By Shashank Khare
It has been 3 years since I first stepped into National Law University, Odisha.
For me law was never an option, to be frank it was only in class 12th that I came to know about CLAT and the NLUs. I was a science student, PCM to be exact. The sole reason I opted for PCM was my interest in Mathematics.
It was, was during my JEE-MAINS entrance when I finally decided that engineering is not my cup of tea. So I started looking for other options and that is when I seriously considered law as an option and now I thank god I did.
I took CLAT in the year 2013 first and, obviously, I couldn’t crack it. Then I decided to take a year drop.
Preparing for CLAT for a year has been one of the most fruitful and memorable experiences I have had in my life. But it is the journey itself that I cherish more as I look back fondly today, rather than the end result.
Do not underestimate yourself. Every aspirant has bouts of depression or under-confidence. It can get aggravated if you feel you are not doing well in your mocks or if your peers are scoring more. Even small things like them answering more frequently in class or having more ‘achievements’ in their school life can make you doubt your own abilities.
But remember this; it is your effort that will decide where you spend the next five years. It is your hard work and determination that will reflect once the results are out.
Everyone is equal and starts on a level footing for those two hours. Everyone has a fair chance to prove oneself. Believe in yourself and set high aims, this is your career and you want to give it the best possible foundation.
I knew from the start that I have to clear CLAT, since I had no inclination towards any other stream plus I took a drop for one year which meant my friends are now an year ahead of me.
While preparing for the exam, it is a doubt in everyone’s minds as to how much preparation is enough. There are those who have slogged for two years and have made it, and then there are those who have studied hardly for a month and have made it.
Remember this, the goal of all your coaching and mock solving is to absolutely familiarize oneself for the actual exam in all respects. It is to make you well versed with what has been coming in the exams all these years, and to be prepared for any googlies they may throw at you.
It is not about the number of mocks you take, but how well you get acclimatized to the nitty-gritty of the exam.
While there is no one formula to crack CLAT, it is important for you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, and be constantly in touch with your teachers or seniors at law schools to improve them.
Following a compact routine is one key component that helped me. I made a time table and made sure that I stick to that. I know this seems hard but after a couple of days you get used to it. I used to revise every subject daily. And every morning I used to read newspaper, The Hindu to be specific which helped me with my vocabulary and English.
I did my coaching from IMS Delhi, which I regret till this date. I was new in Delhi and I stayed in Dwarka and most of the good coaching institutions were really far. So I settled for IMS. This is my personal advice; never ever settle for anything less when your life is at stake.
Please do not be lazy! Don’t find excuses for not doing GK, or for not liking Maths or for finding a few types of questions in logic too tough. While you find excuses, someone out there who has similar problems will work towards solving them, strengthening her abilities and gaining confidence – and will ultimately take your seat.
Don’t let crazy schedules of your peers faze you, and don’t set unrealistic goals. Cover all aspects of the five sections.
So after one year of preparation and drama, I made it to an NLU.
Life in a law school is a mixture of emotions, for some days you will have so such to do that you will hate yourself for choosing this stream, but then there are some amazing days when you find yourself playing a small role in someone else’s achievement.
My main reason for joining CLATapult is that I love teaching and the fact that CLAT is such an interesting exam that I would always want to be associated with it, especially the fact that in law school you are restricted to one area only i.e. law, and miss studying Maths, Reasoning and GK.
Teaching at CLATapult will ensure that I can reacquaint myself with these subjects again.
Lastly, and most importantly, I still feel that if I had better teachers I might have scored better marks; which is why I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel the same way.
Shashank is currently in his third year in NLU-O. He will teach Mathematics in CLATapult Bhubaneswar alongside Anjanesh Vatsa, our NUJS-based Maths teacher.