By Samridhi Talwar, University School of Law and Legal Studies, New Delhi.
The University School of Law and Legal Studies is a part of the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. Nestled in Dwarka, this college is well known amongst students wishing to pursue the profession of law. I didn’t even have a vague idea about the existence of this college till the time someone told me about it. This college was one of the options, where I could spend the next five years of my life.
Thus started my preparation for battle, and my encounters with stress and various sleepless nights, to clear the entrance and secure a place for myself here.
The first and foremost step in my groundwork was to research and garner basic information about the college. A student must be fully aware of the elemental information of a college such as the courses offered, the number of seats in each course, the affiliation of the college with universities, etc before even starting to prepare for their entrance exams. This step is extremely important as it gives you vital information about the college you might end up taking an admission in and also helps eliminate the names of colleges that do not fit your bracket and requirements. After my research, I was ready with the basic information; this college offers two undergraduate courses in law, i.e., B.B.A LL.B., and B.A. LL.B. I also got clarity about the number of seats I was going to be competing for, the entrance examination I was supposed to appear for and the syllabus for that exam.
IPU CET is the name of the entrance examination that you need to appear for, in order to get into University School of Law and Legal Studies. IPU CET is a two and a half hour long, offline, MCQ based examination, comprising of 150 questions divided in four sections- English Language and Comprehension, Legal Aptitude, General Knowledge and Reasoning. Each section has an equal weightage of 25%. A correct answer would bring 4 marks and each wrong answer invokes 1 negative mark.
I began my conquest with the easiest possible section (according to me), that is, the English Language and Comprehension section. After going through the past papers of the IPU CET, I came to the conclusion that in this section I was going to be tested on comprehension, vocabulary and grammar. To ace the comprehensions, I started practicing a lot of comprehensions from different sources. This increased my speed and accuracy. I had also started reading the newspaper regularly, which helped me with this section. Being decent with Grammar, I used Wren and Martin for reference and was sorted. The most dreaded part of the section was ‘vocabulary’. I referred to the book ‘Word Power Made Easy’ by Norman Lewis. This book helped me in working on my vocabulary using simple, step by step methods based on learning etymology, and made clearing this section achievable for me.
The next section to tackle was the dreaded Reasoning section. In the CET examination, this section comprised of basic, logical, numerical and analytical reasoning. I practiced both, elementary maths and logical reasoning, from various books and online study material. I also penned a formula sheet where I wrote all the formulae I came across during practice. This was to ensure that I did not forget anything and could quickly revise the formulae before the examination. In order to finish this section in time, I also started timing myself while practicing the questions from books and other study material.
The third section was Legal Aptitude. This was a relatively new section for me and so was going to take a lot of effort to prepare. It was going to test my legal knowledge, the ability to grasp basic legal principles and apply the same to the facts provided. For my preparation, I began by roughly going through the basic topics of law like Tort, Contracts, Criminal Law and Constitutional Law. I also went through a lot of questions from the online study material so as to develop an idea about the type of questions that I might face and the time that was to be devoted to each question. Apart from this, the legal section also has some questions on Legal GK, so I went through a few legal blogs to know the essential sections and Articles of various Acts and the Constitution. I also read through other topics of Legal GK.
The last, the most unexpected and the most herculean section to be dealt with was the General Awareness section. This section comprised of two parts: current affairs and static GK. My preparation for current affairs comprised of daily reading a newspaper (as mentioned earlier, I had already developed the habit of doing that, for dealing with Comprehensions), referring to magazines and online blogs which provided modules for GK. For static GK, I referred to a book and read through it completely. I practiced a lot of MCQs on static GK and gave multiple monthly current affair tests. This was a confidence building exercise for me and in turn, helped me build my own question bank as well.
I also regularly appeared for mock examinations for CLAT and CET, and analyzed and reanalyzed the mock papers. These tests acted like a mirror for me, as I was able to work on improving my preparation; they presented to me the correct picture of my weak and strong sections.
The preparation for any entrance exam for law can be quite draining and it is important to relax and take some time out for yourself, besides the time you devote to studying. Entrance examinations, including the IPU CET, are extremely unpredictable and absolutely beyond the realm of a student’s expectations (well, not absolutely, but to a large extent nonetheless). So stressing over them is of no use. It is cardinal to understand that you need to work hard, hope for the best, but also be prepared for the worst.