CLAT 2019 Topper Interview - Securing an AIR 1 in one examination is an achievement worth mentioning, let alone two! Saumya Singh managed to secure the first position in both CLAT and AILET. The Common Law Admission Test is considered to be the most difficult law entrance tests in India. By securing an AIR 1, and a score of 177.25, Saumya Singh created history. Saumya Singh traveled every weekend to Jaipur for his coaching. He successfully juggled between his school, coaching, and self-study. This perfect balance between the three is probably the reason for his success. All geared up to join the NLSIU Bangalore, Saumya Singh shared some valuable tips for the future CLAT aspirants in an exclusive CLAT 2019 topper interview. Who is better to take advice from other than the person who aced both these examinations! To know more about Saumya Singh and read the CLAT 2019 topper interview, read the complete article.
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Careers360: Congratulations Saumya! How does it feel to be AIR 1 in CLAT 2019?
Saumya Singh: Thank you so much. An AIR 1 in both the examinations was a very pleasant surprise.
Careers360: How are you celebrating your success?
Saumya Singh: I celebrated my success with my family.
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Careers360: Were you expecting this All India Rank in these examinations?
Saumya Singh: I was expecting a rank in the top 10, but I wasn’t expecting an AIR 1!
Careers360: Tell us something about yourself and your family.
Saumya Singh: Both my parents are professors in Geography. My father has retired now though. I completed my class XI and XII from Udaipur. I opted for Humanities and Mathematics in class XI.
Careers360: What role has your family played in your success?
Saumya Singh: My family had a very big role. My parents supported me throughout this journey. They made sure that I had the kind of resources I wanted. They were there for me emotionally and in times when I was a little stressed.
Careers360: What motivated you to make a career in law?
Saumya Singh: I always had an interest in humanities and things related to law. My mother guided me in this field and she always says that when you take up a career in law, you have the power to work for your community also. You are not working just for yourself. So my interest and her guidance made me choose this field.
Careers360: Was this your first attempt at CLAT?
Saumya Singh: Yes, this was my first attempt.
Careers360: Which other Law entrance examinations have you taken this year? How was your performance in those?
Saumya Singh: Yes, I had taken AILET 2019 and SLAT 2019. I scored a 93.25 in AILET and secured a rank 1. In SLAT I scored 135 marks.
Careers360: When did you start preparing for the law entrance exams?
Saumya Singh: I started preparing for CLAT in class XI because I believed that it will give me an early bird advantage.
Careers360: How did you balance your school and your coaching?
Saumya Singh: I attended school regularly. I did not miss my school for CLAT preparation and I prepared for my boards till the end. I tried to prepare for both simultaneously. In the end, for boards, I did not have to leave CLAT preparation. And the burden on me was less.
Careers360: Can you share with us your preparation strategy for English?
Saumya Singh: For English, newspaper reading helped me a lot. Newspapers help you with all aspects of English, like vocabulary, grammar, reading, etc. Apart from newspapers, I solved the book “Word Power Made Easy” and “30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary” by Norman Lewis. I also referred to different word lists, like the ones for GRE, CLAT, etc. I also maintained registers of daily vocab. For grammar, I referred to the material provided by my coaching and “English is Easy” by Chetan Anand Singh. I also looked for various materials online. There are a lot of exams which test English, so you can find a lot of things online.
Careers360: What was your strategy for the General Knowledge section?
Saumya Singh: I had a lot of sources for General Knowledge - newspapers, GK Today, CLAT Express (a monthly magazine of Law Prep), Competition in Focus. For static general knowledge, I referred to the book by Tarun Goyal.
Careers360: What is your equation with the Mathematics section?
Saumya Singh: I mostly relied on the material provided to me by my coaching. For additional practice, I referred to the online materials.
Careers360: How did you prepare for the Legal Reasoning section?
Saumya Singh: For this section, my coaching had provided sufficient material. They also conducted a lot of class tests. Mock tests and previous years question papers are also very important. You get exposure to a new variety of questions also. I focused on knowing the concept behind each question, instead of practicing a lot of questions and not knowing them in depth.
Careers360: What was your strategy for the Logical reasoning section?
Saumya Singh: I referred to the material provided by my coaching. Apart from that, I solved R.S.Agarwal and M.K.Pandey.
Careers360: Did you join any coaching?
Saumya Singh: Yes, I joined the weekend batch of Law Prep, Jaipur.
Careers360: How much time you devoted to self-study during your preparation?
Saumya Singh: On school days, I used to study for 6-7 hours and on weekends around 10 hours. This was during my class XII.
Careers360: How many mock tests did you take during your preparation? What is the ideal time to start taking mock tests?
Saumya Singh: I solved around 30 mock tests when I was in class XI and around 50 in class XII. There is no ideal time since nobody can actually complete the CLAT preparation. There is no syllabus. I started taking mock tests in August 2017 in class XI. So, you can start taking mock tests after one-two months of preparation. This will help you keep a check on what has been done and what is remaining.
Careers360: What role have mock tests played in your success?
Saumya Singh: CLAT is basically based on practice. So, mock tests are very important. First of all, you get to solve around 200 questions, also, you get to know your strengths and weaknesses. You can work on your time management also. Analyzing the mock tests is equally important. I spared around 1-2 hours to analyze every mock test.
Careers360: Did you have any exam day strategy?
Saumya Singh: I did not have any exam day strategy as such. I attempted mock tests in the order of general knowledge, legal aptitude, mathematics, English and then logical reasoning. But you have to change the sequence according to the question paper. On the exam day, I analyzed the paper quickly, and then I decided the order of the sections to be solved.
Careers360: Tell us something about your hobbies.
Saumya Singh: I like playing Guitar and reading books. I also like playing Badminton.
Careers360: What is your take on social media?
Saumya Singh: I did not use social media much. I did not have a Facebook or Instagram account. I had Whatsapp, but I seldom used it. I do not believe in deleting everything, but I do believe that one must maintain a balance. There are many helpful things also on the internet which provide informative content.
Careers360: What did you do to stay motivated?
Saumya Singh: I talked to my parents and mentors. I played Badminton every day. I don’t think there was a day when I didn’t play. I also went for a walk sometimes.
Careers360: Saumya, you have excelled in two of the major law examinations in India. So, looking back how has this journey been for you?
Saumya Singh: It was a very good learning experience. If I compare the old me who had just started preparing for CLAT to the person that I am today, I think my confidence has increased a lot in these two years. I have developed the habit of studying for long hours.
Careers360: What advice would you like to give the future CLAT aspirants?
Saumya Singh: Analyse the previous years' question papers and know what you have to complete. There is no syllabus so you have to be careful about what you spend your time on.
You have to be consistent because it’s based on practice. Even during my boards, I did not leave CLAT preparation and do not advise doing it. If you stop practicing three months before the examination, it becomes difficult to crack it.
Stay focused and positive. On the exam day, you should be confident to be able to do the paper.
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