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How to Read the Newspaper for CLAT??

The importance of habitually reading a


newspaper in a CLAT aspirants routine cannot
be emphasised enough. Despite the innumerable
current affairs digests available in the market,
there is no alternative to a newspaper when it
comes to acing the General Knowledge
component of CLAT. Any other material should
only be used to supplement the newspaper
reading and not substitute it. Besides, a
newspaper not only improves your general
knowledge but can also improve your English
and logical reasoning.
In spite of these well-known benefits, students
often skip reading a newspaper finding it too
time consuming and tedious and instead rely on
Current Affairs digests. More importantly, even
those who do bother to pick up a newspaper, fail
to get the maximum out of the process. Here are

few things which every CLAT aspirant should


keep in mind while reading a newspaper, to
make it an effective and useful process.
1. Selection of the newspaper: Make sure you
select the national edition of any English news
daily which in your opinion presents a balanced
representation of the major events in the country
without focusing too much on any particular
section. We strongly recommend The Hindu as
one such newspaper, which has proven useful to
a number of CLAT aspirants in the past.
2. Read but DO NOT memorise: While reading
any news item, do not focus on remembering
the information provided. It is highly probable
that you will remember none, by the time CLAT
takes place. Read the news item like a story,
understand why a particular event happened,
and think about what could be the consequences
of that event. Basic pneumonic guides suggest

that this is a much better way of remembering


the information. The story will stay with you
longer.
3. Read every news item fully: Continuing from
the previous point, dont just gloss over the
headlines of each event but delve into the entire
news item. This will make you appreciate the
full story and also help you to remember the
event better.
4. Maintain a scrap-book: You should always
have a diary or notebook in hand, while you
read the newspaper. This is to note down all the
important happenings in a summary. Do this for
each day. Just before the CLAT exam, you will
have your own Current Affairs compendium.
Your own compendium will be easier to
remember than any other supplement in the
market, because you would have put your effort
in preparing it.

5. Learn to Select: Filter out useful information


from the newspaper. Ask yourself, is this a
possible question for CLAT? Generally, local
happenings which do not have national
relevance would not be important. Similarly,
highly technical business news would have
lesser chance of appearing in your CLAT paper.
6. Keep an eye for Static General Knowledge:
Interspersed with current affairs, you will also
find a lot of information relevant to your static
GK component in a news item. Look out for
these and note them separately. To give you an
example, a story about who won the Wimbledon
Cup in tennis may also contain information
about grand slams in general and the nature of
these tournaments. This is static GK. Dont miss
out on it.
7. Improve your vocabulary: There will be
several words with which you are unfamiliar in

the newspaper. Make it a point to note these


down in a notebook and find out the meanings
from a dictionary later. If you go through the list
of words prepared by you regularly, your
vocabulary will improve considerably.
Moreover, a number of times news items or
editorials are used as comprehension passages
so you might just get lucky in the exam
8. Editorials are important: The editorials are a
must read for three reasons. First, you will get a
deeper understanding of the latest happenings in
the country. Second, the editorial will teach you
sentence construction and grammar like no other
component. Third, it will also boost your critical
reasoning by training you to think logically and
identify arguments, propositions and reasons.
9. Fix a time: Allot a particular part of your day
for newspaper reading, preferably an hour or
more. This will keep you regular and after some

time it will become an engrained habit. This will


also ensure that you take newspaper reading as a
serious exercise.
10. Do not pile: On a number of days, you might
not want to read the newspaper because you had
too much work to do or you have something
more interesting to do or a similar reason. On
such days, you will feel that you are doing
nothing wrong because you can still read the
same newspaper the next day. Before you
realise, this attitude will result in a stack of
unread newspapers on your table none of which
will ever see the light of the day. Avoid this
attitude by thinking of the benefits you will
derive from the process. Whatever happens, do
not pile.

The newspaper, if used well can prove to be one


of the most useful tools for your CLAT
preparation. It is indispensable to both your GK
as well as English preparation, which
collectively make up for 90 out of 200 marks.
Pick one daily newspaper and stick to it
throughout your preparation. While choosing a
newspaper, keep in mind that it should be a
reliable national daily, with flawless and lucid
language. It is important for you yourself to be
comfortable with the newspaper with regard to
its layout and language. You can check out
reputed standard newspapers such as the Hindu
and the Times of India for this purpose. You can
also try to use the available online versions of
the same and use whatever suits your
requirements the best.
Next, comes the question of what you should
read and what you can afford to filter out as far
as your CLAT preparation is concerned. Out of
the entire newspaper, you may pick out and read
the following sections:

National news
International news
Sports
Editorials
Out of the national and international news
sections, focus on:
Important appointments
Eminent persons in the news
Awards and their winners
Any legislations in the news
Committees and Commissions
Summits
Any important event in the legal sphere,
such as a landmark Supreme Court
judgement, appointment of a new CJI, etc.

Focus on important sporting titles such as the


world cups and important international titles.
The editorial section serves as excellent practice
for the comprehension section in the CLAT. It
helps you improve your reading speed as well as
critical analysis skills. Also, it gives a better
understanding about various important events
and issues in the news.
You may choose to omit sections such as the
state and business news as they arent very
likely to come up in the exam. However,
reading the business news section will introduce
you to a new area of vocabulary and a world
that is very important to lawyers. Though
reading the business section isnt that important
for CLAT, but it definitely becomes very
important after you crack it.
As mentioned earlier, reading a newspaper
provides the double benefit of improving your
English as well as GK preparation. Reading the

newspaper is indispensable to your preparation


for the questions relating to current affairs.
Focus on the above mentioned sections and also
make note of the important points relating to the
same. For the purpose of future revision, you
may make brief notes or even collect and
preserve important clippings. Another option is
to underline or highlight on the paper itself and
preserve the entire newspaper. Figure out what
would be most suitable for you keeping in mind
individual study methods and most importantly
time left to you to prepare. Further, make sure
you revise at the end of every month from your
personal compendium as well as cross check
with another one provided by your coaching
institute or any standard website. Also watch out
for the Hindus Diary of events that is released
at the end of every year. It comes in the form of
a supplement alongwith the days main paper.
With regards to English, reading the newspaper
can help improve both your grammar and

vocabulary, as well as increase your overall


reading speed.
1.

