How Do I Start Preparing for CLAT Exam? Demystifying the Common Law Admission Test.

Jul 18, 2023

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) is a national-level entrance test for admission into LLM and five-year integrated LLB degree programs. Learners can use their CLAT scores for admission in popular National Law Universities or NLUs and private law schools which accept the results of CLAT.

The following article aims to help you learn about the important details of the Common Law Admission Test or CLAT. It offers an overview of the exam format and syllabus alongside tips and strategies for success in the CLAT entrance exam. 

Understanding the CLAT

Definition and purpose of CLAT

The Common Law Admission Test, or CLAT, is a national-level law entrance exam. The purpose of CLAT is to help learners for finding admissions in undergraduate and post-graduate law programs in 24 NLUs across India.

Significance of CLAT scores for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate law programs

CLAT scores are acceptable across NLUS as well as private law colleges in undergraduate and postgraduate law programs. The importance of CLAT scores is that learners can find admission to top law colleges and build their careers in law.

List of participating universities

  • Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala

  • National Law School of India University, Bangalore

  • National Law University, Jodhpur

  • National Law University, Tripura Agartala

  • The Tamil Nadu Law School, Tiruchirappalli (TNNLS)

  • HP National Law University, Shimla

  • Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur

  • Gujarat National Law University Silvasa

  • Chanakya National Law University, Patna

  • NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad

  • The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata

  • National University of Study & Research in Law, Ranchi

  • Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai

  • Maharashtra National Law University, Aurangabad

  • Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur

  • Dr B.R. Ambedkar National Law University, Haryana

  • National Law Institute University, Bhopal

  • National Law University, Odisha

  • Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow

  • Dharmashastra National Law University, Jabalpur

  • Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar

  • Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Visakhapatnam

  • National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi

  • National Law University & Judicial Academy, Assam 

Eligibility criteria for CLAT

The eligibility criteria for admission to undergraduate programs through CLAT is that candidates must have passed the Class 12 examination with a minimum of 45% marks. 

Common Law Admission Test_CTA

CLAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus

Overview of the CLAT exam structure: The CLAT exam structure includes five different domains and features multiple-150 multiple-choice questions. The mode of CLAT exam is online. 

Detailed breakdown of the subjects covered in the CLAT syllabus, including:

1. English language and comprehension

The English language and comprehension section of CLAT includes comprehension-based questions on passages. CLAT exam tests comprehension and language skills, ability to summarize passages, ability to identify viewpoints and arguments and the ability to draw conclusions and inferences. 

2. General knowledge and current affairs

The general knowledge and current affairs section in the exam would include topics on national and international affairs, important historical events, science and technology and sports.

3. Mathematics

The important topics in the mathematics section of CLAT exam include mensuration, basic algebra, algebra, statistics and ratio and proportions.

4. Legal aptitude and reasoning

Legal aptitude and reasoning section of CLAT exam includes topics such as the Indian Constitution, important judgments, amendments and provisions, current legal affairs and constitutional laws. 

5. Logical reasoning

The important lessons in logical reasoning section of CLAT exam include analogies, blood relations, calendars and clocks, seating arrangement, series and syllogisms. 

Weight-age of each subject and time allocation for the exam

The total time for the exam is two hours, with a total of 150 questions. The weight-age of each subject in the CLAT syllabus is as follows.

  • English language- 20%

  • Logical reasoning- 20%

  • Current Affairs, including General Knowledge- 25%

  • Legal Reasoning- 25%

  • Mathematics- 10% 

Preparation Strategies for CLAT

Step-by-step guide to preparing for CLAT:

The first requirement for boosting your preparations for CLAT exam is a step-by-step guide for structuring your efforts. You should maintain accountability to the step-by-step study plan for completing the CLAT exam preparations.

Recommended study materials and resources:

The recommended study materials and resources for CLAT exam would differ according to the subjects under concern. Candidates should choose the right books and training resources which suit their learning preferences. 

Effective time management techniques for exam preparation:

The best way to maintain accountability to your exam preparation schedule is to keep a reminder of your goals for each day. Divide your learning goals into short-term and long-term categories for each subject and pursue them accordingly.

Tips for improving English language skills and comprehension abilities:

You can work on improving your English language skills and comprehension abilities by developing a habit of reading. In addition, practising the use of new words in written communication or everyday conversations can help in improving English language skills. 

Enhancing legal and logical reasoning skills:

The best recommendation for legal and logical reasoning skills is a regular practice. You should try solving different legal and logical reasoning problems to improve your skills.  

Strategies for staying updated with current affairs:

The ideal strategy for staying updated with current affairs is to choose reliable news platforms for unbiased news reports and updates. Candidates can also subscribe to general knowledge and current affairs books which are released every month.

Common Law Admission Test_CTA

Mock Tests and Previous Year Question Papers

Importance of practising with mock tests: Practice with mock tests can help candidates overcome the fear of the CLAT exam. Mock tests offer a trusted platform for evaluating your performance before appearing in the actual exam. 

Accessing and utilising previous year question papers: You should pay attention to credibility of the sources from where you find the previous year question papers. Make sure that you have the answer keys for the previous year question papers to support your preparations for CLAT.

Benefits of analysing mock test results: Analysis of the mock test results can offer a glimpse of performance of the candidate. The results can help in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate in different sections of the exam. 

Tips for Effective Exam Day Performance

Pre-exam preparation checklist: The pre-exam preparation checklist helps you remember every important thing you need for the exam. It can help you avoid any last-minute hassles which can disturb your mind before the exam. 

Do and don't for the CLAT exam day: Read the instructions carefully and avoid discussions with anyone before the exam. You should follow the dress code recommended for the exam. 

Managing time during the exam: The ideal trick for managing time during the exam is to divide the questions into three different sections, i.e. easy, difficult and hard. Encircle the difficult questions and mark the hard questions with a cross. It will help you prioritize the questions and save time without missing the questions you can solve.

Dealing with exam-related stress and anxiety: Candidates should focus on their physical and mental well-being to avoid exam-related stress and anxiety. Follow your study plan, make affirmations about achieving your learning goals for the day and be thankful for the efforts you put into the preparations.

Post-Exam Procedures

Understanding the CLAT results and scorecard

Candidates can download their CLAT results from the official website of the Consortium of NLUs with the CLAT login portal. The scorecard includes the name of the candidate, their roll number, application number and marks obtained by them. In addition, the scorecard also highlights the All India rank and category rank.  

Cut-off marks and merit lists

The cut-off marks for the top National Law Universities would range from 100 to 105 marks. The consortium releases a consolidated merit list along with the names and marks of toppers. 

Counselings and seat allocation process

Candidates scoring above the cut-off marks for CLAT can register for the counselling process through the official website of the Consortium of NLUs. The consortium conducts seat allocation process by releasing counselling lists for filling the intake in NLUs. 

Alternate options in case of non-selection or low score

Candidates can retake the exam in the case of non-selection or a low score. Another viable option for candidates in such a scenario is to apply for a different law school.

Common Law Admission Test_CTA


The post reflected on important details you need to understand and prepare for the CLAT entrance exam. You learned about the exam structure, its syllabus and counselling process. On top of it, the post also helped you find out important tips for preparation and exam-day performance.

Aspiring law students should start preparing for the CLAT entrance exam to find the best opportunities to build a career in law. Take the initiative to prepare for CLAT with a set of learning objectives and a structured plan under the guidance of experts right now.

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Article Posted in: Exam Preparation Guidance

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