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After finding out ‘what’ to study to prepare for the GK section, the next obvious important question is, ‘How to prepare for it’?

As the wise men say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither can GK! With less than two months to go before CLAT 2016, I can’t emphasize how important it is to read a newspaper every day, as well as a good fortnightly magazine.

  • If you are relatively new to finance, read Business Line, which introduces financial concepts in simpler words. The world is complicated enough anyway, so why complicate it further?
  • Among fortnightly magazines, Business Today or Business India provide a well rounded coverage of current affairs across varied topics.

Now lets look at ‘how’ to do it. There is a method in the madness, if you want to build awareness around a certain GK topic. Let’s look at a few questions asked in earlier CLAT papers, and understand the approach to solving them.

Q.1 Where was 16th NAM Summit held?

(a) Tehran

(b) Mehran

(c) Turban

(d) Bagdad

Approach – The context of this question is beyond just the NAM summit number and location. There is a much deeper level of knowledge that you should build over a period of time. Let’s call it call it “hierarchy of knowledge”!

1st Level hierarchy 2nd Level hierarchy 3rd Level hierarchy
Understanding of NAM movement Knowledge of international political conventions World politics
Background & history

Member countries

Summit coverage & locations

Governmental forums – G7, ASEAN, OPEC, NATO etc

Economic Alliances – BRICS Bank etc

International Trade/Finance bodies – WTO, IMF, SAARC, EU, UN, African Union

 

Thus, in order to answer the actual question, you should cover broader areas, as mentioned in the table above. Depending on how much time you have, cover the 1st level, then move on to 2nd level and so on.

Let us consider a few more questions.

Q.2 The grant of Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa is associated with

(a) Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula

(b) Nawab Asif-ud-Daula

(c) Shah Alam I

(d) Shah Alam II

Approach – The context of this question is the governance system of pre-independence India. Just as before, let us identify the hierarchy levels. 

1st Level hierarchy 2nd Level hierarchy 3rd Level hierarchy
Concept of ‘Diwani’ rights (Civil Administration) Indian political scenario of 18th century Chronology of Indian history
Background & history (Treaty of Allahabad)

Right to collect taxes on behalf of the Emperor

Political and constitutional involvement of the British

Contemporary rulers

Expansion of East India company rule

Pre-historic era

Vedic period

Second urbanization

Classical period

Medieval and modern period

Independence struggle

 Q.3 Where did Kuchipudi, an eminent dance form, originate?

(a) Kerala

(b) Andhra Pradesh

(c) Uttar Pradesh

(d) Tamil Nadu

Approach – The context of this question is the art and ccultural landscape of India.

1st Level hierarchy 2nd Level hierarchy 3rd Level hierarchy
Dance types in India Performing arts category Other components of Indian arts and culture
Origin of dance forms

Recognition by Indian rulers

Traditional and modern forms

 

Dance and music

Movies, theatre

Musical instruments

Performing artists and awards

Visual arts (Painting, sculpture, architecture)

Religions, festivals

Languages and literature

In a nutshell, start developing hierarchy levels for every GK 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 addition, high scorers in the past have practised useful tips. You can adopt a few of them:

  • Build a collection of newspaper cuttings and review them once every fortnight or so.
  • Select one master hierarchy and create your own questions along it.
  • Make teams of two or groups of four and question each other to bring competitive flavour!
  • Regularly refer to standard GK sources like Pearson & GK Today.

Here’s hoping some or all of these techniques will help you find a method in the madness!

All the best! ‘GK’ raho! Khush raho!

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