Preparing for CLAT may get slightly overwhelming because of the pressure attached to making it into a top-tier NLU. But you cannot determine what the ultimate result of the test is going to be by worrying about it. It is better to try to work out what is in your control and let all the other things fall in place as they are supposed to. So, the only thing that you should be worrying about is your preparation. You have to understand that the only thing that is under your control is how you prepare for the D-Day. While preparing for CLAT there are certain mistakes that the aspirants tend to make. In order to facilitate a better learning for yourself, below are some common mistakes that aspirants make that you can avoid and thereby add on to your preparation is a productive way.
Not Practicing Enough
The first step towards preparing for any exam is to familiarise yourself with what the exam is actually about. It is a common misconception that the exams are made to test how much do you know. However, all competitive examinations are not about how much you know, but how well can you perform in the exam. Therefore, the goal is it not just learning everything that might be asked in the exam. The goal, in fact, is to prepare for taking the test in real time. This makes practicing an imperative part of your preparation.
While preparing for CLAT in your early months, it is advisable that you take at least 1 to 2 mock tests every week. When you have last 2 or 3 months left you should be practicing a mock every alternate day. So that right before the D-Day you are not worried about being able to read through the entire paper, or being able to attempt a certain number of questions.
Mock tests are important as they let you experience what it’s like to attempt an actual test. Moreover, you can only really prepare when you have tested and assessed your strengths and weaknesses. It is only then can you figure out how to proceed with your further preparation.
While giving the mocks, it is also important that you do not take the test just for the total score, but to analyse and understand your performance in each section of the test and also according to the different topics covered in that section.
Neglecting the Negative Marking
A lot of the aspirants while preparing for CLAT do not pay attention to the negative marking in CLAT i.e. -0.25 for each incorrect answer. This is partially because it seems insignificant. However, it is important to note that a 0.25 difference in your marks can change your rank in the final rank list significantly and therefore, maybe increase the chances of your selection in a higher tier NLU.
Given the importance even 0.25 marks can make, you should be prepared in a manner as to be able to maintain your score without losing marks to negative marking.
Therefore, it is important to practice all your mocks and sectional tests with the negative marking. And calculate your score with and without the negative marking to see if you could have prevented losing some marks if you did not try to make a guess. Trying to guess the answers without any background or knowledge of the question asked should be avoided. It is only advisable to guess in case you are confused between 2 alternatives, that substantially increases the probability of getting the answer correct than guessing for 4 alternatives.
It is important that as an aspirant you practice and prepare with the negative marking in view.
Referring to too Many Sources for the Same Information
It is important to acknowledge that CLAT is an exam for students who have just completed their 12th standard, and therefore none of the sections require an in-depth knowledge of any topic. The test is not designed to test any special knowledge, rather a general knowledge of English Language, Current Affairs and, analytical and logical reasoning skills. Plus, given that in the last couple of years the difficulty of the CLAT exam has remained rather low, there is no reason to expect that CLAT 2019 will be more difficult.
So as an aspirant, you should not prepare from a lot of sources different sources. Try to keep to only a few sources that cover the topics required for CLAT and are concise. It is only important to refer to more sources if you have identified that that particular topic or section is a weakness of yours. Otherwise, you should avoid referring to a lot of sources of the exam as they can often take up a lot of your time with no avail. It is more beneficial to read and re-read or revise the study material that you already have at your disposal and you have been referring to.
Not Re-read or Revising
Much like preparing for any other exam, it is important to revise what you have already learned. A big mistake that the aspirants make it is that they just go through the topics once and do not go back the revise them. CLAT does not test your knowledge on any topic, it rather tests your basic concepts of language, logical reasoning and maths. It is not possible for anyone to remember everything that you have read just once. Therefore, it is advisable that as an aspirant you make notes for yourself and revise them before the exam. You can keep adding to these notes as you more and more through your preparation, for instance, you can add a new Static G.K. fact that you learned from a mock test you gave.
These notes can actually act as your own guidebook just before the exam. The probability of your remembering anything increases if you read it more than once, therefore it is highly advisable to re-read and revise whatever you learn throughout your preparation. You can also demarcate sometime in the week for yourself, just for revision and note making. This can be highly beneficial in your preparation for the D-Day.
Rote learning Before the D-day
As already mentioned, CLAT is not an exam that requires any specialised knowledge. The different sections of CLAT mainly revolve around your day to day knowledge. Therefore cramming General Knowledge facts or English vocabulary right before the exam is hardly beneficial.
Learning Vocab or General Knowledge is a process. There is a lot to learn, so it is better that it is done in some portions. The best way is to develop a habit of reading the newspaper or a reputed magazine. Plus, there are a lot of sources on the internet that provide you with MCQs on these topics that you can attempt.
The most important part about preparing is to keep your cool and be sincere to yourself in your preparation. No one is perfect so do not get bogged down by any mistakes that you make. However, it is important that you learn from your mistakes and work towards them. After all, it is just an exam, and it is just a step towards a greater goal. It is not the end of the world.