What is CLAT? People have heard about IIT-JEE, AIEEE, EAMCET, CPT, etc. But what is CLAT? Who takes it and for what? Well, CLAT is my recommendation for all those students in +2, who aspire for fame and prestige in society, while developing an all-round personality, enjoy interacting with people, like to think, analyze, reason… and most of all, enjoy solving puzzles. It is a gateway to a career in LAW from one of the premier National Law Universities in the country. CLAT is an acronym for Common Law Admission Test, which is an All India Entrance for admission into 14 National Law Universities, out of which the top 3 include National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU), NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (NALSAR) and The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS). 3 more universities have joined this year and reduced the effort on the part of the students in writing multiple exams. All the details are available on the official website – www.clat.ac.in

Now, how is CLAT different from other entrance exams? Well, the CLAT exam tests a student on their aptitude and not on the “knowledge”. The ability to think on their feet, agility in reading and comprehension, reasoning capability, awareness of current affairs… these are tested in CLAT. How is that done?

The exam has 5 sections.

1) English, including Comprehension (40 marks)

2) General Knowledge/Current Affairs ( 50 marks)

3) Elementary Mathematics (20 marks)

4) Legal Aptitude (50 marks)

5) Logical Reasoning (40 marks)

Prior to CLAT as a common admission test, each NLU had a separate entrance exam. The National Law Universities got together and decided to hold a common exam since 2008 and this is the fifth year of CLAT. The pattern of the exam has also undergone a few changes over the years and shifted from a “knowledge intensive” exam to a “reasoning and aptitude” exam. No more is vocabulary tested in isolation, nor is the knowledge on legal matters, history, geography or science tested. So the preparation process has become much more fun.

Who is eligible to apply? Anyone who has completed +2 or equivalent exam securing 50% marks, or those who have appeared for their Board exams by the date of the exam, having not more than 20 years is eligible. Which means anyone who is currently in Class XII or Intermediate IInd year is eligible. Also, under-graduate students below 20 years are also eligible. It is open to students from Arts, Commerce and Science. So students who never had a penchant for Maths or Engineering, what are you waiting for? Here is a wonderful opportunity for you. Engineering or Medicine aspirants who took up Science in Intermediate, but regretting now, can also utilize this opportunity.

How to apply? The application and the entire admission process is available on the CLAT website. The admission process changes year by year. In 2011, based on the score and the availability of seats in each university under each category, the students needed to apply. This year, in 2012, similar to 2010, the students need to mention their order of preference at the time of admission itself.

How to prepare? Through the year, the students need to keep abreast with the current affairs and improve on their reading speed and comprehension ability. At Abhyaas, we offer long-term programs as well as short term program after the board exams are completed. Preparation in terms of content, and more importantly practice in mock exams will enhance your chances to gain entry into the National Law University. Every month, Abhyaas comes out with the Abhyaas Law Bulletin (ALB) that covers the important events that have occurred during the month. In addition, 250 GK questions are prepared and circulated to the students to test their awareness of current affairs. For more details, check out the CLAT page on the Abhyaas Website –  http://abhyaas.in/clat.php

The Writer Ms. Padma Parupudi is a Director at Abhaas Edu Corp. She is a HCU alumna, with over 14 years of corporate experience in India and overseas.

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