The Consortium of National Law Universities has introduced significant changes in the exam pattern of Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2020. This article takes you through the changes in the CLAT English section. Herein, we will also discuss the preparation strategy and sample questions for CLAT English Section.
1. Details of CLAT English Section
- Weightage: This year the section will comprise 28-32 Questions (or around 20% of the paper).
- Marking Scheme: Every correct answer will fetch you one mark (+1) and for every incorrect answer .025 will be deducted from the total score.
- Pattern: This year the exam will assess your comprehension and reasoning ability. Just like the other sections (legal aptitude, GK, and logical reasoning), the English section will also be comprehension based. This means that the CLAT English section will have passages of about 400-450 words, followed by sets of questions based on the passages. These passages can be based on a variety of topics and might be sourced from a newspaper, website, book, etc.
2. How to Approach the CLAT English Section
- Read the passage very carefully and try to understand the overall flow and structure of the passage.
- You might be required to draw inferences and conclusions from the passage or compare the different viewpoints mentioned in the passage. In order to make sure that you are on the right track, understand the meanings of difficult words in the passage, and try to summarize the passage.
- You may glance through the questions so that you know which sections of the passage require more focus.
- Make sure you keep a check on the time and at the same time focus on maintaining accuracy while attempting the questions. Accuracy is very important to avoid negative marking.
- In order to ace the CLAT English section, you must focus on improving your reading and comprehension ability. You can go through the editorial sections of newspapers like The Hindu, Economic Times, Indian Express, The Guardian, New York Times, etc. Another important aspect of your preparation must include practice. Take Oliveboard’s full-length mock tests to aid your preparation. You must also join our CLAT Telegram Channel wherein we provide practice questions along with video solutions and Daily GK quizzes and Current Events.
3. Points to remember while attempting the CLAT English Section:
- Make sure that you restrict yourself to the information mentioned in the passage while answering questions in the CLAT English section. Do not refer to external information or preconceived notions while answering these questions.
- An important technique while answering questions in the CLAT English section is skimming through the passage. Try to remember where you read a particular piece of information in the passage so that you can quickly refer to that line or paragraph if a question has been asked from the same.
- While attempting reading comprehension in the CLAT English section, the Option Elimination Method can come in handy to arrive at the correct answer.
4. CLAT English section- Practice Questions
Directions [Set of 5 Questions]: Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.
There are many people who do not believe in gods in any sense. Some are fervent atheists, but there are also very uninterested atheists too, non-believers who just aren’t that bothered about religion. Such people are just as uninterested in campaigns of the kind conducted by the New Atheists or the New Humanists as they are in discussions promoting the existence of God, or of gods. They just do not want to talk about God at all. They have moved beyond that discourse, perhaps to the most atheistic place there is – the place where the gods are simply forgotten. Such people are sometimes now called ‘apatheists’, and there is evidence that their number is growing, particularly among the young. Apatheists have no interest in philosophical discussions about the existence of God, in the same way that they have no interest in arguments about whether the young Arthur drew the sword from the stone. They have accepted the New Atheist arguments and moved on, or have moved on for reasons of their own. By contrast, the humanists (who are also increasing in number) have not moved on.
Public declarations of humanism always seem to begin with a conscious, even a self-conscious, rejection of religion. For instance, the Amsterdam Declaration ratified by the World Humanist Congress in 1952 declares that humanism is ‘rational’ – by which it largely means that it rejects the possibility of divine intervention. Humanists UK (formerly The British Humanist Association) sees itself primarily as ‘bringing non-religious people together’. Contemporary humanist authors such as Richard Norman, Stephen Pinker, Stephen Law, or A.C Grayling spend a lot of time going over philosophical arguments against belief in God. Humanism therefore self-defines as an anti-religious movement – so it has not yet forgotten the gods. In a sense, humanists still need gods, so they can argue against them.
The trouble with all this supposedly ‘New’ argument is that it is out of date by about two hundred years. While the New Atheists caused a clamour around the beginning of this century, they were largely repeating arguments that had been put forward by Baron d’Holbach, or more famously by David Hume, back in the eighteenth century. The New Atheists perhaps thought they were persuading us that (relatively) new scientific perspectives, such as evolutionary theory and Big Bang cosmology, were distinctively undermining religious belief, with their accounts of the origin of man and the cosmos. Yet based on the science and philosophy known even in 1770, d’Holbach had already concluded in his substantial Système de la nature ou des loix du monde physique & du monde moral of 1770 that there was no God. He would have needed no more convincing.
Question 1. What is the contextual meaning of the following as used in the passage?
Question 2. Which of the following question(s) can be answered from the information given in the passage?
- Can we certainly prove the existence of gods?
- What did the New Atheists try to persuade us with?
III. Are humanists and atheists the same?
- I and III only
- II only
- II and III only
- I and II only
Question 3. Identify the statement(s) which is/are correct with respect to ‘apatheists’.
- They are unbiased towards discourse(s) related to gods.
- They do not want to discuss about God or gods.
III. Many young people are becoming apatheists.
- I and II only
- II only
- II and III only
- All I, II and III
Question 4. It can be inferred from the passage that
- Recent scientific perspectives undermine religious belief.
- Humanism rejects religions but supports religious discourses and sentiments.
- Humanists are decreasing in number, unlike apatheists.
- Apatheists are a subset of atheists.
Question 5. Why do humanists need gods despite rejecting the possibility of divine intervention on which ‘humanism’ is based upon?
- By virtue of being defined or declared as anti-religious, humanists need gods to fight against them.
- Humanism is primarily based on the rejection of religion which is evident from the fact that it sees itself as bringing non-religious people together.
- They still can’t figure out some of the events/incidents which are outside the realms of their beliefs.
- They have interests in philosophical discussions about the existence of gods.
Answer key and solutions for CLAT English practice set
‘Fervent’, in the context of the passage, means having or displaying a passionate intensity. ‘Impassioned’- filled with or showing great emotion. ‘Flickering’ and ‘candescent’ are synonymous to the word ‘fervent’ but to a different meaning of it (Hot, burning, or glowing). ‘Languid’- (of a person, manner, or gesture) having or showing a disinclination for physical exertion or effort. It is unrelated to the word ‘fervent’. Hence, (a) is the right answer.
I- there is no evidence in the passage which proves the existence of gods with certainty or even talk about it. II- it can be answered based on the third sentence of the last paragraph of the passage. III- same logic as that for I, as there is no evidence to prove the exactness of humanists and atheists (their features might be same but exact similarity can’t be concluded). Hence, (b) is the right answer.
I is incorrect- ‘unbiased” means ‘showing no prejudice for or against something; impartial’, while the passage says apatheists are uninterested (not interested) atheists. II- it’s correct as per the fourth sentence of the first paragraph. III- it’s true as per the sixth sentence of the first paragraph of the passage. Hence, (c) is the right answer.
(a)- it is directly mentioned in the third sentence of the last paragraph and can’t be said to be inferred. (b)- the first half of the sentence is just a paraphrasing of first sentence of the second paragraph. (c)- it is incorrect as per the last few sentences of the first paragraph which clearly states both humanists and apatheists increasing in numbers. (d)- as per the second sentence of the first paragraph which explains apatheists as uninterested atheists, it can be inferred that apatheists are a subset of atheists. Hence, (d) is the right answer.
The answer to the question lies in the last sentence of the penultimate paragraph of the passage which states that humanists still need gods so that they can argue against them, which is clearly mentioned in option (a). Hence, (a) is the right answer.
For more such English practice questions for CLAT 2020, Register here for a Free Mock Test
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