[By: Maitreyee Dixit (Class of 2020 – NALSAR University of Law)]
Sitting, staring at my mock test score, I wondered “What am I doing with my life?!”
A score of 80/200 and a four digit rank danced on my screen, mocking me. How was I EVER going to crack CLAT? Or SET, AILET or anything for that matter? CLAT was barely months away, and time was slipping faster than ever. While people were busy revising their GK, practicing all of the other sections and comparing mock scores, I sat there, wanting the Earth to swallow me whole. My boards had just ended. Physics, Chemistry and Math had just exited my life, and now was the time for law to enter. But, would it? It was highly doubtful.
The one saving grace was the fact that I had practiced a lot of math and logic during my prelim break, it was a way to get away from the monotony of the sciences. But that was all. My GK was shameful to say the least, and Legal Aptitude/ Knowledge wasn’t anything great either. I also had English to improve upon. With barely months to go, I was ready to give up on my law school dream, but I decided not to, and that changed everything. One of the main reasons that propelled this change of heart was my parents.
Even after I scored badly in my mock tests, they kept on asking me to try, and try harder. My mother always pushed me when I tried to laze around, asking me to get up, drink tea and start studying. Despite all my yelling, she kept on insisting. “Work hard this month,” she used to say “and it will pay off.” And it did. I can never forget the month that followed.
Like a lot of my friends, I went to a coaching institute. They gave me great books and online resources. The teachers there were helpful and encouraging, one of the reasons why I could make it at all. But I barely used them. They lay in the same bag I had brought them home in, untouched.
This HAD to change. I made a timetable, and decided to follow it religiously. My mother checked on me regularly as I slogged through 10 hours of GK a day, two hours of the other sections each. Sometimes, there came nights where I slept for less than two hours. It was madness. I read up on current affairs on all websites (including the CLATGyan compendiums), books (yes, the fat Pearson too), solved booklets and wrote down everything I found important. I solved as many mocks as I could, monitoring my progress, taking advice from my centre teachers and parents.
There was this one weird thing that encouraged me, and I hope it helps you too. I was in love with NALSAR, so I would just go on its website and browse for 15 minutes or a little more every day. It just intensified my need to study there, kept me motivated. And 30 days and only 65 hours of sleep later, CLAT was over. Just like that. I had made it to NALSAR.
I remember rushing into my parents’ room at 2:30 AM (what a beautiful time to release life-altering results, right?) and screaming “Mom! Dad! I made it! I’m not so useless after all!” That was one night that will remain forever etched in my mind. So I have only a few words of advice for all those of you taking the CLAT this year, and hopefully, they will prove to be a little more useful than utter garbage.
- Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do it. You can, if you put your mind and hard work into it.
- Prepare in advance. Don’t go for what I went for, because it does have a bad effect on your health. Work as hard as you can, during the day, haha.
- Read like there is no tomorrow, and keep on practicing.
- Listen to your parents and teachers. (Sounds clichéd, but hey, it DOES work.)
- Keep yourself motivated. Don’t look at Sharma ji’s son who holds rank 1 in mocks in the whole country and feel sad. Look at your own rank and try to improve it.
- Mocks give you a rough idea regarding where you stand, but don’t depend on them and don’t let a bad rank dishearten you.
- If your score is in triple digits still, don’t be disheartened. Work had and you will make it. If you have a good score, keep it up and don’t get complacent. There’s nothing worse than complacency.
- It’s a myth that people in the science stream can’t do law or can’t crack CLAT or AILET or SET or anything for that matter. A lot of people in law schools belong to the science stream.
- GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT. Don’t let not making it, dishearten you. There is always CLAT ’18 (or any exam for that matter).
- Drink tea. (optional, but I highly recommend this.)
Hope this helped. Buckle up, people. It’s time to make these months count. You can certainly do it. Best of luck!
Class of 2020
NALSAR University of Law.