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A lesson from CLAT 2009 Analysis

We are placing the Analysis of CLAT 2009 published by coaching institutes, you should be aware of this analysis it will give you rough idea for CLAT 2010.

Some interesting facts and figures pertaining to the CLAT 2009 examination:

  • The CLAT examination which is what a CAT exam is to MBA aspirants witnessed a 30 per cent rise in number of applicants this year
  • This was the second CLAT paper which was conducted by NALSAR Hyderabad
  • The exam saw participation of 14,272 aspirants
  • Undergraduate candidates accounted for 13,595
  • Post-graduate candidates accounted for 677
  • The CLAT examination is the first step to the 11 premier law schools in India

CLAT 2009 Analysis:

The Common Law Admission Test or CLAT-2009 was conducted by NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. This was the second CLAT exam; the first was conducted by the NLSIU, Bangalore, last year. CLAT-2009 was organized by NALSAR on behalf of the 11 participating National Law Universities of Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Jodhpur, Gandhinagar, Raipur, Patna, Lucknow, Patiala and Cochin.

A total of 1102 seats (subject to reservations), in their 5-year integrated LL.B. course, have been offered by these 11 National Law Universities to students who have passed or have appeared in the 12th standard exam this year. The CLAT is conducted by participating law schools on a rotational basis and the 2010 exam will be conducted by National Law Institute University, Bhopal.

The exam which was initially scheduled to be held on 17th May was postponed due to a ‘paper leak’. The test was held on 31st May 2009 and was taken by over 13,000 students in 16 cities across the country. A total of 13,588 students applied for CLAT-2009 exam. This is a significant increase over last year’s figure; the number of applicants for the Under Graduate programme, in 2008, was 11,304.

The question paper was on expected lines and in keeping with the announcement made by the CLAT committee. T.I.M.E. students would have been comfortable, as the pattern of questions in the paper was similar to that presented in the online mocks administered a week before the exam. The paper had five sections covering five test-areas. As had been announced, there were no legal reasoning questions in the legal aptitude section. Most of the questions were on general legal knowledge. Thanks to the absence of lengthy legal reasoning questions in the paper, most students found the time adequate to finish the paper; some were also able to revise their answers.

Based on details gathered from our students across the country, we have put together a comprehensive analysis of the examination.


No. of Questions

Total Marks

Difficulty Level

Ideal Time to be taken

Ideal Score






20 – 25 min.

30 - 35






15 – 18 min.

33 – 44






15 – 20 min.

12 – 18


Logical Reasoning




30 – 40 min.

30 – 35


Legal Aptitude




15 – 17 min.

30 – 38




120 min.

135 - 170

The ideal score mentioned above is what we think will be the cut-off for admission to the eleven participating National Law Universities in the unreserved or open category. For NALSAR and NLSIU which are the most sought-after institutes, we expect the qualifying score to be above 155 for the General Merit List. The cut-offs for the new National Law Schools at Patna, Lucknow, Patiala and Cochin may be around 130 marks. For NUJS, NLIU, GNLU and HNLU, a score of 140-150 should be adequate.

The general perception of the CLAT-2009 paper was that it was an easy and high scores are possible. Therefore, the cut-offs for admission are expected to be higher than they were for the 2008 exam. The sections on English, Maths and Legal Aptitude were mostly of easy to moderate levels of difficulty. However, the sections on logical reasoning and GK had questions ranging from a moderate level to a high level of difficulty.

Let us have a look at individual subject-areas:

A. English

This section was quite easy. Questions of reading comprehension, grammar and vocabulary formed this section of the paper. The one-page passage for comprehension was not difficult to comprehend and the ten questions based on it were also direct, making it easy for the students to secure 8-10 out of 10.

Vocabulary questions included synonyms, antonyms, Latin terms, idioms and phrases and spelling corrections. It was not too difficult to spot the correct spellings of words like gaiety and surveillance. It was also quite easy to provide the correct meanings of the frequently used legal (Latin) terms like, ab initio, pro rata and alibi.

