CLAT- Common Law Admission Test-All You Need To Know
CLAT- Common Law Admission Test-All You Need To Know

CLAT- ALL ABOUT THE COMMON LAW ADMISSION TEST

HISTORY-

Before the advent of the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), law schools in India were autonomous, meaning they prepared and conducted their own examination to admit students based on their peculiar requirements. However, there was one major challenge in the decentralized law school entrance tests by the various schools. The test conflicted with other major entrance exams like the All Indian Pre Medical Test and the Indian Institute of Technology Entrance Examination. This was a major issue for prospective students because most of them missed the test and it became a financial burden to them after paying a huge sum to enroll for the test.

India has over 19 National Law Universities where prospective law students can be admitted to study law.  The first Law University to be established in the country is the Indian National Law School, which was established and admitted its pioneer students in 1987. The school conducted its own entrance exam for students to be admitted. A few years later, several other Law Schools were established across the country.

With the establishment of these law schools, prospective students faced a difficult time preparing for their entrance exams because most of the Universities scheduled the entrance exam at the same time. At the time, there was no agency to coordinate the entrance exams and harmonize it into a singular component in which students can enroll in a bid to secure law school admission.

The issue became a national issue until a legal luminary by name Varun Bhahat leveraged a Public Interest Litigation to sue the various National Law Universities, as well as the Union of India in 2006 at the Supreme Court of India.

A bench of the court led by the then Chief Justice of India ruled that the Union of India should consult with all the respective National Law Universities with a view to harmonizing the law school entrance examination and then come up with a singular test which prospective law students can take in order to secure admission. The decision of the Supreme was strongly supported by the Bar Council of India.

Since there was no agency to coordinate the law school entrance exams, on the 23rd of November 2007, the University Grants Commission of India and the Indian Ministry of Human Resources Development organized a meeting with about seven Vice Chancellors drawn from the National Law Universities. The Chairman of the Indian Bar Council was at the meeting to contribute the input of the Bar. After the whole deliberation, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the all the Vice Chancellors present in the meeting with a view to conducting a common admission test.

 

The Common Law Admission Test was designed to be conducted once yearly and the responsibility of the conducting the test rested on a particular University which was chosen based on seniority. However, there were some National Law Universities that were not participating in the test which prompted another MOU to be signed in 2015 by all the National Law Universities in the country. After the MOU was signed, all the National Law Universities participated in the CLAT examination as of 2015 except the National Law University, Delhi. The 2015 CLAT was conducted by the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow.

In view of how important the CLAT examination is, this article will take a critical look at the test, eligibility to write the test, as well as the examination pattern.

 

WHAT IS CLAT?

CLAT or the Common Law Admission Test is a centralized admission test written by prospective law students in order to seek admission to the 19 National Law Universities in India. Apart from the 19 National Law Universities, there are about 43 other institutions, as well as 2 public sector Institutes that make use of the test score. The CLAT is usually conducted by in rotation by all the National Law Universities based on seniority. The first CLAT examination was the CLAT-2008 which was conducted by the National Law School of India University. CLAT-2018 was conducted by the National University of Advanced Legal Studies.

 

The Common Law Admission Test is taken after:

  • The Higher Secondary Examination
  • The 12th grade for those seeking admission into undergraduate law courses
  • Graduation in Law for those seeking admission to obtain Master of Laws (LL.M).

 

The test duration is 2 hours and it is an objective type test consists of the following subject areas:

  • Elementary Mathematics
  • Numerical Ability
  • English with Comprehension
  • General knowledge
  • Current affairs
  • Legal Aptitude
  • Legal Awareness
  • Logical reasoning

 

 

ELIGIBILITY-

The categories of students eligible for the CLAT examination are those of Indian origin, as well as NRIs. Any foreigner seeking to acquire law education in any of the 19 National Law Universities in the country should contact his/her choice university to check whether there are available seats for foreign nationals. Basically, the eligibility criteria are as follows:

 

FOR UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

  • There is no upper age limit for this category
  • Senior Secondary School or its equivalent with an aggregate mark of 45% (and 40% for ST and SC candidates)

 

FOR POST-GRADUATE COURSES

  • B.L or LL. B Degree or a recognized equivalent degree with an aggregate lass mark of 55% (and 50% for ST and SC candidates)
  • Those that passed the above examination through compartment or supplementary
  • Those that passed the qualifying examinations on repeat attempt are also eligible, provided evidence of passing the examination will be provided on the test date.

