Exactly this time in three days, you’ll be done with what might be the most important day in your lives for several years to come. (Well, five years, in the very least!) How are you? Panicking? Given up? Weeping and having hysterical fits of laughter in alternating bouts?
Hold on. Take a couple of deep breaths and take stock of your preparation. If it is dismal, pull your socks up and study some GK at the very least, and hope that the stars favour you. If you’re feeling decently prepared, but anxious and worried, that’s a good place to be. Step 1 is to not panic. Stay calm. By now, you should have gone over your weak and strong areas, and have some knowledge of your strategy for the exam. If you don’t have that strategy, plan it NOW. How much time will you allocate per section? What section will you attempt first? What area are you SO bad at, that you may have to move on and come back to it in the end? What section should you NOT leave for the last? (Personally, I’d suggest that you don’t leave Legal Reasoning or English or Verbal Logic for the end, because you are not going to be in any fit state of mind to read long questions closely and carefully)
If you haven’t done it yet, the most important thing to do right now is to have a time allocation plan in mind for each section. In 2011, most people I knew couldn’t finish the paper because the questions were so horribly long. This could happen to you. Or, the Math section could be much tougher than you expected. Or GK might throw you off. Or English could have a mini novel instead of nice little questions. Mentally prepare yourself for eventualities like this. Even if your CLAT paper has calculus instead of legal reasoning, don’t let it put you in a frenzy. How do you not let it put you in a frenzy? By allocating time, and glancing at the clock and being diligent in how much time you will spend per section. For this, take all your mock test experiences into account. Decide what your strengths and weaknesses are, and allocate time accordingly. Remember, the CLAT needs you to solve 200 questions in 120 minutes. You do the math now.
Once your schedule is out of the way, you’ll need to focus on wrapping up your preparation. There is no sense in trying to understand what syllogisms are in 2 days. Or looking up Speed, Time and Distance at 11 PM on 13th May. You really need to focus now, on this awesome concept called revision. Look at your notes through the past year, look at those little circles you drew around questions that you found hard, go over those current affairs nuggets. You’ll find Daily GK Briefs here, and a set of 50 GK questions for each month as well, on the CLATGyan website. They’ll all be uploaded by tomorrow.
Keep that exam admit card safe. Keep pencils, pens, erasers etc. A neat little stationery bag will take off some stress and anxiety when you’re short on time. I know it’s an online exam, but a pencil can help you work those math problems out, or write down little pointers when you’re reading the reading comprehension. Oh, and read that comprehension very carefully. As should you read every question.
On the day of the exam, stay very calm. Don’t cram until the moment when you have to enter the exam hall. You’ve had a whole year to do this. Or a month. Or definitely more than a week, at whatever time you may have decided to take this exam. So if you couldn’t prep in that time, you’re not going to finish prep in the last one day, or in those few hours before the exam. Leave home well in time, don’t let the traffic stop you from making it to law school! Carry a bottle of water with you if it’s allowed. Get a good eight hours of sleep on the night before the exam. Wake up, revise, and give it your very best shot, and there’s no reason we won’t see you in Nagarbhavi/ Shamirpet next month 🙂
The CLAT sure is important, and will have some long reaching ramifications. But if you don’t make it, remember it’s not the sole decision maker in what you make of your career or your life. All that you can do right now is to give it your best shot, as Asad sternly told me, four years ago. I did, and it turned out to be excellent advice. If you don’t make it through this time, you can always give it another shot or think about options that might work better for you after all. For now, study very very very hard for about the next 50 hours.