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Pattern Change Updates

CLAT 2020 – Pattern Change Updates

Nearly 6 weeks after announcing a new pattern for the CLAT 2020 exam, the consortium finally released the syllabus and sample questions for each of the 5 sections. The number of questions has been reduced to 150, with the time remaining the same at 2 hours. All questions will be Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) as before, with a negative marking of -0.25 for incorrect attempts.

Here’s the section-wise split of the number of questions. Although the number of questions has been reduced, the overall weightage of each section remains more or less the same as earlier.

Subject / Section No. Of Questions Approx Weightage
English Language 28 – 32 Qs 20% of the paper
Current Affairs, including GK 35 – 39 Qs 25% of the paper
Legal Reasoning 35 – 39 Qs 25% of the paper
Logical Reasoning 28 – 32 Qs 20% of the paper
Quantitative Techniques 13 – 17 Qs 10% of the paper

Here’s a brief overview of each of the five sections, and what students can expect from it. Instead of testing students on their prior knowledge and memory, the exam will focus more on testing them on their reading, comprehension and reasoning skills. However, some prior knowledge will definitely be needed for some sections like Current affairs etc. Questions in all the sections will be based on a passage or some given information, and answers need to be derived, either directly or indirectly, from the given data.

1. English Language

Types of Passages: Passages can be derived from any fictional or non-fictional writings on contemporary or historically significant topics.

This section will test students on their reading skills, and how well they are able to grasp the main idea of the passage. Questions could be based on drawing conclusions/inferences; understanding the different viewpoints given; summarizing the passage; meanings of the words/phrases used in the passage.

2. Current Affairs, including GK

Type of Passages: Passages can be derived from newspapers, journals and other non-fictional writings. Any legal happenings currently in news could also be tested.

This section will test students on their overall awareness & understanding of the important happenings around them. A passage will be given for reference and questions will be asked on that event described in the passage. Please note that the answers need not be present in the passage and can be answered only if students have read the news item earlier. The passages and questions could be based on the significant current events in India and the World. Although static GK may not be tested as a random memory based question, any static knowledge related to current events can always be tested.

This is one area where ALPians have the greatest edge over other aspirants. At Abhyaas Law Prep, we have always emphasized on the importance of reading the background story and information, rather than merely memorizing questions and answers. Any question (current or static) related to the event described in the passage can be asked.

3. Legal Reasoning

Types of Passages: The passages may relate to fact situations or scenarios involving legal matters and/or public policy and governance.

This section will test students on their ability to understand rules and principles and apply them in different situations. Although a prior knowledge of law is not needed, a general awareness about law and the current matters of significance will help students to interpret the situation better and thus help them apply the same to different scenarios.

The major change in this section is that the rules are not listed separately but need to be inferred from the given passage. Tweaking of the rule and application to other situations could also be tested.

4. Logical Reasoning

This section will test students on their ability to recognize arguments, its premise and conclusions. Understanding the patterns of reasoning used, identifying any contradictions or flaws in the reasoning, drawing inferences from the passage and applying them to different situations etc, will be the key to doing well in this section.

Based on the sample paper released, the focus of this section seems to be predominantly on critical reasoning based questions, and not much on analytical reasoning. This trend is similar to the initial years of CLAT. Whether Analytical reasoning based questions have been entirely done away with, is difficult to say. So it’s best to wait for the entire model paper and learning material to be sure.

5. Quantitative Techniques

Types of Passages: The data in this section could be given in the form of passages, graphs, pie charts or other diagrammatic representation of numerical data.

This section is typically going to be Data Interpretation. It will test students on their ability to understand numerical data given in different forms and apply basic calculations on it to answer the questions. The calculations will include the basic 10th standard maths topics like percentages, averages, ratios, etc. So again, it is still similar to the earlier pattern in terms of the topics and level, the change is only in terms of how the questions will be asked.

Clearly, the new CLAT pattern lays a strong emphasis on reading speed and comprehension skills, not just in the English section, but in the overall paper as well. This is something that we, at Abhyaas Law Prep, have always focused on. ReadMark, our proprietary web app that we have made available over the last 2 years has benefitted students to improve their vocabulary and comprehension capability. We advise students to continue to make the best use of it.

We have already modified our program to include all aspects of the new pattern. Workshops based on the new CLAT pattern will be conducted, in addition to the classes covering the basic concepts. The first CLAT exam on the new pattern will be released on 12th January 2020. ALPians can be rest assured that they will be provided with the best quality material and practice of the new pattern and question types, and thus be able to handle CLAT 2020 with ease!

Do post your queries in the discussion below the post and we will get back to you at the earliest.

The Press Release by the Consortium of National Law Universities released in the second week of December provides some more information related to the changes announced for CLAT 2020.

The areas to be covered by the exam are:

  • English
  • Current affairs/General Knowledge
  • Legal Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Quantitative Techniques

So instead of renaming it as Deductive Reasoning, the Legal Aptitude section has been renamed as Legal Reasoning. As we have maintained all along, Legal Aptitude will still be tested as Legal Reasoning in the form of Deductive Reasoning, which means as Principle-based questions that do not require prior legal knowledge. This has always been the case, though there have been deviations in some of the years with a lot of legal knowledge being tested.

