English Language Section for CLAT – A good plan and its implementation are essential for success in competitive exams such as CLAT and AILET. On both fronts, solving previous years’ papers gives you an advantage. Previous year’s papers can help students by offering more thorough information on the kind, nature, and structure of questions, as well as the marks allotted to the sections of the syllabus that will be assessed.
If you look at the pattern of questions asked, you’ll see that the exam’s difficulty level fluctuates from year to year. The following are the overall advantages of the previous year’s articles analysis: –
- Provides you with a report on your speed and topic knowledge.
- Gives you an idea of the previous year’s trend, which themes are popular, which aren’t, and so on. Students who are familiar with the structure and types of questions on the exam will spend less time answering them.
- It assists you in gaining confidence in your preparation.
- Moreover, sometimes some tricky questions tend to get repeated and solving them beforehand can prove beneficial.
This blog will deliver the tips and tricks to score 25+ in the English Language section for CLAT after an analysis of previous years’ papers for the last 5 years.
Table of Contents
Common Law Admission Test, or CLAT, is a centralized national level entrance test for admissions to an integrated (5 years) undergraduate degree in Law (BA LLB, BBA LLB, BSc LLB, etc) in twenty-two National Law Universities (NLU) in India (except NLU Delhi which conducts a separate entrance, AILET). The test can be taken after the Higher Secondary Examination or the 12th grade and is conducted by the Consortium of NLUs nationally, every year.
Generally, the battle of CLAT is a 120-minute field wherein the candidate has to solve 150 questions spread across five areas – English Language, Current Affairs (including General Knowledge), Legal Reasoning, Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Techniques. Each question is a one-marker objective type. A negative marking of 0.25 mark per wrong answer has also been kept.
|Subject Areas||Approx. number of questions (Weightage)|
|English Language||28-32 questions or roughly 20% of the paper|
|Current Affairs, including General Knowledge||35-39 questions, or roughly 25% of the paper|
|Legal Reasoning||35-39 questions, or roughly 25% of the paper|
|Logical Reasoning||28-32 questions, or roughly 20% of the paper|
|Quantitative Technique||13-17 questions, or roughly 10% of the paper|
English Language Section for CLAT
The English Language section for CLAT contains about 28-32 questions out of a total of 150 questions. This means that it constitutes roughly 20% of the paper. An important nut to crack, isn’t it?
Now as per the syllabus listed on the Consortium website, in the English language section for CLAT 2022, you will be provided long passages of about 450 words each. Usually, a passage will have one point, and arguments or statements that support or counter the idea presented in the main point – try and discern the main point, and see what arguments or statements are presented in support of, or to counter, the main point. Each passage will be followed by a series of questions that will require you to demonstrate your comprehension and language skills, including your abilities to –
- Read and comprehend the main point discussed in the passage, as well as any arguments and viewpoints discussed or set out in the passage;
- Draw inferences and conclusions based on the passage;
- Summarise the passage;
- Compare and contrast the different arguments or viewpoints set out in the passage; and
- Understand the meaning of various words and phrases used in the passage.
These passages will be derived from contemporary or historically significant fiction and non-fiction writing and would be of a standard that a 12th standard student may be able to read in about 5-7 minutes.
Previous years’ papers analysis (5 years)
|Year||No. of Questions Asked||Trends|
|2021||6 reading comprehension passages with 5 questions each = 30 questions||Moderate Subjects of the 6 passages asked ranged from the gig economy to COVID’s influence or repercussions to climate change and the failure of the TRC in South Africa. One was a fiction passage – a story related to Sherlock Holmes.None of the topics required any prior knowledge except for the question solving capability. In fact, even the questions asked were conventional – such as inference, tone, main idea, primary purpose and vocabulary.No grammar-based questions.Also, an overlap between the Logical Reasoning and the English language section for CLAT 2021 can be clearly witnessed.|
|2020||6 reading comprehension passages with 5 questions each = 30 questions||Easy (but lengthy)The passages, though easy to comprehend, were lengthy to be finished on time. The comprehension passages were based on contemporary issues like the Bois Locker Room Controversy, Virtual Reality and Climate Change. Also, 3 passages were fiction based -‘The Cat’ by Mary Freeman, ‘The Night Came Slowly’ by Kate Chopin and ‘The Case for the Defence by ‘Graham Greene’.Questions were a mix of grammar, word meaning, reading comprehension type, inferential and word meaning.|
|2019||40 questionsone passage, with ten questions.The rest were stand-alone questions.||EasyVocabulary, reading comprehension and sentence completion were the most repeated questions this year.Also, there were 5 questions on foreign words, 5 para jumbles, 10 error detection questions, 5 spelling questions and 5 idioms.|
|2018||40 questionsone passage, with ten questions.The rest were stand-alone questions.||EasyVocabulary is tested with contextual usage rather than mere word meaning. Critical reasoning like para summary and the main idea was also tested. Questions on idioms/phrasal verbs, and incorrect grammar usage were also present.The cloze test was slightly difficult to interpret.|
|2017||40 questions||ModerateThere was one passage, with five questions, based on ‘negotiations related to WTO’.A heavy dose of Grammar was tested including prepositions and correction of sentences.The five questions based on sentence correction were primarily based on rules of modifier, correct usage of pronouns, & parallelism. There were 10 questions based on finding the correct spellings.No presence of direct vocabulary based questions.|
How to score 25+ in the English Language Section for CLAT?
Scoring at least 25+ in the English Language section for CLAT is essential to reach a decent score and rank overall. We can utilise our analysis of the past years’ question papers to cull out a few cues which might help us prepare for the English Language section for CLAT better.
Tips for preparation
- As the trends from previous years’ papers suggest, the passages may be from various topics, including technical and scientific topics, but you will not require any prior knowledge of any specialised areas to understand or analyse the passages.
- Try to read some of the same sources that the question setters use to develop questions – you don’t have to read the complete book if the source is a book, but keeping track of sources like newspapers and magazines would be quite beneficial. Read the opinion and editorial sections of newspapers in particular, as many paragraphs are borrowed from them. Read Wren n Martin selectively.
- Based on the fact that the previously asked passage-based questions follow a pattern, read a passage and try to form questions – such as, what is the main point of the author in the passage, what can be inferred from the passage, what arguments would weaken or strengthen the author’s arguments in the passage. This practice will help you be calculative about your time spent in the English language section for CLAT.
- It may be difficult to expand your vocabulary in the days leading up to the exam, but make sure you stop whenever you come across a term you don’t understand, whether in the newspaper, a textbook or even while watching a show on the internet and look it up in a dictionary. On the Internet, you can find several nice, free dictionaries; you can even download free dictionary applications to keep a dictionary on your phone at all times.
Tips for D-day
- As per the trends, usually a passage, in the English Section for CLAT question paper, will have one point, and arguments or statements that support or counter the idea presented in the main point – try and discern the main point, and see what arguments or statements are presented in support of, or to counter, the main point.
- Pay very close attention to the wording of each question. For example, a question which asks ‘Which of the following is the author likely to agree with’ would imply that there is only one option in line with the author’s arguments, while ‘Which of the following is the author likely to most strongly agree with’ would imply that there is more than one option that supports the author’s arguments, but one option, in particular, provides the strongest support to the author’s arguments.
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