In this article, Gazal Preet Kaur of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law gives answer to the query, is it possible for a science student to clear CLAT and what will be the time management for it.
Presuming CLAT to be difficult for Science students is a STEREOTYPE!
If you are a science student, one can assume that you must be sagged by the expectations of your parents and teachers. You are expected to take off from your schools and land into IITs, NITs, AIIMS, only to name a few. At times, you are forced to choose what you wouldn’t in absence of peer pressure and advice. Science is not a subject, it is an extensive sea of ideas, thoughts and jargons that one can’t resist.
Diving into the unknown is well versed by the students who undergo the immense transition in self when pursuing a stream that includes mathematics and science as the soul of the knowledge’s source. Law is usually not the first preference of these students, it is something that they come across by coincidence. But if you are a science student, determined to get into the shoes of a lawyer, this profession is made for you!
If you have searched a bit about getting admission in the top law schools of India, CLAT is the sole answer to the question, something similar to JEE MAINS, AIIMS and NEET. The only artefact that separates them is the period required for preparation. The engineering and medical entrances require at least two dedicated years for getting into the elite institutions while CLAT is comparable to an aptitude exam that tends to judge your mental ability and understanding, therefore does not take long to prepare for. It is no difficult for any prudent science student to beat this metamorphically monstrous exam. In fact, it won’t be wrong to say that science students do it better! Furthermore, Rajat Maloo, a Jaipur lad, topped CLAT 2017 and to everyone’s surprise, he was a science student! People do prefer coaching institutes for the preparation of CLAT, but I believe it can be done by self when you know what to read and what to do.
Am I too late to prepare for CLAT?
Usually, students presume that CLAT needs a lot of time for preparation, which is very wrong. I have come across students who begin to prepare for the exam post their board exams and excel! Though, preparing it from the beginning of 12th standard does give an edge over the students who begin to comprehend their dream of studying in an elite law school of India a bit late. But, it hardly makes a difference, it does not matter for how long do you study, grasping the gust of the knowledge available from the subjects is what matter the most. It is never too late to realize your dream, therefore, even if you dedicate one or two months honestly, you have a great chance of cracking this metamorphically monstrous exam.
Self-Study v. Coaching
Science students have the capacity to sit for a long time and do nothing but study. This is one of the most vital habit that one must possess to crack CLAT. A science student does not need extra efforts to study on his own. He is capable of the same. Choosing between a coaching institute or choosing to study by self is the most common confusion that students usually have. Since, the subjects of this exam are entirely different from that of yours, special preparation is required. Hence, in many cases coaching institutes and crash courses are favored.
- One can prepare for CLAT on his own, only and only if he is serious enough and knows precisely what is required to study.
- Logical reasoning is generally easy, the only thing required to score well in it is patience and management of time. The only score defining factor required in this section is speed. In order to improve the speed, there are 40 questions, one cannot afford to waste a single minute. One must try to finish them off in 30 minutes. I would suggest you to practice completing around 45 questions in half an hour so that it becomes easier for your body and brain to cope up with the stress and time trouble.
- Numerical Reasoning (Mathematics) includes the syllabus till that of 10th standard, therefore, NCERTs are best preferred for it. There are only 20 questions in this section, customarily, they are easy. This section must be attempted at the end since it has the least weightage.
- English can be prepared by self, one needs to read at least two newspapers, usually The Hindu and The Indian Express are preferred the most. English section includes comprehension, antonyms and synonyms. Their sources cannot be delimited therefore, it is pre-eminently preferred. There are 40 questions in this section.
- Legal Aptitude and Legal Reasoning are the subjects that usually require guidance, therefore, a crash course or guidance from some CLAT mentor. This section has 50 questions.
