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How to use the newspaper for your CLAT preparation

 

The newspaper, if used well can prove to be one of the most useful tools for your CLAT preparation. It is indispensable to both your GK as well as English preparation, which collectively make up for 90 out of 200 marks.

Pick one daily newspaper and stick to it throughout your preparation. While choosing a newspaper, keep in mind that it should be a reliable national daily, with flawless and lucid language. It is important for you yourself to be comfortable with the newspaper with regard to its layout and language. You can check out reputed standard newspapers such as the Hindu and the Times of India for this purpose. You can also try to use the available online versions of the same and use whatever suits your requirements the best.

Next, comes the question of what you should read and what you can afford to filter out as far as your CLAT preparation is concerned. Out of the entire newspaper, you may pick out and read the following sections:

  • National news
  • International news
  • Sports
  • Editorials

Out of the national and international news sections, focus on:

  • Important appointments
  • Eminent persons in the news
  • Awards and their winners
  • Any legislations in the news
  • Committees and Commissions
  • Summits
  • Any important event in the legal sphere, such as a landmark Supreme Court judgement, appointment of a new CJI, etc.

 

Focus on important sporting titles such as the world cups and important international titles.

The editorial section serves as excellent practice for the comprehension section in the CLAT. It helps you improve your reading speed as well as critical analysis skills. Also, it gives a better understanding about various important events and issues in the news.

You may choose to omit sections such as the state and business news as they aren’t very likely to come up in the exam. However, reading the business news section will introduce you to a new area of vocabulary and a world that is very important to lawyers. Though reading the business section isn’t that important for CLAT, but it definitely becomes very important after you crack it.

As mentioned earlier, reading a newspaper provides the double benefit of improving your English as well as GK preparation. Reading the newspaper is indispensable to your preparation for the questions relating to current affairs. Focus on the above mentioned sections and also make note of the important points relating to the same. For the purpose of future revision, you may make brief notes or even collect and preserve important clippings. Another option is to underline or highlight on the paper itself and preserve the entire newspaper. Figure out what would be most suitable for you keeping in mind individual study methods and most importantly time left to you to prepare. Further, make sure you revise at the end of every month from your personal compendium as well as cross check with another one provided by your coaching institute or any standard website. Also watch out for the Hindu’s ‘Diary of events’ that is released at the end of every year. It comes in the form of a supplement alongwith the day’s main paper.

With regards to English, reading the newspaper can help improve both your grammar and vocabulary, as well as increase your overall reading speed.

  1. Grammar- While reading the newspaper, ensure that you pay attention to the usage of the language and also the spellings of the words used. Focus on the usage of the different parts of speech, the choice of prepositions, the placement of modifiers, usage of particular tenses in differing situations etc. Continuous reading of well-written English will result in an improvement in your personal language skills almost at an sub-conscious level.
  2. Vocabulary- Reading the newspaper can prove to be an extremely fruitful exercise to improve vocabulary provided one follows up adequately. Keep a separate vocabulary notebook and every time you come across an unknown word, underline it, look up the meaning in a dictionary and make a note of it in your notebook. This should include the writing meaning of the word independently without referring to the dictionary followed by a sentence you have made using the particular word. As much as doing this might bring back memories of class 2, it indeed remains the best way to remember the meanings of new words. Unless, of course, you are blessed with a photographic memory.  Further, you can put down any synonyms and antonyms of the word that you can recollect from your memory. This will go a long way in registering the word in your memory.
  3. Reading speed- As you read more and more, your reading speed automatically increases as you start getting more and more familiar with the practice of reading and getting more and more comfortable with processing words and language to grasp the message within the text quickly.

Thus, it is important to realize the multitude of benefits reading the newspaper provides. Recognize this and ensure that you use it as well as possible and derive the maximum benefits out of this habit.

All the best!

 

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