Ishan Mazumdar, a classroom student in CLATapult, fetched an AIR 128 and West Bengal Rank 2 (READ THIS TIMES OF INDIA ARTICLE) in CLAT 2018. 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).

Seven students who qualified for NUJS from CLATapult in CLAT 2018 are Ishan Mazumder, Yashashwini Santuka, Agniva Chakrabarti, Kazi Ashique, Mayukh Mandal, Istela Jameel and Ankita Biswas.

In this Interview, Ishan talks about his journey from his decision to start preparing for CLAT after Class XIIth to the outstanding news of fetching such an amazing rank in CLAT 2018.

Ishan Mazumdar AIR 128 CLAT 2018

Ishan Mazumdar AIR 128 CLAT 2018

1. What prompted you to choose law? 
I was born and brought up in a lawyer family as my grandfather and father both have been lawyers. But this fact did not inherently turn my career towards law as I always wanted to study Robotics which is a domain of  Artificial Intelligence. The fascinating aspects of law being a noble profession as well as one which gives utmost liberty is what prompted me to go for it.
2. When did you start preparing for the exam? Take us through how you prepared for each subject in CLAT. 
I started my preparation for CLAT from June 2017, enrolling in CLATapult after completion of my 10+2 examination.
GK: Frankly speaking, since I was horrible at it, so, initially, I dedicated most of my study hours to strengthen my General Knowledge. For Static GK, I followed Lucent and CLATapult classroom notes by Rohit Sir which really helped me a lot. As far as Current Affairs is concerned, I used to take down daily news from The Hindu and gk today (news as well as quiz) but Aditya Sir’s exercises and CLATapult Monthly Compendia were the greatest help. 
ENGLISH: After vanquishing the fear of GK, my next target was English for which I read The Hindu which not only improved my reading speed but also helped to improve my vocabulary. Along with it I read Norman Lewis which was suggested by Anzar Sir.
MATHS: Being a student of Science, I did not face too many hurdles in Maths. Having said that, I was still unfamiliar with all the shortcut methods where Anjanesh Sir played a vital role to help me cope up with. Also, Anzar Sir had suggested a book by M Tyra where I got plenty of tricks and a variety of sums to practice.
LOGICAL REASONING: I did not face any problems in Analytical Reasoning but I felt tremendous pressure in dealing with Critical Reasoning. Fortunately, with Mustafa Sir being around, I found myself rescued from its clutches through his expertise. The one and only solution to crack critical reasoning questions is a patient reading and a logical thinking.
LEGAL APTITUDE: In connection with Legal Aptitude, I started going through legal terms right from the very beginning. But my Legal Knowledge grew expeditiously once Varun Sir came on-board.
At the beginning I used to solve legal questions quite easily but when I entered into the arena of solving critical legal questions, where options were very similar to each other, I faced difficulties where Sidharth Sir and Shreshth Sir guided me well. With their guidance and gradually through practice, I evolved a skill to distinguish between the correct and the similar but incorrect options as in every option there is a latent clue. Over and above that, all the teachers were easily approachable 24 hours not only with regard to studies but also to boost up my confidence level.
3. You had taken a year off before CLAT 2018. How did you go about that year in between? 
Initially, my routine was noting down the daily GK, reading the newspaper, completing exercises of Norman Lewis and studying one subject per day along with attending the classes in CLATapult. But for the last few months prior to CLAT, I used to study sincerely for 12-14 hours daily which included 1-2 mocks per day. I gave equal importance to each subject as even a difference of .25 mark plays a great role here.
4. Coming to your incredible CLAT score – what was your initial reaction to it? 
After knowing the score I was on cloud nine but was bit worried with regard to whether I would make it to the top 3 NLUs or not. I thanked my parents, teachers and the almighty for their blessings and support which made me keep going throughout this wonderful journey which now is a beautiful memory.
5. How did CLATapult contribute to this?  
At the outset, I would like to say that the contribution of CLATapult cannot be expresssed in words. The faculty members are excellent in their respective subjects. Their motivation played a vital role to uplift the level of confidence which is indispensable for success in such a highly competitive exam. Mocks, exercises and the compendia of CLATapult were really of great help. Motivation talks by Anzar Sir and all other teachers were just like a blessing as many a times I lost hope after scoring low in mocks. But they always made it a point to give a patient hearing to my problems that truly bolstered my confidence.
I think CLATapult is one of the best places to prepare for CLAT in the country because here the faculty members are all from NUJS, the ones who have been there and done that and understand the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of the exam. Last but not the least, I feel blessed to be a part of CLATapult.
6. Which skills and abilities do you consider important to do well in CLAT? 
I would consider one’s reading ability and time management skill as the two most prominent skills to excel in CLAT. But many of us don’t have these skills which we can inculcate by giving plenty of mocks and speed reading exercises. I think one can crack CLAT just by being a little serious and the only way to go about that is by putting in the right amount of effort and consistent study which will enable them to stay in touch with every subject.
7. Your strengths and weaknesses – how did you deal with them?
I would like to share a method that Shreshth Sir shared with us in the CLATapult class. He told us to list our strengths and weaknesses in two separate places. The method to identify the weaknesses is to track mocks and identify the types of questions in every mock where one always makes the mistakes. I used to work more on my weaknesses but at the same time I was not fully detached with my strengths. Day by day, through regular practice, and by giving plenty of mocks, my weaknesses gradually got converted into strengths.
8. What do you think might have been the ‘special ingredients’ in your strategy that put your score so high up the scale? 
I think the special ingredient was my ability to bounce back. Plenty of times, I scored very low in mocks. Rather than getting demoralised, I persisted upon giving more mocks which gradually improved my scores.
9. Mock tests – useful or over-hyped? Which ones did you take and how did you go about them? 
Mocks are the heart beat of success in CLAT. I gave mocks of CLATapult which helped me with its unique mock analytics report. Its ranking method helped me to know how far I went in my journey. Along with that, I gave IDIA free mocks and solved past years papers which gave me a comprehensive idea of the paper. It is important to mention here that merely giving mocks will not serve the purpose unless and until a true analysis of mocks are done whereby weaknesses are converted into strengths.
10. Any words of advice for the aspirants?
To crack CLAT one needs a regular and sincere study and good mentors as well. Mock Tests are the essence of success. Keep in touch with daily current affairs and note them down. Put more stress on it from the month of October and don’t just stick to a single source. Whenever you feel frustrated, have a chat with teachers as they are right people to buff up your confidence level. Time management is the key. So, train yourself to maximize the number of correct attempts within the given time frame and skip the doubtful ones. Also, brace yourselves up for any unforeseen circumstances as happened to so many aspirants in 2018.

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