[Padmini Baruah, the 'CG kid' who made our shoulders raise high, is back with another piece! Listen to her religiously and make use of this opportunity of interacting directly with CLAT 2011's topper. - The CG Team]
So, it’s that time of the year. The world seems to be a big haze of newspapers (“The Hindu, man, so much better than The Times of India” as so many will tell you), mock tests (“Oh God, what’s the answer to question 121?”), supplements, articles, legal principles, and what-have-you. CLAT 2013 stands a mere four months away, and, as someone who has been through the entire process, I can fully appreciate what state of mind you all are in at the moment. Which is why the moment Asad issued his orders, I sat down on a hot Bangalore evening to type this out.
The first thing that must be understood is that there is no perfect formula to cracking any exam. Many people I know slogged the year through, but didn’t make it to any of the law schools, and at the other end of the spectrum, people who only prepared for a month at the most made it. CLAT, like all other competitive examinations, depends to quite an extent on your luck on D-Day. However, this in no way means that it does not require substantial amounts of hard work, and more importantly, smart work.
Asad asked me to share my experience of preparing for CLAT with you, and the most important bit of advice that I can give you is to enjoy every bit of the process of preparing. Instead of viewing CLAT as a cumbersome task for which you have to slog and toil and invest blood, sweat and tears in, consider it as an experience which will never repeat itself again. Figure out ways of making preparation fun, and more than half your burden will lighten.
Then again, I can never overemphasise the importance of taking productive breaks. After a few hours of serious studying, take time out to do something you really like. I myself staged a play and interned with a slum school in March, April and the first week of May, and the experience has been invaluable. No exam is big enough to make you lose out on all perspective in life entirely.
Also, time management is going to get you more returns than mindlessly slogging. While there is no magic formula, a timetable that allows you to at least touch the basic concepts of each subject every day (especially G.K., of course, because that keeps multiplying every single day) will work wonders. If possible, create a study group which can help in covering a broader range of the syllabus. Further, in the final two weeks, it is ideal that you take one mock test every day at the very least, to evaluate where you stand.
And finally, reward yourself at every stage. If you meet your daily target or your ideal mock test score, don’t hesitate in treating yourself in the best possible way. No exam should become all pervasive; give in your best effort, write the best paper you can, and then leave the results in His hands.
P.S.: Feel free to get back to me in case you need any help, academic or otherwise. (Use the comments’ section below)