by Siddharth Dey
I have been using Quora for a some time now. While having the Most-Viewed Writer tag is something altogether, the aim is and will continue to be to share my knowledge and understanding with the netizens who are looking to cross this hurdle towards law school. The tricks and paper-solving strategies that one holds up their sleeve are invaluable, and so, I will simply act as a catalyst in getting you to those tricks sooner rather than later. So, with a few months away, I have decided to pick some of the most relevant questions & their answers that is worth a read for even ones who aren’t on Quora. I hope you find them helpful in the same way I did when I appeared for CLAT.
The questions and answers are reproduced almost as they were posted on Quora. The links are attached.
I have addressed these three questions below:
- Does mugging up help?
- How to increase my mock scores?
- How to make a ‘good attempt’ with negative marking?
1. Is it very necessary to mug up each and every section rather than just understanding them for the preparation of CLAT? [find this HERE]
Mugging up, in the traditional sense, will take you nowhere.
Apart from your GK portion, the rest are purely application-based (even vocab to a great extent; follow Norman Lewis’ book on the topic to understand why). As for GK, there is no syllabus per se, but yes, you can create a rough outline from the past years’ papers and mocks, which will cover most, if not all, questions.
Do not go for 10-hour “mugging up” marathons (don’t mug up, again). Instead do it in small, not-so-monotonous half-hour sessions, 2x or 3x daily maybe (depending on how much time you have) for each subject/portion.
The small sessions helps retain information in the long run, while keeping you from hitting the “time-boredom” threshold so that you remain engaged. Yes, I probably made that up.
For the knowledge-based portion revision is key, so maintain a notebook for quick/last-minute reference if you want to.
2. What should be the strategy for solving CLAT paper? Which section should be solved first? [find this HERE]
Depends on you wholly. You can usually start with whatever you find to be the most easiest. The idea is that you answer the things you know, first, so that you don’t leave it for the fag end, and risk missing out on the ones which you could’ve easily answered. Also, the easier ones take less time usually.
On a general note, try and complete the simpler parts such as English & GK at the very beginning, since a little burnout is expected towards the end of those two hours. No point in hurrying up the process by solving the toughest questions first – as it is, you’ll be under some amount of stress already even before the bell rings.
Finishing a major chunk of the paper before you enter the home stretch, with adequate time to solve the rest, will definitely relieve some of the psych pressure at least.
Try these out, find what works for you, and stick to that – that’s the strategy, to be frank.
3. What is regarded as a ‘good attempt’ in a moderately tough CLAT paper, keeping in mind the negative scoring scheme? [find this HERE]
Answer what you can + skip what you cannot + make the fewest guesses = a good attempt.
About 180–190 answers is the staple on such a paper, accounting for a standard margin of error (15% or less).
To play it even safe with the numbers, attempt at least 150-160 questions. However, you’ll then need about 90–95% of them to be correct to get a competitive score (on a similar paper), so you have to be absolutely confident about your answers while writing the paper – since you can’t change your mind after the exam and answer another 20.
If that’s not the case, then the first two paragraphs are all you need to remember.
[Siddharth’s Quora profile can be found HERE.]
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