Over the last few years, CLAT has always been a test of surprises. And its GK section has not been an exception, either. If, as a law aspirant preparing to enroll for 5-year BA-LLB or 3-year LLB courses, you have followed the CLAT GK section over the last five years, you would have noticed the following trends:
How is CLAT GK changing?
1) The coverage of Current Affairs (CA) has been on the rise every year. From a count of 24-25 CA questions every year till CLAT 2013, the count changed to 35-36 in CLAT 2015/16. In CLAT 2017, the entire section happened to be CA, but for one question. This trend is unlikely to change. The same is true for other law exams as well.
2) The last five years have seen a higher coverage of topics like international news/forums, government & politics, business & economy, sports, science & technology.
3) There are new question types like app/portal/hi-tech launches that are now catching examiners’ attention, for example:
- Online grievance monitoring portal by the union government for Indians living abroad OR
- ‘RuPay prepaid cards’ service launched by IRCTC (Both from CLAT 2015)
4) Questions on fixed GK topics like Indian history, physical & world geography, trade terminologies, days & dates, national insignia & superlatives have reduced over the years. Students, however, need to prepare for them, since fixed GK based questions are asked in other exams like SET (Law), IPU (Law) and Mah Law CET.
5) Topics such as culture & religion, general sciences, Indian geography & establishments, books & authors rarely appear in CLAT now.
6) Legal GK is to a greater extent covered in the Legal Aptitude section & less often in the GK section.
7) Broader coverage of International appointments/people in news & country-specific events is being questioned, e.g.
- Which is the first country to have begun shutting down the entire FM radio network to be replaced by Digital Audio Broadcasting? OR
- Which country 3D–printed home of 37 sq.mts? OR
- Which shoe company in the US has won IPR dispute against China recently for using their logo?
- Who called the immigration the ‘Trojan horse of Terrorism’? (All from CLAT 2017)
8) There are few questions that require the second level of reading to answer them correctly. These questions asked for specific details which may have been missed by those who focused only on headlines:
- India emerged as the ___________ largest holder of US Government Securities at the end of 2016 (Options had ranks like 12th, 15th, 24th, 28th)
- How many billionaires India has lost since demonetization on November 8, 2016?
- India’s voting rights at the IMF increased from 2.3 % to ____
- Till the end of 2016, the total number of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in India is ___ (All from CLAT 2017)
What are the takeaways?
The above observations clearly indicate that the conventional method of GK preparation in one-liner Q & A format will be of limited help. Thus, regular reading of a daily newspaper like The Hindu is a MUST. Rather than focusing on headlines alone, students should remember that second level information surrounding the news is equally important.
Going ahead, you should develop a habit of ‘visualizing’ and ‘assimilating’ every event that you come across in the ‘news-narration’ format. Specifically, for news from highly important topics mentioned at the beginning, it is advised that you make your own notes covering news & narration having 2-3 bullets. In this manner, you will prepare for the ‘core’ news & ‘peripheral’ details. Thus, in addition to ‘evident’ knowledge, you would have also gained the ‘not-so-evident’ knowledge about an event. For you, this will turn out to be a clear scoring differentiator over the others.