Changes in CLAT 2020 Pattern

The CLAT Consortium has issued a press release on 21st Nov'19 in which the pattern and the date of CLAT2020 have been mentioned. Highlights of the press release are given below.

  • The pattern for CLAT 2020 will have comprehension-based questions from Quantitative Techniques, English, Current Affairs, Deductive Reasoning and Logical Reasoning.
  • Dr. Faizan Mustafa, President of the CLAT Consortium and Vice-Chancellor of NALSAR, said that the reason for the change is to get better students, who have competence in reading texts and demonstrate skills in inferential reasoning, into the NLUs.
  • The number of questions will also be reduced from 200 to anywhere from 120 to 150.
  • The mode of exam will continue to be Paper & Pencil based with a total duration of two hours.
  • The exam will be conducted on the 10th of May.
  • The paper will have questions on "Current Affairs" instead of "General Knowledge and Current Affairs".

Absence of the mention of 'Legal Reasoning' as an area in the press release is a big surprise. It has been one of the major sections in the exam so far with 50 questions out of 200. The NLUs have been talking about not having questions that test the 'Legal Awareness' of the students. This seems to have come to fruition now.

However, whether the ‘Legal Reasoning’ section will be removed completely or will the ‘Legal Reasoning’ questions be given as ‘Logical/Deductive Reasoning’ questions remains to be seen.

The focus on 'Comprehension' and 'Reasoning' from the press release points to a possibility that the test would move closer in form to the LSAT, conducted for entrance into law schools abroad. For those who are not in the know, LSAT is the entrance test for premier law schools like Harvard/Columbia/Yale etc. LSAT does not have any questions on Legal Reasoning/Awareness and is a test of pure aptitude consisting of questions only on Reading Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning and Logical Reasoning.

While the news does point to a clear reduction, if not absence, of focus on Legal Awareness/Reasoning, we will, however, need to wait for more info to emerge before we know if

  1. the ‘Legal Reasoning’ section will be removed completely
  2. the ‘Legal Reasoning’ section will contain reduced number of questions
  3. 'Legal Reasoning' questions will be given under the Reasoning section focusing more on reasoning and logic than on legal awareness

In addition to this, only 'Current Affairs' has been mentioned instead of 'General Knowledge and Current Affairs' which was the section so far. If the exam doesn't test the students of static general awareness, this would be additional relief to the students in terms of preparation, enabling many more to aim towards getting a seat in the prestigious NLUs

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