The Value of Practicing Previous Year’s CLAT Papers

One of the most efficient ways to approach Common Law Admission test (CLAT) is to get familiar with the exam by practicing previous Year papers. Its importance can be assessed by the fact that every year the conducting body (Consortium of NLUs) offers all the previous year papers since the beginning of CLAT along with the application form.

CLAT as a unified exam was started in 2008 and it has undergone a lot of changes in terms of pattern, syllabus, types of questions etc but fundamentally it has always retained the five major sections i.e. English Language, Logical Reasoning, Legal Reasoning, Current Affairs including general Knowledge, and Basic level Quantitative techniques. As much as it is important to practice past year papers, it is also equally important to be aware of the latest pattern to avoid sections that now need different approach than questions of previous years.

Practicing past year papers is essential for students appearing for the CLAT exam because it helps them gauge their level of preparedness, identify areas of weakness, and improve their speed and accuracy. By practicing past year papers, students can get a sense of the type and difficulty level of questions asked in the exam, which can help them develop strategies to tackle the exam more efficiently.

Practicing past year papers also helps students become familiar with the exam pattern and marking scheme. It enables them to develop a sense of time management, which is crucial in a timed exam like CLAT. Additionally, practicing past year papers helps in identifying the types of questions that a student may find difficult, which they can then focus on improving.

Practicing past year papers also helps students to develop confidence and reduce anxiety, as they become familiar with the exam format and the kinds of questions that they are likely to face. It also helps in improving overall performance by identifying weaknesses in certain subjects or areas of the syllabus, allowing for focused revision and improvement.

Although we have 15 sets of Past year papers for CLAT starting from 2008 excluding the individual papers that different NLUs used for conducting their entrance exams before introduction of CLAT, the most prominent and now relevant papers are only 4 in number starting from the year 2020. Year 2020 made a drastic change in CLAT, and the paper is now more inclined towards testing a candidate’s aptitude rather than knowledge and the format of all questions is changed to passage based wherein passages of 300-450 words are provided followed by questions, answers for which can be found or inferred from the given passage.

Older papers can be referred for looking at the topics that are covered and frequently tested but only the recent papers should be practiced in time bound manner to experience the CLAT that we will now be facing. Another point that must be kept in mind is that CLAT 2024 will have 120 questions instead of 150 like past year papers so one should keep that factor into consideration will managing time and analysing the performance.

It goes without saying that one needs to apply one’s mind while using past year papers and ignore the questions that no longer serve any purpose. For example, Current affairs of previous years are outdated for this year but the kind of issued that made it into the paper can serve as a lighthouse while you study the news and events of this year. Also, the analytical reasoning questions which formed major portion earlier are redundant in latest CLAT which is now focussed heavily on Critical reasoning. Similarly, the format of legal reasoning changed from Principal fact-based questions to passage-based questions which in a way can be interpreted as an elaborate principal but requires a completely different approach that earlier questions.

Another prominent advantage of past year paper is that the recent papers mention the source from where the passages used in the questions have been chosen. Thereby revealing the potential newspapers, web portals, books etc or at least the type of study material that one should read during preparation to expect questions from such source.

Thus, practicing past year papers is one of the most important aspects of CLAT preparation and it should not be ignored at any cost. It is advisable to practice the past year papers in a time bound manner and compare the score with the cut off that paper. That will give a realistic idea of a candidate’s current preparation level and the improvement needed to get into the NLU of one’s choice.