EXAM PATTERN

The CLAT examination is a 2 hours duration test. It consists of 200 multi-choice questions, which a student will choose one option as the right answer. The test is divided into 5 sections and students are expected to answer questions from the following subject areas:

 

  • Elementary Mathematics
  • Numerical Ability
  • English with Comprehension
  • General knowledge
  • Current affairs
  • Legal Aptitude
  • Legal Awareness
  • Logical reasoning

The test score is broken down into the following:

  • English 40
  • General Knowledge 50
  • Mathematics 20
  • Logical Reasoning 40
  • Legal Reasoning 50

 

MARKING SCHEME

A student is awarded one mark for a correct answer. In the same vein, any wrong answer attracts a deduction of 0.25 marks from students’ total score.

 

LAW SCHOOLS PARTICIPATING IN THE CLAT EXAMINATION

The table below shows the various schools that usually participate in the CLAT examination ordered by year of establishment, as well as their various cutoff marks.

 

NAME OF INSTITUTION LOCATION CLAT CUTTOFF MARK
National Law School of India University Bangalore 59
Nalsar University of Law Hyderabad 130
The West Bengal National University of juridical Sciences Kolkata 213
National Law Institute University Bhopal 315
National Law University, Jodhpur Jodhpur 343
Hidayatullah National Law University Raipur 574
Gujarat National Law University Gandhinagar 453
Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University Lucknow 627
Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law Patiala 801
Chanakya National Law University Patna 909
National University of Advanced Legal Studies Kochi 826
National Law University, Orissa Cuttack 1023
National University of Study and Research in Law Ranchi 1051
National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam Guwahati 1124
Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University Visakhapatnam 1180
Tamil Nadu National Law School Tiruchirappalli 1151
Maharashtra National Law University, Mumbai Mumbai 478
Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur Nagpur 1126

 

 

In addition to the above schools, 43 other institutions make use of the CLAT scores. Also, two public sector Institutes, as well as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Oil India make use of the CLAP PG scores for recruitment purposes.

 

CLAT CONDUCTING INSTITUTIONS

The table below shows the various institutions that have conducted the CLAT examination since its inception. The Common Law Admission Test was designed to be conducted once yearly and the responsibility of the conducting the test rested on a particular University which was chosen based on seniority.

 

NAME OF SCHOOL CLAT YEAR
National Law School of India University CLAT-2008
NALSAR University of Law CLAT-2009
Hyderabad, National Law Institute University CLAT-2010
The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences CLAT-2011
National Law University, Jodhpur CLAT-2012
Hidayatullah National Law University CLAT-2013
Gujarat National Law University CLAT-2014
Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University CLAT-2015
Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law CLAT-2016
Chanakya National Law University CLAT-2017
National University of Advanced Legal Studies CLAT-2018

 

 

TIPS FOR PREPARING FOR THE TEST

In order to successfully pass the CLAT examination at one sitting, it is important that you follow this preparation guide to the latter. Ensure to develop a study plan and then divide the number of hours you devote for studying into the reading of magazines, newspapers, novels, solving mathematics questions and past questions from previous years, as well as solving analytical reasoning and absorbing knowledge.

If your intention is to become an erudite lawyer in the future, then you have to work on your vocabulary. One sure way to do that is to understand the application of all the topics you’d be studying. In addition, you can refer to top Indian newspapers for legal information news and allied information.

 

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME DURING THE TEST

We already mentioned that the test consists of 200 multi-choice questions in various subjects areas. To effectively manage your time, identify your strengths and weaknesses and then start answering the questions from the subjects you have strong strength. When you are done with your core subjects, you can move unto the subjects you are not too familiar with.

 

HOW TO APPLY FOR CLAT EXAMINATION

The following steps will guide you on how to apply for the CLAT test online:

  • Register online via clat.ac.in
  • Login to access the application form
  • Upload your passport photograph
  • Enter your information correctly
  • Preview your information and then submit form
  • Make payment either online or by Challan (offline mode)
  • Finally, print confirmation page

 

 

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