Preparation Strategy by CLAT 2021 Toppers

Clat toppers Interview
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GENERAL QUERIES

What all law exams an aspirants should aim for who looks forward to pursue law as a career?

Nidhi: This would depend on the confidence level of the aspirant. However, I would suggest that all candidates write CLAT and AILET at least. Depending on other factors, aspirants may consider SLAT, LSAT and CULEE

Sukarm: I would suggest that a law aspirant consider CLAT, AILET, SLAT and LSAT.

Devanshi: In my opinion, a person should give CLAT, AILET, LSAT, SLAT and MHCET.

Kartik: They can consider appearing for AILET, SLAT, MHCET Law and the LSAT along with CLAT. Your LSAT success may not, however, be very beneficial in terms of the colleges it can provide to you.  All the other exams put you in a good position to learn the law in terms of the institutions they pave your path towards.

What is the ideal time an aspirant requires to prepare for clat?

Nidhi: This is very subjective and depends on the aspirant’s existing level of ability and familiarity with entrance exams. The ideal time would change from aspirant to aspirant. In most cases though, 6 to 9 months should be enough

Sukarm: I feel that there is no ‘ideal‘ time as it would vary from the extant level familiarity with English, and basic GK. However, 6 months should suffice in most cases.

Denvanshi: There is no such thing as ideal time, it depends from person to person and their own trajectories. The aim should be to work on your weaknesses and improve your speed.

Kartik: CLAT 2021 consisted of 100 comprehension questions (English, Legal and Logic), 35 GK questions and 15 Maths questions. No amount of preparation time can guarantee you a proportionate skill development. Map your own abilities and your position in terms of what the exam desires via these three categories of questions. You can spend time on preparation accordingly.

What is the importance of coaching and other study materials. Can a person do well in the exam without coachings?

Nidhi: Coachings may help an aspirant, depending on their level of familiarity with CLAT, however they are by no means essential. It is definitely possible to crack law entrances without coaching. Taking a simple test series and keeping up with GK Sources like Drishti IAS and Gk Today can be enough to crack CLAT if the aspirant is proficient in English.

Sukarm: It is very much possible to do well without coachings. A test series from a reputed coaching can suffice if the student is keeping up with General Knowledge diligently

Devanshi: Coaching does nothing else than provide a direction to a person’s preparation. But that can be done with the help of a mentor who has gone through this process and is in a law school.Apart from that, the entire preparation can be done on your own as CLAT is an aptitude based paper. It definitely does not require a coaching.

Kartik: Everybody who has undertaken this journey will tell you that the a coaching centre plays an insignificant role in your individual path. Once you map your own skills and are aware of what you need to do to meet your utmost potential, you must design plans and schedules scientifically to match it. This must be your own initiative, free from interference of coaching centres. Your presence at a coaching centre must not make you an acquiescent personality whose ability to reason and question is subsumed by a mechanised learning process.
That said, a test series consisting of twenty mocks and their explanations should put you on a good path towards greater practice. More than just giving the mock, the quality of time spent with it looking at your mistakes is important. Lastly, go through the three CLAT sample papers, the CLAT 2020 paper and the CLAT 2021 paper. These are resources available directly from the examination-conducting body and will give you a good idea of what to expect.

How a student can have a backup plan if things dont go well for them in the exams?

Nidhi: It is important to write a range of law entrance exams to have enough backups, keeping in mind the unpredictable nature of CLAT. Universities like Christ University, SLS, Nirma, NMIMS and GLC are excellent backups. Jindal may also be considered if the costs are not an issue.

Sukarm: I would say exams like SLAT, MHCET and LSAT offer a range of backup options. Universities like Symbiosis Law School, GLC, ILS and NMIMS offer excellent alternatives. Taking a drop is entirely up to the student, and depends on a range of subjective factors which must be assessed by the student his or her own self.

Devanshi: Talking from my personal experience, I had taken a drop year. I got a rank of 665 in CLAT 2020 and 87 in AILET 2020, I was getting HNLU Raipur. But, I was not satisfied with my performance and decided to give clat again. Thankfully, it worked in my favour. That being said, I would be lying if I said I did not have backups this time. The most crucial advantage of having backups is that you don’t get overwhelmed by the pressure that this exam puts on you. You don’t know what can happen on that day, hence it is important to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.It’s better to have your options open and have the liberty to decide what you want for yourself at the end of the day.It is important to keep dreaming and working for it with everything that you have!

