The Maths Phobia: How to Prepare for Maths in CLAT

A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, defined by a persistent, excessive and irrational fear of an object or situation. Focus on the word irrational in the definition. Ever wondered why a phobia is irrational? In other context I am not a proper judge of the situation, but in case of CLAT aspirants, I can surely say that your fear of maths is irrational and completely misplaced.

CLAT aspirants usually have the tendency to categorise maths as the “big bully” of CLAT. But how can that be true when the entire section is based on something that you have already studied, which was even there in your Xth boards examinations, and most importantly which consist of just 20 marks out of a total of 200 marks in CLAT. Why fear something you already know?

Even when you compare maths to other sections in CLAT, English has your RC’s and grammar which demands a certain time management strategy and vocabulary sessions, Legal section is something which is entirely new to you, logical reasoning section again requires time management and lessons on tricks top answer these and lastly GK which requires daily reading and even sometimes mugging up. For you, maths should be your comfort zone instead of the big bully. This is something that you know.

How to prepare for Maths in CLAT?

CLAT math syllabus can be broken down into these 4 categories:

  • Arithmetic
  • Commercial Mathematics
  • Mensuration
  • Modern Mathematics
  • Data Interpretation

Look at all the topics mentioned above carefully. Do you see anything that you haven’t already studied? None of these topics are anything new to any of you. Unlike the other sections of the CLAT exam, the Elementary Mathematics section is less subjective and more straightforward. The point here is, not only does the section contain straightforward questions but it also has the minimum weightage.

If you think that maths is still the big bully, here are some tips and tricks to stand up to your bully –

1. Practice makes the man/woman perfect

Make it a goal to solve at least 20 relevant questions daily. Go with practising specific topics for the first two months and mixed topics for the whole of the last month. Time yourself regularly. If you are diligent enough and grasp the concepts you should be able to solve most of the questions within a minute as you approach the end of your preparation.

2. Mocks + Analysis = Perfect Strategy

This is very important for the maths section. While a good amount of practice is good, these give you a taste of the level of questions that come in the exam. It also helps you develop a sense of the pattern of questions. It is important that you don’t get surprised by the questions in the examination.

Don’t just practice, evaluate yourself! As you proceed with the topics you will start to identify your strong and weak areas. A common mistake made by candidates is that they tend to overdo their weaknesses and ignore their strengths. You have to make consistent efforts to work on both and not lose your grasp. Also, focus on your mock analysis; know what time you are spending on the section, what will the fastest way to solve a question and what topics you need to focus on.

3. Some things are meant to be mugged up

While it’s true that Maths is something that can never be mugged up, there some formulas and tricks that you need to memorize by applying them thoroughly. Every topic has its own formulas and certain tricks that can help you to save time. Prepare a formula sheet and stick it at some place you can look at daily. Keep the tricks in mind while solving the questions.

4. A few useful tips:

  • Memorize tables upto 20, squares upto 30 and cubes upto 20. This will be useful in both maths as well as the logical reasoning section.
  • Work upon the variations in the practical usage of formulas. For example, in mensuration, the formulas need to be applied judiciously to arrive at the right result.
  • Out of the 20 questions, at least 10 can be solved in less than 1 minute. Identify them first, to maximize your score.
  • Don’t spend more than 15 minutes on this section unless you have completed the rest of the exams already.

One thing that you need to realise is fear of anything is only as big as you make it to be. Nothing beats hard work and effort. And when it’s about a section that can easily get you 20 marks in CLAT, you certainly need to work on it. That 20 marks could be the distance between you and your dream NLU. If you are thinking about leaving the section entirely, read Can I crack CLAT without Maths?

All the best for CLAT!

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