This is a lightly edited post of an interview conducted by Team Clatshree with Harshita Gupta, who secured AIR 2 in AILET and AIR 11 in CLAT. In the interview she discussed her strategies in tackling the papers, how she spend her time, who supported her in her preparation and her future expectations as well as advice for aspirants.
1) Did you expect to do so well in your CLAT and AILET examinations?
Ans: Honestly after the release of scorecard i was sure of making it to NALSAR (since my first preference was NALSAR)but a rank of 11 was a big shock to me.
In AILET I didn’t even expect to clear the exam ,AIR 2 was the biggest shock.
2) Who played the biggest role in helping you make your way to success?
Ans: Apart from family and mentors, I would like to highlight the role played by the peer group (my friends). I come from Jabalpur, here not many people are serious about CLAT. But i made many friends online and we used to discuss many questions on the group, i feel their hardwork inspired me to work harder.
3) What was your preparation strategy for CLAT 2018?
Ans: Take a lot of mock tests, figure out where you are lacking and formulate your own strategy for attempting the paper.
4) How many hours did you put in for preparation? Can you specify the subject wise strategy you used?
Ans: The hours were not fixed.
I was very weak in this and at times I even scored less than 10 in this. I worked really hard but since I had to prepare for boards I didn’t have much time to devote to reading newspaper or novels, so I tried to solve as many questions as possible of different types from online websites like lead the competition,indiabix etc and coaching class materials, sectional tests etc
GK- since I had humanities in 11&12 , I knew basic static gk and for miscellaneous I referred to Lucent. In my opinion, my current affairs part was not well prepared which I’ll attribute to lack of revision. I referred to clat gk compendiums of cl,cp,le and sriram
I’ll recommend them as they are focused on things relevant for clat unlike other compendiums. GKToday is sine qua non.
Legal- this section requires lot of practice I mainly did this from mocks and sectional tests. I’ll recommend CL material for this section. Also for Legal GK do read legaLE of legal edge and Live Law (important judgements of the year 2017,2018,2019 etc that comes in January I guess).
Analytical -only one word “practice” all type of questions from any and every source
CR – I did MK Pandey
5) How did you tackle your weaknesses while preparing for the exams?
Ans: I was weak in English and critical reasoning
I did a lot of practice and tried to diversify my sources.
6) Did you change your strategy when tackling AILET?
Ans: Nothing much just tried to increase my attempts
7) What was your strategy with respect to mock tests? When did you attempt your first mock?
Ans: I tried to take as many mocks as possible from various sources In all I took 87 mocks from 4 coachings .
I attempted my first mock on 13th November 2016.
8) How did you allot your time on average in each mock?
Ans: It was not fixed but roughly first 35 min-Legal, 25-Logic, 10- GK, 20 min each Eng and Maths and 10 min buffer
9) The preparation can get really hectic. So what did you do to manage your stress?
Ans: I used to stalk law schools (NALSAR) and talked to a few friends
10) How did you manage between Board exams and preparing for the entrance examinations?
Ans: I solely focused on CLAT prep until January. After that from February i started my boards prep. It was sufficient and I could manage as I had Humanities (CBSE) board.
11) What did you focus on when preparing – accuracy or speed? Which one do you think a candidate must put more effort on?
Ans: When I started taking mocks , I focused more on accuracy. Then with time I tried to apply shortcuts and increased my speed.
12) How important do you think is having friends/seniors in law schools assist you in your preparation for the entrance examination?
Ans: Seniors at law school helped me at every stage. I was very motivated and wanted to see myself there. They helped me with strategy. I owe my success to my friends, they constantly motivated me and had faith in me that I can make it and their faith gave me a lot of confidence.
13) What did you do on the day before the CLAT/AILET exams? How did you manage stress?
Ans: I was not that stressed and just talk to people who motivated me. I’ll advise all the aspirants to interact on the day of exam.
14) How did you handle the pressure and excitement when taking the examination?
Ans: Since I took a lot of mocks I got used to that and CLAT felt like any other mock.
15) What was the strategy you adopted when attempting the AILET paper?
Ans: In AILET ,it’s a do or die situation. Either you make it to NLU Delhi (top 100 ranks) or with nothing. So I tried to keep my attempts high and made sure that I at least went through all the questions once.
16) What was the strategy you adopted when attempting the CLAT paper?
Ans: I attempt questions if I’m able to eliminate 2 options also I try to use elimination method. I start with legal as this is very much predictable. Then I move to Logical then GK ,English and Maths I leave a buffer time of 10 minutes
I’ll advise students to first attempt the questions you are sure of then move on to guesswork and don’t get stuck on a particular section.
17) What made you choose law as a career option?
Ans: I personally liked the curriculum of law school and I think this will help me a lot for UPSC. I believe an IFS Officer with a knowledge of law will bring a diversity to the foreign services. Also I’ll have a good backup option of becoming a lawyer, judiciary or corporate!
18) What are your hobbies? What activities did you engage in while preparing for the exams?
Ans: No hobbies though I actively followed Quora.
19) How do you plan to spend the month before joining the college?
Ans: I’ll travel this whole month and spend time with my family and relatives
20) What are your future plans? What are your expectations about the first week of law school?
Ans: I’ll appear for UPSC. I want to become an IFS(foreign ) officer .
I’ll explore various prospects in the first week. I look forward to meeting seniors there who’ll guide me .I’m very excited about the orientation programme