Guide to CLAT


CLAT refers to Common Law Admission Test, which is a gateway to enter into 22 National Law Universities. These exams are conducted by National Law Universities for Undergraduate (5 year LLB) and Postgraduate (LLM) law courses.

Earlier the exams were being taken by different  NLU’s on the rotational basis, however after 2017 the Consortium of National Law Universities was formed with the aim to improve the legal education system. And therefore from now on these exams are being conducted by Consortium of NLUs which is headed at NLSIU Bangalore. The official site for the same is

Eligibility Criteria

For Undergraduate category:

  • The candidate must have completed 10+2 or equivalent examination from any National or State Board of education, however, those candidates whose results are awaited are also eligible for sitting in exam provided at the time of admission they will have to show their passing certificate failing which the candidates shall be considered as ineligible for admission.
  • The candidate must have secured:

a. Forty five percent (45%) marks or equivalent grade for candidates belonging to General/ OBC/ Persons with disability/ NRI/ persons with Indian origin/ OCI categories.

b. 40% marks or equivalent grade for the candidates belonging to SC/ST categories.

  • If in case there is equal marks then to break the tie the following procedure will be adopted:

a. Higher marks in legal aptitude section in CLAT exam;

b. Higher age

c. Computerised draw of lots.

For Postgraduate category:

  • The candidates applying for LLM program needs to hold valid bachelor’s degree in law or any equivalent exam.
  • Candidates need to score at least 55% in qualifying degree.
  • There is no age limit for applying in CLAT.


For Undergraduate

According to the press release of 21st November, 2019 certain modifications in the pattern of UG- CLAT examinations are done.

According to the new examination pattern CLAT 2020 will be of 2 hrs. containing 150 questions of 1 marks each and negative marking of 0.25 for every wrong answers. This time the focus of the examination would be more driven towards comprehensive, ability and reasoning skills of candidates. It is designed in such a manner so as to test the aptitude and skills rather than prior legal knowledge of the candidates. The questions will be dealing in the parameters of following subjects:

English LanguageThis section will test the candidates: Reading and comprehending skills as well as drawing the arguments and viewpoints from the passage so given;Draw inference and conclusions;Summarise Comparing and contrasting of the arguments Interpretation of words and phrases so used in passage. The passage shall consist of 450 words derived from contemporary or historically significant fictitious or non- fictitious writing that would be suited according to 12th standard and can be read in about 5-7 minutes.
Current AffairsThis section would consist of 450 words each, based on news, journalist sources and other non-fiction writing. The questions may relates to legal information or knowledge discussed in the passage, but would not require any additional knowledge of the law beyond the passage. This section would test the candidates awareness on various aspects of current affairs and general knowledge which includes: Arts and cultureInternational affairsEvents from India and the worldHistorical events of continuing significance
Legal ReasoningIn this section passage of 450 words which may relates to fact situations or a scenario which includes legal matters, public policy questions or moral philosophical enquiries. The candidates are expected to posses the following skills: Identification and inferences of the rules drawn  in the passage;Application of such rules and principles according to the facts; and how changes to any of these would affect their application.
Logical ReasoningThis section of CLAT would include short passages of about 300 words which will require the following qualifications: Analyse problem, arguments and conclusion;Read and identify arguments; Analyse the patterns of reasoning, assess how conclusion may depend on particular premises or evidence;Draw relationships and analogies, identify contradictions and equivalence, draw inferences from the passage, and assess the effectiveness of arguments.
Quantitative TechniquesThis section of CLAT would include short set of facts or propositions, graphs , or textual, pictorial or diagrammatic representations of numerical info. , along with other questions.  The qualify this section students is required to: Derive, infer and manipulate numerical information set out in such passages, graphs or other representations;Apply various 10th standard mathematical operations on such information, including from areas such as ratio and proportions, basic algebra, menstruation and statistical estimation.

For Postgraduate

Unlike UG-CLAT, PG-CLAT would also be based comprehension, however the descriptive portion would remain as same as it was.  Also there will two sections, where first part will be 120 objective type questions with 1 mark each for correct answer and 0.25 for every incorrect answer.

This test would be whole of 120 minutes consisting of mandatory subject of Undergraduate program which includes subjects:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Law of Contracts
  • Torts
  • Family Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Civil Law
  • Property Law
  • Company Law
  • Public International Law
  • Tax Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Labour Law and Industrial Law

Note: It is very important to note that there are many other exams like AILET or SLAT for entrance to various other colleges (which we will discuss in our next upcoming post) but for getting into National Law Universities except for NLUD, CLAT is the only gateway.

For the candidates for Indian Nationals CLAT is the only way to get into NLU’s but NRI’s may get admission directly to NLU through applying through NRI sponsored category if he/she has first degree relative who is an NRI and is willing to sponsor. However, admission in NRI quota can be directly done through NLU’s and not through CLAT.

Participating Universities:

There are 22 universities which take part in conduction of such exams, which are:

NLSIU (Bangaluru)NALSAR (Hyderabad)
NLIU (Bhopal)WBNUJS (Kolkata)
NLU (Jodhpur)HNLU (Raipur)
GNLU (Gandhinagar)RMLNLU (Lucknow)
RGNUL (Punjab)CNLU (Patna)
NUALS (Kochi)NLUO (Odisha)
NUSRL (Ranchi)NLUJA (Assam)
DSNLU (Visakhapatanam)TNNLU (Tiruchirappalli)
MNLU (Mumbai)MNLU (Nagpur)
MNLU (Aurangabad)HPNLU (Shimla)
DNLU (Jabalpur)DBRANLU (Haryana)

It is also to be noted that there are various other colleges that take admission on the basis of CLAT examination like:

Alliance University, Bangalore; Amity University; APEX UNIVERSITY, JAIPUR; Aryans College of Law, Rajpura, Chandigarh; Asian Law College; Bennett University (Times of India Group); BML Munjal University; Delhi Institute of Rural Development; Geeta Institute of Law; Gitam Deemed to be University; Gopal Narayan Singh University; GUJARAT MARITIME UNIVERSITY and many others.

We wish you All the very best for your exam and preparation!!!!!

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