The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is conducted every year by the CLAT Consortium in the month of May. It is the qualifying exam for admission into the 21 National Law Universities of India. Last year over 65000 students sat for the exam in various parts of the country.
The aspirants spend months on preparation in order to get into their dream college. In order to prepare for this examination candidates generally, spend 2-24 months. Some start early and some do not but the syllabus remains the same.
The syllabus of the exam is such that it can be prepared for in less than 3 months if candidates work under a fixed plan religiously. This is where most of them lose the battle, they don’t plan their preparation and fire aimlessly in each direction. This article aims to give a direction to your preparation based on how many months you have left.
This category of students decide early on that they have to pursue a career in law. Mathematically, these students have an edge over everyone else since they have the most time to prepare. The aspirant also has to maintain a balance between the board exams.
Read our post on balancing CLAT and Boards.
The aspirant should follow the below steps to make most of the preparation time.
- Chalk out a plan: You need to focus on the two most important examinations of your life. Assuming you have just started with your 11th std and CLAT preparation, you have 2 years until the exams. First and foremost, get hold of the syllabus for these examinations and paste it near your study area. After you have done that, divide the syllabus into easily achievable target brackets. Take this to the month of September of the year before CLAT and Boards. Beyond that, it has to be revision…revision and revision.
- Join coaching online/offline: While it is possible to crack CLAT without help from a coaching institute, it is best not to take chances. Since you have an abundance of time, professional help will not only ensure that you qualify but also that you enter top NLUs. The modules are crafted by professional who has examined the pattern and with them come the mock tests which are the most important part of preparation.
- Allot time: Considering that you have 6-8 hours of school, 2-3 hours of coaching and other activities, there is not much time left for you to prepare. However, you need atleast 3-4 hours of preparation daily if you want to enter a top NLU. Reserve a time slot for CLAT and NEVER compromise with that. Do not aim for one sitting of 4 hours, it lowers your productivity. Strategically place your time into subjects.
- Improve your weakness: No candidate is equally good in all subjects. Identify the subject(s) which are not as good as the rest and allot special time for them. Add an extra hour over the weekend and a few extra sessions of mock tests on that subject. Remember, in a competitive exam you can be surprised at any moment, the goal is to be prepared for whatever comes your way.
- Make G.K your religion: You have 2 years to prepare, this is your biggest asset. Even the brightest of minds fail to conquer G.K if they have less than 3 months to prepare. Aim to study newspapers daily, along with a monthly G.K magazine. Refer to your module for static G.K. This is not only for your exam but also to develop a key habit of being aware which all successful lawyers have. Indian Express and Competition infocus can be your choices.
- Solve papers: Solve all past year papers over and over again. While the questions may not be the same, the exam follows a certain pattern and it will not deviate. If you know all the moves that CLAT has till date, you can predict what will come next.
Having an abundance of time can also be a bane for some. A few months down the lane you may think like you have covered everything and you are prepared for the exam. This could mean a downfall since CLAT needs practice. The day you decide to leave the practice is the day you lower your chances of qualifying the exam.
This time period has two types of CLAT aspirants. The first are those who have dropped a year and are going at the examination again and the second being fresh 12th std students. Either of them have almost a year until the exams come knocking, however, the droppers don’t have boards to worry about so that gives them an edge. Considering the 12th std students have not dropped a year, in the long run, they have the upper hand.
Looking at the syllabus of CLAT, this time period is more than what is required to cover every subject and solve mock tests. However, unlike those having 2 years at their disposal, juggling Boards and CLAT can be a little tough for the aspirants. All the important milestones like the pre-boards, projects and viva is a part of this year and it takes away a significant amount of time and concentration away.
It is important that you concentrate on your school and the subjects so that you don’t need to study everything from scratch for boards when you get home. Those with this time frame for preparation should keep in mind the following points.
- Time Management: Two of the most important exams of your life are coming your way in less than a year. You have a finite number of hours in a day, therefore, you have to manage your time very efficiently and diligently. Allocate hours for Boards and CLAT separately and stick to them.
- Syllabus Distribution: Fret not! The time available to you is still enough to cover the syllabus and the mock tests. It is advisable that you divide the syllabus over a period of 6 months and reserve the rest for revision.
- Practice/Mock/Past Papers: This is the most important part of the preparation and since you have a year less than the previous category, you must work double your efforts. Aim to solve atleast 2-3 papers a week. Every time you solve a paper, it will tell you which modifications you need in your preparation style.
- Join CLAT Coaching: You need to pace your preparation and need constant guidance. There will be days when the pressure of school will not allow you to concentrate on your CLAT prep and on others you will feel low and won’t be able to concentrate. The CLAT coaching will help you on these days, ensuring you invest a fixed time on CLAT prep as well as get to be part of a like-minded peer group to cheer you up on gloomy days.
- Mornings for G.K: Given that you have a year to prepare, you will have less time in the evening since you have Boards and CLAT coming your way. It is advised that you wake up an hour early and focus on GK in the morning. Past that, you do not have to worry about GK prep. In that time, a half-hour for News and the rest for a magazine or static G.K.
- Track of Preparation: Keep track of your preparation by writing down your mock/past/practice paper scores on a sheet of paper and paste it on your wall. Divide the score subject wise, it will allow you to see that you are progressing in a particular subject and a certain subject needs your focus.
- Don’t forget your boards: In this race to secure a seat at your dream college, do not forget to pay attention on preparing for your board examinations, they will stay with you for the rest of your life.
As avengers said it, We are in the endgame now!
It is the final stage of preparation, every minute is important and you CANNOT afford to lose even a moment of your time. The idea is to go into full adrenaline for a month and throw everything you have at CLAT. These few weeks you have to be a sage and give up everything you do in your free time. No social media, no outings and definitely no 10-hour sleep. Keep all luxuries to a minimum, confine yourself to your study-room. Whatever you do in these months will decide the next five years of your life.
When you are at this juncture, you should keep the following in mind:
- No Casual Reading: The time of casual reading is long gone. You cannot spend 4 hours reading a chapter from the module anymore. The laid back attitude will waste this precious preparation time. Invest as little time as you can on casual reading and focus on practising more and more questions,
- Mocks/Practice/Past Papers: Do atleast one of these in a day and if you can then go for two a day. On weekends, surpass your limits by going for three a day.
- Time your Work: Always keep a clock and time your progress. It will help you get accustomed to the tight window of CLAT where you have to read 200 questions in 120 minutes and attempt those that you deem fit.
- Limit time to Subjects: It will not help you now to invest 6 hours on GK. This subject has no end and investing more than 2 hours a day is wasting time which can be used on practice-based subjects.
- Read Newspapers: Investing an hour on a good newspaper daily will not only ensure your current affairs but also brush up your vocabulary, that is one hour and two subjects. Use these hacks to target your subjects and always merge smart work and hard work.
It does not matter which juncture you stand at right now, you need to invest time honestly into the preparation if you want to be a part of your dream college. Do not lie about your preparation to others and most importantly, do not lie about it to yourself. Set achievable goals and do NOT stress over anything.
Work Hard, Work Smart!
First published on January 25, 2021.