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Why is General Knowledge (GK) Important for CLAT?

The General knowledge section in the CLAT exam includes 50 questions from Static GK and Current Affairs. And the reason it is important is due to the fact that it helps save time while exam preparation. You can utilize this to your advantage and allocate more time to more significant sections of the examination. This section also helps to increase the overall score as the questions asked are factual and direct. If you prepare for the CLAT GK section properly, it will be beneficial in covering many other aspects of the CLAT Legal Aptitude section that has questions on Legal GK also.

Remember, that CLAT has always been full of surprises. And GK has not been an exception at all. If you have been following the CLAT GK section for the last five years, you would have noticed the following changes –

 Recent Changes in CLAT GK

  1. The coverage of Current Affairs (CA) has been increasing every year. From 24-25 CA questions every year till CLAT 2013, the number of questions has now changed to 35-36 in CLAT 2015/16. In fact, during CLAT 2017, the entire section was about CA, except one question. So, this trend is here to stay for sure. The same is true for other law exams.
  2. In the last 5 years, there has been a higher coverage of topics like international news/forums, business & economy, government & politics, sports, science & technology.
  3. A lot of new types of question like app/portal/hi-tech launches are now catching the examiners’ attention. E.g.
    1. Online grievance monitoring portal by union government for Indians living abroad OR
    2. ‘RuPay prepaid cards’ service launched by IRCTC (Both from CLAT 2015)
  4. The importance of Static GK subjects like Indian history, trade terminologies, physical & world geography, days & dates, national insignia & superlatives has got reduced over the last few years. Nevertheless, candidates still need to prepare for them as questions based on static GK are asked in other exams too like SET (Law), IPU (Law) and MAH Law CET.
  5. Topics such as general sciences, culture & religion, Indian geography & establishments, books & authors do not appear that often in CLAT now.
  6. Legal GK gets covered a lot in the Legal Aptitude section & less often in the GK section.
  7. Currently, extensive coverage is given to International appointments/people in news & country and detailed events are being questioned. For instance:
    1. Which is the first country to have begun shutting down entire FM radio network to be replaced by Digital Audio Broadcasting? OR
    2. Which country 3D–printed a home of 37 sq.mts? OR
    3. Which shoe company in the US has won IPR dispute against China recently for using their logo?
    4. Who called the immigration the ‘Trojan horse of Terrorism’? (All from CLAT 2017)
  8. Some questions needed to be read the second time in order to answer them correctly. These questions were about specific details that could have been missed by students who only concentrated on headlines. Here are some real examples from the question paper.
    1. India emerged as the ___________ largest holder of US Government Securities at the end of 2016 (Options had ranks like 12th, 15th, 24th, 28th)
    2. How many billionaires India has lost since demonetisation on November 8, 2016?
    3. India’s voting rights at the IMF increased from 2.3 % to ____
    4. Till the end of 2016, the total number of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in India is ___ (All from CLAT 2017)

The Takeaways

  • The changing trends clearly indicate that the predictable methods when it comes to GK preparation in a one-liner Q & A format would not be of much help. Students need to do a regular reading of daily newspapers like The Hindu. Instead of focusing on headlines only students need to get more second level information about the news.
  • It’s also crucial to develop a habit of ‘visualising’ and then ‘assimilating’ each event that you stumble upon in a ‘news-narration’ format. Especially when it comes to highly important news, learn to make your own notes covering news and narration with 2-3 bullets. Therefore, you would need to prepare for details about the ‘core’ news and ‘peripheral’ news. Additionally, you need to go beyond the ‘obvious’ knowledge and look at the ‘not-so-obvious’ facts about an event. This will help you get an edge over others and score better marks.

CLAT GK & Current Affairs: Previous Years’ Analysis

Let’s now look at the number of questions asked on ‘Static GK’ and ‘Current Affairs’ over the last few years.

  2014 2015 2016
Static 34 22 14
Current 16 28 36
Total 50 50 50

CLAT General Knowledge & Current Affairs: Section-Wise Analysis

Area 2014 2015 2016
Sports 1 6 4
Science & Technology 7 8 2
Economics & Govt. Policy 10 9 5
History/ Art & Culture 10 6 4
Polity 8 2 13
National & International Events/ Organizations/ people 7 9 3
Miscellaneous (Geography, Environment, Books, Awards, etc.) 7 10 19

Tips for CLAT GK Preparation

Current ‘Affairs’ in CLAT

When it comes to Current Affairs, always rely on a good newspaper. You can also refer to a good magazine to improve your knowledge. All you need to do is subscribe to a monthly or a fortnight magazine that gives information in a crisp and organized way. You can also take help from the handouts and snippets given by your coaching institute or mentor that can turn out to be very helpful in preparing for both Static GK and Current GK.

Remember always that mugging up will never help. You need to make an effort to fall in love with the affairs of the world. You need to be passionate about it while keeping in mind your goal to score 40 in the section.

Static GK for CLAT

Note that even if it is clearly mentioned on the CLAT website that you will only be asked questions on current affairs, DO NOT believe it. Ask anyone who has given the CLAT exam, and he/she will tell you the reason behind it.

You got to have some basic knowledge of History, Sciences and Geography. Since there’s always fierce competition for the top 200 odd seats, it is recommended to go through the pages of the Pearson’s book on General Knowledge in order to stay ahead in the race.

Static GK has always been considered to be a vast and unpredictable section. But you can master it by working in a systematic and smart manner.

Let us reiterate, never just mug up information. If you always tend to do that, you’ll not remember anything. Take some interest in what you’re reading, have numerous discussions with other CLAT aspirants about FDI, US presidential elections and other important topics.

If feasible, always make it a point to study in small groups and share notes.

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