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CLAT 2016 Results: Your best course of action, whether you got your dream law school or not!

The CLAT seems to continue to hold questions & mysteries and a lot of you still are clueless with what to expect & what your fate hold in store for you. Again, I can’t predict (the variables are too complex – who will drop out of admission, who will take admissions, the preference lists, the category ranks etc.)

All I can say is: Welcome to adulthood! There are no easy answers, no straight paths. Here’s an attempt to give you some clarity in these days of prolonged uncertainty.

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Fill this form, if you haven’t already, so that we can give you a more personalised feedback on your options.

If you took the CLAT, there can be 3-4 categories that you’d fit in, here is my take (in a video) to address what can be the best course of action for the category you find yourself in:

If you’d like personalised advice, please write into me at kunal@mylaw.net & I’d be happy to help you! If your parents are putting pressure on you or are more concerned than you or if you are debating whether to even pursue law or not, then drop me an email & I can speak to you/your parents on the phone.

Remember,  about 40,000 people wrote the test and only about 3000 can qualify for NLUs or the top private law schools (Symbiosis etc included). So, if you don’t find yourself in a NLU, you have approx 37,000 people to give you company.

  1. Did not get into an NLU, did not get into a top private law school. 
  2. Got into a new NLU or a top private law school, but not the top 5 NLUs. 
  3. Got into a top NLU but not the one I wanted. 
  4. Got into the NLU, I wanted – you guys can make your own video🙂

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As always, don’t run pillar to post seeking advice from so called CLAT Gurus, use your brain, research about the various options, gather as much data & information about the possible choices you have (be it private law schools, newer NLUs or alternate career options such as BBA, Delhi University). Remember, in the end it is your life and the decision you take is going to impact you & only you (not your parent, definitely not some self-anointed CLAT expert & not even me). As I said, part of growing up is taking your decisions, accepting your errors, bearing the consequences & learning from your own mistakes.

 

And no matter what you choose, there is a large team of people at myLaw (who have studies at the top NLUs, Private law schools, studies abroad, worked at the top law firms) to guide & mentor you to become the best lawyer you can be at the end of 5 years (irrespective of which law school you went to). And we take our promises very seriously! 

 

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Think you know CLAT 2016 cut-offs? You know nothing, Jon Snow!

 

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This is the simple truth & I have dedicated an entire post explaining with facts and logic on how all these predictions are nothing but speculations (click here if you haven’t read it already). You are better off waiting for the official CLAT ranks & cut-offs and know with certainty and then plan your best course of action. Planning any next steps based on just your scores & some quack’s word is stupid. I’m sure you are familiar with the feeling when you predicted what will happen in the next season of GoTR and then had the egg on your face because the writers decided to change the script! Don’t let that happen to you with CLAT results. Shut up & wait!

Of course, it’s easy for us to give you a number (and to be honest we don’t have anything to lose) but it’ll set you off on a wrong path – and I don’t mean just for the CLAT but for the rest of your life. Learning to be patient (and having a buls*&t detector) is a trait you need to develop, if you want to be successful in life.

Remember in life, & especially for a lawyer, most questions don’t have a straight-forward or a quick answer and sometime it’s ok to not know (in fact not knowing can sometimes help you come back from the dead).

Stay calm – it’s a skill that distinguishes the Tyrion Lannisters from Theon Greyjoys (and the Virat Kohlis from the Shikhar Dhawans). Don’t be a Theon!

Let’s all wait for the next episode i.e. the CLAT Rank List – Worldwide release: May 23rd!

Cheers!

– Kunal

P.S. – Please fill up your information in the form below (if you haven’t already) and once the official cut offs have been declared, we can help you with selection/decision on which law school to pick (including non-NLUs) and the admission process thereafter. 

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The most accurate prediction for CLAT 2016 cut-offs! A million dollar bet, we’ll be right.

Well, well… It’s getting hot, the answer key and the scores are out and 39000 CLAT takers are going crazy trying to make sense of their scores and a bunch of test prep companies are ever so eager to play Nostradamus. Before we give you our two cents on this, please fill up your information in the form below and once the official cut offs have been declared, we can help you with selection/decision on which law school to pick (including non-NLUs) and the admission process thereafter. 

Prediction

Time for the truth –  no one & I mean no one can accurately predict a cut-off.

Let’s understand how cut-offs are calculated – first, the scores of all the CLAT takers calculated(reports say about 39,000 registered for the test & about 35000 people took the test). These students are then segregated based on categories (General, SC, ST, PH, Domicile). Next, they calculate the rank list for each category i.e. in descending order of score, create a list of students. Since, all NLU’s put together have about 2252 seats – identify the top 2252 (separated for different categories).

Look at the preference for these top rankers and allot each student their highest possible preference, if the student’s score doesn’t qualify him/her for their preference 1, then look at preference 2, and so on.

This is how each college fills up its designated no. of seats. The score of the last rank eligible for admission in a particular college becomes that college’s cut-off. So for e.g. if rank 48 (no. of general seats in NLSIU) scores 145, then 145 is the cut-off for NLSIU.

Now, pray explain, unless you know the scores of all the 39k students who took the CLAT, there’s no way to be able to accurately predict scores for each of the 2270 ranks. In fact it is for this reason that the CLAT organising committee is going to take 10 more days to release the cut-offs – yes, it’s that extensive an exercise.

In the absence of this data, most people resort to what they call educated guesses based on:

  1. Last few years’ pattern – not scientific, because the test paper was different, the people writing the test were different. You can’t predict ‘x”s performance in test ‘A’ by looking at ‘Y’ ‘s performance in test ‘B’. (Yes! Now you know how stupid this is.)
  2. Feedback of a few students that they have spoken to – Statistically speaking that’s how a lot of market research is done, or election results are predicted. The problem is that the sample size in our case is very small (an individual may have spoken to at best a hundred odd CLAT takers) and hence the prediction has a very large margin of error (oh, remember even psephologist – people who predict election results – go wrong, often!). Lastly, unlike elections, predictions here require precision & not a general understanding of trends.
  3.  Their analysis of the difficulty level of the test paper (given that some of them write the test themselves) and what is an achievable score – This is probably seems the vaguest but may actually be relatively more accurate than the above two. However, the operative word here is ‘RELATIVE’.

Of course a lot people will be up in arms (especially the ones who make these predictions) and may claim that their predictions are fairly accurate – my only response to that is that in a test like CLAT – unless your predictions (for each college) is accurate to the 2nd decimal place, it isn’t accurate. Astrologers have for ages relied on Confirmation Bias.

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All predictions are no more than a hunch –  I’ve been on the other side to know how non-scientific this process is, and to be honest the biggest reason we would issue these ‘guesses masked as predictions’ was to calm down over-anxious kids, because it’s tougher to explain what I have in this post to an anxious 18 yr old (and hundreds & thousands of you) and easier to just throw a number at them – after all who’ll remember if you were right or wrong. The ones who get through would be too busy celebrating & the ones who don’t, too morose to!

