CLAT Previous Papers & 2020 Section Syllabus Analysis

CLAT Previous Question Papers Analysis 2020 Syllabus Details Preparation Tips English GK Current Affairs Maths Legal Aptitude Logical Reasoning

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In this article we are analysing the questions from the recent previous CLAT question papers across the different sections of the CLAT 2020 syllabus.

Understanding the type of questions and the distribution patterns are essential for effective preparation for the upcoming CLAT exam.

CLAT English including comprehension Section Analysis – 40 Questions

Official CLAT English and Comprehension Syllabus Details

The English section will test the candidate’s proficiency in English based on comprehension passages and grammar. In the comprehension section, candidates will be assessed on their understanding of the passage and its central theme, meanings of words used therein, etc. The grammar section requires correction of incorrect grammatical sentences, filling of blanks in sentences with appropriate words, etc.

CLAT 2019 Question Paper Analysis

  • The Reading comprehension section consisted of a fairly long but medium complexity passage which referred to the differences between invention and innovation. There were 10 questions to be answered based on the passage.
  • There were 5 questions about the meanings of foreign words
  • There were 5 questions with misspelled words
  • 5 questions dealt with sentence correction
  • 5 questions required students to identify the correct sequence of words / parts of a sentence
  • 5 questions were around identifying the correct idioms / phrases used in a sentence
  • 5 questions dealt with jumbled sentences / paragraphs


Looking at the previous couple of years, English has been a fairly predictable section of the CLAT paper and will continue to be so.

Usually, students will have to spend a little extra time around the reading-comprehension and sentence correction questions; therefore practising time management will be important.

CLAT 2018 Question Paper Analysis

Reading comprehension had 10 questions around a fairly simple, but long passage. The questions were not in a sequential order with respect to the passage, requiring students to go back and forth in the passage to find the relevant answer

  • There were 2 Critical reasoning based questions
  • 4 questions were based on Idioms in sentences
  • 6 questions were of a Cloze Test type
  • 3 questions were about Synonyms
  • 3 questions were around identifying words with Similar Meanings
  • 5 questions were about antonyms
  • 2 questions were around Summarizing
  • 2 questions were based on Paraphrasing
  • 3 questions required the identification of the incorrect sentences

CLAT 2017 Question Paper Analysis

  • Reading comprehension had 5 questions, around a fairly long and complex passage, requiring extra time to be allotted to this part
  • 10 questions requiring filling the blanks, which were fairly easy
  • 10 moderately difficult sentence correction based questions were included
  • 10 questions required identification of correct spellings
  • 5 questions required rearrangement of sentences, with modifiers and parallels

CLAT English Preparation tips

  • Read good newspapers such as ‘The Hindu’ and ‘Economic times’, which will help you with English and also current affairs
  • Practice reading the editorial section and summarizing the paragraphs; this will help with the comprehension section
  • Attempt plenty of mock tests and review the answers after every attempt

CLAT General Knowledge and Current Affairs Section – 50 Questions

Official CLAT General Knowledge and Current Affairs Syllabus Details

The General knowledge will be evaluated on the general awareness including static general knowledge. Questions on current affairs will test the candidate’s on their knowledge of national and international current affairs.

CLAT 2019 Question Paper Analysis

A bulk of the questions were around current affairs. They covered a range of topics such as science and technology, awards and honours e.g. Seoul peace prize, film fare awards; politics e.g. state and central elections; general knowledge about some interesting legislations in other countries, books and authors e.g. books by Fali Nariman, Arun Shourie etc.; military purchases, happiness index, CIC and other topics.

A smaller proportion of questions were around static General Knowledge.

