The Clat paper is composed of 200 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) which have to be answered in a span of 2 hours. The CLAT syllabus is divided into five areas:
- Logical reasoning,
- General Knowledge,
- and Legal reasoning
The details of the subjects are in the following proportion:
ENGLISH: The English questions are of a moderate to albeit sometimes advanced level and have questions based on vocabulary, grammar, application, para-jumbles and the like. Perhaps the most important and challenging content in English both from the view point of content as well as strategic time management is Comprehension, where a number of small passages are given and there are questions which follow on them. These comprehension questions may sometimes not only be based on English but also on deduction, inference and understanding, thereby bordering on Logical reasoning.
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: The General knowledge technically focuses only on “current affairs”. However past experience (look below for the 2012 Notification controversy) suggests that mastering conventional GK, especially the Constitution is essential … (incomplete statement)
MATHEMATICS: Basic Class 8 to 10 maths. Remember this is not an IIT exam, this is a Law exam, they expect you to know maths….well let’s just the objective is that you know it. The idea is not to ask you advanced questions. This area is pretty scoring (even for the ones who hate….. HATE Mathematics) with a little practice and consistency. Except for once in a while rouge question, the questions come from arithmetic like percentages, Time and Work et al.
LOGICAL REASONING: Critical logic forms the backbone of this section although analytical logic and exercises of deduction are also asked. Questions on relationships, critical appreciation of passages and drawing inferences from them, pattern finding and assertion-reason type questions are asked.
LEGAL REASONING: A logical reasoning question based on law, the questions give you common place situations and ask you legal consequences which may follow. For example, a person’s liability in accident when the victim contributed to his own injury, or consequences when a person is a nuisance to his neighbourhood. The questions till recently had been almost only based on principle- fact model, i.e a legal principle would be given followed by a set of facts to which the principle would have to be applied, though the CLAT 2012 paper had a large number of Constitutional Reasoning questions based on Assertion-Reasoning.
There are three things to remember when looking at the CLAT Syllabus:
The purpose of the clat exam is to test whether the candidate has the aptitude to become a lawyer or not. This means that the objective of the exam is to test you against those areas which may have either directly or indirectly some relevance when you become a legal professional.
The CLAT paper is an objective exam and not a subjective one. This means only knowledge does not do good. A combination of good material, enlightened mentoring, e-learning platforms and an array of testing resources with consistent labor at your end. Click here to see the secret of champions (Testimonials link) (incomplete statement)
The CLAT paper is the entry vehicle to law schools. The paper setters do not expect you to know law and legislation in detail.
Notification and Syllabus Controversy in 2012
Every year the CLAT committee publishes an official notification on it’s website www.clat.ac.in, which sketches out the syllabi for the year. For the 2011 syllabus it published the following notification:
Pattern of the CLAT Paper for Under-Graduate Programme
Total Marks 200
Total number of multiple-choice questions (of one mark each) 200
Duration of examination 2 Hours
Subject areas with weightage:
English including Comprehension 40 Marks
General Knowledge/ Current Affairs 50 Marks
Elementary Mathematics (Numerical Ability) 20 Marks
Legal Aptitude 50 Marks
Logical Reasoning 40 Marks
The different subject areas of the exam are explained as under:
English including Comprehension The English section will test the candidate’s proficiency in English based comprehension passages and grammar. In the comprehension section, candidates will be questioned on their understanding of the passage and its central theme, meanings of words used therein etc. The grammar section requires correction of incorrect grammatical sentences, filling of blanks in sentences with appropriate words, etc.
General Knowledge/Current Affairs This section will only test students on their knowledge of current affairs (broadly defined as matters featuring in the mainstream media between March 2011 and March 2012)
Mathematics This section will test candidates only on “elementary” mathematics, i.e., maths that is taught up to the class X.
Logical Reasoning This section will only test students on their knowledge of current affairs (broadly defined as matters featuring in the mainstream media between March 2011 and March 2012)
Legal Aptitude This section will test students only on “legal aptitude” Questions will be framed with the help of legal propositions (described in the paper), and a set of facts to which the said proposition has to be applied. Some propositions may not be “true” in the real sense (e.g. the legal proposition might be that any person who speaks in a movie hall and disturbs others who are watching the movie will be banned from entering any movie theatre across India for one year). Candidates will have to assume the “truth” of these propositions and answer the questions accordingly.
Candidates will not be tested on any prior knowledge of law or legal concepts. If a technical/legal term is used in the question, that term will be explained in the question itself. For example, if the word patent is used, the meaning of patent (“A legal monopoly granted by the government for certain kinds of inventions”) will also be explained.
In event of tie between two or more candidates in the CLAT, tie will be broken by the following procedure and order:
- Higher marks in the section of Legal aptitude in CLAT-2012,
- Higher age and
- Computerized draw of lots.
The CLAT 2012 paper however (Click here to go to the paper, solution and detailed analysis) did not conform with the guidelines and a lot of questions were either not in conformity with the type of questions laid out or were outside the syllabus altogether. For example legal reasoning had questions which did not have principles and the GK focussed on conventional GK. It is therefore, advisable to use the notification only as a guideline and not comprehensively rely on it.