- Newspapers are the essentials that help you the most. Comprehension, antonyms, synonyms, etc., can never be delimited, newspapers help you to enhance your knowledge for the same. Online quizzes of current affairs are an innovative means of learning the current affairs. Apps like GK Current Affairs, CLAT Law Entrance, etc. serve as a great interface to understand the objectives required for the exam. They act as liberators in weeks just before the exam. Though one gets a hold of facts through modern means of websites like Jagran Josh, GK Duniya, GK Today, etc., newspapers, though primitive, always serve as the best means to study for CLAT. Erratically, tough questions for general knowledge are asked. There are 50 questions in this section.
12th standard is probably the most important stage of schooling, saying it to be the end of the schooling will be apt. No one would like to finish it off with a disaster, therefore any student irrespective of the stream he chooses tries his best to score good in his boards as well as all other entrance exams. Usually, CLAT is not the first bag thing for Science students. It is something that they come across later. But there are many who have a huge inclination towards this exam. Therefore, managing time for studies of boards as well as CLAT becomes crucial.
- Reading newspapers is the most vital part of preparation therefore, an hour for it in a day is very necessary. One can study General Knowledge anytime anywhere with the help of magazines like Gyanam, Pratiyogita Darpan or Competition Success Review and various current affairs apps.
- Design a schedule, that allows you to finish off your home-work and revision of class room notes, and practice questions, which is the most important part of studying science. Since, physics will be one of your subjects, you will have a hold of mathematics, even if you study biology.
- Make sure that you study General Knowledge and Current Affairs daily, and the rest of the subjects can be studied at alternative days.
- Try testing your knowledge every week through online mock tests and apps, or through test series offered by various coaching institutes.
Boards and CLAT
- Do not neglect your board exams in the pursuit of CLAT preparation. They do matter.
- Do not forget to read newspapers since their importance increases with the incoming of CLAT, conventionally, questions related to latest news are asked.
- Try spending at least one hour a day to revise Legal Aptitude and Legal Reasoning, because one tends to forget the topics related to it.
- Try to dedicate 3 to 4 hours for Logical and Numerical Reasoning in a week, that will help you to improve your speed which is an essential part of the two sections.
- Strictly stick to the criteria of solving at least one mock test in a week.
Post Board Exams
Generally, there is a gap of one month (on a lower end) between the boards and CLAT, unlike JEE MAINS or AIIMS, that follow them (boards) immediately, therefore, a student gets enough time to revise the entire syllabus. This is the most crucial time that may define your victorious journey to your law school.
- Dedicate at least 10 days to revise the entire syllabus methodically, so that you may begin with a rigorous regime of mock tests.
- After the revision, solve questions and mock tests seriously and in the stipulated time of 2 hours.
- You may join online test series offered by various coaching institutes and mentors.
- Apart from mock tests, try solving maximum questions that you can for more than 2 hours, so that you do not get tired while attempting the questions.
- Again, do not leave reading newspapers even for a day.
A Week Before the Exam
It is expected of you to be prepared by this time, it is the time when you plan your strategy.
- Analyze the mistakes that you made in your mock tests, evaluate the places that you are weak in and try giving a quick glance at all of them.
- Though you might be preparing for CLAT in specific, do apply for exams for other law schools as well, that gives you an experience of attempting a CLAT like exam.
- Fix the time period that you would devote to a specific section. I would prefer 30 minutes for English, 30 for Logical Reasoning, 40 for Legal Aptitude, 10 for GK and 10 minutes for Mathematics.
- The most commonly followed sequence to attempt these sections is GK, English, Legal Aptitude, Logical Reasoning and Mathematics. It is not necessary to follow the same sequence, one has to look at his own convenience.
- Sleep well and try relaxing yourself few days before the exam.
It is appropriate to say that, Science is a beautiful virtue bestowed upon us. It cannot restrict the scope of understanding, in fact it lays the foundation to acquire any other scope of knowledge.
Also, nothing in life is hard, that’s something present in our cerebrum. Never lose hope, never give up on yourself. Trust yourself, remain cool before the exam. Do not let anxiety and fear overpower you and trap the best that you have. Push yourself every day from your bed to the study table, until you achieve what you want. BEST OF LUCK!