CLAT: English Language (Reading Comprehension) | Download CLAT previous year's actual paper

Updated on 19th September 2023 | 11:22 am | #CLATenglish

English (Reading Comprehension) is one of the five sections on the CLAT question paper. Out of the 150 questions in the old paper format, approximately 28 - 32 questions are expected to be from the English section, adding up to 20% weightage. The new paper pattern will have 120 questions in total to be solved in 120 minutes (2 hours) according to the announcement made by the consortium of NLUs. This implies that the number of questions from this section is expected to change in the new format. This gives students less than one minute for every question.

Keeping the following things in mind, this article talks about how to prepare for the Comprehension passages well enough to secure the highest possible score. Find the syllabus, style of question, preparation tips, and more in this article.

Note: CLAT 2023’s pattern has been changed. Unlike past years, this year the paper will comprise 120 questions.

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CLAT’s English section will test the candidates' proficiency in English based on comprehension passages. Students will be given passages of about 450 words each and such passages could be fiction/ non-fiction, contemporary/historical, etc. Candidates will be questioned on their understanding of the passage and its central theme, meanings of words used therein, etc. The inference would be key here, candidates will have to comprehend the main idea discussed in the passage including any counter-arguments used in the passage.


Synonyms, Antonyms, Homonyms, Word definitions, Analogies


Idioms and Phrases, One-word substitution, Sentence improvement & rearrangement, Fill in the blanks with suitable words, Subject-Verb Agreement, Conditionals, Nouns, Pronoun, Articles & Conjunction, Adjective, and Determinants

Usage Errors

Grammatical errors- tense, voice, preposition usage, speech errors, Correct Spelling, Spotting errors, Inappropriate usage of words


On the basis of the passage provided, various questions will be asked. It is advisable to first go through the questions first and then read the passage. Doing this will help them to point out the answers and gather information relating to the questions.

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English Language Reading Comprehension Important Topics

This section will offer different types of questions:


Focuses on the overall tone and text of the passage


Specific passage details like vocabulary, sentence structure, facts, etc. will be asked.


Any use of terms/ phrases in the passage's setting will be tested.


These questions ask about the implications of/within the passage, which isn't mentioned directly. To answer questions quicker and more accurately, it is important to distinguish these types.

How to solve the Reading Comprehension section in CLAT?

As per the official website of the Consortium of NLUs, these are the steps that should be followed when attempting a passage:

  • Read and comprehend the main point discussed in the passage, as well as any arguments and viewpoints discussed or set out in the passage;
  • Draw inferences and conclusions based on the passage;
  • Summarise the passage;
  • Compare and contrast the different arguments or viewpoints set out in the passage;
  • Understand the meaning of various words and phrases used in the passage.

Tips and tricks for CLAT English Language including Comprehension

Prioritize passages to solve:

The difficulty level of every passage will vary, and since the candidate can skip a few questions from every section (to prevent negative marking), they must scan through the entire section before solving it to know which passages they are most comfortable with, and can solve accurately.

Practice speed-reading:

When attempting a lengthy paper where one is supposed to skip questions for accuracy, one must learn to skim through the passages just enough to know if they are comfortable with solving it. Additionally, one should ensure reading for a fixed amount of time every day, irrespective of the topic they are covering.

Distinguishing tones in a passage:

Learning to distinguish between an opinion, claim, or conclusion is crucial for answering questions. Make sure to practice enough sample papers to get a hang of this.


Apart from the articles, newspapers, and editorials one is expected to read for the test, one must build the above-mentioned grammatical concepts as they are catalytic to the scores. Practicing standard XII books is sufficient for preparation.

Reserve enough time for this section:

Approximately 4-5 minutes for every passage is required. 3.5 minutes to read the passage thoroughly, and 1 minute to answer the questions and trace back to the passage. One may not attempt all questions, and positively skip questions they're unsure about. While the General Knowledge and Quantitative Techniques sections will help the test-taker save time, the other sections demand attention and more reading time.

To know more about other sections in CLAT, follow these links:

Frequently Asked Questions

CLAT 2024 will be held on 3 December 2023.

CLAT is an offline MCQ-based paper that happens annually.

The one-time application fee which is non-refundable for CLAT 2024 is:

  • INR 4,000 for General/OBC/PWD/NRI/PIO/OCI candidates.
  • INR 3,500 for SC/ST/BPL candidates.

Students from any board or stream can take the test if they are currently in class 12, or have passed out already.

The paper is conducted only in the English language.