How to Prepare for CLAT – Complete CLAT Preparation Strategy

25 January, 2024
parthiva mewawala

Every aspiring lawyer in India aims to make it to one of the top 26 NLUs, considered by many to be the launchpad for an illustrious law career. But getting there, the pinnacle of the best law programs in the country is a challenging route. You don’t just need to have the aptitude for law, but also need to put in the hours of dedicated hard work that CLAT, the premier law entrance exam, demands. 


But students, especially beginners, who have just reached high school, are plagued by questions. 


Where to begin? 

What to study? 

How to prepare for CLAT? 


At the IMS Get.Set.Law program, we decided to talk to our most experienced mentors and create a list of strategic steps that every law aspirant should follow. These steps will get them much closer to their end goal of cracking CLAT and getting into a top NLU. 


But first, let’s brush up on a few basics.

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What is the CLAT 2025 exam pattern?

How to prepare for CLAT is a question that can only be answered after you’ve gotten familiar with the exam pattern. This enables you to focus on sections that matter more. You’ll be able to allocate time and energy to the right sections, questions, and answers.


Exam mode – Pen-paper-based test

Exam duration – 120 minutes

Total questions – 120 questions

Total marks – 120 marks 

Marking Scheme – +4 for every correct answer and -1 for every wrong one


SectionNo. of questionsNo. of marksWeightage
English Language28 – 32 questions28 – 32 marks20% 
Current Affairs, including General Knowledge35 – 39 questions 35 – 39 marks25%
Quantitative Techniques (Elementary Mathematics)13 – 17 questions 13 – 17 marks10%
Logical Reasoning28 – 32 questions28 – 32 marks20%
Legal Reasoning 35 – 39 questions35 – 39 marks25%
Total Marks120 questions120 marks100%


What is the CLAT exam 2025 syllabus?

The CLAT test doesn’t require you to have any prerequisite legal knowledge. It’s essentially a general aptitude test designed to assess how well your critical and analytical faculties operate. It wants to check if you’re ideally suited for the problem-solving requirements of a high-level law career. It also affirms your communication skills in English – how well you can transmit your ideas, defend your opinions, and critically break down arguments. Here are the topics that you should cover during your CLAT preparation strategy.


EnglishComprehension passages, Grammar, word meanings, incorrect/correct sentences
MathematicsAlgebra, profit and loss, time and work, average, speed and distance, permutation-combination and Venn diagrams, statistical estimation, Mensuration
General Knowledge & Current AffairsStatic general knowledge, including History, Polity, Geography, Environment, etc.

Current affairs- national of national and international importance, sports, new appointments, awards, honours, etc.

Logical ReasoningLogical and Analytical reasoning skills
Legal AptitudeStudy of law, Research aptitude, Problem-solving ability, Questions based on hypothetical situations, and Important court decisions


How to prepare for CLAT? 


Recognise your current level


Most aspirants begin their CLAT preparation in the 11th or 12th standard. So should you. But before you start, it will be prudent to gain an understanding of what your current aptitude level is. Unlike IIT JEE or NEET, CLAT isn’t a knowledge-based test – it’s based on aptitude, mental ability, and comprehension. This means that no student will necessarily need to begin their prep from zero. 


Identify where you stand right now by giving a diagnostic practice test. You can outline your preparation strategy based on your scores in the different sections. 


Designate a target college and score for yourself 


Not everyone wants to go to NLU, Delhi or NALSAR, Hyderabad. Choose which college is a reasonable option for you based on your current aptitude, logistics, location, affordability, and passion for law. 


Do you wish to study in your city and region? Or go to a larger city? 


Can you and your parents afford the fees of the most expensive NLUs? If not, is an education loan an option? 


Are you willing to put in the hard work required to top CLAT and get into the best NLUs? 


Answer these questions, shortlist plausible colleges, and match them to the score you require in CLAT. 


This will be your target score, and your entire focus will be on reaching this score. Nothing more. Nothing less. 


Identify and collate all your resources 


At the beginning of your prep, you should list all the content already available to you. Books, videos, previous years’ papers, practice questions, and notes from toppers should be part of your list. 


While your coaching institute will provide a lot of content and cover most of the topics, you should nevertheless invest in self-study books, too. 


Here are the best books for CLAT prep:


Subject BookAuthor
Quantitative Aptitude Legal Aptitude for CLAT and Other Law ExamsAP Bhardwaj
General Awareness Legal General Knowledge RK Gupta
ReasoningLogical ReasoningJain Prateek
English Objective General EnglishN. Khurmi and George
Previous Years’ PapersPrevious Years’ PapersAP Bhardwaj


Make a timetable for yourself and stick to it


Once you’ve understood your syllabus and the material you must finish, it’s time to allocate time. 


Find out the number of hours you can dedicate to CLAT prep daily. Ideally, it should be 3-4 hours per day. Don’t overburden yourself, and include ample breaks in between. Keep your weekends free for extracurricular activities and hobbies to rejuvenate yourself. 


Fix a specific period for daily study and revision. Studying during the same period every day is advised to condition your mind properly. 


Remember, the goal is not to burnout with studies but to find the right balance between your books and rest. 


Join a renowned coaching institute 


While many aspirants prefer self-study, most choose to attend leading coaching institutes. Coaching programs provide curated content, access to the best teachers, practice sessions, and mock tests, ensuring that you are best prepared to face the rigors of CLAT. 


With coaching, you can instill a sense of discipline in yourself and give your CLAT preparation strategy the required edge. It will also bring a structured approach, curated learning pathways, and comprehensive material to the table. 