I can go on about this – here’s what you need to know, it doesn’t matter what the cut-offs may be, because what is done is done. Most importantly, you cannot influence the results or the outcome (you had your chance until the last minute of that 2 hours), so why worry about something (or second guess with even 80% accuracy) which you will know with 100% certainty in less than 2 weeks.

So chill! Enjoy the next 2 weeks – and if you have other tests to write, then keep at it – give your best shot at your preparation, learn from the mistakes you made with your CLAT prep (or what you did right) – nothing like getting through both CLAT and your back-up plan (engineering, medical, BBA or whatever else), and then decide which one to pursue.

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My advice for CLAT (& life per se) – As, Unsaintly St. Balotelli once said – “Sometimes in football you deserve to win but lose. Other times you deserve to lose or draw but you win. That is the game, and it’s why I’ve always said you should never try to predict anything in football”. 

Just replace Football with life and you have a tenet for life.

Cheers!

P.S. – And just to justify the headline for this post – here’s my prediction for the CLAT cut-off – it’ll be between 0 & 200 (there is still a .000000001 chance that I may be proven wrong, but I’ll take my chances:). Wanna bet?

P. P. S – fill the form

 

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When the going gets tough, the tough get going! The strategy for those who have given up!

This post is for those who find themselves down in the dumps – with a cloud of despondence & gloom – already casted their verdict that they won’t make it through the CLAT tomorrow. Your preparation is inadequate and you don’t seem to believe you’ll get through. This is a strategy I hope you may never need (and circumstances that I pray that you don’t find yourself in).

But if you do, here is what you need to do.

Firstly, don’t get neurotic – no one has ever solved a problem being under an anxiety attack. Agree, you are in a difficult spot and have no hope. But there is always hope. In fact the brighter side (and there is always a silver lining even to the darkest of clouds) is that things can’t get worse than this – when you are at your rock bottom, you can’t fall further🙂.

Two, go out there and give your best shot – it doesn’t matter if it isn’t good enough to crack the CLAT, but the most you can ensure is that you give your 100% and that’s what you need to do.

It’s like you have been given 300 runs to chase in 20 overs – no one has ever done it, the chances of anyone doing it are minimal but heck who said it’s impossible – it’s technically possible and that’s what you need to remember IT IS STILL TECHNICALLY POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO CRACK THE CLAT TOMORROW. So what do you need is to forget the conventional route and look at things from a new perspective. The best thing is go out there & have fun (try out the weird shots, the scoops & play around with the bowlers’ mind).

Do whatever questions you can to the best of your abilities – now here’s the secret most people who have prepared hard, will be defensive in their approach – meaning they’ll only attempt the questions they are sure about because they are scared of the negative marking. Not you! You don’t have anything to lose (what’s the worst you’ll get one less mark). You need to ensure that you need to get maximum attempts – your best chance to still crack the test is to attempt as many questions (possibly all). The beauty of the CLAT is that the answer is right in front of you and even if you don’t have a clue of the answers, the is still a 1/4 (25%) chance you will get it right. So assuming you knew only 110 Q’s (which I’m very sure anyone will in 2 hrs), and you took a guess in the remaining 90 Q’s, you’ll get atleast 22 right and even after accounting for the negative (17), you can still get 115 marks – enough to get you a national law school. And if luck favours you (especially if you are smart about it ) there are chances you’ll get more.

Another desperate measure is if 10 mins away from the finish line you realise you are left with a lot of Q’s (more than 60—70), suggest you quickly assess how confident you are about getting most or all of the right and if you aren’t pick anyone alphabet (a, b, c or d) and then mark all the Q’s that alphabet – even if you take the negative marking, all you need is 12—15 rights out of the 70 (very probable) you’ll still be in a positive.

Remember, all of this is a last resort strategy and if you already have managed 150—160 Q’s on your own then going for blind guesses isn’t a good ploy.

All I want you to remember is no matter how badly stuck you are, there’s always hope & if you are smart (and understand what the best course of action in those circumstances is) you will have always a shot at cracking this (or any other problematic situation in life). Never give up, and definitely not until the final bell goes off.

Now go out there and make the most of this opportunity – this isn’t the end of your dream, in fact it’s just the beginning. And while you are at it, have fun!

And remember, there are 2 people who know you still can crack the CLAT – you and I. Now go and prove both of us right!

Godspeed!

 

P.S. – sorry for any typos, I am writing this from my phone. I know there are a lot of you on the verge of giving up and I wanted to get this out to you before it was too late.

 

Quick clarification (update to the post)  :

This post, as the name suggests, outlines a desperate or worst case strategy not the best case strategy – you need to weigh the benefits and the costs while writing this test based on how you feel what you chances are – be objective, don’t take an emotional or paranoid decision. Ask yourself if without attempting all the questions you are left with (and you won’t be able to attempt), would you be able to crack the test. If the answer is yes, don’t go for the blind guesses. If the answer is NO. GO FOR IT!

Also, if you are blind guessing, don’t make a pattern (abcdabdc…), instead stick to one alphabet – any one and Mark all of them the same option. Logic – there is an equal probability of each alphabet – when examiners set the exam paper, they try to put the right answers equally across the 4 options (they won’t put all right answers in a’s or b’s). If you mark any one alphabet – there’s a safer chance that you’ll atleast get 1/4th of the flukes.

Again, caveat this is a strategy you need to decide,, it’s your call at the end of it, depending on how the test is going! Warning – if you have attempted – 170± questions on your ability, without much guessing, don’t get greedy.

Lastly, this strategy works best when you have a bunch of questions left together (eg 170 to 200) and not when questions are spread across (eg Q 29, 59, 95, 120, 145…you get the drift).

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Need someone to talk to? Happy to help!

2 more days and we know that you are really anxious and sitting on pins. If I were in your shoes, I’d like to chat with someone and share my fears, the cobwebs in my brain and want someone to tell me if I am doing the right thing – walking along the right path. 

Guess what? I am not you but I’m their for you – for any questions, doubts you want to discuss or just want to reach out and a ear to vent out your frustration.

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Write to me at kunal@mylaw.net and I’ll try to reply to you promptly.

In the meantime here’s a nice video to pep you up – remember the CLAT is not the be all & end all of your existence, it’s just a means to an end.

 

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Top 500 Legal GK & Current Affairs Questions for CLAT 2016

With 3 days to go, we suggest that you don’t do anything new in the next 3 days – except GK. Why GK, because that is the only section where an exact question from your preparatory materials can come in the actual CLAT- and it is for this very reason that we have created a list of 500 most important GK & Legal Knowledge questions for CLAT 2016.

Click here to download the questions – share the link/post with your friends!

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It won’t take you more than a few hours to go through this list – our recommendation is not to cram this list (well however much we say it, you will end up cramming) but instead read through each question – take a minute to understand the concept and visualize it.

For example, if the question in who won the man of the series in the T20 World Cup – pause for a moment – visualize Virat Kohli. Similarly, if the question is Section 66 (a) of the information technology act, 2000 violates which Fundamental Right – pause for a minute and make a connection – visualize 66 A and then visualize the words “Freedom of Speech & Expression” – make a mental note (like a sticky note).

