CLAT Topper Interview: In talk with Aadya – AIR 2 CLAT 2020
With the announcement of CLAT 2021 exam date, CLAT 2021 is to be held on 23rd July , there is a lot of worry and tension among students. In this tense situation we got a chance to Interview CLAT Topper Aadya Singh who got AIR 2 in CLAT 2020.
In this interview Aadya discusses her examination strategies and some important books with the mock test attempts that the students can follow who are preparing for CLAT examination .
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Here are the excerpts from the Interview
Harshita: Congratulations Aadya on achieving this feat. What was your reaction after becoming All India Rank (AIR) 2?
Aadya :Thankyou! Well, it took me few hours to process my achievement. I could see family and friends being joyous. We started getting calls one after another. I had media houses approaching me and my parents. I was just relieved that all the efforts that I had put in every single day didn’t go waste. However, I feel it was more of a celebration for others while for me, it was a moment of great contentment and pride.
Harshita: Was this your first attempt at CLAT? When did you start preparing for the law entrance exams and what strategies you used in particular for your preparation?
Aadya: Yes, it was my first attempt. I started preparing in bits and pieces since the commencement of std 12th but the pattern changed in November-end so everything came to a halt. It was not that big a setback for me because I was majorly preparing current affairs during those months and it was still relevant in the new pattern. But we were deprived of sample papers and more clarifications for a month and that was a period of anxiousness for all the aspirants. In January, 2020 we got the first sample paper and it was then when I started getting thorough with my preparation. I was mainly focusing on clat. My main strategy was to understand the expectations, pattern and scope of the paper. I took a few online mocks to evaluate my performance and discover the strong and weak areas. Later, I spent more time understanding the concept from various sources that broadly included you tube videos and coaching modules. With the exam approaching, the number of mocks I gave per week increased. It should be noted that there is no ideal number of mocks/week that must be taken to perform well. It depends on an individual’s level of preparation and capacity.
Harshita: Choosing the right Books and Preparation material have always been a concern for many students preparing for CLAT. So according to you which are some of the best books for preparation that you recommend for CLAT 2021 for each of the 5 sections and overall preparation?
Aadya: When the pattern changed there were very limited study materials available in market which were relevant so I didn’t go through a lot of books. In fact, we have all the resources available on internet so one really doesn’t need to mug up a lot of books. However, for concept building purposes, here are my recommendations –
English – Newspapers (TOI, The Hindu) The editorial pieces of these papers when read sincerely, helps with making the aspirants get comfortable with lengthy passages in the exams, increases attention span, helps with critical reasoning and improving vocabulary and grammar. Additionally, if a student can go through books like ‘English is easy’ by Chetananand Singh and ‘Word power made easy’ by Norman Lewis to strengthen their base.
Current Affairs – Monthly magazines like Competition in focus (if you are not enrolled at some coaching where you get Gk modules), You-tube channels like Study IQ, Drishti IAS and/or Affairscloud.com. Newspaper reading would help too.
Logical reasoning – Assuming that the pattern hasn’t changed, critical reasoning would cover 80-85% of this section. It needs a decent grip n the concept and loads of practice. Students can refer to Verbal reasoning by RS Aggarwal and practice Ailet, GMAT CR questions. For logical PYQs and RS Aggarwal book is enough.
Legal Reasoning – As far as my understanding goes, this section should be prepared on the same lines as the Current affairs one. Aspirants are not supposed to have prior legal knowledge. Reading about the major developments in the legal field say any amendment, impeachment, introduction of a bill, SC judgements will do the needful.
Harshita: What advice would you like to give the future CLAT aspirants & share with us the strategies you used to stay motivated in your exam days.
Aadya: I think every aspirant who has chosen to continue with the preparation during such uncertain and tough times deserves a pat on the back. There are few weeks left for the exam and it becomes very crucial to not lose one’s cool. At the end what would matter is your performance in those 2 hours and not however hard you worked for n number of months or years. I used to take out enough time to stay connected with my friends, play or exercise, spend some quality hours with family. Its very crucial to not feel drained and overworked especially in the last month of the preparation.
I believe motivation comes from within. Every time I felt like giving up, I thought about my aspiration to achieve a milestone, get into the best law school in India and make my parents proud and that’s it, I didn’t give up. There were setbacks but I made sure they are temporary. One should remember to stand up again no matter how many times they fall.
Harshita: What is the ideal time to start taking mock Tests & What role do mock tests play in CLAT Preparation? What was your strategies in particular towards mock tests?
Aadya: Mocks are THE MOST IMPORTANT part of the preparation. You can never do well in exam if you’ve not practiced enough. Mere knowledge doesn’t guarantee success. The ideal time is to start taking mocks is nothing but now. Mocks should be a part of the preparation since beginning. However, its never too late. One should ideally take at least 25-30 mocks before the exam.
While attempting, it’s always better to start with your strongest section. Before that, taking a glance at the paper is a good idea as it helps to evaluate the level of paper as per your preparation. Allot the time limit for each of the 5 sections and do not cross it. Such a practice will help with time management on the D-day.
Harshita: What are some of the most important things a student should keep in mind on Exam Day?
Aadya: At the outset, remember it is just an exam and not once in a lifetime opportunity. Nothing so bad would happen that you cannot correct later. Don’t give the exam more importance than it deserves. Take a proper 7-8 hours’ sleep a night before. Carry a water bottle to the centre. Stay hydrated. Do some deep breathing. Tell your brain that it’s showtime and all the efforts that you’ve made all this while has to be brought in action in these 2 hours. Stay confident. Panicking and getting nervous is normal. Carry candies with you if that is allowed. It helps control exam fear. At last, confidence is the key. Believe in yourself and you shall be fine.
Harshita Nandal has worked as a Creative head in Mitrakshar, University of Delhi. She has done her Graduation from the University of Delhi in English Honours. In her free time, she prefers to play the guitar, take short walks in between work and loves to watch Korean dramas. Currently, she is an author at Educere India to fulfil the desire of her passion for writing.
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