Istela Jameel, a classroom student in CLATapult, fetched an AIR 317 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, Istela talks about her journey from her decision to start preparing for CLAT after Class XIIth to the outstanding news of fetching such an amazing rank in CLAT 2018.
What prompted you to choose law?
Lawyers have a huge impact on the society and can shape the future of the country and that is what drove me to pursue it as a future. Also, when I saw my seniors in school prepare for CLAT, it caught my attention and I found myself more inclined towards that than any other entrance exam.
When did you start preparing for the exam? Take us through how you prepared for each subject in CLAT.
I started preparing for CLAT in the month of August. I referred to my CLATapult modules and a few other books which were suggested to me by Anzar Sir.
In English, vocabulary building and speed reading were of primary importance. A strong vocabulary helps a lot in comprehension and passage based questions. Norman Lewis is the Bible for vocabulary building. If one is thoroughly done with this book then half the job is done for English. Reading the newspaper religiously, especially the editorial section, helped with my reading speed and power of analysis.
For Maths, I practiced online. There are a number of sites which are dedicated towards preparation for competitive exams. Those sites and all the Maths classes in CLATapult helped me cover this subject in its entirety.
Legal reasoning was comparatively the easiest and the most important section. The Legal Reasoning modules, the sectional tests and the past years’ papers helped me gain a stronghold over this. The legal reasoning classes in CLATapult were exception. They cleared all the important concepts and all the doubts, leaving no room for confusion.
I personally found Logical Reasoning to be the most time consuming and the trickiest section. RK Agarwal’s book on Logical Reasoning was the best for extensive practice. The worksheets given to us in class were also of great help.
GK was the most vast of it all. In the beginning, it seemed like an ocean of information to be memorised. With proper strategies and compartmentalization, the ocean did get emptied out with a spoon. For current affairs the CLATapult Compendia and the monthly sheets of over a hundred questions sufficed. The importance of the newspaper cannot be stressed enough. For Static GK, Pearson or Arihant’s book on GK was enough.
Coming to your incredible CLAT score – what was your initial reaction to it?
My first reaction to my result was complete shock followed by doubt. I wanted to and had aspired to achieve this but I didn’t quite expect this, so it came a pleasant surprise. The happiness of everyone around me made that feeling sink in and made me feel very content.
How did CLATapult contribute to this?
CLATapult has been such a great help. I could not have managed this result without them. The teachers were exceptionally good and their unconventional approach to studies made it so much more fun and interesting. Every class was a must attend. They motivated us to give in our best by giving us a little insight into the life in a top law school. The module and the compendiums were very well detailed and made so easy to understand and student friendly. It was a wonderful experience and I am really grateful to CLATapult for helping me get through CLAT.
Which skills and abilities do you consider important to do well in CLAT?
Speed reading, strong comprehension, sharp memory form the perfect triumvirate.
Your strengths and weaknesses – how did you deal with them?
In the beginning GK and Maths were my weakness but both these subjects, if practiced thoroughly, can become your strength and are hugely mark-fetching. English and Legal Reasoning were my strength but it was important to not
ignore them and keep revising them regularly.
What do you think might have been the ‘special ingredients’ in your strategy that put your score so high up the scale?
Proper time management and practicing sectional tests as much as possible. Also, not stressing too much and adjusting oneself to two hours of the exam by taking the mocks from 3-5.
Mock tests – useful or over-hyped? Which ones did you take and how did you go about them?
Mock tests are the most important part of the preparation. Attempting as many mocks from various sources as possible and properly analyzing each one of them is the key.
Any words of advice for the aspirants?
Don’t stress too much because in the end it is just an exam. A pretty important one but still an exam. Shoot for the stars and you’ll land up in the moon. Happy studying.