Medha Puvvala is a first year student of NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad.
Ok, I was just trying to make a point there. If you have to know, my rank was 1144 in CLAT 2017 and 193 in CLAT 2018.
Hey there (as my Legal Methods tutor calls us) CLAT Babies! You will most probably get nothing solid out of this article, so I’ll at least try to make it a good read. But, that’s too much pressure. Let’s make it an average read. I wont try to give you sound advice that’ll help you tackle specific sections like Math or GK cause I honestly never figured it out myself. There are much better articles on CLATGyan that can give you great strategies to ace CLAT. But, if you want to know what NOT to do during preparation, you’ve come to the right place.
It can be very intimidating and overwhelming to see calm and organised people around you during prep. They seem to already know all the unnecessary and pointless details about events that really don’t matter. And if you’re in this category, then that’s brilliant because CLAT is stupid and requires you to know this bullshit. On the other hand, if you’re in the intimidated and overwhelmed category, then you’re in for one bumpy ride my friend. But don’t worry. You’re going to be all right. Maybe. Case in point, I was an absolute mess during my CLAT prep and I somehow made it. So if I could, literally any of you can (but preferably try not to be a mess).
Here are a few things that I learned after not doing a particularly great job with my CLAT prep, both the times I wrote it (credibility established):
- First rule of CLAT prep. Do not cry about CLAT prep – Let’s take two random characters. Call them 2017Me and 2018Me (ok probably not that random). 2017Me kept freaking out about how there was so much to do and such less time and kept crying. 2017Me was an idiot. 2018Me had way too much time and slacked off and eventually resorted, yet again, to crying in the last one month. 2018Me was also an idiot. Now I can’t tell you how to find an outlet for all the stress ‘cause I’m clearly not the authority on that. But I can tell you one thing: CLAT (or anything in life for that matter) really isn’t something that deserves multiple mental breakdowns and questioning of self-worth every time you do badly on a mock. Don’t be 2017Me but don’t be 2018Me either. Find a balance. Preparation for entrance exams is very personal. Different people have different thresholds and ways to deal with stress. Find your own (‘cause god knows you’re gonna need it in Law School). So the next time you don’t find your name in that list of toppers after a mock, remember the wise words of Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind and say to yourself, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” But then of course, go back to your mock and analyse it and see where and why you screwed up. GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!
- Personalise your preparation – I had amazing ex-CLAT Babies helping me with my preparation. I also loved reading articles on CLATGyan. It was great to see that other people also voluntarily put themselves through this and came out of it alive. But more importantly, I was always looking for that one advice that’d put my entire prep on track and I’d start scoring well consistently. It took me quite a while to realise, like Po did after opening the Dragon Scroll (just ‘cause I really want Po to be a part of this article), that there was no secret ingredient. As I’ve mentioned in my previous brilliantly titled point, preparation is very personal. Different people have different ways of learning. Different strengths and weaknesses. As helpful as it is to talk to people who’ve already written CLAT, do keep in mind that it’s ultimately YOUR preparation and only you can figure out what you need. Try to have fun with CLAT prep. Don’t make it something you have to do just to get that rank (haha what a load of bullshit, amirite?). If you’re studying for boards simultaneously, make CLAT prep seem like an escape from it. If you’re taking a year off, then, honestly, you just have to make CLAT prep fun to not constantly want to kill yourself. Don’t take even this advice if you don’t think it’s right for you. The point I’m trying to make is, at the end of the day, it’s your call. You know yourself the best. And what worked for someone else, doesn’t necessarily have to work for you.
- “Lightning, there’s a whole lot more to racing than just winning”– There’s so many ways a competitive exam can go wrong, that it might have nothing to do with you or your prep. You definitely should aim high and work your ass off for it. But I think you will have a much more fulfilling preparation if you come to terms with the fact that you still might not get that rank you were ultimately hoping for. If you stop obsessing over the end result, you’ll probably get more out of the procedure as a whole. And hey, who knows, you might actually learn a thing or two. If you’re taking a year off for CLAT prep, make sure you’re satisfied with how you spend the year, irrespective of whether you make it or not. You’re Frodo and Gandalf is telling you that all you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you. It’s shitty enough to not get the college you dropped for. You don’t also want to feel like you wasted a year at the end of it all. And this is coming from Gandalf and not me so you have to take it seriously.
I wanted this article to be the treat yo self episode of CLAT prep articles. But obviously don’t go berserk and leave your preparation to go buy a batman costume (not yet at least). And definitely do NOT quote me if you mess up your CLAT. Just keep in mind that a full year of torture is not justified for any reason. Right now, you put CLAT on this pedestal. Which is great, as long as you know how hard to push yourself. At least if not have fun, try to not hate what you’re doing. Be kind to yourself.
As George Costanza would say, “it’s not a lie if you believe it.” So, keep telling yourselves you can make it and I’ll see you at law school, CLAT Babies.
(None of the people I mentioned in this article are significant personalities that you need to know for GK. CLAM DOWN)
Please leave a comment below in case you have further queries; Medha will reply to them. In case you are desperately in need of a Personalised Action Plan, please read this.
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