The General Knowledge and Current Affairs section of law entrance examinations is a combination of questions on static G.K. and current affairs. The weightage given to both these portions has shown a varying trend over the years in both CLAT and AILET, as can be seen in the tables below. However, broadly, both these portions carry substantial weightage and CLAT aspirants cannot afford to ignore either of these areas. Due to the intense competition, a difference of few marks can result in vastly different ranks in law entrance exams and therefore, every aspirant must leave no stone unturned in developing a good command over each section of the exam.
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Table 1: CLAT – GK Section – Categories and Weightage
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Table 2: AILET – GK Section – Categories and Weightage
The strategy to secure good marks in the section is two-fold –
- The student has to cover the static GK portion from reading GK books to expand one’s spectrum of knowledge and
- Develop a holistic understanding of current events in news by regularly reading the newspaper and making daily notes.
Periodic revision is the key to memorise the essential details both these portions as we tend to forget the factual tidbits of most topics after a few weeks of reading them. Only when the note making exercise is complemented with weekly and monthly revision of notes can an aspirant feel reasonably confident to tackle most questions of GK and Current Affairs section in any law entrance exam.
The pattern of CLAT, AILET and other law entrance exams does wary mildly but the student’s path to make himself/herself adept at getting GK questions right in all exams is a common one. Some of the essential skills, that are needed and which can be developed with enough practice, are as follows:
Getting Your Basics Right
The static GK portion is essentially everything that you have studied in school till class 10. You’ll be surprised to see that despite having a good understanding of different subjects you studied in school, you will remember very few names, important terms and correct meanings. You will need to (i) revisit all the important concepts in science, (ii) draw mental maps of history in a chronological sense, (iii) understand the scientific basis of the natural phenomenon which have shaped world’s geography, (iv) appreciate the significance various constitutional provisions that have set up the structure of our polity, (v) possess a basic but clear understanding of the functioning of domestic and global economy. among others.
Learn to Love Reading News and Insights on Policy Issues
Cultivating the habit of reading newspaper is an essential aspect of law entrance preparation. Reading newspapers like Indian Express and The Hindu regularly will not only keep you updated with relevant news events but will also drastically improve your reading speed. Many aspirants fail to appreciate the significance of this secondary benefit.
CLAT paper has 200 questions and total time for completing the paper is just 2 hours. This means that, on an average, each student has 35 seconds to answer every question. Those aspirants, who have not indulged in regularly reading novels and non-fiction in their formative years, may find themselves at a disadvantage while attempting CLAT. Their insufficient reading speed will result in them running out of time or making silly mistakes in the process of answering question under a time crunch.
If you read two newspapers daily for an hour, for one year, you will see a marked improvement in your reading speed and ability to comprehend long paragraphs in one quick read. This skill comes handy in increasing your speed and accuracy in verbose sections like English and Legal Reasoning. And in this process, you will also develop an ability to link various news events and draw logical analogies to predict the correct answer intelligently.
Note Making and Periodic Revisions
Even if you read books and study material for static GK and regularly pick up the newspaper first thing in the morning, this exercise will provide very marginal returns (marks-wise) if you do not put in the effort of making crisp notes of everything you read. An average human brain needs periodic revisions to crystallise the information and store it for a longer period of time. The effort you put into reading from various sources will matter little if you do not reduce all that information to short bullet points and revisit them after every few weeks. This note making exercise can be either done with pen and paper in the traditional manner or students can use apps like Evernote, OneNote and Google Keep to collate their notes systematically. The benefit of making e-notes is that the “find” function (Ctrl + F) will come handy before the exams when you’ll be under a time crunch and also, more anxious than usual!
Practicing Past Year Question Papers
Even before a student begins regular preparation for law entrances, it is always advisable to attempt the CLAT and AILET question papers of, at least, the past 5 years. This helps the student identify the pattern and the type of questions that have been asked in recent times. It gives the student a focussed lens to view the rest of his/her preparation. For example, not every news in the newspaper is relevant for law entrance exams, such as local city news and general statements made my politicians. Same goes for static GK books which are invariably exhaustive and littered with a lot of information which is completely irrelevant for the purpose of law entrance exams. After going through all the GK questions asked in CLAT in the past 5 years, a student becomes equipped to separate the grain from the chaff. S/he will only read the news that which is relevant for the exam and her/his notes will be pointed and concise. This also helps in saving time and keeping the preparation focussed on the requirements of the exam.
We, at BellCLAT, can help you cultivate these habits and motivate you to steadily keep preparing for law entrance exams throughout the year. For those aiming at succeeding in CLAT 2019, we have a crash course too. You may explore our courses here.