How to score 33+ in the Legal Reasoning Section for CLAT? Previous years’ papers analysis (5 years)

Legal Reasoning Section for CLAT – Analysis of previous years’ papers aids students by providing more detailed information on the kind, nature, and structure of questions, as well as marks assigned to subjects of the syllabus that will be tested. Both – a strong plan and its execution – are key to cracking any competitive examinations like CLAT, AILET, etc. Solving previous years’ papers give you an advantage on both fronts. 


When you solve these papers, you get the idea about what kind of questions are asked from different topics, which areas are more important, whether questions are more from the static part or dynamic part, etc. If you observe the pattern of question papers, you will realize that the level of difficulty varies from year to year in the exam. You get the overall idea about the difficulty level and you can prepare accordingly. Students who are familiar with the structure and types of questions on the exam will spend less time answering them. 

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.
  • 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 33+ in the legal reasoning section for CLAT after an analysis of previous years’ papers for the last 5 years.

Understanding CLAT

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 AreasApprox. number of questions (Weightage)
English Language28-32 questions or roughly 20% of the paper
Current Affairs, including General Knowledge35-39 questions, or roughly 25% of the paper
Legal Reasoning35-39 questions, or roughly 25% of the paper
Logical Reasoning28-32 questions, or roughly 20% of the paper
Quantitative Technique13-17 questions, or roughly 10% of the paper

Legal Reasoning Section for CLAT

In the legal reasoning section for CLAT, you will be expected to read long passages of around 450 words each. As per the syllabus listed on the Consortium website, the passages may relate to fact situations or scenarios involving legal matters, public policy questions or moral philosophical enquiries. 

Note – You will not require any prior knowledge of the law. You will benefit from a general awareness of contemporary legal and moral issues to better apply general principles or propositions to the given fact scenarios.

The Legal Reasoning Section for CLAT 2022 will contain roughly 35-39 questions out of a total of 150, i.e., will constitute 25% of the paper. Each passage asked in this section would be followed by a series of questions that will require you to:

  • Identify and infer the rules and principles set out in the passage;
  • Apply such rules and principles to various fact situations, and
  • Understand how changes to the rules or principles may alter their application to various fact situations.

Previous years’ papers analysis (5 years)

Because the legal reasoning section for CLAT 2022 is different from past years’ exams, you could believe that practising Legal Reasoning problems from prior years’ papers won’t help, but you’d be wrong. While previous years’ questions may not have required you to extract a principle from a passage and instead provided the principle to you directly, you should still attempt them because they will help you develop the skill of analysing a principle, closely examining a fact situation, and applying one to the other. Hence analysing the trends is incredibly important.

YearNumber of QuestionsTrends
202140 questions from 8 passagesEasyAll the passages were based on some of the very basic concepts of law like free consent, Marriage and Divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, volenti non fit injuria, compassionate appointment, the principle of VNFI, etc.However, this section was also lengthy given the presence of 40 questions in total.Also, the topics of the passages were related to mostly static laws and had less influence of current affairs this year.Because of the length of the paragraphs, 450 words each, the legal reasoning section for CLAT 2021 can also be said to have been time-consuming.
20208 passages with 39 questionsModerateThe passages were based mostly on the important current events from the last 6 months such as the Vizag gas leak case, force majeure in contract, Palghar mob lynching and so on. The questions were based on dynamic legal reasoning rather than just static knowledge.Prior knowledge of some of the questions may have been required.
201950 questionsEasyAll the 50 questions were legal reasoning based. None of the questions required any prior legal knowledge. Also, neither did any questions base on assertion reasoning.  However, the legal reasoning section for CLAT 2019 would have required candidates to spend time reading the principals minutely to ensure that no silly errors were made.The paper mainly focused on questions from the Law of Contracts and Law of Torts, Transfer of property, etc.There were quite a few questions from previous year’s papers with minute changes to the principle expected to be applied as well.No questions on maxims.
201850 questionsModerateThe legal reasoning section for CLAT 2018 contained two kinds of questions -Reasoning – Assertion: 15 questionsPrincipal-Fact Questions(Legal Reasoning): 35 questionsQuestions were mainly from the area of Contract, Torts and Constitution. There were no questions about Family Law, Intellectual Property Rights and International Law.There were some legal GK questions as well.
201750 questionsModerateAround 35 principle-based questions and 15 questions from the “legal maxims” area. There wasn’t a single question from the current legal GK, which marked a major deviation from the previous year’s papers. There were questions on topics like nuisance, negligence and trespass. Rape, criminal conspiracy and joint liability, etc.Also, there were some questions with lengthy and confusing factual situations.

How to score 33+ in the Legal Reasoning Section for CLAT?

Scoring at least 33+ in the legal reasoning section for CLAT is essential to reach a decent score and rank overall. We can utilise our analysis of the past year question papers to cull out a few cues which might help us prepare for the legal reasoning section for CLAT better.

Tips for preparation

  • While previous years’ questions may not have required you to extract a principle from a passage and instead provided the principle to you directly, you should still attempt them because they will help you develop the skill of analysing a principle, closely examining a fact situation, and applying one to the other.
  • Analyse your mocks and sample test results – Analyze the results and attempt to figure out what’s working and what isn’t – can you extract the concept or principle but not break it down? Or do you have no trouble dealing with the idea but struggle to comprehend the facts? If the first, perhaps some additional Legal Reasoning practise would be beneficial; if the second, perhaps you might devote a bit more time to English Language preparations.
  • Analysing the trends gives out that the Legal Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, and English Language sections of CLAT are somewhat related. Hence, some of the preparation techniques that apply to the English Language and Logical Reasoning sections may also serve you well for the legal reasoning section for CLAT. See if you want to schedule your preparation time such that you focus on these three subjects as a group.

Tips for D-day

  • One of the most significant distinctions between the UG CLAT 2022 Legal Reasoning part and prior years is that you will not be given the principle and facts separately; as a result, the first thing you need to do is read the paragraph attentively and identify the principles laid forth there.
  • Once you have done this, read through each question carefully to see if it relates to the same facts as are set out in the passage, a separate set of facts, or, perhaps, the facts set out in the passage with some alterations.

For more help with your CLAT preparation, tune in to Oliveboard. For tips and tricks on preparing for other law entrances, check this. Ciao!


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