How to tackle General Knowledge Section in CLAT

By | September 14, 2020
tackle General Knowledge Section in CLAT

This article deals with the new passage-pattern for CLAT and defines ways to tackle General Knowledge (GK) Section with a modern approach. There are approximately 35 to 40 questions in the GK section. If you prepare well for this section, there is a high probability that you can score some 28-30 marks in just 10-12 minutes.

But, the pattern for CLAT has substantially changed now. It is a passage-based pattern where 4-5 Questions are asked from one passage. This change in pattern calls for a change in learning as well as tackling approach in order to achieve desired results. 

Understanding the new pattern of the Questions

  1. What has changed?

Instead of directly stating the questions, the CLAT committee has decided to adopt a passage-based approach where questions will be asked from a given passage. The word limit for the passages can range from 250 to 450 words. These passages will mainly be derived from news articles, journalistic sources, legal issues and non-fiction writings. The main aim behind this change was to test a candidate’s in-depth understanding and awareness about the topic discussed in the passage rather than merely knowing the facts. 

  1. What type of Questions can be asked?

The questions asked from one passage will be a mix of Static GK and Current Affairs. The types of questions that can be asked are as follows: 

  • Fill in the blanks type questions: Under this category, some important information will be missing from the passage like some important dates, name of the relevant person(s), name of places/countries/states/schemes/reports etc.
  • Questions relating to important personalities, schemes, issues or events related to the passage.
  • Questions relating to headquarters, formation dates, enforcement dates and inaugural and current holders of the events/ministries/organizations discussed in the passage.
  • Questions relating to the latest recipient of awards mentioned in the passage and about the inception of such awards and the important and first recipients of such awards. 
  • Questions relating to historical events with contemporary significance and historical aspects of some current event discussed in the passage.
  • Questions relating to the Articles of the Indian Constitution that are associated with the issue discussed in the passage, especially if the passage relates to any HC or SC judgment then, questions can be asked about the articles associated with the same (Article 32 – Writ Petition of SC or 226 for HC).

Example

The given passage is about a certain scheme launched in Bihar by a particular ministry, where the name of the scheme is dedicated to some famous personality. 

Questions that can be asked

  1. To fill in the name of the scheme.
  2. The City/Village where the scheme was launched.
  3. The current head of the particular Ministry that launched the scheme.
  4. If the name of the scheme is mentioned in the passage, then questions about the Person in whose name the scheme is launched: Birthplace, Important awards, important work, etc.
  5. The CM and Governor of the state (Bihar in this example).
  6. If the scheme relates to any Article in the Constitution (for eg. Scheme related to education can be associated with Right to education under Article 21A) then questions related to the same can be asked.
  7. Important historical events related to the state: for example, in the present case question can relate to Buddhism because Bodh Gaya is in Bihar and it is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment (Pali: bodhi) under what became to be known as the Bodhi Tree. 
  8. Important geographical facts about the state for example: Bihar is the largest producer of vegetables, bordering states, etc.
  9. Other important questions related to the scheme like the target date for completion of the project, Budget of the scheme, issues to be solved by the scheme, important dates related to the scheme etc.

How to approach these Questions 

  1. Read the passage carefully

Since the new form, passage-based pattern, aims at evaluating the awareness of a candidate about the particular event discussed in the passage, it is very important to carefully read the passage and fully understand the issue/event discussed to answer the questions correctly. 

  • Careful reading will help with filling in the missing information type questions
  •  It will help in understanding the basic theme of the questions and hence, it will make answering the questions easier.
  • It will enable a candidate to pick up hidden valuable clues for answering the questions. 
  • If a candidate is not really sure about his/her answer, a careful reading can help attain a level of certainty and minimize the risk of negative marking.
  1. Avoid negative marking

CLAT is not just about answering the questions correctly. It is also about accurately choosing the questions you should leave to avoid negative marking. So when you don’t know the answer to any question:

  • Read the passage carefully for additional hints to answer your questions.
  • If you still cannot find the right answer to your questions, try to use these additional hints to logically eliminate options
  • Even after this if you cannot remember/find an answer to your questions it is advised to mark the question for “review later” and proceed with your paper and if you get time to review your question, again try to logically find some hints/connection to solve your question and then make a logical decision to leave it if you are still not sure about the answer.
  1. Different People, Different Approaches 

It is important to understand that there cannot be any straightjacket formula for approaching this paper. Few tips for GK Section are as follows:

  • Start your exam with the GK section as it doesn’t involve calculations (Like Mathematics and Logical reasoning) or questions like reading comprehensions or applying the law to a given situation. 
  • Try to do this section quickly as even after the new passage-based pattern, most of the questions will be factual questions.

