The NLU’s are out with their lists and it’s time for you to decide whether you want to retake your exams or not. There are three types of students who opt for retaking CLAT –
1. The ones who are 100% sure that Law is the way to go:
Dropping a year to retake CLAT is a big step and you should not think of it unless you are sure that you want to pursue law as a career. Commitment towards qualifying this could come only when you are committed fully towards doing law.
2. The ones who aim for the top NLU’s only:
Students, who did okay in CLAT and might have gotten themselves in a private college, still prefer to drop a year to get into a high ranking NLU.
3. Lastly, there are students who missed on the planning front:
Few students, taking in the pressure of boards, devotes all of their time to the boards and plan nothing for what they are going to do next or focus on their preparation for other exams. They missed out on career choices and now after boards they want to go for CLAT. These are the students who are somewhat forced to take a drop to work on their career choices.
You can place yourself in any of these situations but the most important thing is to be certain that Law is the career choice for you because dropping a year is a big commitment. Unless it is for something which you really want to do, there is no point in pursuing it.
Besides, technically, you will not be missing out if you drop a year. If you go for simple graduation after 12th, you’ll be going for 3-year law course after graduation which adds up to (3+3) 6 years. If you drop after 12th, it is a one year drop + 5-year integrated course which again totals to 6 years. It’s just a case of simple maths. You are not missing out on anything and hence dropping a year should not add up to you feeling that while your friends are off to college, you are sitting back to prepare. Also, the number of attempts you take for CLAT does not actually matter. A delay of one year is a small factor and you won’t be wasting it or sitting idle.
How to go about it?Once you have decided that you are dropping a year to prepare for CLAT, you need to structure your drop year, and your preparation. One year is a long time to prepare for CLAT and you will be doing that without the pressure of boards which you faced last year.
1. PLAN for it. Make a daily routine as per your convenience. It is not necessary that the routine should be based solely on the number of hours you are devoting per day to your preparation. It could be based on the topics and subjects that should be covered on a particular day. Make sure you include enough number of hours/topics in your plan. Keep the weekend for your revisions, and Sunday for mocks.
2. Read Newspapers. Earlier you might have missed out on developing a habit of reading newspapers everyday due to exam pressure, late-night binge, etc. But now you don’t have any excuse for not doing this. You have ample amount of time to read the newspaper. A little tip – In your daily plan, allot a specific time for reading the newspaper. This is the most effective way of developing the habit. The principle is the same as brushing your teeth every morning. You get up and as a reflex you automatically go and brush your teeth. You need to develop the same reflexes for reading newspapers. If you don’t read it, you should have that inner gut telling you that you missed something. Remember that this habit is not just useful for your CLAT prep but also for your future. A Lawyer should always be updated with everything going around the world and in the court.
3. Analyse your CLAT. You know your results, you know your score, you know you did not do that well and you are quite motivated to go at it again. But this is not enough. Take out CLAT answerkey and assess yourself. Find out where you went wrong, what are your weak areas, where you need to put in more focus, and more. Unless you realise where you went wrong, you can never do well in the next attempt. Also, knowing your weak areas would give you an idea about your strong areas. This does not mean that you can chuck that entire section and just focus on weakness. Devote less, but some time to those as well, so that they do not turn out to be weakness next time.
4. Mocks and Feedbacks – Being a Retaker, you have a fair amount of idea about the question pattern, syllabus, and the way the exams are conducted. As a CLAT aspirant, you should never forget that CLAT loves to throw surprises. And therefore, you always need to be prepared for the same. Have a mock schedule ready and never miss a mock. Mocks help you test your standing and understand where you are in your preparations. Get proper analysis and feedback for your answers and scores.
Tip: While answering the Legal Aptitude section, remember the reason you selected a particular answer. Sometimes, even though your answer is right, the reason behind it might be wrong. For a better understanding of concepts, don’t just look at the answers, but also their solutions and explanations. 5. Study Notes. While preparing, keep making study notes. These notes are quite helpful during the last month when you are revising. And another important thing to remember is to make your own current affairs notes and revise it every weekend.
Preparing for CLAT in a drop year might seem like a risky step but it has benefits of its own. You’ll get to opt for the best law school and getting in a top NLU is a major step in establishing your career. Besides, you can manage your time in a better manner without any priority conflict. It’s all about your planning and the execution of it.