Second-time lucky? Meet the top rankers who cracked CLAT on the second attempt

This week, prospective law students from across the country got to know where they stand in this year’s Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). Viraj Ananth from Bangalore topped the exam on his first attempt, with a score of 174.5.

It has come to light that many of the candidates, especially those who secured the top 10 ranks, cracked the exam on their second attempt. And their stories will serve as inspiration for those who have failed to make it to an NLU this year. Many of them were mentored by CLAT coaching expert Rajneesh Singh.

We caught up with three of these soon-to-be law students and asked them about their preparation for the exam, managing to find time for studies, and more.

Kashish Makkar (All India Rank 4)

Kashish Makkar
Kashish Makkar

On balancing law school life and studying for CLAT

I was studying at RGNUL Patiala, and I was preparing alongside pursuing my first year in college. It was quite difficult to manage time, but I studied during the one-and-half month internship breaks. I did not participate too much in co-curricular activities, apart from some moots and debates.

On preparation

I did not go for any classroom coaching. I took a lot of online mocks and studied from online materials. I used to devote 4-5 hours a day on CLAT preparation. On weekends, I would put in 12-13 hours.

On why he wrote CLAT again

When I first wrote CLAT, I was not sure whether I wanted to do law. Last year, I got admission in Hindu College, but changed my mind to join RGNUL Patiala. I saw that a lot of my batch mates had taken a year off to write CLAT, and I thought that I should give it a shot again.

Areas of interest

Corporate Law, International Law, and Arbitration.

Atharv Gupta (All India Rank 7)

Atharv
Atharv Gupta

On preparation

This is my second attempt. The first time, I got a good rank, but wanted to give it another go. I didn’t join any coaching centres for classroom teaching as such. My main focus was on mocks; I had given around 80 of them. The mocks mainly focussed on English, Logic and Legal Aptitude. For GK, I referred to various sites like gktoday.in, and books like Gautam Puri. I also had Career Launcher books from the previous year.

Rajneesh’s Sir’s book CLAT Essentials, which released this year, and his GK website helped a lot for legal aptitude and current affairs. He also gave me vital information regarding the online process.

On balancing law school life and studying for CLAT

It was tough, especially since I was also involved in moot court competitions. As I said, I focussed mainly on mocks; I didn’t focus too much on the reading material. I used to figure out my weaknesses and revise on those topics.

Areas of interest

Right now, I am interested in Legal Journalism, because it is a relatively new and interesting field.

Sreeja Pal (All India Rank 9)

Sreeja Pal
Sreeja Pal

On preparation

I referred to the past years’ papers, as that is very important to get an overview of the format. I went for a coaching institute called CLATapult. I also did quite a few mocks from various institutes. I trained a lot for current affairs and this year’s paper’s GK section was mainly on current affairs.

Rajneesh Sir was a great inspiration. When I decided to write CLAT, he was very encouraging. He guided me on my time-table and how I should prepare for each subject.

Areas of interest

As of now, criminal law seems interesting because that is something we all come across in newspapers. But my five years in law school may mould me in a different way.