This is probably the time when everyone who is due to attempt CLAT in a few months is probably beginning to feel as if they are in Interstellar. Not that they should have chosen an alternate career path, an astronaut perhaps, but as if they are on that watery planet where time is so severely dilated due to some fancy science that every hour equals seven years. It is even worse if you are to appear for your board exams this year as well. So here are a few tips and tricks on how to manage your time in these crucial weeks to follow, along with a few bonus pieces of gyan.
Make a time table
Yes, I know, making a time table is seemingly a waste of time and effort, no one can manage to even remotely follow them, yada yada yada. But having a timetable can actually be incredibly useful, especially to those who are attempting multiple exams, such as the boards and law entrances. A timetable doesn’t necessarily mean chalking out what every minute of your day is to be utilised for. It is more of a broad outline to ensure that specific tasks are accomplished. For instance, devote a set number of hours to your boards preparation and a set number of hours to CLAT preparation. This way, neither gets neglected, in a sudden flurry of enthusiasm, denial, procrastination or exclamations of “J’en ai marre!”. It also ensures that too much attention isn’t paid to just one thing, which can in itself be detrimental. Too much CLAT preparation may just drive you to the brink of madness, where the abyss mimics a warm blanket.
For those who are just focussing on CLAT or other law entrances, a timetable can include rough guidelines for each section to be studied. For instance, make time in a day for a mock, analysing it, perfecting the mistakes, as well as time put aside for a couple of sections, one wants to either make progress in or something that one wants to merely maintain skill levels in.
For those who are appearing for boards and CLAT can also divide their CLAT preparation time in the above fashion (think timetable Inception).
Do not try to do too much
Here is another reason a timetable is a boon. It keeps you from going crazy and trying to do too much. For instance, trying to attempt six mocks in one day is just torture and will not help unless you are a vampire who doesn’t require sleep or food and has an endless brain capacity. Be sensible, and have a targeted approach. Pin point your strengths and weaknesses and try to identify where you could maximise your score and what kinds of questions to avoid. In doing this, you will automatically be able to narrow down on sections and topics to focus on, and will not spend time on things that will not add to your eventual score. For instance, solving one section merely because you like it and neglecting the others or neglecting sections you are good at and merely focussing on weaknesses are equally detrimental to the cause. Work intelligently and do the needful, that is it.
Time yourself strictly
Your phone’s timer is your best friend. The time has passed where you could afford to go on a journey, to discover yourself while giving a mock test. Now is the time to become the epitome of knowledge, skills, accuracy and speed. So time yourself and don’t succumb to boredom that may attack you in the middle of a particularly sleep inducing mock test (English passages- I am looking at you). Discipline yourself.
The key here is to work smart and not hard. Do just enough and do the right things. Do not slog without an aim. If three hours of pointed studying is enough for you, then that is all you need to do. Working for 16 hours needlessly will not get you anywhere, but could instead lead to burn out.
Cannot. Stress. This. Enough. Take short breaks several times through the day. Ensure that you do not reach saturation point. This can be deadly. This however in no way means that you should decide to take a week long family holiday, or go backpacking across Europe unless of course you aren’t a mere mortal like us (In which case, why are you reading this?). Save this for the post CLAT soul searching. And it is okay to take a big break and to go watch a movie or even to take a day off entirely. Just as long as this isn’t an everyday affair.
Time management means something different to every individual at the level of nuances. However, the basic idea is to have a plan and stick to it. It all boils down to being disciplined, to the ridiculous, saccharine sweet and seemingly unrealistic essays we would spout on Anushasan ka Mahatva. Try making ‘To do’ lists and sticking to them. Though it may seem that there is no time left, and it is too late to achieve anything and you might as well give up, DON’T. There is plenty of time if you work smart and the one month before CLAT will prove to be instrumental, especially to those who would have just appeared for the boards. Do not neglect anything, especially your boards, nothing is certain and why not give every ounce of yourself to all your endeavours? If failure then happens to hit, it truly wasn’t in your hands and the universe just has greater plans for you.
P.S. Please fill the forms, accurately, people. All your hard work will be in vain if you are unable to even attempt the paper due to missing the deadline or had some glitches in the paperwork.
Class of 2020
NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad.