50. That’s how many days are left for CLAT. Some of you are writing your Board exams, some of you have dropped a year or two, and are working as hard as you can. So, with 50 days left, what should you be doing? How do you make your preparation perfect?
First things first, the deadline to send in your online applications for CLAT is 11.59 PM on 31st March, 2016. If you haven’t already applied, do so at the earliest. Don’t wait for the last date and then the server might crash, and you’ll be forced to drop a year for no joy. I had a classmate in school who missed his deadline to apply for the IIT-JEE, and then spent four years at a random engineering college in Bangalore. You don’t want to be in that position.
Second, know that your peers are smart. People taking this exam are really, really smart kids. But unfortunately, smartness is not sufficient to tackle the CLAT. Hard work is key, and without putting in enough work, mere smartness gets you nowhere. The exam really just bottles down to speed, accuracy, and being better and faster than the others.
Bearing this in mind, start working now, and I mean NOW, if you have slacked off all year long. Do your current affairs, practice those Speed and Distance problems, battle Critical Reasoning, learn up the legal maxims. This is the time when you should be working on topics you find difficult, or haven’t studied before at all. This is also the time to practice as many mock tests as you can. This is the most effective way to figure out how you’ll manage time.
There are 200 questions to be solved in 120 minutes. English should take you 20-25 minutes; Math, 15-20 minutes; GK – 10 minutes; Logic – 30 minutes; Legal Aptitude – 40 minutes. Of course, this is only an approximation, and you need to tailor it according to your needs. Do NOT go into the exam hall with no plan on how you will allocate time. If you don’t know an answer, leave it and move on. Mark it, and you can come back to it in the end. Also don’t stick to mock tests from a single institute, as you might get too used to a set pattern, and this will leave you unprepared for the surprises that the CLAT is very fond of springing. [Check out CLATGyan’s Test Series here – it also gives you a personal mentor who can help with all your queries and anxieties, considering how little time is left]. Make sure you also solve all the past year papers of CLAT, NLS, NALSAR. This is especially important for Legal Aptitude. The papers can be obtained by writing to the respective universities.
The most important piece of advice I can give you, is to work really really hard. There is still time enough to salvage some preparation. When I took the exam, I had slacked off for most part of the year, and spent that year at another law school I didn’t like very much. I wrote to Asad asking him for advice, and what I was supposed to do in the last month. He was miffed, but told me to do whatever it took in the little time that I had left. If I worked hard enough, I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Now, that advice seemed obvious, but made an immense lot of sense. I made a time table and religiously stuck to it. I practiced Critical Reasoning like a maniac, got everybody around to quiz me on current affairs, even got my little brother to snatch my mock papers away at the end of 120 minutes (he had great fun doing that). Two months later, miraculously, I had made it to NALSAR. I can vouch for the fact that hard work is all it takes, and if you reeeally want something, there’s always a way to get that. Even in 50 days.
Give it all you’ve got, do everything you can. But also study smart, and don’t just slave without a plan. Enough gyan for today, now get back to your books.