Grammar- While reading the newspaper,


ensure that you pay attention to the usage of
the language and also the spellings of the
words used. Focus on the usage of the
different parts of speech, the choice of
prepositions, the placement of modifiers,
usage of particular tenses in differing
situations etc. Continuous reading of wellwritten English will result in an
improvement in your personal language
skills almost at an sub-conscious level.

2.

Vocabulary- Reading the newspaper can


prove to be an extremely fruitful exercise to
improve vocabulary provided one follows
up adequately. Keep a separate vocabulary
notebook and every time you come across
an unknown word, underline it, look up the
meaning in a dictionary and make a note of
it in your notebook. This should include the
writing meaning of the word independently

without referring to the dictionary followed


by a sentence you have made using the
particular word. As much as doing this
might bring back memories of class 2, it
indeed remains the best way to remember
the meanings of new words. Unless, of
course, you are blessed with a photographic
memory. Further, you can put down any
synonyms and antonyms of the word that
you can recollect from your memory. This
will go a long way in registering the word in
your memory.
3.

Reading speed- As you read more and


more, your reading speed automatically
increases as you start getting more and more
familiar with the practice of reading and
getting more and more comfortable with
processing words and language to grasp the
message within the text quickly.

Thus, it is important to realize the multitude of


benefits reading the newspaper provides.
Recognize this and ensure that you use it as well

as possible and derive the maximum benefits


out of this habit.
All the best!
These are the core areas tested by CLAT. You
are advised to prepare for all the sections
equally. Looking at the entire preparation
subject wise, here are the objectives and the
work you need to put in to achieve them:
English: The English section will test the
candidates proficiency in English based
comprehension passages and grammar. In the
comprehension section, candidates will be
questioned on their understanding of the passage
and its central theme, meanings of words used
therein etc. The grammar section requires
correction of incorrect grammatical sentences,
filling in of blanks in sentences with appropriate
words, etc. You need to build a vast vocabulary.

This needs long term sustained effort. Go


through the word list of the Module, words of
one letter of the alphabet per day, and tick those
words that you are not familiar with. Use those
words in your conversation or in any writing.
You have to read, read and read, anything, but
read. Do read a good newspaper, like the Hindu,
everyday without fail and a news magazine like
the Frontline. This in any case is essential for
your GK preparation. You will come across
words that you are not too familiar with or have
not come across earlier. You have to note such
words in your English notebook, look up the
meaning, and do what has been given above for
new words.
General Knowledge/Current affairs: Now this
is the most important of all. GK/Current affairs
carry a weightage of 25%. So, it is very
important to be well verse with GK. You should
try and spend at least an hour reading good

dailies like Hindu or others. Competitive


magazines like CSR or others may also help you
a lot. Basically you need to know all the current
happenings and should watch news daily.
Maths: This section will test candidates only on
elementary mathematics i.e. maths that is
taught till the class 10. Understand the
fundamentals of the topics from the Maths
Module and do all the exercises in the Maths
Work Book. To enhance your speed, do more
practice exercises from other recommended
reading material.
Logical Reasoning: The purpose of the logical
reasoning section is to test the students ability
to identify patterns, logical links and rectify
illogical arguments. It will include a wide
variety of logical reasoning questions such as
syllogisms, logical sequences, analogies,
etc. However, visual reasoning will not be

tested, as this tends to disadvantage those that


are visually impaired. The time need for this is
comparatively less. However practices all
question in your modules and the other
recommended reading material so that you can
reduce the time you take to answer a question in
the exam.
Legal GK : Legal Aptitude/Legal Awareness
This section will test students only on legal
aptitude. Questions will be framed with the
help of legal propositions (described in the
paper), and a set of facts to which the said
proposition has to be applied. Some
propositions may not be true in the real sense
(e.g. the legal proposition might be that any
person who speaks in a movie hall and disturbs
others that are watching the movie will be
banned from entering any movie theatre across
India for one year). Candidates will have to
assume the truth of these propositions and

answer the question accordingly. Candidates


will not be tested on any prior knowledge of law
or legal concepts. If a technical/legal term is
used in the question, that term will be explained
in the question itself. For example, if the word
patent is used, the meaning of patent (a legal
monopoly granted by the government for certain
kinds of inventions) will also be explained.
Legal Aptitude book has been divided into three
main chapter, each dealing with one area of law,
namely, law of Torts, Law of Contact, criminal
law each chapter, discusses the area of law and
its related principles, most of these legal
principles have appeared in one form or another
in the previous entrance tests. At the end of the
chapter we have provided illustrative examples
explaining the principle of law and its
application, to enable you to understand how the
principle should be used to solve the given legal
problem.

Extra efforts you need to put in:


1. Read a good news paper regularly. The
Hindu, Indian express are Recommended.
2. Subscribe a national monthly magazine
(CSR, Chronicle, etc.) and read it regularly.
3. Work hard to improve your vocabulary (learn
maximum words, as many as you can)
4. Develop reading habits (start reading novel)
to improve reading speed, as it would prove to
be the MASTER KEY to Crack the CLAT.