It’s a huge decision for law aspirants to take a one year drop in studies. Back in the 90s, when a student would take a drop for NLSIU, many people frowned at the idea of sacrificing one year for a 5 year course, which actually saves one year of your life from a traditional law graduation. Further, when CLAT was introduced students started taking interest in the same.
CLAT re-takers are not like first time takers. Not because they are less capable. In fact, I believe that converse is true. Many of these students are exceptionally bright, textured and unique people. For exam preparation process, they are different simply because they have the indelible experience of not passing, sometimes a few times. The “failure” creates a wound. I often find that the wound is the chief characteristic leading to the preparation for the next effort. Because the wound is leading and not the several other qualities that make up an accomplished student, re-takers often lose contact with their self-reference of competence and success.
Before anything else, that is the first question you should be asking yourself. However, one cannot answer it until they HAVE their score. Do NOT schedule a retake because you finished your CLAT and felt bad. How you feel and how you do on the CLAT have a little in common. Furthermore, after the exam you are not in the best frame of mind to make such a decision. As long as you are getting your test scored, there is no reason at all to schedule for a retake.
Now that you have your score, it’s time to decide if you actually need a retake. Before reading this piece of advisory, check out the previous year papers and the rank list distribution amongst law schools. It will tell you a lot about what you are looking at. Once you are done read further.
Now as apples cannot be compared to oranges, similarly for us every student is different when it comes to a re-taker prep. So, here we bring to you a strategy specific to each type of student.
- The Busy Bee: This re-taker shall enroll himself in a full time course and carry on preparation side by side.
Strategy: You have to admit that a re-taker has an extra edge over you. He has nothing else to do. So, the first thing you have to do is stop comparing yourself with the person. As the famous adage goes “You are what you think”. Comparing shall only demoralize you and disturb your mental equilibrium.
You need to devise a daily study schedule along with day specific study plan. You should strictly adhere to your study plan irrespective of your busy schedule. For example; if it’s a Monday and you have scheduled Logical reasoning, stick to it without fail. Likewise each subject should be assigned a day. While general awareness has to be allocated one hour daily.
Second, try to attempt as many all India mocks as you can because they act as a parameter to gauge your preparation.
By the time its December you shall have an idea about the course you are enrolled in. Now you can prioritize the time better. Which topics/subjects should be given priority over the CLAT subjects and just try to maneuver accordingly. But, remember to allocate one hour daily to current affairs.
Now the real issue shall be that your semesters can surely collide with CLAT. As CLAT is conducted on a Sunday, you can be assured that the dates shall not be common. But be prepared. So predict this peril and make sure you have prepared for the semester beforehand rather than clubbing them together on the D day. Studying for the CLAT with parallel graduation requires the same level of time commitment as having a part-time job. If you can’t dedicate the allocated hours to your study schedule, you’re going to have a hard time improving your CLAT score. Register for a CLAT repeater webinar now.
- The Sniper: The one who has given away everything and prepares only for CLAT.
Strategy: Well you have all the time in the world. You tend to get tensed when CLAT is closer. The reason is the course gets finished by January end, there is kind of complacence that gets inside you. Your first task is to keep a resolve that you will not let the fire die in you.
The best strategy for you starts with reviewing your past mistakes. Make sure you download the copy of your OMR sheet and evaluate your mistakes. The mistakes mean more because it also reflects what your psyche during the examination. Specifically those mistakes where you knew the answer but committed the silly mistake of marking a wrong one. The mistake where you thought yourself to be right and marked a wrong answer reflects over confidence in the subject. There are plenty of reasons why you may have underperformed last year. Perhaps, you found yourself with less time to study than you initially anticipated, or perhaps you were struck by test day anxiety. Whatever the reason may be, if you’re planning to retake CLAT, you need to be prepared. Maintaining those old studying habits of the school time won’t cut it. Being honest with yourself is hands down one of the hardest parts of retaking the CLAT. It’s very easy to blame certain circumstances for why you didn’t do well. Unless you address the real underlying issue, you can’t move forward in your studies as a re-taker.
Once this issue is resolved, you must have a specific mindframe. One of the biggest reasons people don’t do as well on the MCAT their first time is that they didn’t set themselves up for success from the start. What do we mean by that? Well, setting yourself up for success really means adapting to a CLAT-friendly lifestyle. Ensure you get enough sleep, breaks from studying, time to exercise, recreation time with friends and family, and eating healthily. The second time you embark on a prep plan, it’s tempting to blame your past CLAT score on the test itself. For example, you may think, “I’m really smart, but this stupid test just doesn’t show it.” Or, “I worked really hard, but the version of the test I got asked only the things I didn’t know.”
While those statements may have a seed of truth, stewing over the injustice of the CLAT is not conducive to making it into medical school. The biggest favor you can do for yourself when you’re studying for the CLAT is to figure out where you can improve. Then, get to work.
If Math is your Achilles’ Heel, make sure this time round it become an armor, if not a shield. One year is more than enough time for you to prepare the numeric ability part. General studies, you should be like a walking encyclopedia. If this resolve is there, the subjects seem like assets and not hurdles when you attempt this time.
Complacency whenever it attacks, tell yourself of the dreams of national law school life or think about the last year result when people thought you did not work hard. This year’s hard work and selection would be the hard work for you.
Now be you an apple or an orange, all of this leads me to an unexpected conclusion for CLAT re-takers: Allowing yourself to truly submit to this process and detach from your fears and expectations of results will bolster your results, and in many ways will make your struggle more meaningful. That extra layer of humanity is a gift you will be able to offer your critics, when your “Congratulations” letter comes in.
Work hard….Succeed.. Register for a CLAT repeater webinar now.