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The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) began in the year 2008 when a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) forced the National Law Universities (NLUs) to hold a single admission test. It relieved the students from the hassles of having to take multiple entrance exams, but at the same time it also made the admission process a bit complex. I have prepared this note with the intention to help CLAT 2013 takers by estimating the expected cut offs (marks & rank) and giving detailed information and guidelines relating to the admission process.
Why do I do this every year?
In 2008, after National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore closed the admissions after the third list was published, many seats were still vacant. Those were subsequently filled up individually by various NLUs by publishing their own lists or in the manner they wanted to. I remember that the majority of CLAT applicants did not even know about this. This gave an advantage to those who were informed about it or were close to the institution through contacts or otherwise. This is still continuing. Last year, for the final few seats, Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU) took enrolments upto ranks in the range of 2300-2500. This is not the only matter of concern; there are many other problems including marking the preference list incorrectly. The students pay the price for such mistakes. I had two choices; either to start educating the masses or to leave the system and extend help only to those I knew.
Last year, when I predicted that the ‘last seat cut’ off for NLU Assam would be approximately Rank 3500, some people had an apprehension that this will mislead the students. The cut off, however, went down to the 5000th rank (approximately). I am sure this must have helped many to keep their hopes alive.
I have been running CLAT/NLU/Law related online forums since 2007 and I have been in the test preparation industry since 2000. I always see that there is lot of anxiety among the exam takers after the exam gets over for getting assessed/ estimated as to where they stand. And I am sure that knowing the cut – off which has been arrived at after scientific research will settle their minds. It may also help them take decisions with a relaxed mind. I am assuming that the exam takers do not believe the expected cut off to be hundred per cent accurate.
I also do this because it helps me in being extremely well prepared and informed about all the complex data. This helps me when I have to answer thousands of queries once the results are out.
How do I do this?
For CLAT 2009 and 2010, it was almost perfect and this was a pleasant surprise for me. I never expected and will ever expect that the cut off I had predicted would be spot on. I am sure that it was incidental in 2009 and 2010. I am always 95% sure that my expected cut off (marks) will be correct with an error of 4 marks. The rank cut off which I predict is not only of immense use but I am also sure that it will be accurate to the extent of 98% and will have very few errors.
In 2011, my predictions had erred to a good extent and the same happened in 2012 too. But had CLAT 2012 considered the wrong answers (6-8), which were clearly wrong, then the cut off would have been on target. This year, immediately after the CLAT 2013 paper, I posted “CLAT 2013 topper gets 157”. I repeat that I said “gets”. It was as if the results were out. Majority thought that the expected cut off was seriously announced. But incidentally, I expect that the topper will get 157 marks. At that time, I just expressed what I had gathered after talking to students.
This year, my All India Law Entrance Test (AILET) prediction failed. I said that in the first list, the cut off would be 92-93 marks but it turned out to be 100 marks. Although in past, it has been correct for Symbiosis Entrance Test (SET) and AILET most of the times, I accept that I am not very sure about my AILET predictions because the number of seats is very less. SET is a little easier and CLAT is the easiest (although extremely exhaustive).
I have relied on the following factors for my analysis and predictions:
1. Data base of past year results;
2. The trend over the last few years;
3. The variation of the density of the tied marks at different levels;
4. Time constraint (this year it was a little, 2012 had even lesser, 2011 was extremely lengthy, 2009 and 2010 had no time pressure);
5. Changes in difficulty level and number of seats;
6. Number of easy questions and to what extent the difficulty level has increased;
7. And not to forget my students from where I get the data and feedback. The feelings/expressions of students are the best resource. As I always say, the students who are my teachers help me to innovate consistently and keep me motivated. Yes, they are my mentors.
What should a CLAT 2013 taker do now?
1. Do enjoy/relax for these few days. Your schedule after you enter the law school is likely to be very hectic.
2. Do collect all relevant information regarding admissions .Do not waste all your time.
3. Take these predictions as a helping tool keeping in mind that this is not the exact/precise one.
4. The rank cut off will be very helpful especially after the results.
5. Do keep yourself well informed about the admission process. Do not hesitate to call the NLUs if required. I can be reached on my RSCM page.
How is the CLAT 2013 admission process expected to take place?
1. Results are expected on May 31, 2013.
2. Rank and mark list will be out.
3. The first list of all 14 NLUs will be out. This will be prepared according to the preference list and your rank. (Do not panic, if the last NLU cut off is 118 and your marks are 109. You will definitely get a seat).
4. It keeps falling up till 4/5th of the list and even after the centralized counselling is over, many seats get vacated around last week of June to third week of July. NUJS had 11 seats vacant by that time. This happens because many leave for joining some other course or for other reasons before the semester starts in first week/2nd week of July. This year, CLAT wants to pursue a centralised system for everything. If that materialises, there will be fewer hassles for students. Last time people were tired of transferring money from one law school to another.
5. If you are listed in the first list then you will be asked to deposit the amount (around Rs. 50,000) to confirm the booking of the seat.
6. It is expected that approximately 300 people will fail to deposit the amount.
7. So, the next 300 will get a chance in the 2nd list. There will be up gradations too (from a lower preferred college to higher preferred college) according to the rank and preference list.
8. Similarly, a 3rd and a 4th list will be published. And sometimes a 5th list.
9. After June, another 60-120 seats are likely to get vacated. This will be filled up either by the CLAT committee (this is likely this year) or you need to be in touch with the various NLUs. The sites of the various NLUs keep all of us informed. You must keep a close watch if you are yet to get a college or for up grading to a better college. Last year, 11 seats were vacant in NUJS and cut off went further down to the 300th rank. This list and announcements were made by NUJS on their website.
To give you a better idea, these are the admissions which took place after the centralised listing was completed in 2012:
1. NLSIU – One seat which got vacated got filled up by rank 59
2. NALASR – No official announcement of any such vacant seats/or in my knowledge
3. NUJS – 11 Seats (cut off rank – 300)
4. NLIU – No official announcement of any such vacant seats/or in my knowledge
5. NLU-J – No official announcement of any such vacant seats/or in my knowledge
6. GNLU – No official announcement of any such vacant seats/or in my knowledge
7. HNLU – They carried it out in a very transparent and structured way (cut off rank – 1905)
8. NUALS – No official announcement of any such vacant seats/or in my knowledge
9. RMNLU – No authentic data available (cut off rank may be around 1200-1400)
10. RGNLU – No official announcement of any such vacant seats/or in my knowledge
11. CNLU – They carried it out in a very transparent and structured way (cut off rank – 2361)
12. NLU-O – Carried out in a transparent and structured manner (cut off rank -approximately 2500)
13. NUSRL – Carried out in a transparent and structured way (cut off rank -approximately 2800)
14. NLUJA – They carried this out in a very transparent and structured manner (cut off rank – 4002). The last rank was approximately 5000.