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Logical Reasoning

Logical Reasoning is a scoring section of law entrance examinations, provided you master the essentials. Students study a lot of material before the exam, and yet do not manage to clear it. It is important you know about the pitfalls before you appear for the exam, to clear it in the first attempt.

What are some mistakes students make in preparation ?

I. General

  • Over-preparation: If being underprepared is a bad exam strategy, so is over-preparation. A lot of students make the mistake of gathering a lot of information prior to the exam. Although gaining knowledge is always a good thing, but prior to the exam your focus should be to master the topics frequently asked.
  • Jumping right in: Although counter-intuitive, it pays before an exam to not jump directly into topics, but to first find out more among the exam. One of the ways to strategize is to play to your strengths. For example, if you know English is your strong suit, it would help if you attempt the English section first before moving on to the other sections. If you’re a math freak, begin with numerical ability. If you’re the captain of your school’s quiz team, start with GK. Not only does this save time, it also boosts your confidence to answer the rest of the paper.
  • Time out: One to two weeks prior to the exam, your attention should be focused on timing yourself to see how many minutes it takes for you to solve a section. Especially for reading comprehension, time has to be allotted to read the passage first.
  • Spending time on irrelevant topics: There are some topics that over the course of the years have found little to no mention in the CLAT/ AILET papers. If you spend an inadequate amount of time over these topics, it is not only unproductive, but also counterproductive to your preparation of the other section.

II. Logical Reasoning Section – Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Assuming from common sense: The logical reasoning section contains questions based on statements, where often, you have to assume certain things as facts. If a premise states that ‘The sun rises in the west’, you might have to take it to be true, even though in reality, it’s clearly false. This is especially true of sections like syllogisms and critical reasoning sections.
  • Deviating from principles: There are certain principles of logical reasoning (a lot like math or grammar) that you have to apply to the questions, and nothing more. The examiner will try to trick you but sticking to your ‘logical tools’ will help you get the right answer every time!
  • Reading a question incorrectly: To screen candidates, CLAT often has ‘negative questions’, i.e., questions which seem like they’re asking one thing, but are actually asking the opposite, like, ‘Which of these is NOT true?’. If, however, in a hurry, you read this question as ‘Which of these is true’, then you will end up with the wrong answer.

Additional Tip: Seating Arrangement questions are among the most time-consuming in this section, and unless it is your strong suit, it is best kept for the last, given time.

III. Strategising for Competitive Exams

If we are to allocate study time proportional to the frequency with which a certain topic is asked in the examinations, we have to undertake a thorough analysis of the history of CLAT and AILET. We have to rely on the strategy of ‘historical recurrence’ or the likelihood that past papers will set a pattern which will be followed. Entering the mind of the examiner is important. The topic wise analysis of this section from past 5 years of CLAT and AILET papers is given below.

Number of questions each year
Topics 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Sequence and Series 5 2 2 0 5
Analogy 1 3 3 0 8
Syllogisms 1 1 2 1 5
Blood Relations 1 5 0 3 5
Seating Arrangement 3 0 0 0 0
Distance and Directions 1 6 0 1 3
Course of Action 2 0 0 0 0
Statement and Conclusion 1 0 0 2 2
Statement and Assumption 0 0 3 1 1
Clocks and calendars 2 3 0 1 0
Logical Deductions 18 14 25 14 11
Logical Consistency 2 3 2 6 0
Critical Reasoning 1 0 0 3 0
Coding-Decoding 2 3 1 8 0
Cause and Effect 0 0 2 0 2
Totol 40 40 40 40 40

Table 1: CLAT – Logical Reasoning Section – Categories and Weightage

Considering that there are many questions to attempt, ideally you should start off with GK section (answers you either know or don’t – no rough work required). The maximum amount of time you spend on a logical reasoning question should NOT exceed 1 minute.

Number of questions each year
Topics 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Sequence and Series 0 9 4 0 4
Analogy 0 0 0 0 3
Syllogisms 0 0 0 4 2
Blood Relations 0 2 4 3 3
Distance and Directions 0 2 5 3 3
Course of Action 0 0 0 4 0
Statement and Conclusion 0 0 0 1 2
Statement and Assumption 0 4 0 3 2
Clocks and calendars 0 2 2 0 0
Logical Deductions 0 6 18 11 9
Logical Consistency 0 0 0 5 0
Critical Reasoning 0 9 1 1 7
Totol 35 35 35 35 35

Table 2: CLAT – Logical Reasoning Section – Categories and Weightage

  • An analysis of the pattern makes clear that both CLAT and AILET focus on deductive reasoning. In this topic, you are provided a set of facts, where some clues may be provided, based on which you have to deduce the rest of the information. The questions will be based on the missing pieces of information in the question.
  • From the point of view of AILET, coding-decoding and seating arrangement questions are not as important.
  • Your attention should be focused on practicing as many problems as necessary till you get a hang of the topics, and are able to solve each question in 1 minute or less.

An analysis of the pattern makes clear that both CLAT and AILET focus on deductive reasoning. In this topic, you are provided a set of facts, where some clues may be provided, based on which you have to deduce the rest of the information. The questions will be based on the missing pieces of information in the question.

From the point of view of AILET, coding-decoding and seating arrangement questions are not as important. Your attention should be focused on practicing as many problems as necessary till you get a hang of the topics, and are able to solve each question in 1 minute or less.

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