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Mastering the CLAT: Your Ultimate Guide to Success

Embark on a transformative legal journey with the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), your gateway to esteemed National Law Universities in India. Discover insights into CLAT's significance, its upcoming merger with AILET, and the unparalleled opportunities it offers. Explore how CLAT shapes future legal minds and opens doors to a fulfilling legal career.

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What is CLAT ?

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) stands as a pivotal nationwide entrance exam designed for admission consideration at 25 out of the 26 prestigious National Law Universities (NLU) in India. Notably, NLU Delhi conducts an autonomous entrance test called the All India Law Entrance Test (AILET), although discussions are underway regarding the potential integration of AILET into the CLAT framework. Moreover, select private and self-funded law schools in the country also acknowledge CLAT scores for their admission process. Public sector entities such as ONGC, Coal India, BHEL, Steel Authority of India, Oil India, and even the Indian Army for JAG officer recruitment, utilize CLAT Post Graduation (CLAT PG) scores in their assessment protocols.

Aspiring candidates typically undertake this examination subsequent to their Higher Secondary Examination or 12th grade, which serves as a gateway to integrated undergraduate law programs (BA/BBA/B.COM/B.SC/BSW LLB). Furthermore, those who have completed their Graduation in Law can opt for the test when pursuing Master of Laws (LL.M) programs at these distinguished law universities. The CLAT is acknowledged for its rigorous complexity, boasting an acceptance rate of merely 3 percent, underlining its reputation as one of India's most challenging entrance examinations.

Particular Details
Exam Name
Common-Law Admission Test
Conducting Body
Consortium of National Law Universities (NLUs )
Level of Exam
National Level
Once a year (in the Month of December)
Mode of Registration
Mode Of Exam
Sections/ Pattern
Five Sections:
English Language (28-32 marks)
Current Affairs Including General Knowledge (35-39 marks)
Legal Reasoning (35-39 marks), Logical Reasoning (28-32 marks)
Quantitative Techniques (13-17 marks)
120 minutes
Total Marks
Types of Questions
Objective-type questions
CLAT UG marking scheme
Correct answer - 1 mark
Incorrect answer - 0.25 marks deduction
Unattempted questions - No negative marking
Difficulty level


The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) dates back to the early 2000s when the idea of a standardized entrance test for admission to National Law Universities (NLUs) in India gained traction. Prior to the introduction of CLAT, each NLU conducted its separate entrance examination, resulting in inconsistencies and complexities for both students and institutions. The need for a unified and standardized test became apparent to streamline the admission process for law aspirants across the country.

The first CLAT exam took place in 2008. The inaugural CLAT was conducted by National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore. It marked a significant step toward standardizing the admission process for NLUs.

Over the years, more NLUs joined the consortium to adopt CLAT as the common entrance exam. The objective was to provide a fair and equal opportunity for students seeking admission to NLUs across India.

One of the unique features of CLAT was its rotational responsibility for conducting the exam. Each NLU, in the order of their establishment, would take on the role of organizing and administering the CLAT for a specific year. This approach aimed to distribute the administrative workload and maintain fairness.

As CLAT gained recognition and acceptance, it became the primary admission test for NLUs. Students started preparing specifically for CLAT, which led to the establishment of coaching centers and resources tailored to the exam.

Over the years, CLAT evolved in terms of its pattern, syllabus, and administration. The consortium of NLUs made efforts to address issues and enhance the overall exam experience for candidates.

In addition to the undergraduate law programs, CLAT also introduced a Post Graduate (PG) version of the exam for admission to Master of Laws (LL.M) programs offered by NLUs.

Discussions arose about merging CLAT with the All India Law Entrance Test (AILET) conducted by NLU Delhi to create a single entrance exam for all NLUs. However, as of my last update in September 2021, this merger had not yet taken place.

Eligibility for CLAT

The Consortium of National Law Universities (NLUs) is responsible for outlining the eligibility requirements for CLAT. These criteria encompass essential details such as the minimum educational qualifications, required minimum marks, and any applicable age restrictions. This information is vital for candidates who plan to appear for the CLAT exam.

Only individuals holding Indian citizenship and NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) are eligible to take the CLAT exam. For foreign nationals who wish to pursue courses at any of the participating Law Universities, it's recommended to directly contact the specific University that offers seats to foreign nationals.

Eligibility criteria for CLAT Undergraduate Programs:

Applicants must possess a Senior Secondary School/Intermediate (10+2) certificate or its equivalent from a recognized Board. The minimum required marks are 45% in aggregate, except for SC and ST candidates, for whom it's 40%. Notably, there is no upper age limit for taking the test.

Eligibility criteria for CLAT Postgraduate Programs:

Candidates aiming for postgraduate courses should hold an LL. B/B. L. Degree or an equivalent qualification from a recognized University. The prerequisite is to have achieved at least 50% marks in aggregate, with a relaxation to 45% for SC and ST candidates. Those who cleared their qualifying degree exam through supplementary, compartment, or repeat attempts can also appear for the test. However, they must provide evidence of passing the qualifying exam with the required marks (50% or 45%, depending on the category) on either the admission date or within the duration stipulated by the respective universities.

CLAT Syllabus:

The CLAT exam covers five main areas of study: English Language, Current Affairs, Legal Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Techniques. In the English Language section, you'll find questions related to grammar, comprehension, and vocabulary. Current Affairs questions encompass both national and international events. The Legal Reasoning part focuses on assessing your grasp of legal principles and concepts. The Logical Reasoning section evaluates your problem-solving skills for intricate situations. Lastly, the Quantitative Techniques section incorporates mathematics and numerical ability questions into the examination.

CLAT Exam pattern

The duration of this law entrance exam spans two hours. The CLAT question paper encompasses a total of 120 multiple-choice questions. The exam is divided into five distinct sections:

  • English, including Comprehension
  • Current Affairs, including General Knowledge
  • Legal Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Quantitative Techniques (Mathematics)

Notably, starting from CLAT 2020, all the questions will be based on paragraphs. Each paragraph will be accompanied by 5-6 questions related to it. The distribution of marks is typically as follows:

Subjects Number of Questions Marks
English Language
28-32 questions
28 - 32
Current Affairs, including General Knowledge
35-39 questions
35 - 39
Legal Reasoning
35-39 questions
35 - 39
Logical Reasoning
28-32 questions
24 - 28
Quantitative Techniques
13-17 questions
10 - 15

CLAT Exam Passing Marks

For aspirants gearing up for CLAT 2024, having a clear understanding of what constitutes a favorable CLAT score is essential. Given the highly competitive nature of the exam, securing a score above the cutoff is crucial. For those preparing for CLAT 2024, it's advisable to refer to the previous year's CLAT cutoff scores. This will provide valuable insights into the trends observed by various National Law Universities (NLUs).

A score exceeding 100 is deemed favorable for CLAT 2024. Specifically, projected CLAT cutoffs for NLSIU Bangalore are anticipated to be 100 or higher. As for NLU Kolkata, NLU Jodhpur, and NLU Bhopal, the expected range is between 94 and 98. Prospective candidates aiming for NALSAR Hyderabad should aim for a score ranging from 98 to 100.

Understanding these trends and cutoff expectations can assist candidates in setting their target scores and focusing their preparation efforts effectively.

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