CLAT or the Common Law Admission Test is conducted by the involvement of 21 law schools for admission in 22 NLUs (National Law Universities) spanning across India. The CLAT 2020 examination has been rescheduled on the 21st of June 2020.

CLAT English Preparation Tips

  • The improvised CLAT Exam Pattern states that there will a total of about 28-32 questions in this section pertaining to English.
  • The important topics for this section are comprehension, the transformation of sentences, subject-verb agreement, synonyms, antonyms, one-word substitution, spotting of common errors, and idioms.
  • It is crucial to manage time and dictate yourself in improving your English vocabulary to the best of your capability.
  • Practicing several mock tests and CLAT Question Papers of previous years are particularly helpful.

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CLAT New Pattern and Syllabus for English

In the English Section of the CLAT 2020, there will be passages of about 450 words. These passages will be taken from historically or contemporarily important non-fiction and fiction works. It would be of the standard of a Class 12 student. Each passage will have more than one question which needs to be answered to score. Also go through the CLAT Maths Preparation Tips to boost your Mathematics Section preparation.

  • Assess the main points that are given in the passage along with relevant viewpoints and arguments that are present in the passage;
  • Deduce conclusions and inferences from the passage;
  • Sum up the passage;
  • Comparison of the various arguments that might be inferred from the passage;
  • Recognize the meaning of several phrases and words that are infused in the passage.

CLAT English Preparation Tips

This section of the CLAT examination is easy to score but requires considerable effort on part of the aspirant. You need to be patient as English especially the Grammar part, cannot be learned quickly. With time, you will find that you can ace this section with ease. You can take a look at the tips given below. It will help you when you are preparing for the CLAT 2020.

  • The most important aspect is to practice the previous year’s question papers and attempt as many mock tests as possible.
  • Read a variety of English magazines and newspapers along with documentaries and films.
  • Learn new words along with their synonyms and antonyms and understand their meaning explicitly.
  • Understand the basics and rules of grammar instead of applying instinct and improve your speed of reading.

Meanwhile, you should also go through the CLAT Logical Reasoning Preparation Tips to enhance your preparation in the Reasoning Section.

CLAT Sample Questions for English

CLAT offers several sample questions that you must definitely solve in addition to other things. It is vital to grasp the pattern of the questions. Solving these could help you in gaining the required knowledge. You can check out the Illustration Question Set and Sample questions that are given below.

Illustration Question Set

I assume we all believe that bats have experience. After all, they are mammals, and there is no more doubt that they have experience than that mice or pigeons or whales have experience. Bats, although more closely related to us than those other species, nevertheless present a range of activity and a sensory apparatus so different from ours that the problem I want to pose is exceptionally vivid (though it certainly could be raised with other species). Even without the benefit of philosophical reflection, anyone who has spent some time in an enclosed space with an excited bat knows what it is to encounter a fundamentally alien form of life. I have said that the essence of the belief that bats have experience is that there is something that it is like to be a bat. Now we know that most bats perceive the external world primarily by sonar, or echolocation. Their brains are designed to correlate the outgoing sounds with the subsequent echoes, and the information thus acquired enables bats to make precise discriminations of distance, size, shape, motion, and texture comparable to those we make by vision. But bat sonar, though clearly a form of perception, is not similar in its operation to any sense that we possess, and there is no reason to suppose that it is subjectively like anything we can experience or imagine. This appears to create difficulties for the notion of what it is like to be a bat. We must consider whether any method will permit us to extrapolate to the inner life of the bat from our own case, and if not, what alternative methods there may be for understanding the notion. Our own experience provides the basic material for our imagination, whose range is therefore limited. It will not help us to try to imagine that one has webbing on one’s arms, which enables one to fly around at dusk and dawn catching insects in one’s mouth, or that one perceives the world through echolocation. In so far as I can imagine this (which is not very far), it tells me only what it would be like for me to behave as a bat behaves. But that is not the question. I want to know what it is like for a bat to be a bat. Yet if I try to imagine this, I am restricted to the resources of my own mind, and those resources are inadequate to the task. I cannot perform it either by imagining additions to my present experience, or by imagining segments gradually subtracted from it, or by imagining some combinations of additions, subtractions, and modifications. [Extracted, with edits and revisions, from Thomas Nagel, “What is it like to be a bat?”, in William Lyons (Ed), Modern Philosophy of Mind, Hachette India, 2010.]