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Preparation Strategy 

  1. Comprehension skills

  • The underlying theme of this pattern change in CLAT 2020 is to evaluate the comprehension skills of a candidate.
  •  Hence, the best way to prepare for the GK Section for CLAT 2020 is to read news articles and editorials regularly and extensively in order to improve comprehension skills.
  • Newspapers – The Hindu, The Economic Times, Indian Express, The Economist, Business Standard, etc.
  1. Reading Speed 

  • Since the pattern is passage-based, it is essential to increase reading speed in order to complete the question paper on time.
  • This again can be achieved by regular reading
  1. Decide your Boundaries 

  • General Knowledge is a very vast Section. It is humanly impossible to cover everything. 
  • Hence, it is very important to understand what is relevant for this examination.
  • For this, a candidate should know the exact syllabus and should understand the type of questions that can be asked and then learn accordingly. (Discussed in the “type of questions” and “Detailed Background” section of this article and some important topics suggested at the end of this article).
  1. Detailed Background 

As per the new pattern, 4-5 questions are asked from one particular topic/event. These questions will be a mix of static and current GK. Hence an aspirant should know the detailed background of important and relevant issues. 

For example, while reading a news article about the Climate UN Climate Change Conference meet that took place in December 2019, an aspirant should also read about:

  • Relevant details about the meeting: Where, When, Theme and relevant details.
  • Paris Agreement (Climate Change agreement): When, Where, Why and Salient Features
  • About the first Climate Change meet: Year and Place 
  • Headquarter, Chairman, Foundation date and other relevant details about UN
  • The organ of UN that is associated with Climate Change Initiative: Name, Headquarters, Chairman and other relevant details
  • Relevant details about the Country where the meeting was held: President, Prime minister and general details.
  1. Effective Tips

  • Revise your notes regularly.
  • Strengthen your strength and weaken your weaknesses.
  • Adopt an issue-based approach rather than one-liner approach for GK Section.
  • Read the ongoing International and National legal issues carefully.
  • Try to cover What, Where, Who, When and Why of every relevant issue.

Important Topics 

  • Current Affairs
  • Schemes
  • Contemporary Legal issues / Constitutional Amendments
  • National & International affairs
  • Art & Culture
  • Historical events of continuous significance
  • Environment
  • Awards
  • Meetings
  • Vaccines 

Must learn things

  • Indian States:  CM, important schemes and important historical aspects.
  • United Nation: Headquarter, Head, Founded on and important Agreements from May 2019- day before CLAT
  • UN organs: Headquarters, Chief, Founded on and important news.
  • Reports: Released by, Rank of India and other salient features
  • COVID-19
  • News about Historical sites and their connection with UNESCO Heritage site list.
  • Important schemes: Under which Ministry and Where.
  • Union Ministries: Full name, Head and important projects this year.
  • Important Countries: China, Nepal, USA, UK, Iran, Italy etc.: Head of these states and contemporary news related to COVID and India.
  • Important Appointments 
  • NASA, ISRO, RBI: Headquarters, new projects/operations and important historical facts.
  • Important Award especially Nobel Prize: History and recent awardees.
  • Important Articles of Indian Constitution: Fundamental Rights, DPSPs, High Court, Supreme Court, Schedules, President, Prime Minister etc. 

Example

The (__1__) recently released the biennial Travel and Tourism Competitive Report, subtitled Travel and Tourism at a tipping point. The study scored (__2__) countries on four indicators: 1. enabling environment, 2. travel and tourism policy and enabling conditions, 3. Infrastructure,  4. natural and cultural rankings.

Q1- What is the name of the organization that released this report referred to (__1__) in the above passage?

  1. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  2. World Economic Forum
  3. United Nations Environment Programme
  4. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

The correct answer is B

Rationale:

The latest iteration of the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index for 2019 has been released by the World Economic Forum (WEF)

Q2 – What is the rank of India in the Travel and Tourism Competitive report?

  1. 34
  2. 35
  3. 36
  4. 37

The correct answer is A

Rationale:

India has moved up six places to rank 34th on world travel and tourism competitiveness index, driven by rich natural and cultural resources and strong price competitiveness as per the WEF report.


CLAT GENERAL KNOWLEDGE TEST SERIES by Legal Bites Academy is an exhaustive preparation bundle for CLAT Aspirants to gain an understanding and practice. Set yourself apart from other candidates today by giving a stimulus to your preparation with this comprehensive and superior test series at an incredible launch price of only 399 INR!


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