Understanding the connection and having an image in your head is very important. Even if you don’t remember all 500 Qs, you will retain a significant amount – who knows luck might favour you and a bunch of questions come from this list.

Suggest you go through it today & tomorrow and not leave it for last minute cramming on Sunday morning.

You’ll need to unzip the file using a unzip application – contact me at kunal@mylaw.net if you face issues downloading the file.

Good luck!

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Test taking strategy for the CLAT!

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 days 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.

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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…

 

Note – If you haven’t already please watch this video series where past year toppers share their advice on what to do in the last few days before the exam and on the day of the exam. Click here to watch.

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Last Year’s Toppers talk about cracking the CLAT

So we are getting closer to the big daddy of law entrance tests.

For the past few weeks, we have been giving you advice and gyan on what we believe is the most critical things you need to crack the top law entrance tests – however sometimes when you repeat something too often it becomes white noise – so here’s what we did. We got some of the students who cracked the AILET & CLAT to tell us what worked for them and what should one do in the last few days to crack the CLAT.

Don’t believe our advice, then hear it from the horse’s mouth. This is a 7 part series where some of the NLU-Delhi 1st & 2nd year students debunk some of the myths around cracking the test and also give you a no-nonsense approach to success in law entrance tests.

Oh and if you haven’t already, register for the repeat of ‘the-closest-thing-to-the-actual-CLAT’ – the Online Live CLAT Mock Test – http://learn.mylaw.net/clat-mock-test/ – no need to register if you registered for the first one (April 24th).

Watch the video series here:

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Analysis of the Live Mock Test – conducted on 24th April at 3 pm

Spoiler alert – if you weren’t able to take the live mock clat, we suggest you don’t read the analysis and instead register to get another chance to write the Online Mock Test (not applicable for those who have already taken the test) – http://learn.mylaw.net/clat-mock-test/

Overview

The pattern of the paper was based on the various elements tested by the CLAT from 2008 to 2015. Please note this was not a prediction of what the CLAT 2016 pattern would be (suggest you stop guessing or falling for so-called CLAT experts who claim to know or be able to accurately predict the CLAT). The benchmark was the previous year CLAT papers with some experimentation (within reasonable limits) done in view of the boundaries created by the announced CLAT pattern.

Executive Summary

This was a Live Online and was supposed to be a Dress Rehearsal/a dry run of what the CLAT would be like. The questions were a mix of easy, moderately difficult and some difficult questions. Some of the questions may have seemed very difficult – the idea was to expose you to all kinds of questions, be it in Maths or some hard to know info in Legal Knowledge & General Knowledge. Some of the Legal reasoning questions may have seemed too long and difficult – all this and more has probably kept you guessing and wondering how much are we expected to know. The idea of this mock wasn’t to scare you or get you in a fix or to make run for your books (well partially) but was to show you that without even knowing blinders you could have scored a 135-140, which is not a bad score by any standards, and to help you believe that with a little bit of smart play you can crack the toughest of the papers.

However, this test was, by no standards, extraordinarily difficult or too lengthy. Honestly, this was quite a real paper. Let us look at a surface level analysis of the test paper.

 

Section No of Questions Total Marks Time required Expected Score
English 40 40 20 32+
General knowledge 50 50 15 30+
Legal Aptitude 50 50 40 35+
Logical Reasoning 40 40 25-30 28+
Mathematical Ability 20 20 15 10+
Total Marks 200 200 2 hr 135+

A score of 140 wouldn’t have looked a distant possibility; on the contrary (though given that I am writing this even before anyone of you would have attempted the test and so it’s a little early to say,) the top 100 CLAT ranks should have scored well above 150 in this test.

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Section-wise break-up

 

Section I: English

Easy Moderate Difficult Time Required
22 10 8

Like a typical CLAT paper, the English section of this mock had the usual the Vocabulary based questions, an RC passage. Questions of completing the sentence as well as choosing the right expression would have been fairly easy as most questions were straight forward and could have been solved under 20 seconds. The vocabulary question may had you scratching your head & may have been a little difficult for an average student. The questions on filling in the articles were again very straight forward. Reading comprehension would have been the most time consuming of the lot, but by now I am sure you have devised your own methods of dealing with reading long passages and answering questions (skim through the passage once, understand the broad idea, then read the questions).

 

A score of 35 wasn’t too difficult to achieve, a 30+ should have been your goal. Overall you shouldn’t have spent more than 20 minutes on this section.

Section II: General Knowledge

Easy Moderate Difficult
25 13 12

This section tested your knowledge on both, static and current GK, with a larger component of the questions coming from current affairs. Overall, the sections had some moderately difficult questions, which though not difficult to crack, would have put into a fix. Some of the questions were a little tricky this time and would have required you to have specific knowledge about the same. 

You should have been able to score 30+ (with some intelligent guessing). The best thing about GK is that you can complete the entire section in less than 15 minutes.

Legal Knowledge (in GK section)

Legal knowledge in this test was again not as difficult and outlandish and CLAT examiners expect you to know some basic information about laws, which have been in the public arena

Section III: Legal Awareness and Aptitude

Easy Moderate Difficult
24 15 11

Most questions were from torts and criminal law and required basic reasoning abilities and nothing more. Though questions with multiple conditions may have been termed as tough, but the overall difficulty of Legal reasoning wasn’t beyond the actual CLAT pattern and definitely below some of the other Mocks created by us. Overall, considering that there were a few easy picks and most of them required reasoning ability more than in-depth knowledge of the principal, a score of 35+ wouldn’t have been a ‘big ask’.

A score of 40 wasn’t too difficult to achieve, a 35+ should have been your goal. Overall you shouldn’t have spent more than 40 minutes on this section.

Section IV: Logical Reasoning

Easy Moderate Difficult
20 13 7 

Again the Logical Reasoning section had a few Analytical reasoning questions scattered , as we expect this year’s CLAT to have a few AR questions. The section was relatively easy, and other than a few tricky analytical sets, which could have ended up consuming some time, a score of 30 – 35 shouldn’t have been difficult to get. Also with most CR questions, being barely ambiguous, all that was required was a thorough reading of the questions. In AR too this test didn’t have any peculiarly difficult questions which couldn’t have been solved

An average score of 28+ is recommended – with 33+ being a very good score. Overall you shouldn’t have spent more than 25 minutes on this section.

Section V: Maths

Easy Moderate Difficult
11 6 3

The Maths section of this Mock was moderately difficult. One could have picked up the easy questions and then attacked them, though there were a few difficult questions scattered across the section, with each question for 1 marks all that you had to do was solve 12-15 questions and you could have easily managed a score of 12+. Some of the questions were extremely difficult. Such questions are better left alone.

Caveat: Don’t waste too much time on a difficult maths question as it may keep you entangled for 3-4 min., and at the end of it you may get it wrong, even if you do get it right, it is foolish to spend 4 minutes to earn 1 mark, where as in the same time you could have attempted 15-20 GK questions (15-20 marks).

An average score of 12+ is recommended – with 15+ being a very good score. Overall you shouldn’t have spent more than 15 minutes on this section.