The grammar questions tested ability with sentence correction, appropriate use of prepositions, etc. Our students tell us that these, too, were easier than those we had provided in our mock tests and sentence correction handouts and tests.

B. G.K.

The GK section, with 50 questions, had the most marks (50 out of 200) among the sections. Except for a few questions, most were easy or moderate to answer. Current Affairs including international affairs, prizes and awards, economy and planning and cinema (Yes, questions about Chak De India, Dileep Kumar, Shekhar Kapoor, Yash Chopra, etc.!) formed the majority of the GK paper. There were very few questions on static GK, i.e., history, geography, general science etc. International affairs and the United Nations, however, remained a favorite with the paper-setters. Here are some of the GK questions that were asked:

1. Who is the Chief Information Commissioner? (Ans. Wajahat Habibullah)
2. Which state provided separate reservation to Muslims in employment by making a law? (Ans. Andhra Pradesh)
3. Who is the head/CEO of Citigroup? (Ans. Vikram Pandit)
4. Where is the headquarters of ISRO? (Ans. Bangalore)
5. Who is the director of ‘Chak de India’? (Ans. Shimit Amin)
6. Who is the author of ‘Audacity of hope’? (Ans. Barack Obama)
7. Who is the youngest ‘Padma Sri’ awardee in India? (Ans. Sania Mirza)
8. Who won the ‘Outstanding Parliamentarian of the year’ award for the year 2007?
(Ans. Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi)
9. Who issued the first e-passport in India? (Ans. President Pratibha Patil)
10. Which vitamin helps in blood-clotting? (Ans. Vitamin K)

C. Mathematics

This section was also a cakewalk for most of the students. All the 20 questions were from the area of elementary mathematics as announced by CLAT committee. These were percentages, profit and loss, ratio, averages, time and work, time and distance, etc. T.I.M.E. students found the actual maths paper much easier than those they had in their classrooms and mocks. Some questions were as easy as ‘1/8 can be expressed in percentage as ___’. Even students who were not very good at maths may secure scores of 12-15 out of 20.

D. Logical Reasoning

This section was a little challenging for the students. It provided a judicious mix of analytical and logical reasoning questions, as well as questions on mathematics based reasoning. There were questions on logical reasoning like inference, assumptions, course of action, strengthening and weakening of arguments, etc. However, critical reasoning questions, which were expected by the students who saw the CLAT-2008 paper, were not seen. There were questions on analogies, number series and arrangement in order of ascending probability. Five questions were based on blood-relations. All areas were well covered in T.I.M.E. study material, class handouts and mock tests.

E. Legal Aptitude

This part of the paper could also be adjudged as ‘easy to moderate’. As legal reasoning questions were absent, legal GK questions formed the bulk of the paper with some questions also on the constitution and our polity. The main areas from where questions were asked were:

1. Important laws of India

Questions were asked from areas in criminal law, contracts and torts (like burden of proof in criminal law, the offence of killing an infant, perjury, sedition, the concept of vicarious liability in torts, etc.) There was also a question from the Negotiable Instruments Act regarding declaration of public holidays.

2. Constitution and polity

There were questions on the preamble, basic structure, doctrine, Keshavananda Bharti case, Golak Nath case, foreign sources of our Constitution, judicial review, Attorney General for India, etc.

3. Legal terms and concepts

The questions were on legal terms and concepts like, fiduciary relationship, posthumous child, plaintiff/litigant, the concept of conflict of laws, caveat, intestate, conjugal rights, coparceners, etc.

4. Important commissions and committees

There were questions on the Justice Phookan Commission, Sarkaria Commission and Justice M.M. Punchhi Commission.

5. Important Cases

There were questions on cases such as the Prafull Desai case (in which the Supreme Court allowed video-conferencing), the Keshavananda Bharti case and the Golak Nath case.

T.I.M.E. study material on Legal Aptitude, the Constitution of India, and Legal GK and the class handouts/tests and mock tests covered most of the questions asked in the in Legal Aptitude section of CLAT-2009.

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