The break-up of the questions was as below:

  • 7 questions on National Current Affairs
  • 7 questions on International Current Affairs
  • 7 questions on Science and Technology
  • 7 questions on Economic Development
  • 6 questions on Awards and Honours
  • 4 questions on General Knowledge
  • 3 questions on Books and Authors
  • 2 questions on Politics
  • 2 questions on Geographical Indicators
  • 2 questions on Science & Technology
  • 2 questions on Sports
  • 2 questions on Headquarters of International Institutions
  • 1 question on History

CLAT 2018 Question Paper Analysis

Around 15 questions were around General Knowledge from Legal related topics. Rest of the topics were on National and International current affairs, science & Technology, Books and Authors, Politics, History, Sports, Awards, Economy and Government Policies.

The break-up of the questions was as below:

  • 10 questions on National Current Affairs
  • 5 questions on International Current Affairs
  • 3 Questions on economics related topics
  • 5 questions on Sports
  • 5 questions on Awards
  • 2 questions on Science & Technology
  • 7 questions on miscellaneous current affairs
  • 3 questions on Books and Authors
  • 3 questions on Important Days
  • 2 question on Politics
  • 2 questions on History
  • 2 questions on Science
  • 1 question on the Economy

CLAT 2017 Question Paper Analysis

A bulk of the questions, around 40, were from current affairs, predominantly from 2016. Around 5 questions were around static General Knowledge. As usual, the current affairs questions were around Politics, Science, Geography and Economics.

There were quite a few questions that required some amount of attention to data and a good overview of international news and events.

CLAT General Knowledge Preparation Tips

  • The General Knowledge section consists of both Static General Knowledge and Current affairs.
  • For static GK, the best way to practice is to attempt as many relevant mock tests as possible.
  • For the current affairs questions, you need to be aware of the important events and occurrences of national and international importance for at least one year preceding the month of the exam.

CLAT Elementary Mathematics – Numerical Ability Section – 20 Questions

Official CLAT Elementary Mathematics and Numerical Ability Syllabus Details

This section will test the candidate’s knowledge on elementary mathematics, i.e., maths taught up to 10th Class/Standard. (National level syllabus e.g. CBSE)

CLAT 2019 Question Paper Analysis

The Mathematics section of the CLAT paper for 2019 was moderately difficult as compared to previous years.

The break-up of the questions was as below:

  • 2 questions on Interest calculation (Simple and Compound Interest)
  • 3 questions on Percentages and Profit & Loss calculation
  • 2 questions on Ratios and Mixtures
  • 5 questions on Time-Speed-Distance and Time-Work calculations
  • 2 questions based on solving Algebraic equations
  • 1 question on the Number System
  • 1 question on Mensuration
  • 1 question around Clocks
  • 2 calendar interpretation based questions
  • 1 question based on Venn Diagrams

CLAT 2018 Question Paper Analysis

The questions were evenly spread out from across a wide set of usual topics such as algebra, time-speed-distance, time-work, geometry and probability. Many of the questions were relatively complex, requiring more time allocation to arrive at the answer.

The break-up of the questions was as below :

  • 3 questions on Simplification
  • 5 questions around Percentage calculations
  • 3 questions on Ratios and Averages
  • 2 questions on Time-Speed-Distance, Time and Work
  • 1 question on Algebra
  • 2 questions based on the Number System
  • 1 question based on Geometry
  • 3 Pure Mathematics based questions

CLAT 2017 Question Paper Analysis

The key take aways from the CLAT 2017 question paper were

  • A bulk of the questions (17 questions) were based on Arithmetic
  • 3 questions were from time-work, time-distance
  • 3 questions were around profit & loss calculations
  • Rest of the questions were distributed among the areas of probability, percentages, ratio-proportion, simple & compound interest.
  • There were no questions on geometry questions
  • Overall, the questions were of moderate difficulty

CLAT Elementary Mathematics Preparation Tips

There will be 20 questions in the Numerical Ability section and they are fairly predictable. The key preparation method is to review all the previous papers and papers from similar exams to understand the expected type of questions and practice solving them.

The questions will be of a 10th standard level from a national level syllabus, so candidates from any 10+2 stream will be able to prepare well for this section.

