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I have graduated from The Assembly of God Church School, Kolkata. I studied Science with Computer Studies as my elective subject. I have always been a bit of an all-rounder, doing well in studies and actively participating in extracurricular activities. I was inclined towards debates and quizzes, and hopefully I will be able to build upon this in Law School. I was rather bored after the exams, to be honest. But I took advantage of the short holiday and caught up with my school friends, and also started watching a few popular sitcoms.
No, none of my relatives is a lawyer by profession. I realized soon after stepping into class XI that pursuing Science or Engineering is not what I wanted to do for a career. I started reading online articles about various career options, and Law as a subject caught my eye. The idea of how a Law School provides for holistic development, and empowers a student to make a difference to society inspired me to take this up as my career choice.
They were all shocked and a little apprehensive, as they expected Engineering to be the natural course of action. But over time I managed to allay their fears.
I started preparing a year ago, around the time of last year’s exams.
The last few days were spent trying to calm down, and get ready for the exam. I brushed up on my GK, especially Current Affairs, and I also solved the past years’ AILET papers.
One would be hard pressed for time in AILET, and the Logic section in it was rather lengthy and complicated. A few types of questions were picked up from NLSIU papers from at least 15-20 years back, so having solved them all helped. I managed to attempt almost every question, and randomly marked the 2-3 questions for which I did not know the correct answer. One should attempt all the questions in AILET, which is not so in CLAT. The GK section in CLAT was terrible, but everything else was pretty straightforward, and I had finished 15 minutes or so in advance. Consistent hard work and familiarity with the pattern of the questions are essential.
I religiously solved my institute’s worksheets, mock test sections of LA over and over again. But what was absolutely critical to my preparation in LA (Yes, I did a little Legal Knowledge too, just in case) were all the past years’ NLSIU, NALSAR and WBNUJS papers,coupled with the past years’ CLAT and AILET papers. One has to solve these if one wishes to excel in these exams.
I did not refer to any books, leaving Pearson’s Concise GK and the Manorama Yearbook. Also, Pratiyogita Darpan, for at least the preceding 6 months or a year.
I feel the coaching centre I went to, played a critical role in my preparation. Everything was organized, regular mock tests helped immensely, and I also made a lot of friends who were like minded and wanted to be in the best Law Schools. Naturally there was a harmless rivalry to outdo each other in the mocks. When I look back now, it would have been rather difficult without my coaching centre, LST Kolkata.
Yes. One cannot simply be without mock tests! I only took the LST mocks, and occasionally took a few online free mocks from popular websites such as CLATGyan.com. We had a mock test series schedule which began 8 months or so prior to the exams, with one mock every weekend. I did not subscribe to anything else.
CLATGyan.com and Gyancentral.com have useful exercises, one must go through them. Also, doubt clearing articles and just general articles about life in a Law School, are also worth a read. CLAThacker.com has a few interesting articles if you have any doubts or if you want to read interviews by the experts or students who have ‘been-there-done-that’.
I followed the strategy of GK-LA-English-Logic-Math, based upon my strengths and weaknesses. One should defintiely have a tried and tested plan in place for tackling these exams. Initially I had just about enough time, sometimes a little short, but with time, I was (not boasting) finishing the mocks with at least 20-25 minutes to spare. I just about finished my entire AILET paper, and as I mentioned earlier, I had a lot of time left over in CLAT. I know this sounds a little shocking right now, but trust me, with practice it is achievable.
I doubt whether I will get AIR 2 in CLAT, but yes, top 20 at least, God willing.
By God’s grace I would not need any loan, but if I am eligible for any scholarship, say the Aditya Birla scholarship, I would definitely apply for it.
I honestly don’t know. Law School has a variety of options, various streams of Law, not to mention the various job opportunities. I would like to keep my eyes and ears open in Law School, decide what I really want to pursue, and hopefully build upon that.
If you really want to get into your dream Law School, work hard, never extinguish that burning desire, keep practicing, and you will have all the doors in the world (read Tier I Law Schools) open for you. :D
This interview was taken by Laboni Bhakta from GNLU, Gandhinagar.