If you’ve come here thinking that you’ll be given a master plan to help you crack CLAT, press ‘Alt and F4’ at once! And if you still plan on reading this further, know this that there’s no one who can tell you exactly how this exam is to be nailed. Not us. Not the self-proclaimed ‘CLAT mentors’. Not the coaching centres which brag about their Top 10/10 ranks. Not even the CLAT committee. No one has the slightest idea as to what it takes to make it through. Anyone who claims otherwise is assuring to take you down the dungeon.
CLAT is not just any competitive exam. Every exam (even the Civil Services one) gives out a ‘syllabus’ and requires you to work along those lines. CLAT does neither. One thing I’ve learnt, after having associated with five out of six CLATs (2009-13) conducted so far, is that the CLAT committee manages to trounce your expectations every single time. People who gave CLAT 2009 cribbed about an extremely easy and short paper filled with questions lifted off from one particular CLAT Guide. CLAT 2010 faced denigration for asking the square root of 400 on one hand and the year of Akbar’s death on the other. CLAT 2011 was too generous to include answers to almost 11 Legal Reasoning questions in the question paper itself. Unfortunately, they did this only for two out of four sets of papers leaving half the candidates in the dark. And CLAT 2012, the recent most one, managed to irk thousands of candidates who ended up creating a Facebook group ‘againt’ the exam to throw up all their frustration. There’s no reason to hope that 2014’s edition will not follow this supercilious precedent. And there’s nothing we can do about it. If you end up getting a paper which doesn’t remotely seem like what it should be, the best you can do is make paper airplanes and fly them around in the examination hall. The only possible way out to avoid such situation is to be less critical and work on every kind of possibility.
Well, CLAT ain’t any Grand Theft Auto game where you start out with nothing and end up owning the entire city. Every single kid starts off at a different stage. Some might have a sweet tooth towards Current Affairs that might help them sail through the ‘General Knowledge’ part of CLAT. Some might have read hundreds of books in the name of avocation and will end up acing the English part. Some might, <sigh>, be good with nothing. Now, the effort one needs to put in depends on where one stands. There are people within my own batch and amongst my juniors who were not even aware that there are coaching institutes for CLAT. On the other hand, there are those who dropped two long years and worked their asses off to get here. It’s never impossible to make it through. Just that the mechanism is not uniform unlike Vice City/San Andreas. So, here’s what you shouldn’t be doing for CLAT:
- Counting the number of hours spent with the books. It’s the most immature and disgusting thing one can do. I might need four hours to grasp what you can in three. If someone’s asking you to sit down for ten hours every day, spit at them!
- Trusting the ‘mentors’. Yes, not even us. We’ll tell you what we think will get you through. The only legitimacy we have is that we’ve cracked CLAT ourselves. But, that doesn’t mean that we know you entirely. No one’s better judge than you yourselves are. And the money hogging coaching centres, it’ll be a lie to call them competent for this job.
- Participating in useless discussions on random forums. No doubt you need a place for clearing your doubts and getting your queries answered. But they’re right when they say that the empty vessel makes a lot of noise. Concentrate on ‘your’ preparation. Online forums, if at all of some use, are only for doubt clearing and not for mainstream prep. People have wasted innumerable hours online and ended up being disappointed.
- Making the process mechanical. You aren’t a machine. So, stop behaving like one. From the formulae you’re taught in math to the rules in AR and CR, all of them have some logic behind them. More than half the questions can be solved only by looking at the options. Don’t exhaust yourselves solving every single question.
- Making it monotonous. There’s nothing which needs to be mugged up. Three-fourths of the paper is all about how your brain works while the remaining is about ‘awareness’ (at least, that’s what CLAT ’11 and ’12 needed). And even if you manage to crack CLAT, I assure you that you’ll do no good in the Law School.
- Stop cluttering your desk. There’s no use studying ten different books. Use one and do it thoroughly. Also, if there’s one thing that can put you at the gate of a Law School, it’s the newspaper. I’d suggest ‘The Hindu’. Do all the sections except for the City/State. And Editorials help a lot with your English’s Reading Comprehensions.
- Isolating yourselves. You aren’t preparing for IIT-JEE, AIEEE or the likes. CLAT doesn’t require you to break your Sim card into two, lock yourselves in a room and become a sanyasi. You panic and you’re gone. Keep calm. Hobbes makes a lot of sense here.
- Assuming things. If you want to know something regarding CLAT, Law Schools and everything that’s between, ask. CG ain’t a result of joblessness. There are umpteen number of things for jobless people at NALSAR to do. We chose to make this website. There’s gotta be some reason for that! Guess?