I had always had the privilege of being involved in extra-curricular activities throughout my school life. Public Speaking had always been my hobby and it was one such event back in 2007 which first opened my eyes. It was an MUN (DPS MUN ’07) and the world of research studies was FASCINATING. Learning about the Conventions, their principles and the working of the Organizations was a beautiful experience. It didn’t take much time before I started loving the idea of governance of an organization according to a set of principles – the concept of the working of the human society, the society we are a part of according to a set of ideals – the concept of Law.
Having taken the Science stream in class 11, I was inevitably required to invest more time with my books than elsewhere. But, I was relentlessly doing the exact opposite. My love for Debating and MUNning started to take me to places and I kept following the path of living my passion till as long as I could. Consequentially, I always had to be up to date with regional, national as well as international news and events and slowly ‘Fascination’ started changing into ‘Love’. Before long, I had acquainted myself with the prospect of taking CLAT 2011 and gradually started preparing for it bit by bit.
Due to my board examination engagements, I had to put my CLAT preparations on hold and it was only after the end of the ISC examinations that I could finally push my preparations into the top most gear. Day and Night seemed irrelevant because I would be constantly stuck to my study table gazing into an array of websites and picking up as much as possible to give CLAT my best shot.
“But why Law all of a sudden?”
Yeah, that’s a question I have had to face many times. Starting from my own mother to the far off relative I’ve hardly met, everyone seemed to have been quite surprised to hear I was heading towards Law. It seemed entirely blasphemous for me to have ignored the traditional streams of Engineering and Medical and go over to a relatively uncommon subject – the Law.
Unfortunately, our country has not yet come out of the stereotypical thought process that there can be just two things that one can aspire for after school – either he becomes a doctor or takes up engineering. And I respectfully disagree. Since my childhood days, I’ve had a love for the sciences but I was always determined to follow where my heart lies. Over the last few years, my love for the Law and interest in a future as a Corporate Lawyer has never failed to excite me and make me feel butterflies in my stomach.
It has been a learning curve – preparing for CLAT. I stuck to basics, researched things on my own without relying much on books or tutorials. It’s best when you don’t get spoon fed and I tried my best to stick to it as much as I could. With the help of a few websites like CLATGyan itself, I was with all the resources I needed to ensure my preparations would be complete within May the 15th.
And so it wasn’t long before the 15th of May came by and CLAT 2011 happened. By the time the exam got over, I was lost. For the last 2 hours I had not moved my head a single inch in either direction and I still considered myself lucky enough to have been able to complete almost 165 questions out of the 200 in time. Owing to the generosity of non negative marking for mistaken answers, I was left with little choice other than circle the remaining 35 randomly hoping for a few to kick in and get me some extra marks. CLAT 2011, as famous by now, was extraordinary. The new format, thoroughly surprising and overwhelmingly toxic was simply too long to have been completed in the time span of 2 hours. Of the many friends I made who were taking the paper, no one came out with a broad smile across his / her face. The grim reality was as simple as the fact that we had just witnessed the toughest 2 hours of our lives. For many, the exam was the most important thing that would have happened this year and for each one of them, it came as a shock they were least expecting.
The standard of the paper was never an issue. The paper was entirely moderate and doable in considerable time but some changes ensured that became almost impossible. The English section seemed to have completely forgotten the need to test grammar and concentrated entirely on comprehension. Except a few preposition tests, all it had was big paragraphs and comprehension based questions which was inevitably, very time consuming. The General Knowledge section was not very difficult and was the best in terms of the standard of questions. It could cover almost all sections of Current Affairs, as had been informed to all the aspirants by WBNUJS. The Maths section was a bit difficult and although the questions were doable, the occasional time consuming question meant we had very little time left for the last two sections. While Logical followed suit and was unnaturally lengthy, Legal was simply vast. The Principles-Situation-Choices module is interesting but demands absolutely correct comprehension of every statement but the enormous length of the questions made it difficult to finish this section in time. For most of the examinees, the Legal Aptitude answers reflect more of their whims and fancies than their understanding of the Law. Pretty disadvantageous at the end of the day, considering Legal Aptitude is probably the most important aspect of a Law aspirant.
Personally, I feel this year’s cut off will be way lesser and there is a slim chance it might come down to double figures. Considering luck will be playing an important role in the decision making this year, I feel its a little premature to predict the range around which the country topper’s marks would lie. But, it should definitely be at least 20-25 marks lesser than last years’.
Being the strategist that I have always been, I figured attempting GK and Maths up front is always the best option as there is little to think in those questions. Maths is not really very difficult in CLAT but it takes a little bit of calculations which can be done without much ado. Following it up with the Logical Section increases the intensity of your comprehensive skills and then shooting over to Legal and English after that is the best way to tackle the paper. My guess is I could probably manage a 125+ although it would have been way higher if the paper was anywhere close to what we all were ideally expecting.
Anyway, enough said. The biggest exam of 2011 for me got over about a week back and as much as I should relax – so they say – I’m getting nervous by the minute. The results are yet another week and a half away but the feeling of anxiety and desperation is reaching newer heights each day as an entire country awaits the proclamation of the next generation of young minds and talented individuals who will learn and take up the protection and implementation of the Rule of Law in this country for years to come.
I wish everyone who appeared this year the very best and hope you all succeed in your endeavor. This has been a tough year for all the CLAT takers but at the end of the day… when the going gets tough, the tough get going.