Tackling General Knowledge for CLAT
- March 15, 2017
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Uncategorized
OPUS has found over the years that CLAT aspirants are scared of General Knowledge because the subject requires vast – and constant – study. The importance of General Knowledge in determining the success of candidates remains high. Aspirants with a moderate comfort level in this domain stand a pretty good chance of making the cut. Remember, the General Knowledge (GK) section has the highest weightage in the CLAT.
General Knowledge section comprises more of current affairs these days. Static General Knowledge has witnessed a gradual decline. General Knowledge section includes a mix of Static General Knowledge (15-20) and Current Affairs (25-30) questions.
Basic challenges assail candidates who do not know where to begin from, what to read and how to remember loads of information. There is no ‘right time’ to prepare for General Knowledge. General Awareness build up is a continuous process. The earlier you start, the better it is. General Knowledge build up should become a way of life for the test preparation window. Frequency and sources of information are crucial.
OPUS essays a pivotal role in helping aspirants develop more clarity regarding General Knowledge pattern and find effective ways to process – and retain – tonnes of information.
Important Topics for Static GK
3-4 Questions each
- Indian & World History
- Arts and Literature
1-2 Questions each
- Science & Technology
- Business and economy
Important Topics for Current Affairs
5-6 Questions each
- International News
- Sports and Movies
- Business and economy
2-3 Questions each
- Awards and Honours
- Science and technology
- Government and politics
Once you have done it, opt for time-bound preparation for General Knowledge every day. During the actual test, you should not spend more than 15-20 minutes on 50 questions in the section. The reason is, either you know the answer, or you don’t. Build awareness around a certain General Knowledge topic. Look at the questions asked in previous CLAT papers, and understand the approach to solving them. OPUS guidance helps you immensely in this regard.
Where to start from
CLAT candidates have often been recommended piles of reference books, which consume valuable time. But these are nothing more than compilations of pointless facts. Avoid spending time and money and energy on these fat tomes. Instead, start with basics and scale up quick. Keep your GK preparation simple.
OPUS suggests you start reading a quality national newspaper on a daily basis. Prefer something like The Hindu and follow Times of India for its legal reportage. This step will ensure that a quarter of your General Knowledge preparation is taken proper care of.
Read every page even though it is time-consuming and sometimes boring. Keep track of the government-issued advertisements to acquire information about various government schemes, know the names of Ministers and their portfolios.
OPUS suggests that aspirants should follow expert columnists and contributors in the editorial pages for their commentary on issues of national and global importance. These articles are loaded with background information to offer a complete understanding of the issues. Besides, it improves your grammar and vocabulary.
Many headlines and news reports will not appear sensible to CLAT candidates. Google and Wikipedia will assist you in gathering plenty of information to understand the whole issue. OPUS urges you to keep researching till you are clear about the entire matter.
According to OPUS, CLAT candidates to follow a monthly competitive examination magazine like Pratiyogita Darpan. While reading it, you will come across various reports that you have already read in the dailies. This aids in revision and makes a permanent impression on your mind as you tend to classify it as important. Make notes of the important reports you read every month. By the time you appear for CLAT, enough revisions during the year of preparation will boost your confidence level.
OPUS tells CLAT aspirants to maintain a big, clean notebook and divide it into topics, allotting ten pages to each. Whenever and wherever you get relevant information, add it to the specified topic. Personalities and Organisations, Books and Literature, Awards and recipients are some common topics to follow.
What to read
Joining OPUS institute for CLAT coaching will make aspirants further advanced in time management skills because of the GK supplements. Make a list of publications and websites to follow for updates. It does not consume much time and alternate weekends are good enough for this task. Prefer Penguin Yearbook. General Knowledge modules from OPUS coaching institute are highly useful. Follow legal websites like lawandotherthings.blogspot.com, Legally India, and Bar and Bench. Join their respective groups on Facebook if they exist. Frontline, Outlook and the Economic and Political Weekly are excellent magazines to enrich knowledge and language skills. Keep track of international media for a better understanding of global issues. Follow BBC, NYT and The Guardian websites. They have excellent articles on almost every issue.
How to remember
Discuss current issues of interest with a group of friends. Select an important topic every week and discuss it at length. Ask your friends to get good points related to the history of the issue, the legal aspects of it and other related information. Build a collection of newspaper clippings and review them once every fortnight. Draft notes on relevant information from time to time. This enables you to retain useful information in a capsule form.
Make teams of two or groups of four and question each other to add competitive flavour. Quiz your friends and ask them to quiz you every week. Each friend could get 10-20 random questions, with multiple options. Keep the options related and relevant. Once the quiz is over, each person must explain the rest of the options as well. Each question will give you some extra General Knowledge inputs. Select one master hierarchy and create your own questions. Regularly refer to standard General Knowledge sources. OPUS believes these are some effective routes to tackle General Knowledge.
Issues affect our lives in strange ways. Keep tabs on burning issues. Take an informed stand on issues that matter: Tribal rights, Human rights, communalism, politics, religion…You will research more often and learn more. Learn a lot by keeping your ears open. Even films tell us a lot about issues.
Go through what you already have studied. Otherwise, you will forget everything and get confused. OPUS urges CLAT candidates to give priority to revisions. Legal General Knowledge will help candidates in law schools.
Follow up on everything you read in the papers. Check up on the past years’ papers. While you are going through them to solve them, you will understand what will be important for you to read up from various magazines and publications, and what you can afford to exclude.
Use anecdotes to remember difficult names and records. Work sincerely and give it a little time. Take a stand on issues that matter, and enjoy the process – because if you do not, you will not learn anything. And if you do not learn, you will not retain anything.
Follow OPUS advice. Start developing hierarchy levels for every General Knowledge question you come across. This will get you habituated to finding links within and beyond topics. You will be able to create a tree-like structure that can be updated regularly. In order to answer the actual question, you should cover broader areas. Hierarchy of knowledge is important here. There is a much deeper level of knowledge that you should build over a period of time. Depending on how much time you have, cover the level 1, and move on to level 2. For example, understanding NAM movement is level 1, knowledge of international political conventions is level 2, and level 3 is about world politics.
Hope these techniques will help you find a method in this madness of preparation for CLAT.
Keep it simple. Do not slog. Have fun!
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