 

Overall, I wouldn’t say the test was difficult and barely tested your conceptual knowledge. I agree the anxiety levels for this mock would have been relatively more than what they were for the previous few mocks, especially with the pressure of doing well in a test called pre-CLAT where you could can compare your performance at a National level and may have adversely affected your scores, a hint about how much damage can extra pressure cause.

The benchmark was the previous year NLS papers within reasonable limits of experimentation done in view of the boundaries created by the announced CLAT pattern.

In the meantime, if there is anything that you feel I can help you with please do not hesitate to contact me at: kunal@mylaw.net

Take care, and all the best with your preparation.

Share with us your experience on the Live Mock test:

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myLaw.net Mock Test Series: Free

You’re 4 weeks away from the CLAT and about 3 weeks away from the  AILET. If there is one thing we believe that can help you improve the most it is the Mock Tests – we can’t emphasize enough on how much the mocks can help you.

Expert tip – Since the actual CLAT is conducted between 3 pm to 5 pm. You should take each of the mock tests between 3 pm to 5 pm. Remember, the CLAT is as much a test of knowledge as it is of your test taking skills. Some of you are morning persons, while others are evening persons and it is important that you get used to being your utmost focussed, attentive and in top form between 3-5 pm.

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We are assuming you have already taken our first mock, if not, please take it today – https://clat.mylaw.net/2016/04/01/take-your-first-mock-test-free/

This is the broad schedule we’d like you to stick to:

14th April – Mock 2

17th April – Mock 3 (or 16th if you are writing the IP University CET)

20th April – Mock 4

24th April – Mock 5

26th April – Mock 6 (AILET Mock)

28th April – Mock 7

30th April – Symbiosis Entrance Test

1st May – AILET

2nd May – Mock 8

4th May – Mock 9

6th May – Mock 10

If you haven’t registered for the first mock (see the post above, please fill the form below and get the 10 mocks in your email).

Oh and the mock itself isn’t the end of the story, the analysis is even more important. If you haven’t read our post on the correct way to analyse the mock, do read it before you attempt your next mock – https://clat.mylaw.net/2016/04/07/improve-your-mock-clat-scores-by-40-in-less-than-a-day/

We’d happy to help you with a deeper analysis of your performance and what you need to focus on to improve – email us back your scores & we’ll work with you. Promise!

 

 

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Learn Legal Reasoning from India’s first & best Legal Reasoning Teacher: Sachin Malhan

Quite possibly, the Legal Aptitude section of the law entrance tests, more than any other, is the most curious for anyone who wants to study law – and this is for two big reasons:

Firstly, Legal Aptitude is supposed to be the section of the paper that you think is closest to what you might actually go through in law school – after all, no other section has even a hint of ‘law’ in it, does it?

Secondly, while you would almost definitely have studied English at high school, and probably even Mathematics, no school –or at least, no school in India that we have heard of –actually teaches Legal Reasoning. Now, we realise that this may cause problems for you, especially those of you who haven’t enrolled in any coaching classes (or even for the ones who have).

So here’s what we did – we got probably the best teacher of Legal Reasoning – Mr. Sachin Malhan, and got him to share all his insights/gyan on how to crack this section. To give you a brief introduction of Sachin. He’s responsible for starting law entrance test prep in the country and was the founder of India’s first and most successful Law Test Prep company, Law School Tutorials (LST), which he started in 1999 while we was still a student at National Law School, Bangalore. LST was later acquired by Career Launcher – he is currently the Executive Director at Ashoka Changemakers & is based out of Washington D.C.

He’s the man responsible for encouraging thousands (or maybe lakhs) of law students to take up law and even today law students (most of whom are now lawyers) across the country credit Sachin for their success.

 

Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing videos recorded by Sachin for this initiative, where he will demystify and make legal aptitude simple for you.

Note: Sachin & myLaw.net are sharing this content free because we want and more and more students (especially who may not have the means to afford expensive coaching) to fulfil their dream of going to the top law schools. Though it is free, this content is priceless in value – feel free to share it with your peers.

This is the first video in a 10 part series, covering Legal Aptitude and Legal Reasoning. Do make sure you listen to all the 10 parts.

The first set is an Introduction to Legal Reasoning (in 2 parts).

 

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Improve your mock CLAT scores by 40% in less than a day!

In my previous post, I talked about the few things that one should keep in mind while writing a mock test (if you haven’t still downloaded our free CLAT mock, get it here – https://clat.mylaw.net/2016/04/01/take-your-first-mock-test-free/

Today, I will talk about what to me is even more important the test itself – the analysis of it.

The analysis of the mock test will you answer a few critical questions, which will pave the way for your preparation in the next few weeks:

1. Strengths & Weaknesses – while most of us tend to have a view on what we are good at and what we aren’t but often these views are severely impaired by our own judgement & prejudice (remember just because you can’t speak fluent English doesn’t mean you don’t know the rules of grammar or simply because you feel uncomfortable with advanced level math, doesn’t mean you can’t calculate speed). Remember, data is king. Your strengths are sections you scored well on & your weaknesses are sections you didn’t. Let the scores determine it.

2. Think maximise strengths, minimise weaknesses – What toimages do with your weaknesses? Some weaknesses are permanent & some can be cured fairly quickly. Decide whether you have had a lifelong issue with Math (or English) and take on a call if it’s worth spending too much time on it now. 30 days will not make you a math whiz (or significantly improve your vocabulary) but can be enough to remember some easy percentage, speed etc. formulae (or clarify some common grammar rules, which get tested often in the CLAT). After you are through with those simple things that is easy to improve, take a call if doing anything more is even possible for you. You’d rather use your time strengthening an area you are good at (scoring a 40 on 50 in Legal Aptitude, instead of being satisfied with 34). Remember, every mark counts and which section they come from doesn’t matter (a boundary of the edge is as many runs as a spectacular cover drive).

 

3. G.K. – This is one section everyone struggles with in the mock tests (especially if you started your CLAT prep a few days or weeks ago). Don’t worry, it’s bound to happen. The problem with GK is that no matter how much you prepare, there will always be 8-10 tricky questions (after GK in anything under the sun). The good thing about GK is that a conscious effort for 4-5 weeks is sufficient to prepare you for 70% of the questions. Also, GK scores can improve the most in the next 3-4 weeks. The more questions/facts you read the better your GK gets. Lastly, remember, all mock tests have above average GK, because we are trying to quiz you & prepare you for the weirdest and the most arcane questions (leaving no stone unturned). The best thing is that this is one section where a question from a mock or your prep materials can land up in the actual CLAT – so make sure you review each question that you didn’t know in the GK section of a mock.

4. Reasoning based questions – Both logical reasoning & legal reasoning section tests you on your reasoning skills.

images (3)While, everyone has an in-built ability to reason & rationalise, however, the daily rhetoric & prejudiced debates on TV (what the nation wants to know), prejudices of our peers/parents often colour our thinking and impair this ability to think clearly. This requires us to make a conscious and deliberate effort to eliminate our bias/prejudice while evaluating arguments (you can do so while reading the newspaper or next time you watch the news – ask yourself – Do I really need to shout out Bharat Mata ki Jai? Do you? Just ask!).

