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CLAT Exam Pattern

The Consortium of NLUs conducts the CLAT, Common Law Admission Test every year. The frequency of the exam is one time a year. However, this year it will be held twice a year, i.e. in June 2022 and December 2022. Even though there is no time to start preparing for June 2022, the candidates have ample time to prepare for December 2022. Before the candidates start preparing, they must be well aware of the important details and information.

Details like CLAT Exam Pattern, CLAT exam duration, CLAT eligibility criteria etc., are shared through an official notification on the official website of the Consortium of NLUs. But those details have not been shared with the candidates yet. However, we can anticipate the exam pattern and syllabus by looking at the previous year’s papers. Therefore, the candidates don’t have to wait for the official notification to get details about the CLAT exam pattern and then start their preparations. The candidates can get a fair idea of the CLAT exam pattern and other important details from this article.

CLAT Syllabus

The consortium of NLUs does not release any prescribed syllabus. However, the experts have devised a detailed syllabus by analysing the previous year papers. 

CLAT Exam comprises 5 sections. The aim of these 5 different sections is to check whether the candidate has an aptitude for legal studies or not. This helps to determine whether a candidate is fit for legal studies or not. We will look at the syllabus, section-wise and in terms of the topics included in these sections.
English Language

This section included 12th-level reading passages which can be read in about 5-7 minutes. The passages are 450 words each. The topic of the passages will be related to some contemporary and historically significant fiction and non-fiction writings. 

The passages are followed by a set of questions. The candidate needs to put to use the following abilities to work through the passages:

  • Understanding multiple perspectives presented through the passage.
  • Make inferences and proper conclusions.
  • Comparing and Contrasting the narratives in the passage.
  • Meaning-making of the words and the phrases.


Current Affairs including General Knowledge

Like the English language section, this section also has reading passages of 450 words each. The passage included in this section focuses on news, journalistic sources and other non-fiction writings. This section primarily assesses candidates’ legal knowledge. Though the themes of the passage may be vast, the candidates are not needed to know everything about the topic at focus. The candidates are only expected to work with the passage itself.

Different aspects of general knowledge and current affairs tested through passage are:

  • Contemporary events of significance from India and the world;
  • Arts and Culture;
  • International affairs; and
  • Historical events of continuing significance.


Legal Reasoning

The passages in this section will discuss legal matters, public policy or moral philosophical enquiries. The candidates are expected to possess some general knowledge about the current legal and moral issues. The candidates regarding the same will help the candidate navigate smoothly through this section. The passages will be of 450 words each. The passage demands:

  • Identification and inference of rules and principles mentioned in the passage.
  • Extend the knowledge of rules and principle by applying themes to similar and varied situations.
  • Lastly, to infer how alterations can be made into the rules and principles so that they could be applied to different situations.
Logical Reasoning

This section appears in most of the entrance exams. In CLAT, logical reasoning is assessed through passages itself. The passages of this section are 300 words each. The section requires the candidates to:

  • To understand the premise and conclusion of an argument.
  • To identify the various arguments mentioned in the passage.
  • Looking at the patterns of reasoning critically and inferring how specific premises or arguments can alter the final verdict.
  • To draw conclusions and extend those to new situations.
  • Look at similarities and differences between arguments to assess their effectiveness.
Quantitative Techniques 

The last section has questions related to facts and propositions, graphs or textual, pictorial or diagrammatic representations of numerical information. The given information must be interpreted and with the help of mathematical operation, the information is dealt with. The question requires the candidate to:

  • To interpret, conclude and manipulate the numerical information given as paragraphs, bar graphs etc.
  • Employ elementary mathematics concepts like ratios and proportions, basic algebra, mensuration and statistical estimation.

This detailed account of the syllabus will help the candidate prepare better for the exam. The candidate can have a fair idea of what the exam and its components demand.

CLAT Exam Pattern

The exam has 5 sections. The exam will be 2 hours long. There will be 150 questions in total. The candidate can get a score of a maximum of 150. The exam has negative marking. For each correct response, +1 marks are awarded but for each incorrect response, a deduction of 0.25 is done. The mode of the exam will be in pen and paper mode. All the questions will be Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). Questions in each section are preceded by a reading passage. 

CLAT 2023 Section Wise Distribution and Weightage

Once the candidates are well aware of the CLAT syllabus and CLAT exam pattern, they must look at the section-wise distribution and weightage. It basically helps the candidates to maximise their CLAT score. The table below shows the CLAT exam section-wise distribution and weightage:

S.No. Subjects Questions


CLAT total marks Weightage
1 English including Comprehension 28-32 28-32 20%
2 General Knowledge and Current Affairs 35-39 32-35 25%
3 Legal Reasoning 35-39 35-39 25%
4 Logical Reasoning 28-32 28-32 20%
5 Quantitative Techniques 13-17 13-17 10%
TOTAL 150 150 100%


Other things to keep in mind for CLAT –
  1. As discussed before, the exam includes a lot of passages. These passages demand good reading comprehension skills. Otherwise, candidates tend to complain of the same being lengthy.
  2. Each passage must be given sufficient time. The probability of committing mistakes would increase if the passages are dealt with in a hurry
  3. Time management is very important to ace the CLAT exam. The candidate must focus equally on time management, accuracy and speed. 

Knowing the syllabus well and taking care of the above-mentioned concerns, the candidate can effectively crack the CLAT exam.

FAQs related to CLAT
Who will conduct CLAT 2023?
The Consortium of NLUs is responsible for the CLAT 2023 exam administration. Earlier, NLUs used to conduct CLAT on a rotational basis.
What is the CLAT 2023 Exam Date?
The exam date for CLAT 2023 is 18 Dec 2022. Consortium has announced the exam date in the notification release.
How many NLUs participate in CLAT?
There are 23 NLUs in India, out of which 22 NLUs are participating in CLAT. NLU Delhi conducts its respective entrance exam for admissions to Law programs and is not a part of the consortium.
Will NLU Delhi accept CLAT?
No, NLU Delhi will not accept the CLAT score, as they conduct AILET for admissions to the 5-year Integrated Law Programs.
What is the CLAT 2023 Marking scheme?
For every correct answer, the candidate will get 1 mark. Also, there is a negative marking of 0.25 marks.
In CLAT, is there any requirement for Maths?
Yes, CLAT has a section that tests a candidate’s quantitative skills. The questions in this section are based on Class 10th Math. Thus, it will be easy for the candidates to study.
Which stream is best for CLAT?
Regardless of the educational background, candidates from any stream can apply for CLAT.
Does CLAT have a sectional cut-off?
There is no minimum criteria or sectional cut-off to qualify for CLAT. However, candidates’ performance will clarify their admission to NLU.
Are NRI candidates eligible for CLAT?
Yes, NRI candidates are eligible to appear for CLAT. All that an NRI candidate has to do is choose NRI from the category.

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