With Board examinations around the corner and entrance dates for CLAT and varied other law school entrance exams declared, the student often finds himself/herself in a perilous position. The anxiety mounts with each passing day and the student is confused about the ways to successfully tackle the challenge posed by these examinations.
Before we juxtapose these two examinations and suggest on possible strategies to excel at both, it is to be made clear that both of these examinations are immensely important and none is to be taken lightly. While CLAT and other law school entrance tests opens the portals to the esteemed law schools of the nation and are the first step towards a successful career, the board examinations are the benchmark against which the merit and performance of a student is evaluated. Even all law schools across India do not accept candidates who have scored less than stipulated marks in the +2 boards. This stipulated mark varies from one institute to the other and is generally in bracket of 50%-60%. Performance at board examinations is also crucial with regards to further academic options after the law school. Be it LLM applications in Universities abroad or MBA programme across national and international institutes, performance at +2 boards always merits considerable attention.
So what should be the strategy? Should one concentrate only on Boards and set aside the law school preparations for a while? What would be the right time to hit the books again for the entrance exams? Would this time be sufficient to successfully walk through the gates of a law school? Such and many other questions would be cropping in your head. Our attempt is to quell this anxiety, offer you counseling and guide you with the right preparation strategy.
The students who would be appearing for boards this year would have a little over a month after the conclusion of exams to revise or prepare for the law school entrance examinations. Frankly speaking, this time is not sufficient to cover the entire range of syllabus one is tested upon in an entrance test. There are exceptions and many of you would have heard from your seniors and brothers/sisters who have cleared one of the law school entrances that a month’s preparation is suffice. Do not readily believe all these claims and statements. The key to success is nothing but persistence, determination and dedication. The exceptions are never to be considered as the golden mantra for success.
Given the crucial nature of the board examinations and the wonders it can do in bolstering one’s confidence, never ever think of replacing your boards’ preparations by law school preparations. What requires to be done is to reconcile the both and develop a study plan through which both of these demons could be mastered. Reiterating again, boards are very important and a student should never shy from working hard for the same.
The syllabus of law school entrance examinations includes English, Logical Reasoning, Maths (upto class 10 level), General Knowledge and Legal Reasoning. Let us address each section on an individual note with regards to the preparation tactics along with the board examinations.
(1) English: As the medium of entrance examinations is English, it is necessary that all students have a good command over the basics and are able to comprehend the questions asked. For the time a student is preparing for boards’, no added attention is to be given to this particular section. Most of the students who appear for law school entrance examinations have an English medium background. This would certainly help you with this section. However it is not a cause for worry for the Hindi Medium students as sufficient practice would make you sail through this section casually. One thing that can be done along with board examination preparations is improving upon one’s vocabulary. The right strategy is to mark the unfamiliar words you come across and look for their meanings. Do not try to mug up all of them. Instead try to engrain such words in your mind by using it in sentences and by drawing suitable references. Once the boards’ are over, one can go through the materials provided for this section and evaluate one’s performance.
(2) Logical Reasoning: For students of science stream, this is not a real cause of worry. Even for students of humanities and commerce streams, there is no possible need to fret over the vast portions. What one can do is practice 5-10 problems on a daily basis and after the time boards’ are over, this section could be hit with vengeance. 5-10 problems a day over a 50 days period including the study period and actual time of board examination means that by the time the boards’ conclude one has practiced around 250-500 problems from this section. Try solving questions from different areas as diversity makes you familiar with the varied nature and scope of the problems.
(3) Maths: The preparations strategy for maths is the same as for logical reasoning. Try solving 5-10 questions on a daily note and make sure that the range of questions covers all the possible topics one is tested upon in a law school entrance exam.
(4) General Knowledge: The pattern of GK asked is law school entrance examinations is largely current affairs based. It is pertinent that you read a national daily on a regular note and do not miss such. The news missed on a given day could prove to be crucial at the time of entrance examinations. So how much time should be dedicated to reading a newspaper? It should not be more than 45 minutes. Make a note that you underline the unfamiliar words and supplement this with your English preparation strategy. If on a given date one misses on the issue, you can always log in your ‘mylst’ account and scroll down the daily newsfeed. It is important that crucial information is noted down for revision on a later date. Also be consistent and regular with the weekly GK and Legal Quiz. They are framed keeping the current affairs of the past week in mind and one can assess one’s preparation level by attempting the same. After the boards are over, you can tackle this section in a much detailed manner.
(5) Legal Reasoning: For all the students who have diligently attended the classes or gone through the study materials, you can have some respite at the time of boards’. You can revise all your portions once the boards’ are over. What you can do in meantime is to keep revisiting the concepts daily for a 15-30 minutes timeframe. You can also try attempting again the work exercises, home exercises or mock tests conducted. Students who are newcomers and not introduced till date to this section can try reading the basics of topics and cover them in detail once the board examinations are over.
Many of you would be still thinking how you could manage time for all this with your board examinations. Though the exercise seems tough it is neither tedious nor time consuming. Instead it is a persistent and steady approach to successfully crack the law school entrance examination. At maximum the daily input you need to give for your law school entrance preparations is an hour on a daily basis excluding the reading of newspaper. If you can manage your time well, you can finish both in an hour and a half. Practically thinking, this is not unmanageable and can be easily reconciled with your board preparations. Always remember the adage “Slow and steady wins the race.”