Again, the good thing is once you spot the errors you are making in the process of arriving at the conclusions, you’ll realise it’s fairly easy to fix. Remember to read the answer explanations very carefully for legal & logical reasoning questions to understand why your answer is wrong & what the correct answer is. Often, students are able to eliminate 2 wrong options, but then get stuck with two options and mark the wrong one. Understand the flaws in your reasoning, and it won’t just help you crack the CLAT but become a better lawyer (in fact a smarter human being).

5. NEED FOR SPEED – A lot of you will realise that finishing 200 questions in 120 minutes is very difficult. This is one skill which you will only gain with time & by taking more and more tests (you should aim to do at least 10 tests before you write the CLAT). This is also usually the difference between those who crack the CLAT and the ones who don’t. Cut-offs in the CLAT are 140+ – there is no way you are scoring 140 marks, if you have attempted 130 questions. We’ll talk about negative marking separately, but for now push yourself hard when you are writing the test and aim to get to Question number 200. Don’t make the mistake of taking too much time on certain questions (especially in Legal Aptitude, Math or Reading Comprehensions). Remember, each question is one mark, whether you spend 2 minutes on it or 30 seconds, you’ll only get 1 mark. Thumb rule- if you can’t solve it in 1 minute, let it go (i.e. mark one of the options that seem best at that moment). Don’t waste time. Not getting a question right is bad, wasting 3 minutes on it is suicidal. If you feel nervous leaving a question because one hand is better than 2 in the bush – remember, until you get to question number 200, you won’t know what kind of question the paper has. Maybe there are far more easier questions in the test than the one you are racking your brains on (there’s no point crying over a question, when there are 199 more you can utilise your time on).
Simple rule – Your aim in the CLAT is to get to Question number 200. 
If your attempts continue to be low (anything less than 180) figure out whether it is because you didn’t know the remaining questions or because you were short of time or you were scared of the negative marking? If it is the first, then you need to work on the topics you are missing out on. If time is the constraint then read the above point again & make it your mantra. If you are scared of negative marking, remember it’s the positives that help you get past the cut-off, if you don’t attempt enough questions you won’t make it.
Now the fun part – do this simple exercise:
Attempt the mock test. Calculate your section-wise score (rights, wrongs & not attempted in each section) as well as your total score (accounting for the negative marking). Read through the explanations closely for the questions you got wrong. See where you went wrong and try to review the concept and do your best to learn from it (especially if it is a GK question). Set aside all the questions you didn’t attempt and don’t go through the answers or explanation for these questions. Now re-attempt these questions in a timed scenario i.e. if you didn’t attempt 50 questions, attempt them again in 30 minutes (calculate at 36 sec per question). Calculate your score for these 25 questions.
Assuming you got 100 correct and 50 wrong in the original attempt, your score would be 87.5 marks. Let’s assume you got 25 correct & 25 wrong in the second set. Now, imagine instead of the 50 you got wrong (you would have at least spent 30 minutes on these 50), you attempted just the 25 from the second set (which you left unattempted in your original attempt) your score would have been 100 (from the original attempt) PLUS 25 (from your second attempt) – i.e. 125. That’s an improvement of 37.5 marks (or 42%). This is assuming all things remaining the same (no changes in your preparedness, whatever knowledge you had with you before you wrote this test).
If you recall my post – https://clat.mylaw.net/2016/03/25/score-over-your-toughest-competitors-in-the-clat/ (with the Calvin & Hobbes Image), this is your SERENITY PRAYER. Attempt the questions you know, leave the ones you don’t and develop the sense to instinctively know the difference.
This is your single biggest improvement area.
Best,
Kunal
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CLAT: Super six guidelines for writing a Mock Test!

Now that we have started the Mock Tests (the first one is out & more are on the way)- in this post I want to explain the importance of mock tests & how to use them correctly.

There are two parts to a mock test – the test itself (i.e. writing the test) and the analysis. I usually put more emphasis on the analysis for the first few mocks that you write. The test itself is only important insofar that the more tests you write, the more likely you are to develop muscle memory for this test taking process.

I’ll leave the actual test taking process for a later post and put down some guidelines that you must follow while writing the test:

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1 – Respect the Mock, which essentially means treat the Mock test like an actual test. Sit down in a quiet place, keep all distractions away (phone, facebook, parents, friends, more than friends). Imagine yourself at the test venue.

2. You can’t take breaks or write the test in parts (i.e. write half the test in one go & the other in another).Remember, what I said earlier the mock is greater than the sum of its parts. Don’t treat the mock as merely a combination of practice exercises/questions on 5 subjects/sections.

3. Take the test on your computer (but mute or close all other windows such as Facebook, Google etc.) so that you develop the habit of reading on a computer screen & not using too much paper to do the calculation etc. Mark/capture your answers on an excel sheet (use this if you’d like. Downwload this file – BlankAnswerSheet). For this reason all our mocks will be in PDF format that you can download and take on your computer (don’t print them).

4. Time yourself – keep a wrist watch/stopwatch next to you. Don’t even look at your phone. Abide by the prescribed timing very seriously (2 hours means two hours & not even two hours 15 seconds). You won’t get any extra time in the actual test so get used to it.

5. Don’t cheat – you’d be pretty stupid to cheat on a mock test. Firstly, other than a false sense of achievement, you don’t get anything. In fact it probably causes you more harm than anything else – there is no surer way of succumbing to a disease than misdiagnosing it and cheating on the mock test makes you misdiagnose your preparedness.

6. Don’t try flukes & blind guesses in the mock – for the same reasons as above. It makes you misdiagnose. Remember, I am not stopping you from taking intelligent guesses. If for e.g. you can eliminate two options and want to take a chance on any of the remaining options – do it. That’s smart! In fact that’s one of the most important skill to develop in the next few weeks & there is no better way to develop it than practice it. But, blind guessing – well let’s leave that for the last moment ( I’ll dedicate an entire post in the week before the CLAT on the art of blind guessing – but trust me you don’t need to practice it at this moment).

If you haven’t already – here’s the link to get our free CLAT mock test – clat.mylaw.net/2016/04/01/take-your-first-mock-test-free/

Tomorrow, I’ll write about the second part of the mock test process – the more important part i.e. analysing the mock. The secret to a great player like Virat Kohli (and the reason for some of the other players in the team doing so well) isn’t just the hours of practice they put it (even cricketers from the previous generation spent hours in the nets) but it’s the analysis of that practice (how they got out, where are they scoring runs, which types of balls are troubling them etc.) that’s probably the single biggest reason why the current generation of cricketers across the world have taken the game to the next level. It’s this analysis that can help you crack the CLAT in the next 40 days (nothing else will improve your score as much as this). More on it tomorrow!

Oh, and watch out for a mock every week for the next 5 weeks!images (2)

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Take your First Mock Test – Free

Did you hear the breaking news? The West Indian team has pulled out of the World Cup finals because of a conflict with their cricket board and now India will be playing the world cup finals against England. Yay!

