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9 tips to ace the Common Law Admission Test

Last updated on: April 20, 2012 07:36 IST

9 tips to ace the Common Law Admission Test

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With barely a month left for the Common Law Admission test, Harsh Gagrani, Director of Legaledge tutorials tells you how to prepare and ace the Current Affairs section section of the paper.

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), is scheduled on May 13, 2012.

With less than a month to go for CLAT, it would be unwise for me to write a detailed and a comprehensive post highlighting the importance of reading newspapers, magazines and the likes.

So let's keep aside the formalities for now and begin examining the key steps to ace the current affairs section of CLAT.

What if you haven't started preparing for Current Affairs yet?

What if you don't know the CA of Current Affairs when your friends talk about issues, which for you aren't just bouncers, but so much over your head that it's impossible to catch it even for the wicketkeeper?

What if you just bought your first CLAT book and even that, well, has no information whatsoever on current affairs?

Don't worry. You still have ample time.

As a great Nike advertisement once said "When the race is on, all bets are off". So don't worry about others having got a head-start.

It's still not too late to start and still end strong.

ALSO READ: Poll: India's Best Law colleges of 2011

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1. Yearbook

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Had there been over half a year to go for CLAT, the importance of reading the newspaper would have figured prominently in any CA (Current Affairs)prep article.

However, with just over 5 weeks to go, follow this order- 1) Yearbook 2) Magazines 3) Newspaper (Distant third, and obviously, only the archives).

Yearbook -- Competition Success Review is good, Manorama is bad.

Magazines -- Competition Success Review is good. Pratiyogita Darpan is way better.

Civil Services Chronicle is even better. But beware! It has a lot of theoretical content. Don't touch it unless you have an exceptionally good reading speed and are devoting most of your time to CA.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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2. Mocks

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Solve a lot of mocks! And a lot means A LOT!

Every law prep institute gives its students mock tests of various law entrance examinations.

And you probably have friends who go to other law prep institutes.

Don't settle for less. Practice as many questions as you can. Keep improving.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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3. Timing

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Ask someone who gave CLAT 2011, the value of a minute.

Every minute counts!

And the way you manage your time might end up being the deciding factor.

In my own experience, 8 minutes should be the ideal time for completing the CA section.

Maximum time: 10 minutes!

Every extra minute spent on CA is a minute wasted.

Try it in your next Mock. 8 minutes ideal! 10 minutes maximum! Period!

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh



Tags: CA , Uttam Ghosh

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4. Notes

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With limited time in hand for preparing for CLAT, making notes is not foolish, but is probably the wisest thing to do.

Reason? You'll be reading in the next one month what many have been reading for the past one year.

Add to it the mathematical formulae that you have to learn, and legal definitions you have to understand, and much more.

Amidst all this, there is a high probability that you will end up forgetting a major part of what you learnt and memorised, and forgetting to the extent that you can't even recall it on seeing the options.

Thus, make notes! And make them well.

Buy a medium sized register, and divide it into atleast 7-8 equal parts, devoting 12-15 pages to each part.

Dedicate a section to topics like (a) Appointments and Removal (b) Records (c) Awards and Honors (d) Sports (Including Sports Awards) (e) Notable deaths (f) Important state news and so on.

Keep categorising the notes to their individual sections from your readings of the yearbook, magazines, mocks, compendiums etc.



Tags: CLAT

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5. Past year papers

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Revising past year papers for your CA prep might sound odd, or even ridiculous.

But get hold of the past year papers to understand the pattern in which the questions are asked.

This applies even more to the students who have just started preparing for CA and are totally clueless about the variety and range of CA questions that are asked.

Past year papers will greatly shatter the myths surrounding CA and will help you in preparing for CLAT 2012 better.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh



Tags: CA , Uttam Ghosh

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6. Perspective

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This directly follows point 5. And follow this only when you are done following point 5.

Whenever you are confused whether any particular piece of news is important or not from CLAT perspective, place yourselves in the examiner's shoes, and ask yourself, "Had I been an examiner, what questions would/could I have carved out of this?".

If no sensible question can be carved out of a particular piece of news, ignore it and move on.

You just saved few very precious minutes of your remaining prep time.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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7. Editorial

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Many people say the importance of editorials is overstated!

While they may be wrong, they aren't so wrong for our purposes.

If a student has started preparing for CA a few weeks before the exams, editorials will only distract him from the to-the-point and straight news which is more important for CLAT purposes and he might end up spending more time on theoretical discussions and learning's.

Ignore the editorials for now.

Focus on the facts and data and information.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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8. Mnemonics

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Mnemonics, according to the Oxford Dictionary is "a system such as pattern of letters, ideas or associations which assists in remembering something".

To remember the long list of important dates, names, and awards in a short period of time, use mnemonics techniques.

Connect the record holders with their respective records by using acronyms (remember BODMAS?) or make funny sentences out of them.

Be as funny or foolish as possible. It's effective. Students of almost all law schools memorise names and order of cases this way!

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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9. Revise

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Nothing, not even making notes, or mnemonics, will be totally successful unless you don't keep atleast 20 per cent of your time for revising everything.

Back in NLIU (National Law Insitute University), I always messed up my papers which I attempted without revising my notes.

And yes, it was not psychological.

Keep atleast the last one week for revising all your notes and acronyms and fundas.

Believe you me; you're not wasting your time. You're making sure the time you spent reading on CA in the first instance was not time you wasted!

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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10. Extra effort

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What is this 10th point doing in the "9 tips" article? Well, this point is symbolic!

Of that extra effort. That extra mile!

That's what you've got to do for the next one month. Study more. Read extra.

Aimed for finishing up sports today? End up finishing sports awards also.

Aimed for finishing the awards today? End up finishing the records also.

Aim big. End up finishing extra. The sleep you compromised on won't matter 2 months from now. Your extra score will!

So that's it for now. Don't make of CA what it isn't.

And it certainly isn't tough, rough or harsh. It certainly is long, a lot but also a lot more interesting than others.

Aim for around 42-45 in CA. It's gettable. Even with last month studies.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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