How NOT to prepare for your GK.


This is to people who mail me asking this:

“Hlo aymn, Im doin epw, hindu, toi, outluk, fntline, lst spplements, sriram spplments, ims modules, cg mdules, pd, csr, csc, n few oder buks,lyk pearsons, universal, lexis nexis shd it b enuf????????????”

Overkill. What are you going to write? A subjective paper of 200 marks – all on GK? No. GK comes for 50 marks. F-I-F-T-Y. Meaning that, while these fifty are important, they aren’t the world.

Here’s the bottom line: Clutter your table, and drop a year. Keep it simple, and save two.

So, here’s what you have to do for General Knowledge:

  1. Spend time with one newspaper. The Hindu, preferably. Read the editorials, and everything. Take interest.
  2. One magazine – choose whatever appeals to you, Frontline or Outlook , that is what we recommend. The Economic and Political Weekly is a very good source. But do it only if you can bear it.
  3. One monthly magazine – Pratiyogita Darpan, ’nuff said.
  4. Supplements – one of the most important sources. Don’t go out of the way to get them. But if you get them somewhere, lay your hands on them.
  5. Lexis Nexis is the only book that you should look at. Others are all boring, long and a BIG pains in strange places.

These are the important sources that you should follow. Of course, this is the basic area that you should look at. But follow the other article for a more detailed thingy on GK prep. Here are a few other things that you should remember:

  1. Aim for a Law School. Not Law entrances.
  2. You get all “geared up” and buy all sorts of reference books and waste your parents’ hard earned (or otherwise) money. Not really worth it. Keep it limited, keep it simple.
  3. Stay aware of what’s going on.
  4. Take interest. Don’t “study”, instead “learn”.
  5. Enjoy the process. Don’t make it monotonous. You can never mug-up and vomit.
  6. They say that curiosity killed the cat. They lie. Stay curious.
  7. January 2009 is irrelevant. Trust me. Don’t be such a moron to get yourself newspapers of the last year.
  8. If GK is boring. Apply for Symbi’s B.A/ B. Com courses, have fun!
  9. If it gets too boring. Do some logic and reasoning or listen to some music or whatever. But get back to GK.
  10. All of us are ignorant. But ignorance is like diabetes – you can only fight it, not overcome it. But fight, you have to. Else, you lose a lot.
  11. Reading 6784894 reference books will not improve your chances of getting to NALSAR, or any decently reputed Law School for that matter. But reading one good reference book, and reading it well, will.
  12. The CG supplements aren’t put up there because the editors were jobless and needed to have fun. They’re there for a reason. Guess?
  13. When you don’t know something, which is often. Google. If you fail, use the Ask Us page.
  14. Do you listen to Guns N Roses? The song, “Civil War”, which event made the songwriters write the song? Or “Winds of Change” by The Scorpions. Do you know the event that is shown in the video? You might do a hundred things, but stay curious, you’ll learn a lot
  15. If you are forgetting what the capital of Saudi Arabia is, while you know that you’ve “memorized it from the module”, time to think of alternative careers (I did this, by the way, BA. Political Science)

I am sorry if I’ve been mean. I’ve had SEVEN emails on the same lines. Please understand, GK is not a monster, at least not a man-eating one.


PS: The rudeness is not intended. No one should take this post personally.


  1. dude…..u guys all of u guys preparing fr tha clat.check clathacker its this blog thing…..if u want to see guys killing themselves with prep…that’ll fit the bill :p

  2. Ok, this is for everyone who is scared of GK. Till 6 weeks ago, I thought the capital of Bihar was Bhopal. (Yes, Nishant, I admit it in public). But today, I’m a first year student at NALSAR. I’m not saying don’t do GK, but don’t make it your life. You will survive. Trust me on that.

  3. Karthik and Manasi – you can try telling’em that they’ll survive, they will, for sure. But that is because your perception of GK as of now is “GK”. Imagine, Manasi, that one of the aspirants come and tell you that he has “heard” (their hearing abilities are profound, I tell you, one of them “heard” that the Subrahmanam Swamy was going to “try” A. Raja, had it not been for his minister status!) that chopping forests is necessary, nay, compulsory for the development of the country. GK is necessary.

    Personally, I believe that as a Law school student – you must know the bare minimum about something and everything. Law is, after all, all pervasive. I remember a friend in LST telling me that she has “heard” (and again!) that sex is forbidden in Islam! Wonder how “my people” are the second largest population in the world, and stereotypically have a minimum of 6 kids!

    Minimum awareness is necessary (includes knowing the capital of the state that provides your state with cheap labor and taxi drivers, inter alia).

    @Veena – If you are an LST student, you’ll know. If you visit the website regularly, you’d know. If you are new – please check the “Doses” and “Supplements” categories under “General Knowledge”.

  4. @Rishabh – Good thing you pointed out, I just noticed it….I myself don’t know why am I the only one here who has a DP … 😛 Asad?

    And sorry for messing up with the names…. I felt the article had a little “Asad” feel to it…

  5. hey i`m going to give clat in if i take care of current affairs from next year like jan 2011..will it be fine…ki abhi se?

  6. @ Lakshmi… start from now itself… you’ll enjoy it once you get the flow… there will be times where you’ll not survive without a newspaper… 😛 Do the Editorial sections for sure along with the normal news.

  7. Lakshmi – I started in my 11th as well. But there was nothing heavy-loaded that I did.
    I read the newspaper religiously (sometimes spending an hour and a half), you should too. Do a few books that don’t bore you – for example, Norman Lewis.
    Besides that I’d also suggest you work hard for a subject that you are otherwise clueless about – for example, Math or whatever.
    Follow the website’s GK, and it’ll do you a lot of good.

