When preparing for CLAT or any other law entrance exam, it is most important to figure out how to go about the entire preparation in the time that is left for the exam. Which means it is important how you organise your studies in a way that you end up making the most out of the total time that is left for the exam. How you organise your preparation in terms of the time you devote and the material you rely on is time and resource management.
Simply put, time and resource management are about how can you manage whatever time you have in your hand and your resources (study material, mocks, and books) in a manner that is not taxing for you and yet you get the best out of it. It becomes all the more important since most of the law aspirants take the CLAT exam with their 12th Board Examinations so you have to take out time for both.
The best way to do this is to build a schedule for yourself and try your best to include that schedule in your routine. This schedule should be able to include a major part of your time of the day. Which means that it is advisable that while making a schedule for yourself, you don’t restrict it to only your CLAT preparations but try to include time for your coaching classes, tuitions, school, etc. Essentially trying to give you a bigger space to take out time for CLAT preparation. Depending upon a normal day, which could start from your school hours, or if you don’t have school, start with your usual time to wake up and then ending at maybe the night. This will also help you get a view of, at what times of the day you can squeeze in an hour or two for practice or for reading the newspaper or making, notes for example, you can try to squeeze in one-two hours in the evening/afternoon and then take out an hour before bed, for reading or revising.
It is recommended that while sitting down to make a schedule for yourself, you keep in mind that this is a plan for yourself and every one of you will have different needs. There will be people who concentrate better in the mornings, while some of you might like the silence of the night for studying. It totally depends on what suits you best because this is your preparation for your goal. Keep in mind your ease because if you are not able to follow this routine easily, your chances of sticking to it will automatically be lesser. However, it is also important that you do make it in a way where you are taking out at least two or three hours per day to prepare for CLAT preparation and this should be exclusively for self-study, for a starting point and go from there.
It should also take care of how much ground you still have to cover. In case you have your 12th boards, and you can just start your CLAT prep then you have to devote at least two to three hours which will include reading and learning primarily and some time for revision and practice. While if you have been preparing for CLAT for some time, you can try practising and revising as a primary part of your study time and learning and notes making, etc. as a secondary part.
If you have taken a gap year, you should be able to devote more time to your preparation. It is highly recommended that you don’t tie yourself down with a lot of coaching classes, it is important you take out time for self-study and monitor your progress individually. You can try and fix different times of the day for different exercises for example, you can try to practice in the day, i.e. around 10 am as that is the approximate time when you actually be giving your CLAT exam on the D-day, this will help build a habit in keeping you attentive for those hours particularly.
Another very important point while trying to manage your time is to be sure of the sources of preparation you are relying upon. For this, you should first stick to a few resources and try to use them exhaustively. Meaning, do not try to refer to too many sources as depending upon the source the reliability can be less, particularly in case of readily available guidebooks. Take advice from people who have prepared for CLAT in the past or your teachers or mentors or anyone you can consult for the best authors and publications you should rely on. Study-materials for different coaching institutes are very helpful is used properly, since they are tailor-made for competitive examination purposes. However, it you can one or two particular weakness(es) you should refer to specific books for example, for vocabulary, Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis is the best book to consult, while for quick maths tricks Quicker Math by M Tyra is the most acclaimed book.
It is important that you have some resource which provides you online practice mocks that you can take. Reliability is very important in this case too. It is advisable that you go for reputed learning institutes while opting for an online test series. The more you can practice online the better it is as firstly, the exam itself is online, and secondly, most of the online resources give you an analysis of your mocks and can be referred to later on. You can also see if the resource is compatible to your cell phone, or try to install some app which has small exercises for topics like General Knowledge both static and current and Vocabulary building so you can learn something in your idle time too.
Another important thing in time and resource management is you take out time for review purposes. Which means that on the weekends, take out one day to see how much ground were you able to cover in that week by sticking to the schedule you made for yourself, and how much more you need to cover. Accordingly, see if you need to shift your hours of study or increase or decrease your hours of study depending on your priorities.
Time and resource management is crucial as you can see it tries to provide a structure and a discipline to your preparation. Depending on how well can you implement it, it can be extremely helpful in your preparation. It is a step towards taking responsibility for your actions as you will be giving the examination with as much preparation as you do.
Additionally, as Charles Richards wisely said:
Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.”