Self-belief, study buddies and mock tests: CLAT 2022 toppers reveal how they aced the exam

Bar & Bench spoke to some of the top rankers of CLAT 2022 to find out how they went about preparing for the exam.
CLAT 2022
CLAT 2022

Results of this year's edition of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT 2022) were recently released, giving candidates a clearer picture as regards their admission to 22 National Law Universities (NLUs).

Bar & Bench spoke to some of the top rankers of CLAT 2022 to find out how they went about preparing for the exam.

Rishabh Shivani [AIR 1]

Rishabh Shivani
Rishabh Shivani

Speaking to Bar & Bench, Rishabh, who topped the exam, said,

"I have been preparing for CLAT since the past 2 years where in the first year I focused mostly on improving my comprehension and reading speed, and in the second year, my focus was on GK and Current Affairs, and I kept giving mocks for the other sections."

Rishabh shared that he must have solved a little over 100 mock tests in the two years of preparation.

As a suggestion to future CLAT aspirants, Rishabh said,

"Read newspapers consistently and make daily GK notes from The Hindu and The Indian Express. I identified important GK topics and made detailed notes on them. For improving comprehension as a whole, try reading legal news on platforms like Bar & Bench - this will improve your legal comprehension. For Quantitative Technique, I attended my coaching classes and kept practicing through mocks and other tests. Try reading about the law with passion and not only as a means to get into the top colleges."

Attributing his success to his teachers, he said,

"I wish to give a special shout out to my teachers at LegalEdge, Delhi - Ayush Sir and Anand Sir - both of them really helped me."

Harshit Gupta [AIR 4]

Harshit Gupta
Harshit Gupta

Revealing the strategies he adopted, Harshit said,

"Reading legal news is very important. I made it a point to read websites like Bar & Bench and LiveLaw everyday. Also, practice concepts by referring to books prescribed for LSAC and GMAT. The concept modules and English passages helped me a lot. The break induced by COVID-19 also helped me focus on the preparation for the exam."

Having previously secured AIR 74 in his attempt after 11th grade, Harshit shared the difference in the strategies adopted and said,

"Last year, I realized I was not well-versed with fictional literature so I read more novels in the past year which helped me improve my vocabulary and therefore comprehension as well. The continued habit of reading helped me with speed reading and quick interpretation. So reading more helped me."

His advice for future CLAT aspirants?

"The best advice is to be consistent in your preparation. Make sure to take out at least 2-3 hours per day for preparation as against spending 6-7 hours on some days. Read the newspaper daily without fail. Solving 1 mock per week would be sufficient for those intending to appear for CLAT in the upcoming year."

As general advice, Harshit said,

"It is important to believe in yourself. If you are not confident enough of securing a rank, there may be more anxiety, which may be counterproductive. At the exam centre, one will be at their best productivity if they are confident and remain calm. Even during the preparation, be hopeful of getting a good rank or at least a good college."

Oorja Newatia [AIR 10]

Oorja Newatia
Oorja Newatia

Like many others, Oorja prepared for CLAT for the last two years, and was under the mentorship of Mayank Garg. She mostly referred to the material provided by her coaching centre, and a few other books.

"For English, I referred to SC Bakshi and Wren & Martin. For Maths, I used S Chand. As far as GK goes, I referred to websites like GK Today, and the compendiums provided by the coaching centre. For Critical Reasoning, I mostly depended on the mock tests. I must have given 70-80 mocks."

As a message to future aspirants, Oorja said,

"It is the dream of every aspirant to get into NLSIU Bangalore. It is possible if you set your mind to it and try not to get demotivated by mock scores. Don't compare yourself to others in the process as well. It is also important to set a proper schedule and also devise daily and weekly targets.

If you have a good strategy and are giving adequate number of mocks, it will be easier to analyze your progress and work towards it," she added.

Varun Deval [AIR 11]

Varun Deval
Varun Deval

Hailing from Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh, Varun admitted that his main focus while preparing for CLAT 2022 was English.

"CLAT paper in the past few years is very English-based, and those who are able to comprehend quickly have an edge over everyone else. So I focused on improving English vocabulary and comprehension."

Having secured an AIR of around 800 in his first attempt soon after 11th, Varun shared,

"I knew I could do better than last year, since I wasn't prepared for the first attempt. So I solved more mocks, analyzed them and bettered my time management skills because both of these are extremely important."

"GK is very unpredictable now, so one needs to be aware of what is happening around, the international affairs, geopolitics, etc," he added.

Shivaraman R [AIR 12]

Shivaraman R
Shivaraman R

"There is no substitute for practice. I solved 1 mock a week and constantly improved my speed. This helped me get more time for Maths on the day of the exam. Practicing and improving reading speed is also very important," said Shivaraman, who secured AIR 12.

Having solved about 40-50 mocks in the year leading to the exam, Shivaraman said,

"It is important to pace yourself with the preparation. Don't be too hard on yourself with the results from mock tests. Try to look at mocks as practice than looking at it as an actual test."

Anushka Jain [AIR 22]

Anushka Jain
Anushka Jain

Anushka revealed that her weakest sections were GK and Maths, and thus worked on strategies to improve the same.

"For GK, I referred to the newspaper but didn't make notes, which proved beneficial for me, since no topics directly from the newspaper came for the exam. I also referred to the compendiums provided by my coaching institute and didn't refer to too many other sources because that would have been very cumbersome.

Limit your focus, since GK is a vast section, also make sure to solve as many MCQs as possible for GK. For Maths, since I was okay with the concepts and had to work on my time, I learnt shortcut methods for calculations - which really helped. For sections I was relatively strong at like English Comprehension, I only solved mocks and analyzed them."

She further added,

"You will ace CLAT only if you are cool-minded on the day of the exam. At the end of the day, it is only a logical reasoning paper overall, so being calm and applying your common sense really helps in the paper. Have a study buddy, if possible, it really helps."

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