Cracking CLAT 2016

By Nishant Priyadarshi

It is all about speed, accuracy, and practice!

Not even a decade back, law was the last resort for graduates. Thoughts of lawyers in black coats seating in dingy courtrooms would send shivers down any self respecting individual. But, careers in law have taken a turn and definitely for the better. Now lawyers work in swanky corporate offices and work for corporates as varied as media, insurance, banks, FMCG, or become partners/associates in law firms.

So if you have good communication skills, both oral and written, are fond of reading, can convince others easily, have a logical way of thinking so that you are able to look at matters objectively and come to your own conclusions, then this is the career for you. And if you are smart, suave, presentable, and ready to voice your opinion, then this is the career for you.

Setting up of National Law Schools/Universities (NLUs), 5 Years integrated LLB right after 12 th , world class education, and admission through Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) have helped the cause. With 17 NLUs and 2,342 seats at LLB level now, CLAT attracts the best students and they are being placed in the best law firms around the world. No wonder the NLUs have provided 100% Placements since inception and today, they compete with Harvard, Oxford, Yale, NUS and the likes. The biggest recruiters are Indian & International Law Firms, Consultancies, Corporates, NGOs, Legal Process Outsourcing companies, Government Organisations, etc. Students passing out from the National Law Schools/Universities get average placements of around 6-10 lacs per annum.

CLAT 2016, which is being conducted by Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala, Punjab is an online exam and has a total of 200 multiple choice questions, each of one mark, and the duration of the exam is two hours. The subject areas covered are English (including comprehension), General Knowledge/ Current Affairs, Elementary Mathematics, Legal Aptitude and Logical Reasoning. Wrong answers carry a negative score of 0.25.

Test Area



English including comprehension



GK and Current Affairs



Elementary Mathematics



Legal Aptitude



Logical Reasoning






In case of equal marks being obtained by two or more students, the student having higher marks in legal aptitude is given a better rank. In case there is still a tie, higher age and then draw of lots (if required) are used as criteria to give higher rank.

How to maximize your score in CLAT 2016:

The key to getting a good score in CLAT 2016 is having sound subject knowledge and a good strategy to attempt the paper.

I. Build subject knowledge

Remember that as the exam is of multiple choice pattern, in depth knowledge is not required and the student has to develop the ability to spot the right answer.

  • English: Work on your vocabulary, grammar, and reading skills. Books like ‘Word Power Made Easy’ should be useful for vocabulary. Revise basic rules in grammar and read lots of passages of 500-700 words from books/magazines/newspapers.

  • General Knowledge/Currents Affairs: Do brush up on current affairs of the last 1 year (Apr-Mar) with special focus on legality, policy, economy, and constitution-related news. Last 12 issues of our in-house monthly magazine VistaCareer will be a great help in this area.

  • Mathematics: Just revise basic arithmetic chapters and do lot of simplification and BODMAS based questions.

  • Legal Aptitude: This section will test candidate’s interest towards study of law, research aptitude and problem solving ability. Basics understanding of legal terminology, constitution, contracts, criminal law, torts, legal general knowledge, etc will be of great help in maximizing scores in this section.

  • Logical Reasoning: Work on logical and analytical reasoning question varieties like syllogisms, logical sequences, coding-decoding, analogies, puzzles, etc.

[Do get a good book for Logical Reasoning and Legal Aptitude, as you will need to build knowledge in these areas, since these subjects are not taught till Class XII.]

II. Take 2-3 sectional tests every day:

You should write 2-3 sectional tests every day and try to attain the below mentioned speed:

  • 3 – 4 questions every minute in General Knowledge/Current Affairs/English

  • 3 questions every 2 minutes in Math

  • 1 question per minute in Logical Reasoning and Legal Aptitude

Post the test, do analyse the paper and work on concepts that you got wrong as well as the ones that you left.

III. Write lot of Full Length Tests

You should target writing one full length test in every 2-3 days. Try different sequences of solving the paper and see what works best for you. Stick to that strategy in the last 3-4 mock tests.

We have provided a total of 30 Mocks for Law Exams 2016:

  • 18 CLAT (8 Original and 10 Mocks)

  • 6 AILET (4 Original and 2 Mocks)

  • 4 SET (2 Original and 2 Mocks)

  • 2 IPU (1 Original and 1 Mock)

After writing each test, you must spend 2-3 days on analyzing each test and working on the areas in which you got the answers wrong or did not attempt the questions.

Remember that CLAT is a speed test. 200 questions in 120 minutes is no mean task. A student will need around 115-120 marks to get admission in top NLUs. With an accuracy of 80-90%, you will need to attempt about 150-170 questions to get this score. So you really need to build your speed and allocate time properly between different sections. Remember that all questions carry equal marks and the English and General Knowledge questions are easiest to solve and least time consuming. You should try to solve them in about 20 and 15 minutes respectively. Give around 15-20 minutes to Math and you should be left with about 70 minutes for the remaining two sections. You may give 30 minutes to Logical Reasoning and about 35-40 minutes to Legal Aptitude.

Of all the sections, Legal Aptitude may be the most tricky and time consuming. Students also tend to spend lot of time on this section as scores in this section will be used as the tie-breaker, if required. However, my advice to students always has been to maximize their score from other sections and only give remaining time to this section. This should help you improve your score and give you a better rank.

Here is a suggested split of the time that students should ideally spend of each section and the number of questions that they should spend. However, please bear in mind that this may change depending on the difficulty level of each section and should not be taken as sacrosanct.

Test Area


Time to be given

Expected Attempts

Expected Score

English including comprehension


20 – 22 mts

38 – 40

30 – 32

GK and Current Affairs


12 – 15 mts

35 – 40

26 – 30

Elementary Mathematics


15 – 20 mts

16 – 18

13 – 15

Legal Aptitude


35 – 40 mts

35 – 40

27 – 32

Logical Reasoning


30 – 35 mts

30 – 35

24 – 28




154 – 173

120 – 137

AILET 2016 and other exams

AILET is the exam for admission to NLU Delhi. The exam will be conducted on 1 st May and the pattern is identical to CLAT. The paper has 150 questions with 35 questions from each area except math, which has 10 questions. All other Law entrance exams are also very similar. So the same preparation strategy will work for AILET, CET, SET, LSAT as well. The only care to be taken is that a student must understand the syllabus and test areas of each exam properly and write 4-5 mocks of that exam before appearing for the main exam, so that he/she is accustomed to the paper and is able to build his/her strategy.

Other important exams and their dates are given below:

  • IPU 17 th April

  • KIITEE 21 st April to 30 th April

  • AILET 1 st May

  • SET 7 th May

  • CLAT 8 th May

  • LSAT 15 th May

  • BHU UET LLB 15 th May

  • AMU BA LLB 23 rd May

To summarise, here are the Do’s and Don’ts for the exams:


  • Revise all the test areas

  • Go though last 12 issues of VistaCareer

  • Write lot of small (15 – 30 minutes) sectional tests

  • Complete all the Mocks provided by us and analyse the papers after completing the test

  • Develop speed

  • Do each question on its own merit (remember, each question carries equal mark)

  • Have an exit time

  • Target 90% accuracy

  • Stick to the time limits decided for each section


  • Try to get in-depth knowledge

  • Compromise on accuracy

  • Try a new strategy in the exam

  • Spend time on a question you can’t understand

  • Get stuck on a question

Nishant Priyadarshi

The author is an alumni of IIM Kozhikode. He has worked with Ashok Leyland, BNP Paribas and TIME before starting VistaMind Education as a Co-founder and Director. He can be reached at!