1.1 Why does the author choose bats instead of mice, pigeons, or whales to present the main problem in the passage?

(a) Because bats are very similar to us, and it would be very easy for us to imagine what the mind of a bat would be like.

(b) Because they are mammals, and people are willing to accept that mammals have experience.

(c) Because mice, pigeons, or whales, are more closely related to us than bats are.

(d) Because their habits, behavior, and sense organs are very different from ours, yet people are willing to believe that they have experience.

 (Answer: (d))

 Rationale: The correct answer is (d) - because their habits, behavior, and sense organs are very different from ours, yet people are willing to believe that they have experience. The author states in the first paragraph that because of these reasons, the problem they wish to propose would be ‘exceptionally vivid’ if raised with bats. Options (a) and (c) clearly contradict the author’s statements in the same paragraph, and so, neither can be the correct answer. While the author does use the fact that they are mammals to justify the belief that bats have experience, this does not distinguish them from mice or whales, and so, option (b) cannot be the correct answer.

1.2 What does the word ‘alien’ as used in the passage mean?

(a) From another country

 (b) Unfamiliar and disturbing

(c) From another planet

 (d) Hypothetical or fictional

(Answer: (b))

Rationale: The correct answer is (b) - unfamiliar and disturbing. While options (a), (b), and (c) may all be valid meanings of ‘alien’, only (b) is appropriate in the context of the passage, since the author does not suggest that the bats in question are from another country or planet. The author does not discuss fictional bats either, and so, (d) cannot be the correct option.

1.3 Which of the following is the author most likely to agree with?

(a) That we will only understand bats if we understand the chemical processes behind biological echolocation.

(b) That the experiences of other species are not worth wondering about, since our sense organs are different from theirs.

(c) That we cannot understand the experiences of other species by relying solely upon our own organs of perception.

(d) That the experiences of other species are not worth wondering about, since we have our own experiences to worry about.

(Answer: (c))

Rationale: The correct answer is (c) - that we cannot understand the experiences of other species by relying solely upon our own organs of perception. The author suggests this towards the end of the second paragraph, where they say that bats’ perception and sensory organs are different from ours, and we must “consider whether any method will permit us to extrapolate to the inner life of the bat from our own case, and if not, what alternative methods there may be for understanding the notion.” The author suggests that we do not understand the experience of sensing the world through echolocation, not that we do not understand how echolocation works, and so, option (a) cannot be the correct answer. The author suggests that we have to look for alternate ways of understanding the experiences of other species, not that we should not try to understand them, and so, neither (b) nor (d) can be the correct answer.

1.4 Which of the following is most similar to the problem or question the author discusses in the passage above?

(a) A doctor will not be able to understand what it is like to be an engineer.

(b) A person of one race will not be able to understand what it is like to be a person of another race.

 (c) A citizen of India will not be able to understand what it is like to be a citizen of Sri Lanka.

(d) A cricketer will not be able to understand what it is like to be a footballer.

 (Answer: (b))

Rationale: The correct answer is (b) – a person of one race will not be able to understand what it is like to be a person of another race. This option describes a problem related to an immutable characteristic, just like the problem in the passage, about how humans cannot understand what it is like to be a bat. The other options all describe problems related to mutable characteristics – after all, it is entirely conceivable that a doctor may change their profession to engineer, or a person changes their citizenship, or a sportsperson their sport – and therefore, cannot be correct.

