Arijeet Shukla(AIR 42) and Akshada Mishra(AIR 62) talk to Lawctopus on what it took to crack the recent CLAT L.LB. exam, their aspirations, and expectations from law school.
RW: What was your first reaction to the CLAT results this year? Did the recall of the CLAT results this year make you anxious?
Arijeet: CLAT this year I think has been into much of controversy and has faced public anger which it should have avoided by making the process much more transparent at the beginning.
First, there was an inordinate delay in publishing results with no intimation as to when the results will be published till midnight, then when the results were published they were later withheld.
Although, I was ecstatic after getting an AIR of 38 but that happiness didn’t last. The results made me anxious and I was tense the entire week.
Although, I was pretty sure about the marks I got, but the only thing which made me worry was the possibility of my rank being affected. Though it, actually did affect my rank( I am AIR 42 now), but I don’t have any issues whatsoever as long as it is NLSIU, my dream destination.
Akshada: I expected a good result, as I had worked throughout the year. I knew I had done a good paper, and the result was a confirmation of the same, so I am very happy. The answer key was released by GNLU beforehand, so I expected marks in the range of 145-155.
I got marks in the expected range, so I wasn’t unduly worried about a change in marks. Also, I had checked at the time of examination that the bar code sticker, and the candidate sticker which was pasted on the OMR was mine, so I knew that at most it would be a matter of 5 ranks, up and down. My rank remained unchanged after the result, and that was a relief.
RW: Share your views on this year’s CLAT paper.
Arijeet: This year’s paper was easy. I am saying this because I solved all the previous years’ papers and found this year’s the easiest. Anyone who had diligently studied the whole year should have been able to score decent marks.
There were a lot of previous years’ questions being repeated in the Legal section and the rest became easier because of the modules my coaching center(CLAT Possible) provided. English and Reasoning were quite easy.
Reasoning took some time but it was a cakewalk. I have always hated Mathematics, but when I saw CLAT 2014 Question paper all that hatred between us changed into love. I believe the high cut-offs were a direct result of the paper being easy.
Akshada: This year’s paper was the best after the 2008 CLAT paper, in my opinion. A wide range of topics which were covered in the question paper. It was a good assortment.
RW: Why did you chose law as a career?
Arijeet: Law has now become a versatile and vivid career option. It has always impressed me because of its ever-changing nature.
I had always dreamed about being a political leader and law provides me with that avenue helps me know my country and the law governing its citizen, better. And also those black suits and court rooms have always fascinated me.
Akshada: I was a biology student in class 12th, but I never wanted to go for medicine. I never enjoyed Physics and Chemistry. English and GK were those subjects at which I excelled, and I knew I could be one of the best if I went for CLAT, because the subjects in CLAT were never a load for me, I enjoyed English, GK and Logic, and once I joined my CLAT coaching (Clat Possible), I started enjoying Legal as well.
I want to appear for the IAS and HJS exams, and law provides a strong base for the same.
RW: What was your preparation strategy and routine study period for CLAT 2014?
Arijeet: I never bunked any of the classes at my coaching center. I was fortunate to have experienced mentors. At home I used to study daily for at most 2-3 hours and another 2 hours of reading the newspaper. Reading newspaper is a must for every CLAT aspirant.
I maintained a Current Affairs diary and used to write all important news headlines in it. I solved several mocks the whole year. I guess I did around 150+ mocks and then I used to analyze my performances. I would suggest the aspirants to be regular and make schedule as per your suitability, and to not simply imitate others’.
Akshada: Good mentoring is a must for success, because you need guidance for writing a national level examination like CLAT. As one re-appearing for CLAT, I joined “CLAT Possible”. I was a diligent student.
I used to pay attention in class and did everything the teachers asked me to. I was provided with additional help as well, and when I had a doubt, all the teachers were available to solve them. I did not have a routine study period as such, because I used to revise whatever was taught in class, and read whatever topics were given to us (especially in Legal and GK) and never felt the need for something extra.
RW: Did you find any sections in the CLAT 2014 paper, tough?
Arijeet: Personally, I didn’t find any section in this year’s CLAT that could called tough. I’ve heard many students claiming that GK was tough and it was a deciding section but I don’t think so. The whole paper was very easy.
Akshada: Before the exam, my teacher, Surabhi ma’am had joked that “the mock” we were going to give on 11th May would be the easiest for us. And she was right! I had practiced mocks throughout the year which were much more difficult so this paper was not a problem. I knew I could cross 150 easily.
RW: Did CLAT preparations affect your social life?
Arijeet: Aspirants should be vigilant that the preparations doesn’t affect their social life. If it does they should probably go out for a movie or a lunch with friends.
Studying like an alien, day and night and being an Eid’s crescent wont assure you a seat at a National law University. I made sure that my preparations didn’t affect my social life. I used to go out for lunch or movie with my brother or friends occasionally.
Akshada: If by social life, you mean facebook and whatsapp,-yes. If by social life you mean a healthy live interaction with people- no.
I deactivated my Facebook and whatsapp accounts from the beginning, the day I decided I would take CLAT, but I went out with friends and family often.
RW: What are your immediate and long term career plans?
Arijeet: I haven’t yet decided but I would like to go for LLM from a reputed foreign university and then come back and practice in India.
Being politically opinionated, I might join politics someday. I also want to go for Civil Services and Corporate law fascinates me. So basically I am a confused soul. I just hope 5 years at law school helps me choose a better career option.
Akshada: I want to study hard, and take part in the co-curricular activities as well so that I can get a decent placement. I would like to do LLM from a foreign university, and then try for the IAS and HJS exams. I would like to get into politics, as law is one of the best backgrounds to have in politics!