CLAT results are out and except for a few, almost every law entrance test has released their results. Everybody must have worked hard and prepared well for these examinations. Sadly, only a handful of all the students who took CLAT were able to make it to the National Law Universities.
Beyond them, there will be a select few who made it through AILET, SET or MH-CET or JGLS (through LSAT). After these students get to enter their respective law schools, there remains a huge number who could not make it to any of these colleges, for various reasons.
Read this post on what to do if you could not crack CLAT.
Not everybody who couldn’t clear the exam lacks in the potential to crack it, sometimes external factors also create a hindrance.
It is when this happens, students are tempted to make a difficult choice. Whether I should accept whatever comes my way and take admission in any college? Should I drop a year and take the exam again?
If this choice has come your way and you’re amidst a pool of thoughts but can’t swim to a decision, this post will help clear the air. Every year students make this mistake of dropping a year in the hope of making it to the top NLUs but almost everyone meets the same fate, they score almost the same as last year.
Reasons why dropping a year is not advised
It is strongly advised to avoid dropping a year because CLAT does not require a whole year of preparation, especially a drop year. This trend applies to IIT JEE, NEET or UPSC examinations (which may not be completely justified either). Majority of people who crack CLAT do so in less than 4 months of preparation.
The reason behind it is that this exam does not test your ability to retain knowledge but to apply it to practical situations. Except for general knowledge no other part of the paper needs you to mug things up. This paper is analytical in nature, ample amount of practice should do the trick.
Since CLAT is just a little over a decade old, there are barely 10 past year papers. This makes it easier to get hold of the pattern of the exam. The first thing aspirants should do is to download these papers and analyse it. Get hold of their strength and weakness in the paper then chalk out a blueprint for preparation.
Securing good marks in CLAT to cross the cut-offs will require you to go through your modules sincerely, making a habit of reading newspapers & magazines daily and solving at least one mock test a day. Following this ritual for three to four months religiously will land you in a comfortable zone of the rank list.
The value of 365 days
The reason why you should not think of dropping a year is that one year in this field is far more valuable than you think. The year that you want to invest in the pursuit of a better college can be invested in internships and practical learning.
It will help strengthen your CV as well as make you more employable, since that is the ultimate aim for most aspirants, to secure a good job at the end of the course.
Think about it this way, the field of law respects experience, the more experience one has, the more one knows about the ways of the land. What is the difference between a fresh law graduate and a law graduate with one year PQE.
The latter has been in the industry for 365 days, he knows how to get the work done or who to approach to get the work done, employers will choose the latter any given day.
This one year can also be invested in learning an extra course or mastering another skill. The goal is to add value and weight to your CV. While the name of the college you attend does matter, the part where you mention your skills and accomplishment will eventually go a long way.
The safer option
If you still feel you should take another swing at CLAT, you should be doing it while attending law school.
Take admission in a college feasible with your CLAT rank, preferably in a big city with ample opportunities. The first year of law school is comparatively easier and the subjects taught are not complex.
It is possible to juggle between law school as well as CLAT preparation.
Considering you will be attending a law school and preparing, you will have almost a year at your hand to prepare for the exam. It can be done easily by investing 2-3 hours daily and extra hours over the weekend as well as vacations.
The biggest hurdle in the CLAT exam is the general knowledge section, as I have already mentioned, it is the only section which requires you to mug up things.
So one year of law school will also give you ample time in the morning to read GK. One hour every day for a year is more than enough to score well in the examination.
Read this post on how to prepare for CLAT by Tanuj Kalia.
This way you continue with your preparation as well as keep your plan B ready and even in the worst of scenarios, you will not be wasting your year.
Before you decide, talk to your parents and friends, seek advice from your senior, read advisory posts on lawctopus and most important of all, do what you feel is right for you.