Kartik: I had decided that if this exam doesn’t work in my favour, I won’t take admission anywhere and appear for it once again next year. I believed that the value an institution like a national law school would be able to bring in my life would be disproportionately greater than the value of an year spent on reading, writing and playing, which is what I would’ve done in that one year.
There is risk, and it’s there in all the decisions you make in life. But in this one, I did not see my potential absence from a college for an year to be any sort of a loss. It could’ve gotten tough, especially when you see others succeeding in life. Not merely succeeding, but succeeding more than you are.These are times when you remind yourself that it’s not all really about getting ahead. But it is also my privilege that let me be comfortable with not undergoing formal education for one year.Your decision is not always your own. It is influenced by a lot more factors than your own willingness. All these constitute the big picture.One thing is for sure: Everything will be the way you desire sooner than you can expect it. 

SUBJECT BASED QUERIES

 GK

What is the best strategy to prepare for gk?

Nidhi: The ‘best’ strategy is very subjective and depends on the retention level of the aspirant. However reading the newspaper diligently, and keeping up with at least one compendium ( like Drishti IAS, CLAT Post, Manthan etc) is a good way to cover Gk. Apart from this researching on specific topics in depth can also help in the new pattern.

Sukarm: Reading newspaper is a sine qua non for covering GK. Apart from that, sources like Gk Today, Drishti IAS and CLAT Post may be perused by the candidate as per need.

Devashi: The following is the routine I followed for GK:

  1. Read the newspaper, the Hindu and Indian Express.
  2. Make weekly notes, using sites gktoday, affairs cloud.
  3. Read monthly compendium from sites like Drishti ias, insight ias.
  4.  Give quizzes on gktoday, etc.

Kartik: Read your newspaper daily and discern important issues and trends. Researching abilities take centerstage. Visit many sources to understand prevailing social conditions in depth. As I’ve said before, it’s not about becoming a virtual Drishti IAS. Have a reasonable understanding of stuff that’s happening around you as a responsible citizen. That’s all the exam asks.

What is the importance of notes making in Gk. How one can make notes without making them a hectic task?

Nidhi: Notes are pertinent to ensure that one has a way to revise quickly before CLAT, since it is impossible to go through all the material. I used to make notes on ‘evernotes’ on the important topics, and cover them in depth. Making collaborative notes, and dividing them can make the process less hectic

Sukarm: Making short notes can aid quick revision, which is essential in the last few days. In depth notes of the important and recurring topics is also a useful strategy. However, efforts must be made to keep the notes as concise and lucid as possible.

Devanshi: Yes I feel taking notes is important. One tends to remember what they write in a better way. Plus this gives a structure to your thoughts and helps you connect different topics.

Kartik: You write to remember certain key points which can serve as a trigger to introduce a larger train of thought. Ask yourself this, do you need to remember everything? If not, what do you really need to remember to introduce that train of thought? Writing everything is useless, especially if it’s non-creative things like elementary facts. Decide what’s the fundamental link which opens your mind to the larger picture and write down only that.

What is the revision strategy for GK?

Nidhi: Revising the notes of the important topics consistently is essential. I did not follow a rigid revision schedule, I just ensured I revised all important topics 2 – 3 times before CLAT.

Sukarm: There is no hard and fast revision strategy, however the emphasis must be on revising all the important topics before the exam. I personally did not follow any fixed monthly or weekly revision pattern, rather I revised almost all important topics multiple times before CLAT.

Devanshi: I used to read, and then re-read my notes. This helps you to polish what you have already studied. In fact I still remember revising my notes while I was travelling to my centre and coincidentally the last thing I read in my notes was asked in CLAT too.

Kartik: All the keywords and important links you’ve made in your notebook, read them out. Read them out aloud. Talk and engage with others and yourself. Talking out loud and regularly engaging in dialogue is essential to increase your sum of knowledge. And it’s only when you speak out loud, you realise the degree of understanding you actually possess. Knowing something and thinking that you know something are two totally different things. Keep it more dynamic than mere note-making.

MATHS

What is the preparation strategy for the Maths and what are the best sources for the material? (books, internet sources or any other).