1.5 What is the author’s main point in the passage above?

(a) That humans will never understand sonar or echolocation, since we do not have the biological apparatus for it.

(b) That our imagination is very weak, and unless we make a dramatic effort, we will not be able to imagine what it is like to be a bat.

(c) That while bats may have the experience, it is very difficult for us to understand or describe that experience, since our minds and ways of perception are different from those of bats.

(d) That bats cannot possibly have experienced since their sensory organs and ways of perceiving their surroundings are different from how we perceive and experience the world.

 (Answer: (c)) Rationale: The correct answer is (c) - that while bats may have experience, it is very difficult for us to understand or describe that experience, since our minds and ways of perception are different from those of bats. The author argues that bats have experience in the first paragraph, goes on to demonstrate how their sensory organs and ways of perceiving the world are different from ours, and finally, concludes that it is very difficult for us to understand what it is like to be a bat since we are restricted to the resources of our own mind. Option (a) is inaccurate in that it misses the point which is not that we do not understand sonar, but that we do not understand the experience of perceiving the world through sonar. Though the author acknowledges that our imagination is limited by our experience, they do not say that making a dramatic effort will help us overcome this, and so, (b) cannot be the correct answer. Option (d) is incorrect, since the author states at the very beginning of that passage that “we all believe that bats have experience”.

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Sample Question

  1. The summer he turned 82, my father lost his stories. He was still vibrant, garrulous and energetic, and initially none of us noticed that his anecdotes were getting repetitive, that he was forgetting names and places, that he was confusing times and references. A man of many narratives, we listened to his oft-repeated tales, sometimes with feigned patience and sometimes with visible impatience.   Till the day the stories stopped. The words dried out. The memories disappeared. The change happened so gradually that its final suddenness took us, his immediate family by complete surprise. And when the stories dried up, the energy seemed to drain away from his soul. This loss of energy was immediately and visibly apparent as this was one trait, above all others that characterized my father.   A child of Partition, Baba had left his native Barisal in present-day Bangladesh, on the eve of this momentous event in 1947, at the age of 14. My grandmother, widowed since the birth of my father, her youngest son, decided to leave their sprawling homestead with extensive farming lands and immigrate to the yet-to-be formed republic of India, along with her four other sons. Thus, family lore tells us, she liquidated some of her assets, packed her immediate family and necessary belongings onto a steamer and sailed into the teeming, seething city of Calcutta to set up a new life.   A seminal rupture in the subcontinent, Partition had wreaked havoc among countless families, uprooted and flung far and wide without any recourse. Baba often became that recourse – his contribution making a significant difference to families struggling to survive with some degree of dignity. It seemed his experience of early loss and deprivation had in a strangely converse way, endowed him with a generosity of soul that I have yet to encounter in another person.   It was thus shocking to see this extraordinary man with the mind, heart and soul of a Colossus shorn of his spirit.   In an effort to revive his flagging interest, I urged him to start writing down stories from his life. I bought him a notebook and with great flourish announced his assignment.

  Stories were my particular stock in trade. I’d nurtured an early passion for storytelling and story writing into a teaching career focussed on literacy. I used specific strategies to build a writing habit in my students, centered on the belief that we all have stories to tell. As the children became confident and joyful storytellers, their acquisition of benchmarked literacy skills outstripped that of their peers.   Could I use these same strategies to draw the forgotten stories from Baba? Would these forgotten stories, in turn, help him reconstruct a sense of self?   [Extracted, with edits and revisions, from: “Her father’s memories were slipping away. She made him tell stories so that he could hold on to them”, by Ranu Bhattacharyya, Scroll, 2019.]   

 1.1   Which of the following most accurately expresses the author’s main idea in the passage?

(a) As people get older, they tend to lose their memories.

(b) Asking an old person who is losing their memory to write down stories from their life may help them reconstruct their sense of identity.