  8. Seriously well written. You’re right, editorials do get addictive after sometime…you know you’ve cebome insufferable when you actually start disagreeing with N Ram!

  9. seriously nice post. i am also in 11th. plus a PCM combination victim. :-D… i am trying to start reading newspapers religiously ( till now, i read the comic section religiously :-P….won’t help)

  10. i guess the above lines—–Hlo aymn, Im doin epw, hindu, toi, outluk, fntline, lst spplements, sriram spplments, ims modules, cg mdules, pd, csr, csc, n few oder buks,lyk pearsons, universal, lexis nexis shd it b enuf….. were SAID BY ME TO AYMEN??

  11. To be fair, its only natural to be apprehensive about the GK section, especially seeing how the questions tend to be a little.. arbitrary at times (I’m basing this on the LST mocks). Its hard not to stock up on GK guides and such.

    But ahaha, this is a gem. Very well-written indeed. In The Hindu (and Wikipedia) I trust!

  12. keep posting such suggestions very often…….it completely reduced my tension and i m feeling very fresh now….i think i can study(not study,i can learn) for hours now…….thanx…

  13. Okay great article! 🙂 I just googled up “GK! Help!!” and viola look what turns up! 🙂
    But as Atulaa pointed out LST mocks do ask a lot of arbitrary questions! It’s hard to weed out what’s important and what’s not. I mean you know where the CRPF personnel were killed but nooooo! (Dantewada) They ask you which village was it from! *grumbles* (For the record 3 km from Chintalnar village)

    Well here’s me hoping that somebody comes out with another catchy song like We Didn’t Start The Fire covering current affairs.

  14. I just have to comment on this !!!
    This is one of the BEST thing’s i have ever read , and trust me i have read thousands and thousands of books , I am still rolling on my chair laughing my arse off !!!
    Makes me see CLAT in a completely different angle !! 🙂 Thanks a lot ! 🙂

  15. Well his birthplace is of considerable importance given that the entire ultra leftist movement in India, first starting from Bengal, had its origins therein and gets its name from there. Naxalbari is the place. District of Jalpaiguri. West Bengal.
    Remember curiousity – why are the Naxals called so?
    Well that’s the reason.
    Oh and I am not leftist.

  16. They say that curiosity killed the cat. They lie. Stay curious.

    The hottest one-liner I’ve heard in a long time 😀

  17. Hey, Really nice!…Its definitely a good thing to start gk prep early but u do tend to forget it by the time clat actually looms near. So try to get compendiums frm ur coaching institute( mine provided excellent ones) as well as cg ones bcos finally those are the only ones you are going to be looking at!

  18. LOL loved this post! and it’s not at all offensive it’s straight forward and blunt 😛 
    and i was so happy after reading most of the steps that i myself do 😀 
    keep posting things like this
    P.S. do post something like this on maths :-s 
    need some motivation desperately 

  19. but gk is difficult…I have been reading newspapers but magazine reading is not regular…my school drives me crazy with at least three tests a week…don’t know how to cope up!

  20. lol…I’m glad i read this post, because it seems like I have been doing everything you just explained not to. Long way to go I see 😛

  21. thanks a ton. great post. can i please know what supplements are being referred to. And how is news n events as a monthly magazine? and might sound absurd but im sorry isnt lexisnexis a company? or do they have books for legal reasoning? Thanks.

  22. hey listen up!! i am doing engineering…and its hell!! i wanna do law..i had written i dint get the coll i preferd…so am gonna write again nxt yr…and i sooo wanna get into nlsiu..till january no way i can prepare for clat becoz of the sem exam n stuff…will 2 months be enuf??

  23. Instead of cramming up GK if we just try to LEARN about what’s happening around us(Current Affairs) then it will be a lot easier….man and i realized it today :/

  24. I often wonder how candidates run around to prepare for ‘GK’. Students, GK is not any other subject where memorizing and cramming will help.Just read one standard newspaper and a magazine with interest.Try to link whatever is similar or connected. That’s all.At this rate of information flow I shudder to think what will happen in another ten to twenty years.Good luck to all of you.

  25. hello asad and aymen!!
    i red the post it was really good 🙂
    i am taking drop for clat so i need yor help, plz help me to know the ri8 way of studying specially for a PCM victim 😉

  26. Hi Asad and Aymen,
    Thankyou for the post. Was really really helpful.
    Just, one thing I want to ask, are we required to mug up the static Gk aswell? I mean, like the history, science GEOGRAPHY part of it?

  27. Hi…i am a victim of PCM…i read the newspapers regularly but cant cover the magazines…so are they important or skipping a magazine or two will do??? this is because our school holds tests every now and then and it becomes very difficult to cope up…and isnt lexis nexis a company??? which book should i purchase???

  28. sir, i think thr was one article posted abt how to start prep for clat posted sometime in july at the same with tis post n i m vry sure i read it alongwith tis post but m not able to find it now i fear its been del or something n  if indeed thr was any such art on ur website which i m vry hopeful was can u pls retrieve it?thnk u

  29. All I can think about when reading this post is how someone (referring to email received) who reads so many newspapers, magazines, supplements and modules writes like that?!

  30. I appreciate this article MR. but the main problem what I am suffering is that I am spending lot of time in reading newspaper(The HINDU) atleast couple of hours and that is creating problem to read other subjects such as legal ,static G.K.,English etc…Now if i prefer Monthly magazines instead of hindu will it would be sufficient ???????????????????????????????Pls reply….

  31. whoah this blog is excellent i really like studying your articles. Keep up the good work! You understand, lots of people are searching round for this information, you could aid them greatly. |

  32. sir i was having a question to ask 
    If  a student lacks speaking skill is it possible to learn that after school life ?? What problem a law student might face if he/ she lacks the speaking skill

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