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The Battle Within



"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated wa..."

One significant part of CLAT preparation which no coaching center will teach you how to deal with is handling the stress and dealing with the weight of expectation during the exam. All your preparation for the five sections aside, it is dealing with those 200 questions in a cool manner while ensuring your brain functions at its very best, which will separate the best from the rest. It is therefore as important to be battle-ready from within, as it is to have studied well.

Let me share a personal experience on how things can go wrong on D-Day. I always backed myself and took mocks seriously. My 'mental' preparation was something I did daily - I knew I had to be the best and CLAT was my crack at the cherry. There was honestly a point where I recollect that getting through NLSIU (which of course, reflected the gold standard) was something that was constantly on my mind - from when I was showering in the morning to any regular daily activity. In short, I was very focused on 'being in the zone' always, and was determined to give my best.

AILET was fine enough, but CLAT was a whole new ballgame. We were made to sit in our allotted classrooms (yes, kids, I'm from a time when CLAT was still a pen and paper exam) an hour before the exam. I do not recollect a time where I was nervous or frightened prior to a mock, but everything changed in CLAT. Half an hour before the exam, I freaked out. I was quite nervous, and when I got the paper, things just became from bad to worse. GK was always my strength - I had prepared a lot, maybe not so much for static, but current affairs was my forte. I always started with GK (I recommend everybody do so too, and arrange the other four sections based on your strengths), and it was horrible. I think I got 20-ish (which later increased a bit since we had a few answers rectified after the answer key was out). My CLAT paper was off to the worst possible start despite my best efforts and hours of 'mental preparation'.

For the first time in a year of prep I circled a wrong bubble, messed up a current affairs question which I had read two dozen times prior to the exam. Spent the last half an hour of my exam pondering over the spelling of 'commission' (yes, I finished that early and so can you - more on this later). But you know what? I pulled through. Cracked NLS too. 

Everybody will be stressed. That is as true as the sun rising in the east everyday. It is how you perform under these conditions that will grant you access to the top law schools. Pretty much everybody in the top 200 deserves NLS. But making mistakes and handling the pressure on D-Day determine your fate. Mock tests are possibly the best way to prepare for real-time stress. Even still, don't neglect the mental aspect of your preparation. Do whatever helps you - yoga, jogging, music. But be sure to be battle ready. 

 (P.S.- I just chose that Assassin's Creed photo because it was cool and I couldn't find anything else.)

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated wa...

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