(c) Partition was a very disruptive event in our subcontinent’s history, and we should ensure our grandchildren know about it.

(d) It can sometimes be tiresome and boring to listen to old people telling the same stories over and over again.

1.2   Why did the author think that asking their father to write down stories would help him?  

(a) Because the author had come across genetics research which indicated that this had helped other people as well.

(b) Because the author thought that thinking about the past would help their father regain his memory.

(c) Because the author had seen how their students had benefitted tremendously from similar strategies in their teaching career.

(d) Because the author had done the same thing in the past and had regained their memory as a result.  

1.3   What does the word ‘garrulous’ as used in the passage mean? 

(a) Quiet and restrained.

(b) Tall and handsome.

(c) Moody and reflective.

(d) Excessively talkative.  

1.4   What role did the author’s father play for families uprooted by the Partition?  

(a) He acted as a source of help to them in a difficult situation through his generosity of soul.

(b) He helped them find lost family members and put them in touch with them.

(c) He helped them by providing food and medicines when they were in need.

(d) He told them stories of their homeland since he had such a large store of stories and anecdotes.  

1.5   Why did the sudden stop in their father’s stories take the author and their family by surprise?  

(a) Because the stop in stories was accompanied by an increase in his analysis of news and current affairs, and the author and their family were very interested in the same things.

(b) Because one day the author asked their father about the Partition, and he had forgotten that it had ever occurred.

(c) Because the author wanted to hear more stories about their grandmother, and he refused to talk about her.

(d) Because the author and their family used to listen to his stories impatiently since he would often repeat them, and had not noticed he was forgetting or confusing some parts of the stories.  

  1. The old woman didn’t like the look or sound of the kid. She scowled at her husband. ‘Where did you pick up this kitten from? Why do we need her?’ When the old man told her she was a goat kid, she picked her up and exclaimed in amazement: ‘Yes, she is a goat kid!’ All night, they went over the story of how the kid had come into their hands.  

That same night the old lady gave the goat kid that resembled a kitten a nickname: Poonachi. She once had a cat by the same name. In memory of that beloved cat, this goat kid too was named Poonachi. They had acquired her without spending a penny. Now they had to look after her somehow. Her husband had told her a vague story about meeting a demon who looked like Bakasuran and receiving the kid from him as a gift. She wondered if he could have stolen it from a goatherd. Someone might come looking for it tomorrow. Maybe her husband had told her the story only to cover up his crime?   The old woman was not used to lighting lamps at night. The couple ate their evening meal and went to bed when it was still dusk. That night, though, she took a large earthen lamp and filled it with castor oil extracted the year before. There was no cotton for a wick. She tore off a strip from a discarded loincloth of her husband’s and fashioned it into a wick.   She looked at the kid under the lamplight in that shed as though she were seeing her own child after a long time. There was no bald spot or bruise anywhere on her body. The kid was all black. As she stared at the lamp, her wide-open eyes were starkly visible. There was a trace of fatigue on her face. The old woman thought the kid looked haggard because she had not been fed properly. She must be just a couple of days old. A determination that she must somehow raise this kid to adulthood took root in her heart.   She called the old man to come and see the kid. She looked like a black lump glittering in the lamplight in that pitch-black night. He pulled fondly at her flapping ears and said, ‘Aren’t you lucky to come and live here?’   It had been a long time since there was such pleasant chit-chat between the couple. Because of the kid’s sudden entry into their lives, they ended up talking a while about the old days.   [Extracted, with edits and revisions, from Poonachi, or the Story of a Black Goat, by Perumal Murugan, translated by N. Kalyan Raman, Context, 2018.]    

2.1   Why did the old woman doubt her husband’s story about how he had got the kid?  

(a) Because goat kids are only sold in livestock markets.

(b) Because she thought the story was vague, and that he had actually stolen it from a goatherd.

(c) Because she did not think Bakasuran was so generous as to gift him a goat kid.

