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The CLAThacker Interview Series XIX - Your stereotypical Bong Debomita Sadhu from NUJS shares her journey and valuable insights.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hey! I am Debomita Sadhu, currently in the middle of the summer lull, post my second semester examinations in NUJS. I have lived all my life in Kolkata and did my schooling from Bidhan Nagar Municipal School. Ticking all the boxes of the stereotype Bengali description, I am lazy, addaholic, a foodie with the obvious mishti tooth, crazy about football and a bibliophile with an opinion about anything and everything. 

 

Do you have lawyers among your family and relatives? Who or what inspired you to pursue law as a career option?

There are no lawyers in my immediate family or among my close relatives.

I had never contemplated law as a career option till the day I chanced upon a past year question paper at a friend’s place. The pattern caught my attention as I thought it to be a test of one’s aptitude rather than mugging ability and I casually looked it up on net. That preliminary research triggered my interest as I started considering law seriously. Moreover, I had always been interested in eclectic of politics, sports journalism and finance, and thus, the diversity of the curriculum and the varied opportunities available for a law graduate pretty much sealed the deal.

What did your friends, teachers and other people around you react when they came to know about your decision to become a lawyer?

I had taken up science in my plus two so everyone had expected that I would pursue science in higher studies. My teachers and relatives were in fact quite keen on me taking up medicine and initially my decision to pursue law took them by surprise. It primarily had to do with the archaic notions of legal education and profession most had. But eventually when they got to know about CLAT and law schools, most of them respected my choice though the occasional lectures on the virtues of studying medicine came my way. My parents on the other hand, had always high regards for law as a discipline and had wanted my elder sister to pursue law. So my decision went down really well with them and they were a constant source of support during my preparation.

What were the entrance exams you took?

I just took CLAT and hoped to get through NUJS because leaving Kolkata was never an option for me.

When did you start preparing for CLAT & AILET?

I took CLAT 2013 as well, for which I invested a month before the entrance. For 2014 CLAT, I was in touch with the curriculum throughout the year but did the bulk of effective preparation in the last three months. 

English and LA were your strengths. Please tell our readers how you went about it?

CLAT expects you to be reasonably sound in English and the paper primarily deals with functional English. Therefore, being an avid reader, the English section never required any special effort on my part.

LA is the easiest section in CLAT where you don’t need much of an extra knowledge but simply a logical application of the principle is required. Being a compulsive over-thinker, initially I used to get several answers wrong; lots of practice and periodic adoptions of an unbiased mind did the trick for me, as LA ended up being my favourite section. Speedy reading skills also helped.

GK was your weakness. Please tell our readers how you tackled your problems. How did you go about it? What materials did you use?

One of the reasons April’15 is better that April’14 is that I am not losing any sleep over GK. Like a true procrastinator I had kept postponing the GK preparation for Clat’14 till the last month when time got dwarfed next to the Everest size to-do lists. I therefore had to categorize the materials into different priority levels and did a lot of pick-and-choose.

I went about with GK by first memorizing the GK sections from all the mock tests and exercises and then went through the monthly compendiums for current GK. For static GK, I invested all my time for four days at a stretch about a week and a half before the exam, a mind-numbing experience, after which I gave up OTTing on GK but followed a systematic pattern for the rest of the days.

Most importantly, I kept modest expectations from GK and instead concentrated on bettering the scores of the other sections, especially Logical Reasoning, which eventually proved to be a wise decision for me in CLAT 2014.

What are the books and materials you used for CLAT & AILET?

Other than the mock test series, I referred to LST and PRIME materials and some online sites for GK.

 

Did you go to any coaching centre? What is your opinion on coaching centres?

 

I had enrolled for a month long crash course in PRIME before the CLAT 2013. For CLAT 2014, I chose to prepare on my own.

I personally believe that proper guidance and mentoring is very necessary to ace these entrances since they require you to study smart. However, such guidance is needed only at the preliminary stage after which, once you grasp the matter, you can sail you own ship. Practice exercises are essential to preparation though and mock test series by some of the coaching centres are really helpful.

Tell us about the mock tests you took. From where did you source them? How often did you take a mock test? Did you subscribe to any specific mock test series?

Since I did not take any coaching for CLAT 2014, I had to rely on my friends for the mock tests. I solved the LST, UILS and SRIRAM ACADEMY mock tests along with the mock tests and exercises available online.

In your opinion what are the top five skills required to ace these entrance tests?

Effective time-management, concentration, ability to handle pressure and perseverance would be all, along with practice, practice and more practice.

How did you focus and motivate yourself when you invested a year for CLAT?

NUJS had always been a dream and I knew I had to be there. That was enough a driving force to sustain me for a year. Additionally, the fact that one of my closest friends was also taking the exam helped me in both my preparation and in staying motivated.

What was your strategy regarding time management? Did you get enough time to complete the test?

I always had a problem in completing the test though by the end of the year-long preparation, I could finish the mocks in time. I kept changing the order in which I attempted the sections until I figured out the pattern which took the least time. I usually kept logic or maths for the last since often there were several time-consuming questions in those sections.

 

How did you manage to cope with the stress during preparation?

I never felt much of a stress till the last month. However, I kept giving mocks and the mock scores went a long way in calming my nerves. Other than that, the premier league and UEFA matches and the occasional binging on anime and movies were pretty effective distractions. Also, the fact that I had a decent back up plan was always at the back of my mind and kept in check the paranoia.

 

Where do you see yourself after 5 years from now? How has your experience in NUJS been so far?

I am in the process of discovering my interests and inclinations and hopefully would be able to figure it out by the next couple of years, which would determine where I would be standing 5 years from now.

NUJS has been an interesting experience so far with its fair share of wows and whoops.

 

What is your message to our readers?

CLAT is as much a test of nerves as it is a test of aptitude. Despite year long preparations, those determining two hours can be really tricky. So it is imperative that one remain calm. Also, there is no alternative to mock tests but one or two bad mock scores in the last few weeks before the test is not the end-all. Don’t go mariana-trenching thereafter; remember those are just the pre-exam blues. Take it to be one trivial slip for you are sure to rise to the occasion. All the luck to you all, may your hard work serve you well.

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