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Nah! Just kidding (after all it’s April Fool’s day – sorry for the crude joke). But here is something to make you smile (or I’m hoping you smile). A free mock test! A lot of you wrote back to us saying you didn’t have access to a mock test – so here you go. Fill up this form & we will email you a CLAT Mock Test asap.

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Before you jump at it, here is what you need to do:

First, read this post if you haven’t already – https://clat.mylaw.net/2016/03/28/personalised-plan/

Second, fill the form above & we’ll email you the test & a blank answer sheet. Send us your answer sheet back and we will give your scores as well as a chance to get a personalised plan for the next 40 days.

 

There is a whole host of surprises and useful stuff that we’ll be posting on this blog starting today (I promise fewer gyan/pop-psychology stuff & more actual things to do) so make sure you are following the blog & have subscribed for email updates (look on the left column).

You keep your part & we will keep ours to ensure you give your best shot for the CLAT. It’s a deal!

Let’s shake hands on it.

Cheers,

Kunal from the myLaw.net Team

P.S.- Please click on the FOLLOW button on the left hand column, so that you receive the materials and these posts in your Email.

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Get a CLAT prep plan that is personalised for you!

We are now down to 6 weeks. I realize my earlier posts may have been a little cryptic on what really you need to focus on to be able to do well in the CLAT.

I firmly believe that the most important preparatory tool for a standardized test such as the CLAT is the Mock test and it isn’t just writing the test that is important but the analysis of it that’s probably more important.

Firstly, mock tests help you get a real sense on how you perform under a timed conditions. The pressure of a ticking clock, teaches you short cuts & approaches no book can teach you (both very important from a test point of view) and on the flip side forces unnecessary silly mistakes out of you (some thing that can destroy your scores).

Secondly, mock tests give you a good idea of what it means to navigate through 5 different sections together. It’s a very different experience to do Math, English, Reasoning, GK questions back to back instead of sitting down and doing 100 practice questions of just one subject. The variety can sometimes be overwhelming for some. Also, usually the test is well balanced, which means if the test has a particularly difficult legal aptitude section, it may have an easier than usual logic or GK section to offset that. A mock test is greater than the sum of its part – it’s more than just a compilation of 5 practice exercise on each section.

Thirdly, mock tests allow you to try out test taking strategies, for example which section should you start with. It makes a whole lot of difference, especially if you start with a section you are not very comfortable with and you can’t solve the first few questions – it puts a lot of pressure on you and can cause an irreparable dent on your confidence. Similarly, how do you balance your weakness in a particular section by your strength in another – after all there are no section-wise cut-offs/minimum scores. Technically, you can leave an entire section and still crack the CLAT.

Lastly, mocks also help you get used to the 2 hour – 200 questions regimen. By the time you write the CLAT, this 200Q – 2 hr routine should become muscle memory to the extent that you shouldn’t even need to look at the watch to know where you should be (ok, that’s an exaggeration but you get the idea). You need to practice exactly how much time you need for each section in order to get through the paper in 2 hours.

By know you may be growing a little tired of all advice & no play (actual practice questions). But trust me on this – just to give you a little background, I have successfully cracked all the possible competitive exams in the country, Law entrance tests, MBA entrance tests (CAT/GMAT), UPSC CSAT et al without ever having to prepare for more than 4-6 weeks and all I did was write mock tests, analyse thoroughly and repeat.

This week make sure you write a full length CLAT test or mock test. It’s ok, if you feel underprepared or you haven’t started your preparation – just write it. If you don’t have access to a test, go to the CLAT website and write the test available on the CLAT website.

Here’s your task for today:

Sit in a quiet place, keep 2 hours aside with no distractions/break/mobile phones (just like you would in an actual test). Keep a watch next to you and time yourself. Go to the CLAT website and write the mock test. Remember, 2 hours by the watch.

Send me the score in each section in this format:

Section 1 – English – Total attempts (i.e. no. of questions you attempted); Total Correct; Total Wrong
Similarly for the remaining 4 sections and the Total score out of 200.

You can email me your scores at kunal@rainmaker.co.in and I’ll write back to you with a personalised analysis & preparation plan for you.

Update – some of you wrote back saying you don’t have access to mock tests. Please visit to view past year papers (only for those who have applied for the CLAT. You may have to pay Rs 250 for past year papers).

https://www.digialm.com/EForms/configuredHtml/1049/3447/login.html

For those of you who can’t access the above link or have already taken the test, we are creating a fresh mock test, which will be available in the next 2 days.

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Score over your toughest competitors in the CLAT!

I think one of the most important preparation before a battle/competition is to size up your competitor/opponent. But, before you really go there, it is important to understand your competition in the CLAT? Last year, close to 35,000 students wrote the CLAT – and the number only seems to be increasing. So, how do you size up 35000 people? You don’t. Because, they are not your competition or your opponents – in fact those 35000 (or more) people shouldn’t matter to you. They have no consequence or bearing to your score. The CLAT is not a Zero-Sum Game (admissions to the NLS though is), what that means is that if you score a mark that doesn’t mean somebody else loses that mark or vice-versa. You must be thinking, if other test takers aren’t my competitors, then who is?

It’s YOU! Yes, you are your own opponent in this test. Wondering how? The CLAT isn’t a test of your knowledge, it is a test of your skill to work out 200 questions to the best of your ability in 2 hours (I like to represent the CLAT as a linear programming problem, but that’s for another post). The catch phrase here is ‘best of your ability’. Your best ability is usually hampered by these 5 opponents:

Opponent 1 – The part of your brain that tells you that you need to be a Grammar Nazi, Math Whiz, GK geek, Logic & Legal prodigy to crack the CLAT and that you don’t know enough to crack the CLAT (I can assure you that you are 75% there already and in the next 7 weeks you only need 25% on this front).

In fact you just need to be street smart. Assuming last few years’ CLAT results, a 140-150 gets you through the top (or at least the top 3) law schools. I can assure you that 90% of you reading this will know 140-150 questions – the difference is that it isn’t those 140-150 questions that you usually will give you most attention.

Opponent 2 – Your indecisiveness. What’s that you ask? Your inability to choose which questions to attempt (or rather give complete attention to) and which ones to ignore (or take a guess on). You have to be judicious and decisive with everything, from how you use your time (watch a movie/tv show, bum around or study – mind you all are equally important), to what to study (practice legal reasoning because it seems interesting, or English because it’s easy or GK/Math because you suck at it). In fact you need to be decisive all the way to the CLAT, where you need to decide which questions to focus your attention on – unlike your board exams you don’t even have the luxury to go through all the questions before you start and to make things worse, all questions are of equal weightage – 1 mark.

Opponent 3 – Your obsession with studying blindly & focussing on the wrong things – such as how do I learn vedic math in 20 days, how do I cram 5000 GK facts in these next few weeks, how do I solve hundreds of legal reasoning questions.

