This article has been written by Isha Sharma, from National Law University, Jabalpur. This article talks about the common mistakes made during the CLAT PG exam to help the aspirants score better.
Table of Contents
Not focusing on the current affairs and newspapers
Most paragraph-based questions that are asked in the examination are based on current legal happenings. This mistake made by CLAT takers goes a long way. Since the examination pattern is para-based, it could provide an excerpt from any legal document or newspaper. Though the exam does not have a separate section for current affairs, it may contain questions related to recent socio-legal happenings based on the paragraph provided. Therefore, it becomes very important for the aspirant to be well aware of the recent happenings and analyse them by reading extensively about them. Reading editorials from renowned newspapers will be very fruitful.
Some newspapers that might help are the Hindu, the Indian Express, the Times of India. You can get an e-subscription for them. One can also read online articles from sources like Live Law, Bar and Bench, SCC Online.
Not analyzing the past-year papers
Analysis of previously asked questions helps in a better understanding of the structure of the paper. Going through the past-year papers helps you identify the areas questions are asked from and helps establish a trend so that you can focus in that direction. The most important part of preparing for the test is to know the pattern and what the demand of the paper is, this cannot be possible without going through the previous papers and acquainting yourself with the pattern, the trends, and the questions. You can access past-year papers from the internet.
Neglecting comprehension based reading and landmark judgments
The passages asked might be extracts from judgments or the questions asked could be on those particular judgments. The consortium aspires to select students who are aware of the legal phenomena in their surroundings and around the world at large. The questions asked are formulated on this basis itself, which is why it becomes important for a CLAT aspirant to read on the current socio-economic and legal narratives taking place around the globe. Since the questions are passage-based one must learn the techniques of speed reading and identifying keywords and tone of the passage to answer the question in a swift and efficient manner. Therefore, it is advised that the candidates should know about important cases and be well-read on them.
Lack of a proper strategy
Most students do not pay importance to making a good strategy that can help them get better at solving the paper. A good strategy can help boost confidence or even shatter it. It is very important to solve the paper in a sequential manner that suits best with the candidate. A well-crafted strategy can work in the candidate’s favour in solving the paper in a better and more time-efficient manner. It is advised that the students pick the passage relating to the topic they are most confident and aware of. This not only eliminates the possibility of more negative marks but also develops the confidence in the candidate to be able to solve the remaining questions in a calm and effective manner.
Solve many mock papers to analyse what areas you are good at and which areas need to be worked on. Subsequently, solve the questions in a sequential order, starting from paragraphs with topics you are most aware and confident about. Solving mock tests will help you skim through the passage and identify how much time you need to devote to each passage.
Ineffective time management
Passages need to be divided in a manner that is most appropriate to yield more marks. It is advised to divide the time in such a way that gives ample time to solve all the passages and their questions. The students can chalk out a strategy they deem appropriate. They can interpret the topic of a passage by taking a cursory glance, by skimming through a passage; in case they are aware of the topic they can dedicate less time to it and more to those they have not read while preparing.
Though, it should be made sure that they do not make errors while solving the known passage in less time. It should also be noted that they should not consume much time on a question related to current affairs as it is knowledge-based and does not need to be solved.
The aspirant also needs to keep in mind that they need to save time for the two 25 mark subjective questions and practice reading and writing on recent topics to enhance their writing skills and write the passage in the prescribed time. Since the subjective part of the paper is comparatively lengthy and is to be written in about 800 words per answer, aspirants should try solving the objective questions faster so that they can dedicate more time to the two subjective questions as they bear more marks.
Panicking while writing the exam
It is often so that students fail to remain calm while appearing for the exam, this not only affects their mental state but can also affect their chances of cracking the exam. Panicking during the exam creates self-doubt and diminishes concentration which can lead to the candidate marking the wrong answer. Since the examination is conducted through an offline mode, marking the wrong answer can lead to a negative marking of 0.25 marks, subsequently, marking the right answer in the wrong question can even lead to more nervousness if you knew the answer to that particular question, as it would then be a loss of 1.25 marks which can create a major difference in your rank.
Therefore, it is advised that the students calm their nerves before the paper and attempt the exam with a peaceful mind. A week before the exam, they should focus on revising the important topics, get a good amount of sleep and have a balanced diet. On the D-day, they should try deep-breathing exercises and while solving the paper, they should first attempt the questions with areas of interest and knowledge that develop their self-confidence and help them boost their scores.
Not solving enough mock tests
Mock tests help understand the paper better and give an upper hand over other candidates. Analysing a mock after attempting it makes one understand where they are lagging behind and creates scope for improvement. Mock tests are created keeping in mind the nature of the previous papers. Solving mock tests and analysing them properly will help the candidate increase their scores if they work on the areas they are weak at. Taking mock tests also helps in formulating an effective strategy and teaches the candidate to manage time efficiently. One can access mock tests through the internet.
Not dedicating time to practice
Practice sessions are very important to improve the problem-solving skills of the student which in turn boosts the confidence and the result. Most candidates do not pay attention to regular practice sessions. Practicing helps develop the concentration that is needed in the examination and also increases the chances of scoring more marks. Candidates should pick a passage and try reading it with a timer on, doing this on a regular basis will help improve the reading speed and help complete the paper on time. One can also solve para-based questions to improve their comprehension and question-solving skills.
Making unintelligent guesses
Since the exam also has negative marking, the person taking the exam needs to keep in mind to make more attempts with more right attempts and fewer wrong ones. It is preferable to not mark questions that are completely based on unknown general knowledge or current affairs. In cases where the candidate knows one or two options to be right or wrong, they may mark one of the options they wish to but one should never blindly fluke while taking the test as a wrong answer can lead to a negative marking of -0.25 marks.
The examination is tough to crack but not an impossible one. Let’s hear some of the best strategies from people who have cracked the exam previously.
CLAT 2020 PG topper: Kaumudi Umrao, AIR 1 said, “I would suggest that anyone planning to take CLAT should start brushing up the basics of various subjects and preparing notes on them well in advance. They should also be well-informed of all recent developments in the legal field. Above all, it is imperative that your preparation is consistent and you keep yourself motivated enough throughout the process.”
CLAT PG topper: Sahil Mathur, AIR 5 said, “You can easily prepare yourself for CLAT UG if you start studying a year or so before the exam, but in CLAT PG, if you do not focus on the fundamental concepts of legal subjects taught in law schools in the beginning of the first year, you will be at a severe disadvantage.”
The CLAT PG exam is quite competitive. Aspirants preparing for the examination should dedicate a major chunk of their time to practice sessions, enhancing writing skills, solving mock tests, and doing extensive reading. To crack this exam, the most important thing is consistency, one should relentlessly study and work towards cracking the exam and should put their blood and sweat into preparation. To sum it all up, if an aspirant prepares for the CLAT PG exam with discipline, consistency, and dedication, they can surely conquer it.
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