(d) Because her husband was a habitual thief and regularly stole things from other people.

2.2   Why did the old woman name the goat kid ‘Poonachi’?   

(a) Because the kid made small bleating noises that sounded like ‘Poonachi’.

(b) Because the kid reminded the old woman of her husband, whose name was also Poonachi.

(c) Because the old woman had first thought the kid was a kitten, and so she named it after a beloved cat she had once had.

(d) Because ‘Poonachi’ was the name typically given to goat kids in the area the couple lived in.  

2.3   What does the word ‘haggard’ as used in the passage mean? 

 (a) Dark in colour and hard to see.

(b) Looking exhausted and unwell.

(c) Direct and outspoken.

 (d) Furry and warm.  

2.4   Why was the old woman not used to lighting lamps at night?  

(a) Because the couple usually ate their evening meal and slept at dusk.

(b) Because her daughter used to light the lamps in their household.

(c) Because the couple was very poor, and could not afford oil for lamps.

(d) Because the old couple did not usually exchange pleasant chit-chat.  

2.5   What can we infer from the passage about why the old couple talked about the old days that night?

(a) The old couple did not usually like talking with each other, and avoided conversation.

(b) The old couple was very poor, and we're so tired after working all day that they did not feel like talking.

(c) The old woman was usually very upset with her husband and thought he was a thief.

(d) They spoke about the old days because of the kid’s sudden entry in their lives, and the pleasant chit-chat they exchanged about it.

CLAT Preparation Strategies

Read the editorial and opinion pieces of magazines and newspapers as they are the most used choice when it comes to setting the English questions. In addition to this, you can also prepare for General knowledge and Current Affairs simultaneously.

  • Study groups or discussing the passage with more people will help you to gain more knowledge. You will understand the different viewpoints, meanings, and new questions that might arise. Debating about the arguments presented will greatly help you in your preparation.
  • It is essential to practice grammar form some well-approved and acclaimed grammar books. This will help you to sharpen your grammar skills.
  • Even though it is not possible to extend your vocabulary too much before the exam, but you can still try. Make sure to know the meaning of every new word that you come across. Doing so will greatly aid you in enhancing your skills.
  • Sample papers and practice materials offered by the CLAT consortium must be solved and practiced religiously. This will help you to understand the question pattern and also enhance your existing knowledge.

Meanwhile, you should also go through the CLAT Legal Aptitude Preparation Tips to enhance your preparation in the Reasoning Section.

How to Attempt CLAT English Questions

The English questions for CLAT can be attempted in several ways. Some of them are given below.

  • Each passage will mainly have one main point that you need to discern. Then, you need to identify the statements that are either for or against them in the passage. Most of these passages will be something that you don’t require prior knowledge to solve.
  • After detecting the main point, it is important to remember several questions about the passage. Questions like who, why, what, where, etc. will help you to analyze and understand the passage better.
  • It is crucial to pay attention when a new paragraph changes. Usage of words like however, nevertheless, etc. can be used to present the counter-argument. You have to read it minutely to find out the fine details.
  • Vocabulary questions are mainly of two kinds. One asks the meaning of a specific word, and the other asks the meaning of the word in reference to the passage. It is advisable to read two lines before and after the mentioned word. Just by reading these lines, you can ascertain the meaning of the word even if you are not explicitly aware of it.
  • It is wise to approach the questions only after you have understood the passage as best as you can. This will help you to solve it quickly.
  • It is essential to be absolutely concentrated while reading the questions. Minor additions of words can lead to the change in the entire meaning of the question and thereby, the answer.
  • It is advisable not to be over-confident and overlook answers. Even if you feel you have the right answer, it is better to have a look at all of them before making the final decision.

CLAT English Preparation Books

The aid of the books regarding the preparation for the English section in CLAT cannot be overlooked. It is crucial to thoroughly read these CLAT Preparation Books to gain the knowledge that is necessary to crack the examination. Some books that can aid you are given below.

