N. Sathyanarayan, the founder of iQue Ideas appeared for the CLAT 2015 exam and secured an All India Rank 50. Having trained thousands of CLAT aspirants so far he speaks about his first hand experience of the CLAT 2015 exam and addresses some common questions that students have been asking him.
1.How do i prepare for the GK and current affairs section efficiently?
General Knowledge and Current Affairs are both part of the same section and together constitute 25% of the paper. There are lots of books available on GK in fact any year book will do.There are plenty of famous titles available in the market and you can choose any one of them. For current affairs, read the newspaper diligently, subscribe to different websites available on the internet. There’s no set time frame for current affairs however as a rule of thumb, we believe from the march of the previous year to the march of your exam date would be a safe period to assume questions from.
2. Many of the logical reasoning question in CLAT 2015 exam were quite difficult and felt like CAT level questions. Do I actually need to prepare post graduate level questions?
It is not wrong to prepare more. Of course it’s not fair to expect students who are preparing for an undergrad level exam to be able to solve questions from a post graduate level but if your basic preparation is done well, if you’re confident on most of the concepts that you feel are going to be asked anyway and you have a little bit of extra time then there’s no harm in preparing for such questions. Don’t intensively go about doing tons and tons of such questions with the fear that the exam is going to be as tough as last year. Apart from a few questions here and there, most of the questions in last year’s paper were pretty solvable and within the domain of your expected syllabus questions. The ones that were difficult applied to all the students so it’s not wrong to leave such questions as most of the students would have done the same and effectively brought down the cut-off’s of the various institutes. Don’t waste too much time attacking PG level questions, stick to your regular material and master it well.
3. How many mock test papers should I attempt?
The key to getting the most out of your mock test practice is to sit and analyze where you stand after each mock paper. Identify your strong areas and weak areas. Find out which questions made you loose the most amount of time, which question you got wrong and why. It doesn’t matter if you’ve attempted 20-30 mock papers. Even if you diligently solve 5 mock papers with proper post exam analysis and work on your weak areas after each mock test and fine tune your performance at every step, that’s going to really make you polish your preparation.
4. During exam the fear grabs me that what if I don’t crack this exam? This affects my performance, how do I help myself out of this situation?
This is where your own mental strength comes into play. You have to first prepare yourself mentally. It does not matter how much you score individually, it’s relative to other students performance. If you feel the paper is tough and you’re not getting enough questions, other students must be feeling that too. The key is to not get demoralized at that crucial moment, gather together all your focus and just do your best at the exam. This exam does not decide your entire career. Yes, it’s a gateway to move on to the next step in that direction but it’s not the only way. If you don’t get admission in your dream college it doesn’t mean the end of your dreams. Your long term goal is not to crack this paper, but to be a successful person in life.
5. Sometimes in a question more than one options seem to be the right answer? How do I decide which one to choose or should I just make a guess?
Well, CLAT has negative scoring. It’s risky to make guesses that end up being wrong. If you are confused between all 4 options, it is advisable to just leave the question. In case you are able to eliminate 2 of the 4 options, your chances of being right increase to 50%. If you have attempted enough questions it might be worth it to take a shot between the 2 options but if you feel like you haven’t attempted enough questions correctly, it is better to just let it go. So try to eliminate a few options before guessing an option if you really want to attempt the question.
6. In what order should I attempt the sections?
If you are the type of person who panics in the middle of the paper by looking at the low number of questions attempted so far, it is better to start off with a section that you can attempt quickly and is simple, for example GK. You either know a GK question or you don’t. So the time taken is pretty less for GK questions. If you attempt those questions first which you can solve quickly, you will get the confidence of having solved a large number of questions in a short amount of time and won’t panic in the second half of the exam. Some students stick to a particular section and don’t move ahead until they’ve completed all the questions in that section. That’s not necessary, the exam doesn’t restrict you to complete a section to move on to another. If you’re the kind of student who has more energy during the beginning of the exam and gets tired later, it is advisable to attack the toughest section first which requires your most amount of focus. What strategy works for you solely depends on the kind of person you are. Try experimenting different strategies in your mock test papers.