How important are back up exams – AILET / UPES / SET
You have set your goal high. Crack the CLAT entrance examination and secure admission in a top-ranking law college in the country. OPUS wishes you all success. However, being your true friend and mentor at the same time, it is duty-bound to share some realities that every law aspirant should be familiar with while undergoing preparations so that the flip side does not come as an unpleasant surprise.
CLAT or more
Your singular focus on CLAT has perhaps eclipsed a clutch of good options that you should keep in mind. OPUS does not want you to remain in the dark. It wants you to be enlightened about the practical side as well. Are you aware that failure to clear the CLAT is not the end of the road for you? It does not spell doom.
Some candidates are obsessed with CLAT and stick to it in every situation. They are willing to attempt it again and again. Not quit before trying, at least, three times. Some aspirants are wise enough to save one academic year by trying out alternatives. This is possible only when you remember that there are other back up options to explore and you should make it a point to appear for these along with the CLAT exam.
Some parents and friends subscribe to the idea that there is no surety of success in the CLAT test the next year. Therefore, if the candidate is able to clear All India Law Entrance Test (AILET), College of Legal Studies (UPES) Dehradun, or Symbiosis Entrance Test (SET), then some doors are open to gain entry into the legal stream. Picking up a suitable one as an alternative to the CLAT turns out to be the right decision instead of slogging to gain entry for years, with competition turning acute with each passing year.
The point of note here is that CLAT is not everything for an aspirant. OPUS suggests a law candidate should be open to the idea of appearing for other entrance tests as well. Banking on just one examination is a heavy gamble. OPUS encourages you to keep the focus on CLAT. But at the same time, it accentuates the need to have a proper back-up plan so that the candidate does not lose valuable time and can begin his journey at the earliest. While the pattern is CLAT-centric, the coaching fits many other law entrance tests conducted throughout India, with sections on Logical Reasoning, Mathematics, General Knowledge and English. When a candidate is preparing hard for the CLAT, he can also equip himself along similar lines to face AILET or SET or UPES, which have varying levels of difficult questions and are combined with some easy sections as well. It is not that the aspirant has to follow a completely different pattern of study.
The decisive point here is for the candidate to judge whether he thinks preparing and filling up forms for other related law tests is an extra burden and a distraction that dents his concentration on CLAT or he thinks it is the wisest thing to do in these fiercely competitive times. OPUS introduces you to the diametrically opposite views and leaves it to the candidates who have to take a call based on their mental frame. Are they going to proceed with a complete focus on just one exam? Are they going to have a back-up plan in place? Failure in an examination frustrates the candidate and in such a case if he clears something else like AILET then he is jubilant and concludes he is good enough to be admitted somewhere. His faith in his preparation wins and he does not have to wait for another year to appear the CLAT. If the phase of getting stuck persists for long, then the aspirant loses confidence and concludes he is a strong contender in the sea of competition. To avoid this depressive state of mind from engulfing young minds, it is better to have some alternatives so that you can salvage your career and self-esteem.
Decide what you want
In case you are the type who is determined to study law by clearing the CLAT exam, OPUS supports and believes in your determination, wishing you to go ahead with it at all costs. It depends solely on the candidate, his family background, his age and education, and whatever he decides should be after taking into account every aspect outlined here.
It is not that he has to prove to his parents that he is fit for CLAT clearance and he will not make a compromise. OPUS urges you to think coolly about the prevalent situation and then decide for yourself. Each case is different. It is our responsibility to show both sides and leave the final decision to you. Fair enough.
Often it is because of peer pressure that students want to clear the CLAT exam. OPUS suggests a rethink on this count. It is nice to compete and win. But it is also true that not all good lawyers have been through the CLAT grind and they are still hugely successful in the métier. Do not let any kind of pressure build up within you and allow yourself to proceed coolly with your choice. Be democratic. Exercise your freedom.
At the end of the day, it is your life and you are solely responsible for whatever comes out of it. OPUS shows you the complete picture because there is a huge majority of candidates appearing for other state level entrance tests and some other prestigious law colleges across the country. It is a matter of pride to enrol in any of these leading institutions and study sincerely to become a good lawyer. Fascination with CLAT should not push you towards disaster. Therefore, OPUS introduces you to the idea of having a balanced approach while considering a series of examinations to sit for. Steer your career in the right direction and anchor it instead of making a decision that goes against your temperament.
Success in career
What matters is your success in the chosen career path. Whether you made it through CLAT or not is not going to make any difference later in life. With such a candid mindset, OPUS urges you to weigh the pros and cons and decide whether you can take the back-up load as well without blaming it for being the reason behind your failure to crack the CLAT. But make sure whatever you finalise, it should not be a hurried choice at the eleventh hour or necessitated by factors beyond your control. Take full ownership, never look for scapegoats and never end up with regrets in life.
Wish you all the best for your decision-making.