Today we have Sreeja Pal in our Topper’s interview section. She has secured AIR 9 in CLAT 2016 and hails from Kolkata, West Bengal. She dropped a year and prepared for CLAT and her efforts paid off. She is an inspiration to all those who have lost hope that they can crack CLAT. Even in tough circumstances, she didn’t give up and came out with flying colours. Some excerpts from interview are :
- What inspired you to take up Law as a career?
Law as a stream offers various career options to choose from. It’s so diverse that one can decide upon one’s career even when in Law school. My inspiration was my urge to help those in need of but cannot afford legal aid.
- Your suggestion, how to manage school studies and CLAT preparation together?
My opinion is that neither school studies, nor CLAT prep should be neglected. Both have their respective importance. If you are balancing class12 and CLAT, make a proper schedule and try to stick to it. Try and make out time for 1 weak area and 1 area of strength per day, along with daily preparation of current affairs.
- How was your study plan during preparation? like time devoted everyday?
Last year, i.e. before CLAT 2015, I had to juggle with my boards and CLAT. I practiced for CLAT extensively till December, gave a major share of my time to board exams during January-March, and concentrated on CLAT for the entire month of April. Since I moreorless took a drop for CLAT 2016, I devoted around 8 hours on a average to my CLAT prep. During the Last few months, January onwards, I increased it to around 12-14hours per day.
- How were mock tests useful in your preparation? Any tips for aspirants who are currently going through a bad phase of mock results?
Mock tests formed a very important part of my CLAT preparation. But mock tests should be taken with a word of caution. Mock test scores CANNOT predict your rank or score on the actual day of exam. Do not get disheartened by poor scores in mocks- analyse your paper well and try and make sure that you do not make the same mistakes again. You may think that I am being preachy, but I really mean all that I’m advising. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that!
- Time strategy you adopted while attempting CLAT 2016 paper? How did you arrive to the same?
CLAT 2016, being relatively easy, did not pose a time restraint for me in particular. But I must admit that I had problem arriving at a strategy for time. I started with GK, which took me around 8-10 mins. Then I moved on to Legal Aptitude(30 mins), followed by English(25mins, if it is lengthy), Logical Reasoning (35 mins) and Maths(20 mins). Practice is the key to getting good at time management.
- What were your sources of current affairs and GK part?
Pearson for Static GK.
Gktoday, Jagran josh, Competition in focus for Current Affairs.
- What was your general scheme of preparation?
I allotted time to each of the five sections everyday. Maths and GK being my weak areas, devoted a lager share of my time to them. I made sure that I am up to date with current affairs on a daily basis(and not procrastinate!).
- Mistakes that you did and would suggest the CLAT 2017 aspirants not to repeat?
I had kept my static GK prep till the end months. I would definitely advise CLAT 2017 to not make that mistake.
- Keeping negative marking in mind, what would you advise – more attempts or more accuracy that might reduce attempts?
A balance of both. More attempts is important, and for that one has to strategically eliminate the options and not just base their answers on blind guesswork.
- How did you keep yourself motivated throughout the preparation?
My family was my biggest strength during my periods of demotivation. I took breaks when I felt depressed, and checked the interviews of those who had cracked clat, in the hope of doing that myself one day.
- What will be your message to CLAT 2016 takers who were not able to crack CLAT this time and are dejected? Any piece of inspiration and motivation you would like to give them?
Do Not doubt your capabilities just because you couldn’t crack CLAT this year. Even I took a second chance to prove myself. Believe in yourself and stay dedicated to your prep. No one needs to be born genius to crack CLAT. Dedication and hard work were all that worked iin my favour. Take your mistakes in your stride and learn from them. You’ll definitely do great in life!
- What would be your message to the CLAT 2017 aspirants?
Practise hard! All the Best…See you at a Law School next year
All the best to all the CLAT 2017 Aspirants.