Anushree Verma is a first year student of NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad.
Let’s be honest: CLAT is not some rocket science, but it is not a cakewalk either. All you need is perseverance, healthy competition to keep you motivated, (courtesy: my friend, Aditya) and some good advice (courtesy: my mentor, Mehar). I went from AIR 3767 in 2017 to AIR 106 in 2018. CLAT is an aptitude test, where it’s important for you to identify your strong and weak areas in the very beginning. Shape your strategy – build up on the weak areas and polish the strong ones. Nobody knows you better than you do; devise a strategy which suits you best, instead of having somebody else do it for you, or trying to do what others did. I am not going to talk about how I studied, or what material and books I used during my preparations, because as I mentioned, it’s different for everyone. One advice I would like to lay emphasis on is don’t ignore Maths and General Knowledge. These two sections can be the turning points in that 200 marks test.
The General Knowledge section clearly gives you an edge of 50 marks, you either know it or you don’t. My mentor always advised me not to make guesses, I would advise the same. They do more harm than good, and you cannot afford to make blind guesses. You can stick to a GK journal and take regular quizzes in groups to remember the facts in long run. If you write the points daily and revise them by the end of the week or the month, you’ll surely have an upper hand.
Coming to Maths, you don’t need to be a Maths whiz to ace this section. In case, you have hatred or phobia for this, as I did, try to overcome it as soon as possible. Start by brushing up your basics, and starting from the most elementary topics to boost up your confidence. Believe me, with practice and consistency it will get better. Don’t ignore the Maths section just because it has 20 marks, even 0.25 matters more than you think in CLAT.
Coming to the mocks, they are as important a part of your preparation as everything else. But, never forget they are just a part of your preparation and not the main exam. Don’t beat yourself up when you score low, or don’t think too high of yourself when you score well. Mocks are there to help you analyse your progress: they are not the ends, never will be. Try to analyse the mocks thoroughly, don’t move on to attempting another before carefully analyzing the previous one. It’s alright to screw up a few mocks, it’s all okay until you are taking something away from them. Just learn from your mistakes and move on. CLAT has always been unpredictable and these mocks are not going to take you to law school, what you learn from them is.
Now that CLAT has gone offline, do not stress a lot about it. I know it’s easy for me to sit in NALSAR and preach, but I’ve been in your place too. Offline mode is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage for anyone, everyone’s on the same level. Don’t forget to look at the brighter side, the mode of examination is the same for CLAT and AILET now, unlike what was for us. This change is same for everyone, not just you. The sooner you make peace with it, the better it will be. Don’t panic and don’t let your preparation eat you (you will have a lot of other things at law school to do it for you, haha)!
Having invested a year in CLAT, I can vouch that it’s okay if you don’t study a day or two. It’s okay to not give your 100% on one of these days. Unless it’s not the D-day. It’s okay to screw up a bit during your preparation and it’s okay to be clueless about stuff. Don’t ever hesitate in taking breaks to indulge in what you love, watch a show, or read a book – do whatever that makes you happy! I read plenty of books and watched a lot of movies and shows during my preparation. They were my escape when I felt burnt out, and it always worked for me. I binge watched Grey’s Anatomy in April and May, but only to reward myself after some hard work. Cut yourself some slack, stop and do something else when you know you can’t give your 100%. Don’t study half-heartedly, enjoy what you learn and things would eventually become easier. Whenever you feel you are done, or you can’t take it any longer, imagine yourself at the gates of the top law schools, or the teary happiness that you would see on your parents’ face. Always remember, “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”
All that being said, don’t ever get carried away with the difficulty level of the paper – it can be easier than CLAT’16 and can be more difficult than CLAT’15, but your composure and time management, along with your knowledge will eventually decide the law school you land up at. Even if everything is screwed up, never lose your serenity (that’s how people got through CLAT’18). Stress has never taken anyone anywhere, calmness has. Practice with patience is the key. Trust me on this, it will all be worth it in the end, you will realize it even more while writing an article for the same website that always inspired you.
“Ye raahein hi le jayengi manzil tak, hosla rakh.
Kabhi suna hai andhere ne savera na hone diya ho?”
Till then, keep working and good luck!
See you at Justice City!
Please leave a comment below in case you have further queries; Anushree will reply to them. In case you are desperately in need of a Personalised Action Plan, please read this.
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