CLAT 2017 Analysis

The 10th Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) was conducted today across India in online format for the third time. The exam was conducted by Chanakya National Law University, Patna, which will be declaring the cut-offs and results on May 29th.

CLAT is the doorway to 18 National Law Universities (NLUs) in the country for their five-year integrated law programmes (Ll.B.) as well as masters programs in law (Ll.M.). This year as many as 2312 seats are being offered by the 18 NLUs for the integrated LLB program and 604 seats for the LLM program. The exam was taken by 47,106 students across the country which was 93% of the number of students registered for the exam.

The 18 participating NLUs in the order of their establishment are:

  1. National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU)
  2. National Academy of Legal Study & Research (NALSAR) University of Law, Hyderabad
  3. National Law Institute University, Bhopal (NLIU)
  4. The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS)
  5. National Law University, Jodhpur (NLUJ)
  6. Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur (HNLU)
  7. Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar (GNLU)
  8. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow (RMLNLU)
  9. Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala (RGNUL)
  10. Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU)
  11. National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi (NUALS)
  12. National Law University Odisha, Cuttack (NLUO)
  13. National University of Study & Research in Law, Ranchi (NUSRL)
  14. National Law University & Judicial Academy, Assam, Guwahati (NLUJAA)
  15. Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Visakhapatnam (DSNLU)
  16. The TamilNadu National Law School, Tiruchirappalli (TNNLS)
  17. Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai (MNLU)
  18. Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur (MNLU)

CLAT 2017 was organized & conducted by Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU).

The CLAT is a 200 mark, 200 questions, 2 hour paper which tests students on 5 areas, namely, English, Mathematics, Logical Reasoning and General Knowledge/ Current Affairs, and Legal Aptitude. Correct answers carry one mark while wrong answers attract 0.25 negative marks.

In CLAT 2017 paper, while English, Logical Reasoning and Legal Aptitude were fairly easy and on expected lines, Maths was a bit lengthy and GK was difficult due to complete focus on current affairs and questions going into minute details. So overall, the exam was of moderate difficulty level and the cut-offs are expected to remain in the same range as last year, which also had an easy paper.

Section-wise analysis

English including Comprehension: This was probably the easiest & most predictable section. There were 10 questions on Fill-in-the-blanks where the appropriate prepositions had to be filled, which were easy and one passage in reading comprehension with 5 questions. At 800 words, the passage was lengthy and a good reading was required to answer the questions. There were 10 questions on sentence correction, which were of moderate level and five questions on modifiers and parallelisms. Then there were 10 questions on spelling corrections, which were easy. One major change this time was absence of vocabulary based questions and para-jumbles.

Most of the well prepared students would have attempted 36-38 questions in this section and scored around 32-34.

Mathematics: This was a moderate to difficult section, with limited scope for option elimination and some questions requiring lengthy calculation. Also, the wording of some questions was not very easy to understand. The questions were very well spread across all the chapters of Arithmetic, which accounted for as many as 17 questions. There were 3 questions each from time & work and profit & loss. There were 1-2 questions each from probability, time & distance, percentages, ratio & proportion, equations, simple & compound interest. There were no geometry questions.

An above average student should be able to attempt 13-14 questions and get a score of 10-12 marks.

General Knowledge: The GK section this year was a complete googly, with only 4-5 questions on static GK and rest everything was current affairs, primarily dominated by events of first half of 2016. One question from AILET 2017 was repeated while another question was based on an event in May 2017 itself. This is a good shift as Law aspirants should well aware of the developments in their country and around the world in socio-economic, political and other spheres. These questions focused on minute data and details and only very observant students would have got all of them right. This is again a good move because law aspirants should have an ability of reaching to the minutest details. Most of these questions were on Personalities, Economy, appointment, awards and International Organizations.

An ardent newspaper reader would have been able to do about 30 questions easily, remaining 20 questions which needed minute details or were on static general knowledge, would have been a challenge.

This section has the potential to bring down overall scores, of otherwise good students. This section will also differentiate the toppers from the rest

A good student could have attempted upwards of 35-38 questions in this section and 28-30 could be considered a good score.

Logical Reasoning: This was a relatively easy section and students should have used this section to maximize their score and make up for the loss of marks in GK or Numerical Ability section. There was one entire set from VistaMind Workbook 3. The entire section was dominated by Analytical Reasoning with 5-6 questions each on arrangements, direction sense and blood relations and 2-3 questions each on clocks, puzzles, analogies, blood relation and letter series. There were about 12-14 questions in verbal reasoning, out of which 3-4 questions were on each of analogies and odd one out, and a couple of questions each on deductive reasoning/syllogism, analogy, vocabulary and Statement-Argument and Statement-Assumption.

Overall it was an easy section and an attempt of 36-38 and score of 31-33 should be considered a good one.

Legal Aptitude: This again was an easy section. There were 35 questions on Legal Reasoning of the Principle-Fact type and the remaining 15 questions were on Legal Maxims and Foreign words. This section was a great relief for the slow readers as questions were not very lengthy. Interestingly, the section did not contain any legal GK questions, which had become a trend in the last few CLAT exams. Lot of these Legal Reasoning questions were repeated from past year questions with minor variations.

The Legal Reasoning part was primarily evenly balanced by questions from contract law, criminal law and torts while constitutional law had 4-5 questions. Questions on contract comprised of basic areas like offers and acceptances, undue influence et cetera. There were some twisted questions like one on kidnapping where the crime was decriminalised for the perusal of the question, requiring careful reading. Criminal had questions from Rape and criminal conspiracy along with joint liability, all of them to be applied in the same question, Right to private defence, Carnal intercourse (bestiality in particular), embezzlement and theft with a somehow lengthy and confusing factual situation. Tort based questions were on areas like Nuisance, Negligence and Trespass.

In the Legal Maxim questions, around 10 questions were fairly straightforward but 4-5 would have been a challenge. Also, this is an area usually ignored by the students as very few questions have appeared from this in the last few years.

It was possible to attempt about 42-45 questions in this section and get a net score of 38-40 for a good student.

The overall paper was easier than anticipated and hence the cutoffs for the top Schools is going to increase as compared to last year.

On a concluding note, a snapshot of section-wise analysis of the 2016 CLAT paper:

Subject No. of Questions/Marks Difficulty Level Expected Attempts Expected Marks Time to be given (mts)




36-38 32-34 18-20

General Knowledge



35-38 28-30 12-15




13-14 10-12 18-20

Logical Reasoning



36-38 31-33 28-32

Legal Aptitude



42-45 38-40 40-45
Total 200


162-173 139-149 120

Expected cut-off (General Category- first list):

Tier I: NLSIU Bangalore, NALSAR Hyderabad, WBNUJS Kolkata – 145 – 150 marks

Tier II: NLU Jodhpur, NLIU Bhopal, GNLU Gandhinagar, HNLU Raipur – 140 to 145 marks

Tier III: Remaining NLUs – 130 to 140 marks