Since the formative years of education we have beenreminded time and again of the importance of reading newspapers and the role they play in building vocabulary in addition with general awareness. However, many of us fail to practice it in reality and even if we do, there is a serious lack of consistency in doing the same. It is only after the completion of school education and while attempting competitive entrance exams especially the ones related to the legal field that we realize the importance of keeping up to date with the events happening across the world. The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is one such competitive entrance exam conducted annually with the objective of selecting students for admission in the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of the 19 National Law Universities across the country.It is said that better late than never, therefore even if you don’t have a habit to read newspaper daily, this is the right time to inculcate this habit as a part of your routine and consider it to be as important as any other activity in your daily routine if you are considering to appear in these competitive law exams. But giving consideration to the hectic schedule that students are subjected to in school as well as immediately after school for the preparation of competitive exams, I would like to share certain tips as to how to filter the subjects that you should focus on while reading newspapers and ensure that you are able to consistently follow this advice throughout your preparation period and thereafter.
II. Choosing the Right Newspaper
The first step will obviously include choosing which newspaper to read. This is infact the most important and the most crucial part since the knowledge and substance you will be able to gather and retain through reading majorly depends upon the kind of newspaper you are reading. So, it is beneficial to pick up a newspaper which is a national daily. If you wish to read regional newspapers, it is advisable to read them in addition to national newspapers and not in isolation. It is very important to ensure that the newspaper you choose is in a language you are proficient in. Some of the widely recommended newspapers are the Hindustan Times, Economic Times & The Hindu. They are easily available over the web and considering the hectic schedule, it is beneficial to subscribe to it virtually so that you can read it anytime even when you are traveling.
III. Focus Subjects
Secondly, considering the time restraints and the capacity of an individual to retain information it is important to filter out subjects that are more important than the others i.e. to prioritize in a systematic manner. Competitive exams are not only about hardwork but they have a lot to do with smart work. So, keeping in mind the structure of the CLAT examination where 50 marks are allotted to General Awareness and 40 marks to English proficiency,= both attributed primarily to reading newspaper, it is advisable to focus on subjects such as Editorial Columns, Sports, National News (including political news) and International news. Among these subjects also it is important to focus on important events such as enactment of any news legislation or bill, the formation of new quasi-judicial authorities, Awards, and similar other areas.
IV. Benefits Of Reading
I don’t need to focus on basic and peculiar advantages of reading but I would like to emphasize on the points that are directly attributed to your preparation for CLAT.Reading newspapers will improve your grammatical skills as well as your proficiency in the language. Specifically when you read the editorial sections that beautifully explains the on-going socio-economic issues in a manner that will not only make you aware about the issue but will also play an important role in improving your vocabulary along with understanding of logical structuring which in the long run will help you to structure your research writings and arguments. Additionally reading newspaper daily will also help you to develop a habit of reading which is an unavoidable skill for law school and the legal practice. There is no dearth of books and resources but it is only when you have developed a habit of reading and retaining information that you will be able to efficiently utilize these resources.
So, to conclude you should always look at the long-term benefits of reading newspapers that will not only help you to get through your competitive examinations but immensely add to your intellect and vocabulary in the long run.