The CLAT 2020 exam is less than 4 months away. Some would say we are in the endgame now (Dr Strange much).
Let’s go through the things we know so far.
CLAT 2020 Pattern
Perhaps the most popular topic of the CLAT world right now.
The CLAT Consortium changed the examination pattern last year and until very recently there was only speculation around the subjects and questions. All that has changed now.
We now know the following things:
CLAT will have five subjects
- English Language
- Legal Reasoning
- Quantitative Techniques
- Logical Reasoning
- Current Affairs with G.K
Aren’t these the same old subjects?
NO! The old subjects were
- Legal Aptitude
- Quantitative Aptitude
- Logical Reasoning
- General Knowledge
Wait! That’s just minor changes in barely 3 subjects, right?
Except for Logical Reasoning, every subject has gone through a complete makeover.
English Language v English
The slight change in name is suggestive of inclination towards English as a language and not as a subject.
What’s the difference?
The new pattern tests your ability to read and comprehend the language as well as understand the meaning of text per se. The objective being, law students and lawyers deal with large text in English and sound knowledge is essential.
The paper will have all the questions based on comprehension asking you to:
- Read and comprehend the main point discussed in the passage, as well as any arguments and viewpoints discussed or set out in the passage;
- Draw inferences and conclusions based on the passage;
- Summarise the passage;
- Compare and contrast the different arguments or viewpoints set out in the passage; and
- Understand the meaning of various words and phrases used in the passage.
CLAT Preparation Tips for English
The most important skill that you need is fast reading. It was required earlier but only to a certain area of the paper. Now, it is required universally in the paper. You may afford to play fast and loose with your vocabulary knowledge for a second but not with your reading.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.
CLATalogue suggests you increase your daily reading quota in terms of news and articles. Particularly law related articles. This will help you in two subjects.
One being English Language and the other being Legal Reasoning.
Read the next topic.
Legal Reasoning v Legal Aptitude
Remember the good old days? (I do, cuz I’m older than you kids)
The older pattern of this section had a mixed masala of various type of questions. There was a little legal gk, some legal reasoning and a few maxims etc. It was a complete platter (sudden pizza cravings) of legal knowledge.
Now, the paper will have comprehensions which will most likely be passages on legal issues and statutes, on the basis of that you will be asked to answer questions.
The questions will ask you to
- Identify and infer the rules and principles set out in the passage;
- Apply such rules and principles to various fact situations; and
- Understand how changes to the rules or principles may alter their application to various fact situations.
That’s right. Goodbye to reading a little bit of contract act and torts before law school.
Quantitative Techniques v Maths
A lot of us will agree that we did not love maths in CLAT. You must be delighted to hear that maths is gone and a fancy name such as quantitative techniques has replaced it.
Don’t be happy just yet. Let us understand what this subject is first.
Quantitative Techniques is a wing of reasoning, a much more advanced version of which graces examinations like CAT and GMAT.
For CLAT, in the most simple words, it is Maths minus some chapters and added with a few charts and graphs. Told you not to be happy just yet.
The new syllabus will ask you to:
- Derive, infer, and manipulate numerical information set out in such passages, graphs, or other representations; and
- Apply various 10th standard mathematical operations on such information, including from areas such as ratios and proportions, basic algebra, mensuration and statistical estimation.
The good part is, it is most likely only ten questions. I know that in sheer numbers it does not matter since all subjects lost questions but Maths got slashed by half. The subject that most students didn’t like earlier now stands half as scary.
Those of you who liked it (if any), there are still 10 marks you can score without reading a long paragraph. So, win-win?
Logical Reasoning v Logical Reasoning
Almost no change at all.
You will need to:
- Recognize an argument, its premises and conclusions;
- Read and identify the arguments set out in the passage;
- Critically analyse patterns of reasoning, and assess how conclusions may depend on particular premises or evidence;
- Infer what follows from the passage and apply these inferences to new situations;
- Draw relationships and analogies, identify contradictions and equivalence, and assess the effectiveness of arguments.
Current Affairs v General Knowledge
What was the most attractive part of this section?
The ability to solve 50 questions in under 10 minutes in an exam where the race was against time. Whether you knew the answer or not, it saved a lot of time.
The questions were short and to the point.
There will be passages which will eat your time before you can even read the questions and decide whether you want to attempt or not because the one thing that has not changed is NEGATIVE MARKING.
The questions will be from:
- Contemporary events of significance from India and the world;
- Arts and culture;
- International affairs; and
- Historical events of continuing significance.
Want to be sure of the pattern? See for yourself.
- 01 Jan 2020 Applications Open
- 31 Mar 2020 Application Deadline
- 10 May 2020 CLAT 2020 Examination
- 11 May 2020 Uploading of Answer Keys
- 12 May 2020 Inviting Objections
- 15 May 2020 Last date for Objections
- 18 May 2020 Notification of Final Answer Key
- 24 May 2020 Declaration of Final Results
Format of the paper
- Number of questions: 150
- Duration of paper: 2 hours
- Maximum marks: 150
- Negative marking: 0.25 for every wrong answer
Subject-wise marks/questions breakup
- Legal Reasoning: 35-40
- English Language: 28-32
- Logical Reasoning: 28-32
- Quantitative Techniques: 13-17
- Current Affairs with GK: 35-39
Resources to prepare for CLAT
- The most important of all is to keep an eye on the CLAT website.
- Study the sample paper released by the Clat Consortium very closely.
- Lawctopus/CLATalogue: Quality content to suit the needs of the law aspirant will always be uploaded on our platform. Browse through different sections, visit the websites frequently and subscribe to the emails for quick updates on posts.
- Clatapult: Okay! It is our sister concern which is run by NUJS grads and provides classroom and distance courses for CLAT UG/PG preparation. Visit the website to get free access to a treasure of detailed articles on each subject and free mocks.
- Youtube Channels: Your seniors from 10 years ago did not have this opportunity and even those 5 years senior had serious bandwidth and data limitations but you don’t. Access youtube channels like the ones given below for an audiovisual preparation boost. Just do a quick youtube search with CLAT 2020.
- Books/Newspapers: Reading and practising will never let you down. The two things which should be followed religiously to crack CLAT 2020 is a habit of reading the editorial section of news and quality books on economics, history, polity etc. This will not only increase your reading speed but also make you aware of these concepts. Since CLAT 2020 will be completely comprehension based, you can expect them to be from one of the above subjects.