Current Affairs/General Knowledge section will be tested predominantly with a focus on current events. It does not mean Static GK is completely eliminated, but questions will be asked only in the context of current happenings. History and science will not be relevant unless a specific event is in the news. So following the news regularly and brushing the GK will be good.

Quantitative Techniques will contain Mathematics up to class X, which was earlier called Elementary Mathematics. Since Question setters are being specifically advised to keep the background of test-takers in mind, we can deduce that the questions would be simpler and logical. We could also find some data interpretation and set-theory based questions. There is no reason for students to be jubilant and stop preparing basic Mathematics. Just fine-tune your preparation as you wait for the model paper.

The number of questions has been clearly specified as 150 and there will be negative marking. The section-wise split has not been announced, but based on the previous pattern, we can deduce that there will be higher emphasis on Current Affairs and Legal Reasoning with fewer questions on Quantitative Techniques. Clarity will emerge with the notification.

The video posted earlier in this thread regarding the changes to CLAT 2020 announced earlier is 100% accurate in light of the latest press release. So refer to the video and continue preparation on those lines.

Subscribe to the Abhyaas Law Prep Test Series which is in sync with the announced pattern and regularly analyse your performance. That is the key to success.

Here’s a detailed explainer video about the proposed pattern changes in CLAT 2020. Go through it carefully and note what changes you can expect, and how these changes can impact the CLAT 2020 exam overall.

Do post your queries in the discussion below the post and we will get back to you at the earliest.

As announced by the consortium of National Law Universities a few days back, the CLAT 2020 exam pattern is set to undergo some changes. The number of questions is expected to be reduced to around 120-150, to be attempted in 2 hours as before.

In continuation to the same, Prof. Faizan Mustafa, VC of NALSAR released a video providing some clarity regarding the changes that were announced. He emphasized that the sections will have paragraphs given and questions will be asked based on those paragraphs. So, instead of testing the students on their memory, the exam will focus on testing them on their reading and comprehension skills, as well as their skills of inferential reasoning.

Here are some of the most important things to note:

CLAT 2020 will not test static GK. Instead, only current affairs will be tested.
Legal Aptitude will now be tested in the section called Deductive Reasoning. Instead of testing students on their legal knowledge, this section will test them on their ability to draw inferences from the given information and/or situation.
Unlike the earlier section on Elementary Maths, there will be section called Quantitative Techniques which will test the students on their ability to read and interpret data given as graphs, tables etc.
The vocabulary part of English and Comprehension section will be tested more as contextual vocab. So instead of having direct questions on synonyms and antonyms etc, this section will test if students are able to understand the meaning of words in a given context.

So it is very clear that having good reading speed and comprehension skills will be very crucial to crack the CLAT 2020 exam. As always, being up to date with current affairs is a must. So reading the newspaper regularly, following current affairs and knowing the latest legal developments is extremely important.

Further details about the different sections and the exact type of questions in each section, along with sample papers is expected to be released by the CLAT office soon. The pattern of the Abhyaas Law Prep (ALP) CLAT mocks will be revised, as and when more information is released.

CLAT 2020 will be held on Sunday, 10th May 2020, in the offline mode.

 Do post your queries in the discussion below the post and we will get back to you at the earliest.

 You can go through Prof. Faizan Mustafa’s video here:

CLAT –2020 pattern is set to undergo a change as per the press release from the consortium of National Law Universities which was formed last year. Though the duration of the test is likely to be retained as two hours, the number of questions are expected to be reduced from 200 to around 120-150.  According to Prof.Mustafa, VC of NALSAR and President of the consortium, asking students to answer 200 questions in 120 minutes is not right as it puts students under lot of mental stress. The idea is to get better students to National Law Universities who have competence in reading texts and demonstrating skills in inferential reasoning. Comprehension based questions would be asked from Quantitative Techniques, English, Current Affairs, Deductive Reasoning, and Logical Reasoning. The exam would continue to be held in the offline mode.

As per the initial impression, the major change is in the number of questions and there is no mention of the Legal Aptitude section. However, there is a strong emphasis on comprehension based questions and the term Deductive Reasoning can apply to the traditional legal reasoning type of questions. The notification will be released in the last week of December 2019, and until there is complete clarity, Abhyaas Law Prep will continue to conduct mock tests and classes as per the current format. However, the type of questions will be more comprehension-oriented from now on, to get oriented towards CLAT 2020. There is no harm in continuing to prepare for the Legal Aptitude as it will help in the SLAT and AILET exams as there is no change announced in these exams. As and when we have more information and certainty, CLAT mocks pattern will be revised.

This change is certainly for the better, as it will help students who have conceptual clarity to do better as it will be less stressful. Nevertheless, comprehension of questions plays a major role, so continue to focus on improving your reading capability. In this context, ReadMark, our proprietary webapp that we have made available over the last 2 years has benefitted students improve their vocabulary and comprehension capability.

We shall do an in-depth series of articles on pattern change once there is an official notification on the same.


  • Kumari Kanishka
    November 28, 2019

    Sir/Ma’am, then should I stop reading GK compendiums and focus on current affair sources, as I will appear for CLAT in 2021?

    • Sangeeta
      December 6, 2019

      Please do not stop reading or preparing for Static GK entirely. We will not suggest that, as there are other exams like SLAT AILET MHCET etc that test for static GK as well. However the overall focus on static GK can be much less as compared to earlier. Focus definitely has to be more on Current Affairs.
      Hope this helps.


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