Sajal Arora is a first year student of NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. In this article, she summarizes all the tips and tricks that will come handy in the Legal Aptitude section of CLAT and other law entrance examinations.
Legal Aptitude. It is, without a doubt, one of the most important sections of all and it is not just the main reason of it having 25% weightage in the CLAT paper but also its crucial status of being the “tie-breaker” section, that means that the candidate with higher marks in legal aptitude would be given preference.
This section aims to test the students’ prior knowledge of law as well as their ability to reason out principle-fact questions. I wish I could give you an assured breakdown of the marks between knowledge and application but unfortunately, with each passing year, the CLAT Committee seems to enjoy making the paper as unpredictable as possible. This means that most of you, just like I had, might look at this section in the exam and think, “tumhe kya samjha tha, par tum kya nikle?” This need not necessarily be a negative thing and one way to ensure that, at the risk of sounding very cliched, is to practise and practise and well, keep practising.
One of the most important things to keep in mind while attempting the legal reasoning questions is to remember the fact that your previous knowledge of legal concepts is just a moo point. Here, you are expected to keep your assumptions and moral considerations aside and strictly apply the given principle to the given fact situation.
Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Actually, this requires your complete focus – you need to read each and every single word carefully before zeroing in on an answer. Even the slip up of a single word will cost you your marks.
For example, CLAT 2017 had a question which stated –
Principle: Whoever takes away with him any minor less than sixteen years of age if a male, or less than eighteen years of age if a female, out of the custody of parents of such minor without consent of such parents, is said to commit no offence.
Facts: ‘A’, a man, took away a girl of sixteen years to Mumbai without informing parents of the girl.
1) ‘A’ committed no offence against the parents of the girl.
2)’A’ committed no offence against the girl as well as her parents.
3) ‘A’ committed an offence against the girl as well as her parents.
4) ‘A’ committed an offence against the girl.
Now, if someone had for some reason chosen to skip reading the entire principle or had just skimmed through it, they would have probably gone with option 3 instead of the actual correct answer which in this case would be option 2.
Another question which aspirants most frequently ask is “how to choose between two options that are ridiculously similar?” The key to this is to go with the one which is closest to the given legal principle. A model approach while attempting questions would be to read the options first, and then the principle, and to then weed out the options which do not have any clear application of the given principle, which is precisely why here option 2 is the correct answer and not option 1.
Another piece of much hackneyed-yet-hands-down-the-most-effective advice I can give you is to solve as many mocks/sample tests you can and spend some time to analyse them, try to figure out where exactly you went wrong and why? Not only will this help you develop affinity for such questions but it will also assist you in increasing your speed and accuracy as well as help you with your overall time management.
Ideally, this section shouldn’t take you more than 25-30 minutes. Legal aptitude is one of the most interesting and fun sections to prepare for and with proper, consistent and diligent practice, a score above 45 is not impossible to achieve.
“What the man can conceive, It can achieve”
Class of 2022
NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad.
(You can comment below any particular queries that you might have relating to the Legal Aptitude section. If you’re looking for a Personalized Action Plan, write to firstname.lastname@example.org)