Here is an awe inspiring note from Shruti Kunisetty who clinched Rank 36 in CLAT this year, and made us all extremely proud, at CLATGyan!
Just about a year ago, I remember scrounging the Internet to find some senior’s advice that could lead me straight to the gates of NLSIU, Bangalore just like you are attempting to do so at this moment. Unfortunately, that is too juvenile an expectation to be possible. I’ve come to learn that all I can do is share my experience with you and specify certain elements of preparation that worked brilliantly for me. You must mould it according to your convenience and requirement.
The very first step of prep and in my opinion, the most important one, is planning. I believe that what sets the toppers apart from the rest of the crowd is that they work in a strategic, calculated and organized manner instead of randomly solving book after book. My contention is simple: When you plan out your study hours, you are able to get a lot more work done in a lot less time [which means extra T.V. time, yayy]. Identify your strong and weak areas and devote time for each of them accordingly. At the end of this year, each day must be accounted for.
As far as individual subjects are concerned, Mathematics, Logical Reasoning and majority portion of English are purely intuitive whereas Legal Aptitude and General Knowledge require you to have prior knowledge. For the former set of subjects, practice is the only tip I can give you. Find one comprehensive workbook for each of these subjects and keep practicing it regularly even if not daily. For Legal Aptitude, expose yourself to as many questions as possible, so much so that when you read your question paper, you are familiar with all the principles. Past year papers are invaluable sources to practice legal questions from. General Knowledge [inevitably the bane of your life for the next year] requires you to have a wide pool of knowledge that encompasses all the events across the globe. Make notes every single day (even if the world is one inch away from its end). In my opinion, the most efficient way to study GK is from online websites like gktoday.in and apps like Inshorts. Try compiling 15 news pieces each day and you are sorted.
Taking mocks is an indispensible part of your CLAT preparation. This is because they have a multi-pronged effect. They help you manage time, strategize sections and even spot areas that require attention. There are three things regarding mocks that you must keep in mind. First, do not get used to a certain pattern or difficulty level of mocks. Take a variety of mocks from various institutes and websites. This will prepare you to face any kind of paper that the CLAT committee chooses to throw at you. Second, give your mocks in a calm environment and with utmost honesty. Remember that your mock scores are not meant for showing off to your parents and teachers. They are meant to show you your level of preparation and if you cheat in your mocks, the entire purpose of giving them is defeated. Third, you should neither become complacent nor wallow in self-pity on seeing your mock scores. If you are doing well, work hard to maintain that upward trajectory and if your performance is not up to the mark, identify your mistakes and weak areas and ensure that you rectify them before your next mock.
Another important aspect of prep is stress handling. It is not uncommon for a CLAT aspirant to lose the drive to study somewhere in the middle of this rather exasperating voyage. During such phases, it is important to keep yourself motivated either by reminding yourself of your dream college or by visualizing your result date or anything that can inject life into your prep. Personally, I used to spend about 10 minutes on the NLS, Bangalore website every morning when I woke up. CLAT is an extremely demanding exam that might require you to cut down on things you love the most. However, you must keep in mind that it is all worth it. Over the course of this year you will often be faced with the choice of either slogging through hours of ceaseless prep or chilling around in ease. It is up to you whether you choose the former and spend the next five years of your life at a premier law college or choose the latter and enter a college barely heard of.
The next 300 days will see you tired, frustrated, demotivated, lethargic, stuck in the seemingly excruciating quagmire of your own ambition but in the midst of all angst and torment just remember:
‘Even the Phoenix must burn to emerge’
AIR 36 – CLAT 2017.