Agniva Chakrabarti, a 2 year student in CLATapult, fetched an AIR 159 and has made it to NUJS. This is the third year in a row that CLATapult has had such terrific results, after the splendid performances in CLAT 2016 and 2017 by Sreeja Pal and Anindya Kanan (their interviews are HERE and HERE respectively).
In this Interview, Agniva talks about his journey from his decision to start preparing for CLAT after his Class Xth to the outstanding news of fetching such an amazing rank in CLAT 2018.
What prompted you to choose law?
Born into a family of technocrats I was on the verge of becoming an engineer. But soon in 10th standard I realised that Science was never my calling. So I began searching for career options which would be my forte. After my 10th Board Exam was over I enrolled at CLATapult. Anzar sir acquainted me with the tenets of CLAT and other law entrances and suggested me a book named “Law as a career” by Tanuj Kalia which is like Bible for all budding lawyers and Legal Professionals. After reading the book it was a done deal and so I started my CLAT journey.
When did you start preparing for the exam? Take us through how you prepared for each subject in CLAT.
I started preparing for CLAT from 11th standard itself but being a student of science stream and also long away from any classroom teaching experience I made it a point to finish all the course material provided to me and all the docs being uploaded on the Google group.
English: Firstly, I completed every question available in the course material. Then I started identifying where my loopholes were. So realising that I struggled with RCs (Reading Comprehension) and vocabulary I started solving any RC I came across and slowly my marks kept on increasing in my mocks. For vocabulary I referred to Norman Lewis which in my view helps not in developing vocabulary for CLAT in particular but is stimulating for general Use too.
Logic and Maths: Logic and Maths were my strongest areas. I did relevant chapters from “Magical Book on Quicker Mathematics” by M.Tyra and “Logical Reasoning” by RS Aggarwal. Apart from that past year papers and the documents provided by the faculty members at CLATapult were sufficient to fetch a good score.
Legal: Legal was my weakest area. So I made it appoint to solve at least 50 problems daily 2 months before CLAT. The last minute tips by Siddarth Sir helped me fetch a good score in CLAT. In my opinion the CLATapult materials are enough to score 40+ in this section apart from Past year’s paper which are a must to do.
GK: This section is all about being updated and receptive towards any relevant information that comes your way. For Current Affairs I read The Hindu regularly which helped me get a sense of the current events, develop my reading speed and increase my vocabulary. For Static GK I diligently read the articles available on CLATapult’s website. The Current Affairs modules provided by CLATapult during the last few months leading to CLAT helped me immensely and 90% of the CA questions asked in CLAT 2018 were from these modules. Apart from that I read Competition in focus which was also much enriched.
You prepared for CLAT simultaneously with your boards. How did you strategise your preparation for the former in this pressure situation?
I score 95.6% in boards (CBSE). My subject combination was PCM, English and Informatics Practices which in itself sounds hectic. But I made it a point that no matter what I will not compromise with my CLAT preparation. Whenever I got an opportunity I used to read my GK compendium or solve 10 legal problems. I ended my CLAT preparation in January as I had to study for my Boards only to pick it up as soon as my Boards got over. And from there I studied 8 hours a day for CLAT and began taking 2 mocks daily. Also as soon as CLATapult released a mock I made it a point to solve it till January when I stopped because of Board exams.
Coming to your incredible CLAT score – what was your initial reaction to it?
After the D day I was confident of landing a seat in one of the top 3 NLUs. But my confidence concretized when the provisional answer key was released. And then after 18 days of heart stopping fright and awe I saw my rank flash on the screen and thus I knew I had cracked it.
How did CLATapult contribute to this?
I owe my success to CLATapult in word and spirit because if it hadn’t been for them I would have had never achieved the feat which seemed Herculean in the beginning but which now seems a memory worth cherishing.
Which skills and abilities do you consider important to do well in CLAT?
The most important skill set any CLAT aspirant must possess is the hunger for knowledge and a logical mind.
Your strengths and weaknesses – how did you deal with them?
I was strong in Maths and Logic throughout my preparation and always seemed to drop marks in Legal and GK so I consulted the faculty members at CLATapult whose tips helped me immensely in increasing marks. Apart from that I used to brush my concepts regularly and so that I could analyse the problem differently and surprisingly every time I read the basic tenets a new thought process would develop and I would be able to solve the problem.
What do you think might have been the ‘special ingredients’ in your strategy that put your score so high up the scale?
Special ingredient would be the contribution of the faculty members and CLATapult and the constant support of my parents. Apart From that the regular words of inspiration from Anzar sir were also very helpful.
Mock tests – useful or over-hyped? Which ones did you take and how did you go about them
Mock Test is the most useful tool to asses one’s progress and also gives a sense of encouragement that we are on the right track. CLATapult’s exhaustive mocks helped me inch towards success and thus on the D day I felt nothing different than giving a mock. Also, CLATapult’s detailed analysis and rankings made it possible to gauge my level of preparedness as compared to other students. At the end of the day if it weren’t for mocks I wouldn’t have scored what I have.
Any words of advice for the aspirants?
The thing which used to strike me were the words of Anjanesh sir that if I scored a 200+ rank then it means that 200 people are smarter than me. So, would it be possible for me to accept that 200 people are smarter than me? And at that moment I would get rejuvenated. Also my scores increasing in mocks gave me a sense of encouragement second to none. Therefore, my message to all CLAT aspirants would be to enjoy what you study and always feel confident because nobody can make you feel inferior against your own will.