The IMS Get.Set.Law CLAT Exclusive Classroom Program follows a learn – practise – test approach over 180 hours of rigorous classroom teaching. Apart from 30 proctored mocks, you also have 70 topic-wise tests, 50 SimCLATs, and 10 AILET mocks. This is complemented by the MyIMS portal, containing rich revision content and videos for you to study on the go. Check out the details of the program here


Make the most of your prep


To make the most of your CLAT prep, follow these steps:


  • Skim through that day’s content 10 minutes before class begins. 
  • Pay extra attention during concept classes. Ask doubts and discuss issues with your mentors to thoroughly clarify your concepts. 
  • Solve all the in-class exercises and revise them again after a week. 
  • Solve all the at-home practice questions and revise them again after a week. 
  • Once a topic is covered, attempt a topic-wise test and analyse your score. 
  • Find your mistakes, discuss them with your mentors, and repeat steps 3 to 5 again. 


Attempt and analyse at least 50 mock tests


Even if you’re well-acquainted with the syllabus, there will always be gaps that can only be filled by first-hand experience. Giving mocks is the holy grail to scoring well on the CLAT. Try to give as many proctored mocks as possible in real exam conditions. 


Don’t forget to analyse the results. Find out where you’re getting the most negative marks from. What questions are you being forced to skip? Are you able to attempt all in time? What are your weakest topics? Which are the strongest ones? 


Collect all these details and talk to your mentor. At IMS GSL, mentors draw up personalised study plans based on your strengths and weaknesses to ensure you’re well-equipped to do well on the paper. 


Read newspapers regularly 


The new pattern of CLAT is heavily focused on comprehension and reading. You need to acquaint yourself with the language and the hours of concentrated reading required during CLAT. 


Newspapers give you a two-pronged advantage:


  • First, you brush up on your current affairs by reading the national, international, and judicial news. 
  • Second, you improve your reading speed and comprehension by reading the editorial sections. 


Our mentors suggest reading The Hindu for its editorial, The Telegraph and Indian Express for their news coverage, and Times of India for varied perspectives. 


Clearing the CLAT with good marks and getting into a top NLU opens the doors for a rewarding legal career in corporate offices, judicial systems, and PSUs. These pointers should help you answer the question ‘how to prepare for CLAT’. 


At IMS GSL, our mentors go above and beyond to build your aptitude over time, allowing you to attain your full potential. IMS GSL offers both CLAT Exclusive Online 2025 and  Classroom programs for CLAT 2025. Fill out the form here to learn more about either program. 


How to prepare for CLAT 2025 – Section-wise tips


CLAT English preparation


  1. Start reading more. Books, essays, editorials, newspapers, and articles will help you improve your speed reading, skimming, and comprehension skills.
  2. Start reading passages with a purpose. Instead of just reading and then moving on, make it a point to write down their synopsis. This way, you can judge your own understanding of the passage.
  3. Underline the words you don’t recognise. Turn them into flashcards and write their meaning on the back of the cards. Revise these every day.
  4. Brush up on your NCERT grammar to remain abreast with the requirements of the grammar section.


CLAT Legal Reasoning preparation


  1. While you don’t need in-depth legal knowledge, reading about core concepts and terminologies will make the passages easier to crack.
  2. Start reading essays and articles on blogs such as LiveLaw, BarandBench, and Politico. Even newspapers carry many legal cases which can further your knowledge in this field.


CLAT Logical Reasoning preparation


  1. Learn to read sentences like you do maths equations. In an equation, each variable and constant are defined by a fixed relationship. Moreover, this relationship doesn’t necessarily move in the order it is represented in. But once you understand the relationship between the parts, you will realise that there can only be one subjective answer.
  2. Underline the different parts of the sentence and relate them to one another. Which one modifies the other? Who is the subject? What is the tense? What is happening in the sentence?
  3. A similar strategy can also be applied to critical passages. Underline important phrases and sentences. Find out what the author wants to say. What are their primary arguments? What is the central premise?


CLAT Quantitative Aptitude preparation


  1. Begin with the basics. Pick up your NCERT and revise all the major concepts taught till the 10th standard.
  2. Practise basic questions to reinforce these concepts before picking up books like RS Aggarwal and AP Bhardwaj. Make it a point to practise a fixed number of quant questions every day to become faster and more accurate.
  3. Talk to your mentors to create a list of shortcuts – tips and tricks that let you solve problems faster.
  4. Learn all of the most commonly asked types of questions from arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.


CLAT GK and Current Affairs preparation


  1. Reading newspapers, monthly magazines, and periodicals should give you enough knowledge about current affairs.
  2. Brush up on your static GK from NCERT social science books.
  3. Sign up online for GK resources such as the one provided by GKToday. They have free quizzes across hundreds of topics for you to assess your knowledge level.


CLAT 2025 FAQs


  1. Can I prepare for CLAT in one month?


With the proper guidance and strategy, it is possible to prepare for CLAT in one month.


2. Is quantitative aptitude easy if I did not have maths in my +2?


Yes, the level of maths required to do well on the quant section of CLAT 2025 is that of the 10th class.


3. Does CLAT have a negative marking?


Yes, CLAT has a negative marking of 0.25 marks for every wrong answer.


4. When should I start preparing for CLAT 2025?


Depending on your current aptitude, you ideally should begin your CLAT 2025 preparation 12 to 6 months in advance.


5. How many hours per day should I study for CLAT?


You must put in at least 3 hours daily to ensure 100+ marks in CLAT 2025 and admission to the top NLUs.


6. What are some last-minute tips to do well in CLAT 2025?


In your last days, focus on revising the topics and giving as many mock exams as possible. Sleep and eat well to avoid falling ill and missing out on crucial study hours.

7. How to prepare for CLAT in 3 months?


Preparing for CLAT in three months can only be done with the right strategy, learning processes, and pathways in place. These need to be complemented with the right study material, diligent dedication, and tons of practice.