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MISSION CLAT is knocking on the door. Time to take the big guns out.
Someone asked me a very common question. How can I prepare for GK when just one month is left in the light of the fact that my GK is quite poor and I have not done much to improve my GK so far?
First of all, is there anything you can do about it now? Fortunately the answer is yes.
However, can you really become good at GK in one month? I don’t think so. Trying to improve your GK generally in the last month is not even a smart idea.
You need focussed, efficient preparation for GK that does not waste much of your time and will get you maximum returns on your effort. Your approach will not be to use an artillery to destroy the enemy camp – you just want to take down the enemy general with a sniper. Precise, well planned and swift – that is how you GK prep has to be at the point.
How can you do it?
Firstly, get 30 law entrance papers of various years including CLAT. Then solve all the GK questions. See the type of questions that have been asked in those papers. Chances are high that some similar questions will be asked this year also.
If they asked who is the Chief Election Commissioner – they may ask that question this year also. Do you know the answer?
If they ask about the CEC, what similar questions can they ask? What are other similar posts (in this case, constitutional posts)? You will find the list and names in any GK compendium.
Identify the type of questions that you are getting wrong. This will give you a list of topics that are frequently asked and you need to get right. For me, various celebratory days was a topic like this. I noticed that every year they ask a question about World Anti-Tobacco Day, World Peace Day, Anti-cancer Day etc. So I found the list and mugged up the days – and believe it or not – there was a question about that in my paper.
If you look at past years papers, it will give you a lot of insights on what may be asked in the paper you are going to write. Prepare accordingly. Remember, the goal is to prepare for portions of GK that seems to be very likely to be asked about. You can never answer all the GK questions, don’t even prepare for it – you just don’t have the time for comprehensive GK preparation. All you can do is invest a little time and ensure that you can answer the obvious questions correctly. This is very important – because every mark you add will make different to your rank! 5 extra marks and it could be the difference between NLSIU and NLIU.
There is another thing you should do for GK. Pick up a GK compendium with MCQs. My favourite is Pearson’s fat GK compendium. Take that, and solve all the MCQs in the book. You should spend no more than 5 seconds on a question. Spend no more than 10 seconds reviewing answers. Wherever you go it wrong, make a mental note and move on. Don’t stop to mug it up. There is no need.
Your brain is structured in such a way that when you need it you will remember as long as you paused to make a simple mental note. However, giving it more importance than that, stopping to write things down or memorizing by repeating again and again and spending too much time on a single question is counter-productive and stressful. That simply doesn’t work. When you learn any new information – pause for a second, make a mental note and move on to the next thing. Never spend more than 10 seconds reviewing a GK question.
If you follow this advice, you can finish Pearson GK book in 3-4 days if you keep solving continuously throughout the day. This is exactly what you should do to take your preparation of GK to the next level. However, there would be some chapters which are less important for CLAT. You will know this based on the sense you developed after solving 30 past years papers. This is very important. Develop a judgment on what sort of GK questions are more important and which are very less likely to be asked. Once you have this judgment, preparing for GK becomes easy. While working with a GK compendium, of course do the most important chapters first.
During the exam, your effort will be to solve a question in 5-10 seconds. You must prepare for this ahead of time. It does not take more time to solve an MCQ GK question, and spending more time is counter-productive. Spending more than 10 seconds will not increase your chances of getting the answer right. Get over your psychological need to spend more time on GK questions.
Prepare for GK, but don’t go overboard. You can never answer all the GK questions right. Only goal is to answer a large chunk of them – without going crazy preparing. Which means it is important to predict what is likely to come in the paper and prepare for that accordingly. Otherwise, you are either doomed to waste a lot of time or answer very few questions correctly.
Feel free to ask intelligent questions in the comments, I will answer.
Play hard, play smart. May the force be with you.