve done nearly 60 mocks by the time I wrote the CLAT. Probably overdid it, but it did help in the way that when I finally did write the CLAT, it felt like just another mock, there was no fear; I gained a lot of familiarity with the questions, especially in the legal section; and I improved my speed tremendously.
Studying for CLAT isn’t nearly as hard as studying for the JEEs or AIPMTs, but it is very different. You’ll need to study hard and put in the effort. You’ll also need to study smart and figure out your own way to tackle this exam. Take breaks, have a few distractions like the TV or the internet once in a while, cry to your friends about your entrances, let them cry about theirs. Because you will forget that you felt dejected, and these distractions can help. It’ll relieve your stress and calm you down, and help you stay motivated. Exercise all this judiciously of course; you can’t be rewarding your 30-minute study session with a 2 hour break!
Also, study as much as you can during the year, because after your board exams you WILL NOT feel like studying once again. Your friends will be out partying and you will be sadly sitting at home, learning when the Battle of Panipat happened.
Above all, always keep your end goal in mind. Imagine yourself after the summer, at the institution you want to be in, and you’ll thank your past self for all the slogging and sleepless nights. Remember to have fun along the way, and good luck!