  • Pearson Guide to CLAT 2020 by Pearson
  • A comprehensive study for CLAT & LLB Entrance Examinations- SET, AILET, LSAT by Padma Parupudi and Sirisha Naresh
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman
  • Objective General English 2020 by RS Aggarwal
  • Objective General English 2020 by AP Bharadwaj

FAQ's

How to prepare for CLAT English Section?

To prepare for the CLAT English Section, you must follow the following steps below-

  • The most important aspect is to practice the previous year’s question papers and attempt as many mock tests as possible.
  • Read a variety of English magazines and newspapers along with documentaries and films.
  • Learn new words along with their synonyms and antonyms and understand their meaning explicitly.
  • Understand the basics and rules of grammar instead of applying instinct and improve your speed of reading

What are the strategies we can follow to score high in the CLAT English Section?

 The strategies we can follow to score high in the CLAT English Section are as follows-

  • Study groups or discussing the passage with more people will help you to gain more knowledge. You will understand the different viewpoints, meanings, and new questions that might arise. Debating about the arguments presented will greatly help you in your preparation.
  • It is essential to practice grammar form some well-approved and acclaimed grammar books. This will help you to sharpen your grammar skills.
  • Even though it is not possible to extend your vocabulary too much before the exam, but you can still try. Make sure to know the meaning of every new word that you come across. Doing so will greatly aid you in enhancing your skills.
  • Sample papers and practice materials offered by the CLAT consortium must be solved and practiced religiously. This will help you to understand the question pattern and also enhance your existing knowledge.

How to answer CLAT English Section Questions?

In order to answer CLAT English Section Questions, go through the following points-

  • It is crucial to pay attention when a new paragraph changes. Usage of words like however, nevertheless, etc. can be used to present the counter-argument. You have to read it minutely to find out the fine details.
  • Vocabulary questions are mainly of two kinds. One asks the meaning of a specific word, and the other asks the meaning of the word in reference to the passage. It is advisable to read two lines before and after the mentioned word. Just by reading these lines, you can ascertain the meaning of the word even if you are not explicitly aware of it.
  • It is wise to approach the questions only after you have understood the passage as best as you can. This will help you to solve it quickly.
  • It is essential to be absolutely concentrated while reading the questions. Minor additions of words can lead to the change in the entire meaning of the question and thereby, the answer.
  • It is advisable not to be over-confident and overlook answers. Even if you feel you have the right answer, it is better to have a look at all of them before making the final decision.

What books to read in order to prepare the CLAT English Syllabus?

The books that you should read to prepare the CLAT English Syllabus in the correct way are as follows-

  • Pearson Guide to CLAT 2020 by Pearson
  • A comprehensive study for CLAT & LLB Entrance Examinations- SET, AILET, LSAT by Padma Parupudi and Sirisha Naresh
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman
  • Objective General English 2020 by RS Aggarwal
  • Objective General English 2020 by AP Bharadwaj

What are the topics to prepare for the CLAT English Section?

The important topics in the CLAT English Section are as follows-comprehension, the transformation of sentences, subject-verb agreement, synonyms, antonyms, one-word substitution, spotting of common errors, and idioms.

How to score good marks in CLAT English Section?

The important topics that are included in the CLAT English Section are Comprehension, Grammar, and vocabulary. Make sure to cover these topics from the previous years' papers and CLAT Mocks that are available in the market. Hard work, consistency, and practice of papers can only help you score good marks in the CLAT English Section.

Is CLAT English Preparation possible in 1 month?

Yes,CLAT English Preparation is possible in 1 month.You require to put extraordinary efforts and consistent hard work if you want to complete the English Section preparation in one month.Read strictly as per the latest syllabus, make regular revisions and solve question papers that cover the syllabus. These will be enough to score good marks in the section.

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