Nidhi:

  1. It is important to clear out ones basics in QT. One must have a good grasp over concepts like profit– loss, percentages, TSD etc. Regular practice of Data Interpretation sets along with questions from mocks should be enough to cover QT for CLAT.
  2. Sources-DI Sets (any coaching or compilation), R S Aggarwal, Coaching sheets

Sukarm:

  1. Students should try to focus on the core topics like percentage and ratio and proportion primarily. Apart from that, specific practice of DI sets would help in improving speed and confidence
  2. I found R S Aggarwal to be the best source for basic QT practice. For extra practice candidates could try solving sectional tests of mocks as well

Devanshi:

  • One should cover basic topics like averages, percentage, ratio and proportion, profit and loss from RS Agarwal and do questions on a timer.

Kartik:

  1. Students should try to focus on the core topics like percentage and ratio and proportion primarily. Apart from that, specific practice of DI sets would help in improving speed and confidence.
  2. I found R S Aggarwal to be the best source for basic QT practice. For extra practice candidates could try solving sectional tests of mocks as well.

ENGLISH

What is the preparation strategy for the English and what are the best sources for the material?( books, internet sources or any other).

Nidhi:

  1. CLAT is a fairly lengthy paper, so one must work one’s reading speed to ensure that we’re not short of time. Ideally, reading articles in a timed setting and then checking one’s comprehension levels post reading is one way to improve reading speed. Moreover, practicing how to skim is also extremely useful
  2. Sources- Newspapers, Khan Academy practice RCs

Sukarm:

  1. It is pertinent to work on one’s reading speed and comprehension. There is no shortcut to it, students must read as much as possible, and try to read under timed conditions to get used to the pressure of time while reading
  2. Newspapers are the best source for this. I did not refer to any other source apart from them

Devanshi:

  1. Try developing a knack for reading, but apart from that it’s really important to solve RCs on a timer. 
  2. LSAT material is the zenith for this.

Kartik:

  1. Get in love with reading books, whatever interests you. Forget the exam, read just because you love it.
  2. RC from other exams can help you if you really want to practice for it. Otherwise it’s a conventional RC only.

LOGICAL REASONING

What is the preparation strategy for the Logical Reasoning and what are the best sources for the material?( books, internet sources or any other).

Nidhi:

  1. I feel that this section is more or less same as the English section ( at least as per CLAT 2020 ) and does not require any special preparation, other than that of the English section.
  2. Sources- Newspapers, Khan Academy practice RCs

Sukarm:

  1. I feel the preparation of this section is the same as that of the English section. I did not prepare separately feel for logical reasoning, and subsumed it within the preparation of English section as it tests the same skills.
  2. As mentioned above, newspapers are the best source for improving one’s reading speed and comprehension.

Devanshi:

  • It is important to solve critical reasoning questions, apart from that discussing these questions with peers helps improve your reasoning skills.

Kartik:

  1. Same as English. These sections are the same.
  2. Try RCs from other exams if you’re very interested. But it’s just an ordinary RC type section.

LEGAL REASONING

What is the preparation strategy for the Legal Reasoning and what are the best sources for the material?( books, internet sources or any other).

Nidhi:

  1. Apart from basic comprehension skills, having knowledge of essential topics of legal knowledge like Indian Penal Code, Indian Contracts Act, Constitution etc can help in  improving familiarity which would boost the speed of comprehension
  2. Source-Legal modules of any coachings, Blogs like LiveLaw, IP Leaders etc

Sukarm:

  1. Again, this section largely depends on one’s reading speed. Apart from that basic knowledge of the principles of torts, contracts, IPC and the constitution can be useful.
  2. A basic legal module of any coaching should suffice as long as one’s command over the English section is adequate

Devanshi:

  1. Keeping abreast with the legal developments, livelaw is extremely helpful.
  2. Covering basics of topics like torts, contracts and criminal law and solving previous year questions.
  3. Improving RC and critical reasoning would ultimately add up to improving your legal reasoning.

Kartik:

  1. Learn to identify principles and rules from a piece of text. That’s the test of the legal section: how well you can identify rules and discern the specific circumstances where they can apply. No knowledge of any legal topic is needed as long as you read your newspaper everyday from the perspective of identifying relevant principles in the articles and wondering about their specific applicability.
  2. The three CLAT sample papers, CLAT 2020 paper and CLAT 2021 paper. You have 200 questions of legal reasoning from the exam body itself. And the newspaper, obviously.

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