How to Prepare English for CLAT in 25 Days?

As per the guidelines of Consortium of CLAT, it is likely that all the questions of the English Section of CLAT 2020 shall be passage-based i.e. reading comprehensions as the idea is to test the presence of mind of the students and to discharge the students from the burden of mugging up the lengthy content.

Many students are afraid of the new pattern, as there are no precedents to rely upon but through the sample papers uploaded on the consortium, it is quite evident that the exam will contain the traditional reading comprehension questions which have always been a part of the exam, the only difference is that now the entire English section will contain such questions, thus this calls for little change in the preparation strategy, which is very easy to incorporate on getting unerring directions.

Reading comprehension is the ability to process text, understand its meaning and integrate with what the reader already knows. It is all about how you process the text written and answer accordingly.

The word ‘comprehend’ literally means to understand and interpret the meaning of the paragraph. Every passage revolves around the central idea, thus it becomes important to identify the central idea which is implicit in the key sentences of the paragraph. The topic/heading of the passage is derived from this central idea only.

The length of passages approximately ranges from 500-800 words. The passage can be of any kind e.g. It can be a narrative of a story, a bibliography or any paragraph containing static information about a certain thing. But in each kind of paragraph following types of questions are commonly asked:-

  1. Heading – generally, students are asked to provide for the heading of the passage, which can be easily derived once you identify the central idea of the paragraph.
  2. Direct – herein the students are required to answer questions asked from the static details of the passage. The answer to such a question can be easily picked from the text of the paragraph directly.
  3. Application – these are the questions which are based on the inference of the passage. They can be answered from the implied understanding of the paragraph.
  4. Author’s view- students are asked to identify the tone or view of the author in the paragraph.
  5. Vocabulary- these are the words used in the paragraph whose meaning, synonym or antonym may be asked.

It should be understood that now the difficulty level of the reading comprehension will increase, but the time given to solve them is the same, thus there arises a need to increase the speed of reading and solving the comprehension in a quick manner.

Following steps should be followed while solving reading comprehension passages:-

  • Step 1-firstly, read the questions carefully. This will provide you with the idea about what you have to search for in the paragraph.
  • Step 2- secondly, read the passage in a quick manner and try to find the relevant answers of the questions read before.
  • Step 3- thirdly, now when you have read the paragraph, read the questions again properly and try to answer the question. In this step you will be able to find the answer of direct questions and mark them in the paragraph
  • Step 4- fourthly, read the unanswered questions carefully and read the relevant portion of the paragraph to find and interpret the answers.
  • Step 5- fifthly, in order to answer the vocabulary question read the sentence in which the concerned word is used and try to interpret the meaning of the sentence with such word.

The CLAT 2020 exam shall be conducted online. It becomes a little stressful to read such long passages on the screen and then read the questions. Also the freedom to mark the answers in the passage is lost. The key to this problem is developing a habit of reading comprehension passages and questions on the screen by solving mock tests, this will increase the speed and the question paper will remain no more like alien to you.

Following are the things to be kept in mind while solving reading comprehension questions.

  1. Try to find out the main idea of the paragraph and understand the tone used by the author i.e. whether it is optimistic, pessimistic or informative.
  2. After reading the questions try to eliminate reading the irrelevant paragraphs.
  3. While reading the passage make a point of the specific details about the main characters.
  4. Try to devise a logical inference of the passage. This will help in answering the application based questions.
  5. Focus on the sentences containing vocabulary questions so as to understand their meaning.
  6. Improve the reading speed by practicing within a stipulated time. It should take 7-8 minutes to read a passage of 500-800 words.
  7. Learn to summarise in your mind the main points of the passage.

Just Left with 25 days in hand, Scared about the English Section, follow the given directions, your score will become on Point!

  • Practice two Comprehension questions daily, so by the end of 25 days you would have practiced 50 passages and your mind would have adapted the pattern by then
  • Always solve the passages by setting the timer. Try to solve one passage maximum in 8-10 minutes.
  • Vocabulary words initially look alien, but read thrice the paragraph where that word has been used, then use elimination technique to reach to the answer
  • Always solve the question asking authors idea in the passage in the end, because by then you would have at least gone through the entire passage twice. It will be then easy to infer the answer
  • When you will read the questions, read their options also very carefully, because generally there will be two options which will be quite similar, so you would have to then struggle between those two options only to devise the answer, the other two options will automatically get eliminated
  • Solve at least one full-length mock test every two days, this will help you to devise the time which you can give into each section according to your skills
  • No need to mug up English Vocabulary, as the meaning of the word asked in the question can be inferred from the meaning of the passage
  • Just keep a sharp eye while reading the passage, and look for the keywords of the questions in the passage.

It is very important to keep your calm while doing the exam, you should keep in your mind that now the English Section has become very easy and it is quite feasible to get a perfect score, it just requires little more time and patience.

It is advisable to solve the English Section at the end so that you don’t waste your first one hour in reading passages only.

English Section will roughly comprise of 30 questions which makes it to 6 passages. Reading 6 passages in a row on the computer screen can exhaust your mind, thus it is advisable to read the questions first and then locate their answer in the passage.

Make sure you go through all the practice materials and sample papers provided by the CLAT consortium, these are closest in style and level of difficulty to what you may see in the eventual UG CLAT 2020 paper.

Questions got you stumped? Read our post on spelling correction.

Read our posts on CLAT English Language.

Read CLATapult’s post on a guide to acing CLAT English.

Read our post on Spotting the Error.

Got doubts about CLAT 2020? Find all your answers and much more here.

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