Not required! In fact it might just lead to fatigue and inculcating the wrong habits. It isn’t the number of questions, but your approach to questions that is more important. It isn’t the number of hours you study but the quality of your input that matters more. It’s the feedback from each question you solve and the analysis of where you went wrong that you need to focus on. Since deliberate practice is categorically hard, it can’t be done for 12 hours a day. You need to have the following routines surrounding deliberate practice:
– Practice continuously for not more than an hour at a stretch (or 2, when you are writing a mock test).
– Practice when your mind is fresh and not for the sake of it or to earn brownie points with your parents or yourself.
– Practice the same amount every day, including on weekends (no break for the next 7 weeks).- Only have four to five hours of deliberate practice a day, with breaks in between.

– Work with no more than 40-50 questions every day on 2 to 3 subjects each day, with breaks in between. Spend more time on analysing your attempt, focusing on each question you were unsure of & the method.

Opponent 4 – Your obsession with volume & quantity. More is not better. Don’t practice with whatever material you get your hands on. Don’t run after questions/mocks/learning materials from every preparatory/coaching classes or book you know off. Don’t make the mistake of scrmpering for notes & materials so that you can practice more. I’ve noticed most materials available aren’t worth practicing with (it’s like Virat Kohli preparing for the WT20, by practicing with some gully cricketers, surely there might an odd difficult ball, but the rest would just be a waste of time for him). Compare the various resources you have, and see which seem closest to the past year papers or which of those push you out of your comfort zone (questions that are neither complete blinders nor sitters but tricky enough to make you think or with a trap to force a silly mistake).

Opponent 5 – Time. Yes, you read it right, time is not on your side, because 200 questions in 120 minutes is approximately 36 seconds per question. Sounds incredibly hard, especially if you compare your Class XII exams where you got almost 5-10 minutes a question. You have to develop the skill to crack a question in limited time (45s to 1 min for Math, English, Legal & Logical reasoning and 15-20 seconds for GK) and to leave the ones you can’t. It isn’t easy, in fact this is probably the most difficult to skill master – taking a crack at the questions you know, leaving the ones you don’t and the instinct to know the difference (it’s almost like the serenity prayer). Remember, there is no bigger error than wasting 2-3 mins or more on a question, even if you get it correct.calvin

– Kunal

Click on the ‘Follow button’ in the top left column to receive these posts in your email.

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Here’s the most accurate & scientifically derived prediction for CLAT 2016 cut-offs.

You must be recovering from the CLAT and we don’t want to burden you any more advice etc.

However, we see that a lot of students are concerned with cut-offs (and a bunch of test prep companies are ever so eager to play Nostradamus). Here’s the truth, no one & I mean no one can accurately predict a cut-off.

Prediction

Let’s understand how cut-offs are calculated – first, the scores of all the CLAT takers calculated(reports say about 39,000 registered for the test & about 35000 people took the test). These students are then segregated based on categories (General, SC, ST, PH, Domicile). Next, they calculate the rank list for each category i.e. in descending order of score, create a list of students. Since, all NLU’s put together have about 2252 seats – identify the top 2252 (separated for different categories).

Look at the preference for these top rankers and allot each student their highest possible preference, if the student’s score doesn’t qualify him/her for their preference 1, then look at preference 2, and so on.

This is how each college fills up its designated no. of seats. The score of the last rank eligible for admission in a particular college becomes that college’s cut-off. So for e.g. if rank 48 (no. of general seats in NLSIU) scores 145, then 145 is the cut-off for NLSIU.

Now, pray explain how can anyone accurately know the scores of any student, especially even before the official answer key is out. Two, even when the answer key has been released, I’m quite sure no student will be able to remember the answer they marked for each of those 200 Qs – remember even one error and that can change your marks by 1.25 marks (+ or -) which in the CLAT is a very large margin of error. Three, even if students do remember their scores, there is no way to know the scores of all the 36-37k students who took the CLAT to be able to accurately predict scores for each of the 2270 ranks.

In the absence of this data, most people resort to what they call educated guesses based on:

  1. Last few years’ pattern – not scientific, because the test paper was different, the people writing the test were different. You can’t predict ‘x”s performance in test ‘A’ by looking at ‘Y’ ‘s performance in test ‘B’. (Yes! Now you know how stupid this is.)
  2. Feedback of a few students that they have spoken to – Statistically speaking that’s how a lot of market research is done, or election results are predicted. The problem is that the sample size in our case is very small (an individual may have spoken to at best a hundred odd CLAT takers) and hence the prediction has a very large margin of error (oh, remember even psephologist – people who predict election results – go wrong, often!). Lastly, unlike elections, predictions here require precision & not a general understanding of trends.
  3.  Their analysis of the difficulty level of the test paper (given that some of them write the test themselves) and what is an achievable score – This is probably seems the vaguest but may actually be relatively more accurate than the above two. However, the operative word here is ‘RELATIVE’.

Of course a lot people will be up in arms (especially the ones who make these predictions) and may claim that their predictions are fairly accurate – my only response to that is that in a test like CLAT – unless your predictions (for each college) is accurate to the 2nd decimal place, it isn’t accurate. Astrologers have for ages relied on Confirmation Bias.

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All predictions are no more than a hunch –  I’ve been on the other side to know how non-scientific this process is, and to be honest the biggest reason we would issue these ‘guesses masked as predictions’ was to calm down over-anxious kids, because it’s tougher to explain what I have in this post to an anxious 18 yr old (and hundreds & thousands of you) and easier to just throw a number at them – after all who’ll remember if you were right or wrong. The ones who get through would be too busy celebrating & the ones who don’t, too morose to!

I can go on about this – here’s what you need to know, it doesn’t matter what the cut-offs may be, because what is done is done. Most importantly, you cannot influence the results or the outcome (you had your chance until the last minute of that 2 hours), so why worry about something (or second guess with even 80% accuracy) which you will know with 100% certainty in less than 2 weeks.

So chill! Enjoy the next 2 weeks – and if you have other tests to write, then keep at it – give your best shot at your preparation, learn from the mistakes you made with your CLAT prep (or what you did right) – nothing like getting through both CLAT and your back-up plan (engineering, medical, BBA or whatever else), and then decide which one to pursue.

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My advice for CLAT (& life per se) – As, Unsaintly St. Balotelli once said – “Sometimes in football you deserve to win but lose. Other times you deserve to lose or draw but you win. That is the game, and it’s why I’ve always said you should never try to predict anything in football”. 

Just replace Football with life and you have a tenet for life.

Cheers!

P.S. – And just to justify the headline for this post – here’s my prediction for the CLAT cut-off – it’ll be between 0 & 200 (there is still a .000000001 chance that I may be proven wrong, but I’ll take my chances:). Wanna bet?

 

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CLAT: Are 7 weeks enough to prepare?

Now that we have gone past the pleasantries and the introductions, let’s get down to actual work. You have 7 weeks to prepare for CLAT 2016. Even though time is limited, I don’t want you to rush in to your preparation. It’s important for you to fully understand the softer aspects of this preparation – your true assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, your fears, what or whom you are up against, your competition and what the CLAT expects out of YOU.

