This post is not for the uninitiated. Unless you are aware of what CLAT is, and what it means in the small little world of wannabe lawyers, feel free pass the post and delve into the archives of the blog. If you still decide to soldier on, it might seem like a rambling to you, partly because you are not acquainted with the facts and the situation, but mostly because what ensues is infact rambling, similar to what I did after CLAT 2012.
I won’t start about myself here, not in this post. I have decided to save that for a post-result post. For I understand what I might say now might come back to bite me. All you need to know for now is that I studied a hell lot for CLAT. I took CLAT in 2012 as well and thanks to the oh so awesome paper and my lack of practice, I got a rank which, had I decided to, would have landed me in NUSRL (Ranchi). However, I had decided to sit again for CLAT.
So this post is from the perspective of someone who actually took the paper after studying for it, and not just for a month. A year. To give you an idea of how much I studied, I must tell you that among several others books, I solved the past 21 years’s NLSIU papers, all NLUJ, NALSAR, HNLU, and NUJS papers. I had enrolled in a number of test series, and had spent a year in IP University’s top law college, University School Of Law And Legal Studies. And hence, unlike most other posts that you’ll find on the internet or in the newspaper about the CLAT 2013 paper, this post will give you a real insight, and the actual reaction that came from a student who was in the examination hall, fighting to squeeze out every second from the mere 36 he had for each question.
CLAT has always been unpredictable, mainly for the reason that different colleges make it every year. Last year NLUJ made the paper, this time it was HNLU. And in contradiction with what certain a self-appointed benevolent CLAT mentors seems to say, I believe the paper wasn’t flawless.
English: English was fairly easy for people who have a command over the language. People who have a habit of reading books have always had an edge over others in this section. And this section was without any flaws. The reading comprehension had been lifted off from directly from Tata McGraw Hill’s Objective English for Competitive Examinations. But it didn’t seem unfair for the comprehension was extremely easy.
The other parts of the section had asked for the meanings of idioms and phrases like fair weather friend, blaze a trail, several irons in the fire. Many were taken from past HNLU papers and someone who had solved them shouldn’t have had any problem in the answering them. And even if one hadn’t done those papers, they were easy and workable. The rest of the section of had FINTB questions on grammar and some ‘choose-the-correct-spelling’ questions. The former being easy, the latter being slightly tricky. Mine went almost flawless.
General Knowledge: For people with good static GK and strong current affairs, this should have been a cakewalk. My static GK’s not good, but my current affairs was impeccable (I can boast, it’s my blog, right?) and I was expecting more current affairs but was disappointed. However, this section was well balanced. Anyone who complains about this section would be a quintessential case of sour grapes.
I am getting around 30. The benevolent people at Clatgyan have compiled all the questions from memory.
Maths: Maths has never been part of any controversy that has come to the surface after any of the past 5 years of CLAT. I think this year HNLU wanted to try something toofani and unfortunately for us, managed to do the impossible. To screw up the Math section. Unlike past years, this section was time consuming, formula based, had a question from Line Systems which is taught in 11th standard, and therefore on the prima facie was out of the prescribed course.
A question asked the students to tick the option which was nearest to the answer, while in a couple of cases the answer was not in the options. But getting 14-16 wasn’t difficult. The incorrect questions, I am sure, would have wasted a lot time of many aspirants who relied on Maths to get the edge (including me).
Legal Aptitude: It had 50 legal reasoning questions. Something previously unheard of. Neither anything from the constitution nor anything comprising of Legal GK was asked, which has always been a pattern, and which were my strongest points. Only the students who had practiced a lot of Legal Reasoning and had a good reading speed would have been able to attempt this section properly. The section disappointed me. Extremely. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a case of sour grapes. I am getting 43+ in the section.
Logical Reasoning: This is where HNLU and I both screwed up. Students who have practiced a lot of ‘statement assumptions’ questions, and ‘course of action questions’ don’t usually need to read the instructions. It comes instinctively to them as to what kind of question it is. But what happens when the paper setter picks up from questions from statement assumptions questions (from MK Pandey’s Analytical Reasoning book) and uses them in course of action questions? I’ll tell you what. Mayhem ensues. And while the people who attempted them as course of action questions might claim it to be intentional on the part of the examiner, I am sure it was an error on HNLU’s part. Whether they accept it or not, the fact that HNLU screwed up won’t change. And the fact that I screwed won’t change either. But the fact that I screwed up because HNLU screwed up is also a fact, right?
Rest of the section was fairly easy, though slightly tricky. It didn’t follow a pattern of any past year CLAT paper. It had more puzzle questions than have ever been asked in CLAT. There were 5 questions each in number series and blood relations. All workable.
In a nut shell, the paper was good, Way better than last year. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it succeeds in attracting some very well deserved PILs. For in an examination like this, where a student gives his best, nothing less than a cent percent is expected from the paper setter.