By Pravar Mishra
Six months to go, give or take a few days and the final hurdle for aspiring law students will be here. Yes it’s the main event of the law entrance tests – the CLAT.
Fourteen National Law Schools will take in students based on their score in a 2 hour MCQ based paper that has 5 sections. About a 1000 seats are up for grabs Seems fairly simple? Right ?
An estimated 30,000 aspirants are expected to be take the CLAT in 2013. Not so cut & dried anymore. Is it?
How do you approach it? Do you cower behind the numbers? Go all out and prepare all day forgetting worldly comforts such as the cellphone, hanging out, friends or even a life? No? Then read on.
It’s a mad ride, yes. Mugging up names of anyone making headlines – octagenarians, bureaucrats, murderers turned politicians – isn’t fun! Maths? “I’m an aspiring lawyer and I’ll be able to count my cash thank you very much!” So why maths? But the maths stays, so does the GK and your views don’t count so save them!
The only thing you need to deliberate on is how to go about dealing with whatever bothers you and ultimately cracking the CLAT. To figure out an approach, yours truly has some help for you.
Before delving into the various sections, sort yourself out. From the day one prepare yourself for consistent, focused and organised work. There is no such thing as a free lunch and CLAT isn’t handing it out to you either. Self service is your only option.
Clear your mind and your schedule because your next few months are going to be busy.
Before picking up a book, before setting a goal, get yourself going. Pluck up your confidence and believe in yourself. You can get the job done. That has to be the foundation of your preparation. Confidence. Remember that you compete with yourself and believe that come CLAT you will be ready for whatever they throw at you and give it back in style.
The attack begins.
GETTING INTO THE GROOVE
With the motivation up and adrenaline pumping, get down to business. There needs to be a method to the madness. Time to find yours. Set a goal. The best. The highest . that’s what you should aim for. Why look high when you can look higher? So much for the easy part. Now comes the action.
Bring in the focus and get down to it. The thing about CLAT is once you’re over the initial hump, preparing becomes fun. There isn’t a need to rote learn (expect GK maybe, where you simply have to know). It’s not simply about getting the answer right .
It’s about understanding how to get it right, even if you go wrong the first few times. Once you get that understanding , getting marks will not be very hard.
Get a bit organized. Make a time table. It needn’t be very rigid. But you need to do say ‘X’ hours a day or particular parts of other sections , whatever suits your way of working. If you feel a particular section is not Up to the scratch , then you put even more effort into that section so that you’re not sunk by it come D- day.
Bring up your game, develop a strong foundation regarding concepts and then build on it to mount an assault.
PUT THE TRAINING TO THE “TEST”
Once your concepts are clear, solve as many mocks and past years’ papers as possible. Right up to the CLAT. Your performance in these will show you how far along you are and what you are lacking in.
Try out all your theories/strategies/ideas here. The order of solving, the time for each section, the level of accuracy – all these have to be worked on in the mocks and past years’ papers. Everything has to be perfected by the time CLAT comes calling.
THE LAST WORD
Just keep in mind that you are going to give a lot of time to this. Try to make it worthwhile. Work hard. Be calm, be confident. A certain swagger along with hard work is most welcome. But over confidence is not! Keep it real.
Assess yourself honestly keeping in mind your target and work accordingly. Enjoy the preparation, keep your aim in sight and go all out to get it . When the time for CLAT does come don’t cower in the shadow. Attack. Grab the bull by its horns and win the day!
Roughly speaking it goes like this:
Confidence – aim- focus- effort- understanding- application – attack!
Pravar Mishra is a 1st year law student. He teaches GK at CLATapult’s center in Kolkata. He has also become the go to man to fetch hard hit cosco balls which fall in the cess pool at NUJS.