All the preparation that a candidate puts in for CLAT will culminate into success or failure on the basis of just one day that is the exam day. It is ultimately his/her performance of this single day that will determine the course of the next five years of your life, as it is all about the exam and how well can he/she attempts it. Whether it is a year worth of preparation or a month’s worth, it comes down to how the questions in the exam are attempted.
It is important to understand that no exam will solely depend on the preparation alone. It is the strategy that goes into attempting the questions in the exam that is equally important. This is particularly true in the case of CLAT, as all the questions have equal marks. That is to say that there are no extra marks for solving a tough question, neither the easy questions fetch lesser marks than the difficult questions. It does not matter if you had to take 2 minutes to get to the right answer or just 2 seconds, the marks will be the same. Therefore, how you go about attempting the questions is very crucial, since given there are different sections and each section has different topics, and the questions can vary in the difficulty levels, it is not feasible to attempt the question starting from Question No.1 and ending at Question No. 200.
It is important to manage the attentiveness and the time limit while attempting the paper. Which means that your strengths and weaknesses will play a very important role. Plus given that it is a two-hour long exam, maintaining your morale and attentiveness in equally important. Therefore, it is much more feasible for the candidates to build an approach or a strategy to allow them to attempt the paper in the most efficient way possible.There can be no singular strategy that can be framed to benefit one and all. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and it is only possible to best accommodate those strength and weaknesses by coming up with one’s own strategy. It is highly advisable that you built your own strategy to attempt the paper while practicing mocks and use that strategy while practicing for CLAT and attempting more mocks, so as to perfect the strategy more and more.
Again, there cannot be one singular strategy that will help you attempt all mocks or question papers since different papers will have different difficulty levels depending upon the questions that are asked in the different sections. Therefore, the strategy should rather be framed in a way that accounts for the difficulty level by giving a rough idea as to the order of attempting the questions and the time to be taken in attempting the different sections of the paper. Another point to notice is that at times the question paper for CLAT can be very unexpected, for example, CLAT 2015 had an unusually difficult Logical Reasoning section and a rather difficult English section. Which is not something the candidates could have foreseen. This sort of paper can be substantially more time consuming and can also put the candidate on a backfoot.
Thus, in order to attempt the paper to the best of your abilities, it is advisable to take out 2-3 minutes to review the questions are a glance and take to fit your strategy to the question paper before you. This allows you enough circumspection, so as to not be caught off-guard by any particular section completely. Also, the idea is to identify the questions which fit your strengths perfectly and you can attempt them with ease. Which will give you an idea as to how many questions you need to attempt in how much time, to end up with a decent score?While it is true that everyone should choose their own strategy, a very common strategy that can be helpful in attempting CLAT, is to divide the 120 minutes into 3 parts of 30 to 45 minutes and to start with the easiest questions and questions that take hardly 10 seconds to answer like, the General Knowledge section, or vocabulary questions, fill in the blanks, etc in the English section and Static Legal Knowledge questions. The aim is to solve as many questions as possible in the first 30-40 minutes, so as to give you sufficient time to spend on questions which are moderately difficult and would take more than 40 seconds to solve, but will fetch you the marks, basically the general questions in the Legal Reasoning section (Principle and fact-based questions), the reading comprehension and maybe even arrangement problems in logical reasoning.
Once this is done, the last 30-40 minutes can be spent on the questions that would take up a minute to solve but would fetch you the correct answer.Even while attempting the paper as per the above scheme, it is important to remember that re-reading any questions means wasting crucial time, that could have gone in solving another question. Another important thing is to keep guess-work to the minimum, since there is negative marking in the paper, and a difference of 0.25 marks can significantly alter your chances of getting a higher rank. It is only feasible to resort to guesswork when there is a confusion between two alternatives. It is also important to understand that at times more than one alternative may seem like the correct answer to a particular question, in such a case the aim is to select the most appropriate answer with respect to the question asked, this is particularly true in solving question of syllogism and also more of the legal reasoning questions.
In the end, the aim is to best suit your own needs, and to keep your performance consistent throughout the 120 minutes. You should choose the approach which is best for you, but it is important that you do not attempt the paper without a strategy in mind.