This is a fact undeniable that a career in law is one of the most universally respected professions in India. And why should such a profession not be revered? The skills that a lawyer has to manifest form an unending list: oratory, research, analysis, counter- analysis, writing and what not. Maybe that is one of the greatest reasons why the career is so popular among the youth. But as the proverb goes, “The sweetest nectar is tasted by only the hardworking bee.” Consequently, getting into a reputed Law College has never been an easy errand. Thus, this article is dedicated to all those students, or budding lawyers, who are either still confused trying to figure out a proper way to prepare or are just interested in knowing more about it.
In India, admission to the top law colleges takes place through an entrance examination we commonly call CLAT (Common Law Admission Test). A total of 19 of the best law schools in India participated in the Common Law Admission Test in 2016. These premier colleges, having very limited seats, consequently make cracking CLAT a difficult errand.
The Common Law Admission Test is generally held in mid-May with registrations and applications taking place in the month of April. In the previous year, CLAT received a record breaking 45000 applicants which goes on to signify the exacerbating craze for these premier Law schools. According to several specialists, CLAT as an examination is not unnaturally challenging like IIT-JEE or the ISI entrance examinations. However, it is the competition that makes the examination difficult to crack.
The Common Law Admission Test comprises the following subjects:
- English (Including Comprehension): 40 marks.
- General Knowledge (Current Affairs): 50 marks.
- Elementary Mathematics (Basic Numerical Ability): 20 marks.
- Legal Aptitude: 50 marks.
- Logical Reasoning: 40 marks.
All these subjects together make a paper of 200 marks which has to be completed in a time period of two hours.
How to prepare?
As far as the subjects are concerned, the preparation has never proved to be overwhelmingly challenging. Any student with an acceptable intellect and interest in legal affairs has the potential to crack the test. The challenge however lies in regular preparation with effective time management. In this section, I shall try to provide some ways in which any law aspirant can begin his/her preparation in a coherent manner.
- English: If you believe that certain aspects of English Grammar are turning out to be confusing for you, just get hold of a decent English Grammar book and get yourself clarified. I would personally recommend “High School English Grammar and Composition” by Wren and Martin for the purpose. Another aspect of English that is very important for CLAT is vocabulary. There are numerous ways of improving your lexicon; like reading newspapers, reading vocabulary books, or visiting a cool website like this. Apart from that, practicing comprehension on a regular basis should suffice.
- General Knowledge: The best way to prepare for this section is to get hold of a good book on General Knowledge. My personal recommendation would be the Manorama Yearbook. Reading newspapers and watching news (both National and International) on a daily basis is highly recommended.
- Mathematics: To be very honest, this section can be effectively prepared by getting hold of any Math book of standard 10. One just needs to clear the fundamental concepts, and the rest can be easily taken care of through one’s numerical skills. Regular practice is necessary in this subject.
- Legal Aptitude: This section is basically meant to assess your interest in law (Maybe just sitting for the exam is not convincing enough). To score well in this section, one needs to have a clear understanding of legal concepts (like the difference between murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and so on). The emphasis should lie on the fundamental concepts and not on complex legal analyses. The markets are filled with books meant for CLAT preparation, and such books should suffice.
- Logical Reasoning: This section is the most time consuming. The smartest way to score well in this section is to learn tips and tricks to solve problems fast and use those tricks while solving as many problems you can. The key is to get familiar with the problems. Arihant Publishers have several cool books on this topic.
The greatest area apart from the above is time management, and it is something that can only be achieved through regular and timed practice. The past question papers play a major role here.
Lastly, one must always remember that ‘Hard work is the sole key to success.’
To find CLAT coaching classes near you, click here.