Each law entrance tests you not just on your knowledge on the various aspects (read sections) covered but also on a lot of other skills namely Time Management, Pressure Handling Skills and Decision- making.
Given that we are a few weeks away from the CLAT, the time to discuss the knowledge element of the test is over. You’d be surprised to know that it is usually the other aspects of the CLAT i.e. Pressure, Time Management, Test taking skills which often make the difference between those who go to a top law school and the ones who don’t.
We have harped enough through this blog on these softer aspects of your preparation. It’s time we implement those in the actual test.
It’s a good practice to allocate time for each section, before you attempt the test. However, when doing so make sure you don’t allocate the entire available time i.e. 2 hrs, but only divide 110-115 min, leaving 5-10 min open for unforeseen circumstances.
The rationale behind this is to provide you with a little cushion in case you flout the prescribed time limit for one or more sections, so as to not have you compromise on a particular section just because of lack of time. Even if you do toe the line, the extra 5-minutes can be utilised to review questions where you were about to completely solve it, but had to leave it due to lack of time.
Also this 5-10 minute buffer can come in handy if a section turns out to be tougher than usual.
My advice would be to start with a section you are most comfortable with or a section, which you fancy a lot – getting the first 10-15 questions will give you a lot of confidence and then you can ride high on this confidence. Also, take into account the factor that your concentration levels are generally low during the first 10-15 min, so starting with Logical or Legal Reasoning may not be advisable.
A good combination can be –
English – 20 mins (replace it with another section such as Math if you are weak in English)
Logical Reasoning – 25 mins
GK – 15 mins
At this point you are through the mid way mark (1 hour) and have completed 65% of the test i.e. 130 questions. This is a great place to be in – 1 hour to go and only 70 Qs left.
Legal Aptitude – 45 mins
Maths (or your weakest section) – 15 mins
Note – the combination & time limits should be customised to your convenience (as well as your strength & weakness) – if you typically take more time than recommended in a particular section, then reduce proportionate time in another section to make up for it.
Remember, these time limits are designed keeping in mind the amount of time an average student would need to attempt all (or at least 80-90% questions in each section).
Given the time pressure and the length of the test, it’s very difficult to revisit a section once you have gone past it, so it’s advisable to attempt all the questions you can (leaving out the ones you have no clue about).
Each section will definitely have some blinders that are not worth wasting time on. Therefore, it was important to get rid of these questions, so as to manage time and to save up for questions, which you can solve. Similarly each section will also have its share of sitters, which should be picked up and attacked. Here the margin of error is zilch and you can’t afford to make any silly mistakes.
It is likely that you may have been wedged between two options on more than one occasion, the best way out would have been to mark anyone option and utilise the time saved, on a question where you are relatively more sure of the answer. Again the ideal strategy would have to not get stuck on a particular question, but to move on once you have realised it’s futile to invest more time on it.
One last word, while you are at it, and once you are done with the initial formalities of filling in your details, don’t just sit there and exchange nervous glances with your fellow test takers, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY, they are there for a reason and not to fill up some empty space which we were left with in the test paper.
Oh and forgot to tell you…Breathe! No matter what happens, breathe…
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