One of the most common reasons/excuses that aspirants joining the race at this stage (i.e. a month before the actual test) use to make themselves believe that they can’t crack the CLAT is:

7 weeks (or for that matter 4 weeks) aren’t enough to prepare for the CLAT, so what’s the point, or, I really don’t have a shot at getting to a NLS, so why give a 100% and waste time & effort.

Now, there is no such thing as enough when it comes to preparation, and the funny thing about your level of preparedness is that it’s mostly in your head – and usually that’s where the battle is lost.

There are people who have been preparing for 12 months and you see them cramming till the last minute standing outside the test centre – clearly not a sign that they are prepared. And then there are those blessed with the curse called over-confidence, who behave as if they are already in National Law School B’lore. To each to his/her own.

The bottom line is you have 49 days to go – if you make them count, 49 days are enough (there I said it) to crack the CLAT. Remember, you are preparing for the CLAT, not an Olympic track & field event that you need years to prepare.

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Here’s why:

– The CLAT is a 2-hour test where the answers are already given to you (you just have to choose the right one). How difficult can that be?

30% of the questions in the test (English + Math) deal with concepts that everyone has been taught in school.

45% of the questions in the test (Logic + Legal Aptitude) deal with concepts that no one has been taught in school. In fact reasoning & critical thinking are the core skills tested through these questions – which to be honest is nothing but thinking about things in certain ways so as to arrive at the best possible solution in the circumstances that the thinker is aware of (for more clarity, read this – http://www.skillsyouneed.com/learn/critical-thinking.html).

25% of the questions in the test (the GK section), no one can ever be completely prepared for. Of course, people claim to guess/estimate the kind of questions you can be asked, but then they are still guesses at the end of the day. GK/Current Affairs can mean anything under the sun and it usually does, which is why you have students (usually the ones who fall for the guesses) complaining at the end of the test that these questions were out of the syllabus.

The CLAT has no syllabus (of course there are broad contours, represented by each section), which makes CLAT (or any other standardized test) the perfect level playing field (I realize there are some exceptions to the ‘level-playing field’ statement, but let’s leave that for later, perhaps when you get into a law school).

Of course you can’t just sit on your backside for the next 7 weeks and think you’ll crack the test. The key to success in the CLAT is deliberate practice. More on it in the next post…

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5 things about the CLAT you probably didn’t know!

If you are a law school aspirant, then you’ve probably already come across at least a dozen websites, coaching classes, books, test series and what have you, claiming to prepare you for the CLAT & other law entrance tests. Almost all of them claim to be either India’s best, India’s number 1 (or some other version of that superlative) or a ‘One-stop shop for all your CLAT needs’. We aren’t any of those! But before we go ahead and tell you who we are, here’s what you need to understand about the CLAT (and we’ll use the term ‘CLAT’ loosely to represent all law entrance tests, mostly because it is the ‘big daddy of all law entrance test’).

5-Things-Image-01First and foremost, the CLAT is not the be-all-and-end-all of your Life. No matter how important it is for you to get to the NLS, it ain’t a matter of life and death. No, sir/ma’am, it isn’t! Of course, it is an important event in your life but don’t make it a very big deal.

Secondly, the CLAT isn’t a test of either your intellect or your knowledge. Don’t believe it, eh? We have 50 days to change your opinion. It’s definitely a test of ‘something’, otherwise why else would they call it a test, but it isn’t of your knowledge. It’s this ‘something’ that we’ll talk about for the next 50 days.

Thirdly, cracking the CLAT doesn’t require you to slog your ‘derrière’ for 12 hours a day, especially the way you did (or still are) for your class XII board examinations – that doesn’t mean, you don’t have to work hard (or work smart). You’ll need to do both.

Fourthly, the CLAT is not the end but a means to an end. Use the next 50 days to expand your horizons, to widen your perspective on things & not merely mug up time-distance-speed formulae, or archaic facts. If you don’t enjoy this journey, we can assure you won’t be motivated to put in your heart (or mind into it). CLAT is a great way to start looking forward to & visualising your life in law school (and maybe even after).

Lastly and most importantly, YOU CAN CRACK THE CLAT. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are. Whether you have been preparing for CLAT for 12 months or just found out about it yesterday. YOU CAN CRACK THE CLAT – and so can any of the 35,000 + people writing the CLAT on May 8, 2016. But today, you have an equal chance as anyone else. The next 50 days will determine, how those odds & chances change. Repeat after me “I CAN CRACK THE CLAT“. Say it. Louder. I know, it sounds stupid, but do it. Trust me. In fact, repeat this 20 times daily (preferably when you are alone, else people will think you’ve gone nuts). Upload your audio file or add a comment in the comments section below – I’m serious, I want to hear you say it.

Coming back to us – does it even matter? You probably want to know, whether you can trust our advice and this isn’t just an experiment and you aren’t a subject/lab rat.

myLaw.net is a online learning platform focussed on the law. The people behind myLaw.net are mostly graduates from India’s top law schools (NLSIU mostly), who probably know a thing or two about cracking law entrance exams (and some none-NLS guys who have cracked every standardised test you can imagine). We have worked with law schools & law students across the country on re-imagining how legal education is delivered. It is this re-imagination that we want to bring to the CLAT aspirants. We believe that it’s time that you reframe the problem statement that the CLAT is and change your perspective (and the methods too).

Finally, how is this blog different? It’s different because it isn’t striving to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for anything. It is different because we aren’t going to overload you with thousands of practice questions and generalised learning materials. We realise that most of you already have access to a ton of preparatory materials, but what you probably lack is the strategy, the planning and the non-tangible aspects of this preparation. And that’s what we’ll work with you on.

So are you game? Keep an eye out for this blog for the next 49 days (only if you find it useful, else we don’t want to contribute to the chaos in your head) and let’s have some fun on the way.

More tomorrow!

Kunal & the myLaw.net Team

P.S. – We really want you to add a comments, saying “I want to crack the CLAT” (don’t worry the comments aren’t public). Add your email address in the contact box below to receive daily updates on email.

 

Blind guessing strategy

Quick clarification :

The last post,  as the name suggested, outlined a desperate or worst case strategy not the best case strategy – you need to weigh the benefits and the costs while writing this test based on how you feel what you chances are – be objective, don’t take an emotional or paranoid decision. Ask yourself if without attempting all the questions you are left with (and you won’t be able to attempt), would you be able to crack the test. If the answer is yes, don’t go for the blind guesses. If the answer is NO. GO FOR IT!

Also, if you are blind guessing, don’t make a pattern (abcdabdc…), instead stick to one alphabet – any one and Mark all of them the same option. Logic – there is an equal probability of each alphabet – when examiners set the exam paper, they try to put the right answers equally across the 4 options (they won’t put all right answers in a’s or b’s). If you mark any one alphabet – there’s a safer chance that you’ll atleast get 1/4th of the flukes.

Again, caveat this is a strategy you need to decide,, it’s your call at the end of it, depending on how the test is going! Warning – if you have attempted – 170± questions on your ability, without much guessing, don’t get greedy.

 

Lastly, this strategy works best when you have a bunch of questions left together (eg 170 to 200) and not when questions are spread across (eg Q 29, 59, 95, 120, 145…you get the drift).