CLAT Legal Aptitude Section Analysis – 50 Questions

Official CLAT Legal Aptitude Syllabus Details

This section will test the candidate’s interest towards the study of law, research aptitude and problem solving ability. Questions may include legal propositions (described in the paper), and a set of facts to which the said proposition has to be applied. Some propositions may not be “true” in the real sense, candidates will have to assume the “truth” of these propositions and answer the questions accordingly.

CLAT 2019 Question Paper Analysis

The 2019 CLAT Legal Aptitude section contained only ‘principle – fact’ based questions which were answerable by referring to the information provided in the questions themselves.

The questions were from the following areas of law :

  • Law of Torts
  • Vicarious liability
  • Defamation
  • Public nuisance
  • Law of contracts
  • Communication of proposal
  • Acceptance of proposal
  • Lawful and unlawful consideration
  • Criminal law, including murder, culpable homicide, attempt, cheating etc.

A number of questions were repeats from previous years, with small changes.

CLAT 2018 Question Paper Analysis

A bulk of the questions were based on the ‘Principle – Fact’ or the ‘Statement – Assumption’ pattern. There were also ten questions based on Legal General Knowledge. Questions were mainly derived from the general areas like Law of Contracts, Law of Torts, and the Constitution of India.

Niche areas like Intellectual Property and International Law were not included among the questions; however, we see that recent papers tend to have a representation from almost all the areas of Law.

The questions were from the following areas of law :

  • 6 questions on Contract Law
  • 1 question on Criminal Law
  • 7 questions from Law of Torts
  • 4 Constitution of India based questions
  • 17 questions on Legal General Knowledge and awareness
  • 15 questions based on Principle-Facts, Reasoning-Assertion pattern

CLAT 2017 Question Paper Analysis

The CLAT 2017 Legal Aptitude question had two main types of questions – fifteen based on various legal maxims and thirty five principle-fact based questions. The factors that negatively affected the scores of the candidates were the questions based on relatively obscure Legal Maxims and lengthy ‘Principle-Fact’ based questions; which necessitated students spending more time in understanding the questions. Given that Legal Aptitude makes up for 25% of the overall exam, time management was one of the key success factors.

Students who had practiced extensively with mock tests scored well in this section.

The questions were predominantly derived from the following areas :

  • 17 questions from contract law
  • 10 questions from criminal law
  • 4 questions from constitutional law
  • 3 questions on Law of torts
  • 5 questions around Legal Writs

CLAT Legal Aptitude Preparation Tips

The Legal Aptitude part accounts for 25% of the overall CLAT exam and can be a high scoring section with a little bit of practice. The previous papers show that there is a gradual move towards the Principles-Facts type of questions. However, it is pertinent to be prepared for the other types of questions that have appeared in the past.

You should be aware of all the important and popular legal terms and keep yourself updated on the latest events in the legal arena, such as new laws, amendments, landmark judgements and events.

Solve all the previous question papers and relevant mock tests multiple times for preparing for this section.

CLAT Logical Reasoning Section – 40 Questions

Official CLAT Logical Reasoning Syllabus Details

The purpose of the logical reasoning section is to test the candidate’s ability to identify patterns, logical links and rectify illogical arguments. It may include a variety of logical reasoning questions such as syllogisms, logical sequences, analogies, etc. However, visual reasoning will not be tested. (The decision to omit visual reasoning also brings about parity between normal candidates and persons with visual disability, who may use a scribe for the exam.)

CLAT 2019 Question Paper Analysis

The Logical Reasoning section was fairly predictable and candidates who had adequately practised with previous year’s papers would have scored well. There were many questions related to Analytical reasoning, including questions based on the ‘Statements-Conclusions’ type. Questions on various alpha-numeric series were also abundant this year. The remaining questions were fairly spread out across the other favourite questions types common to the Logic Reasoning section of previous years.

The distribution of questions was as below:

  • 14 Arrangements & Analytical reasoning based questions
  • 1 question on Blood Relations
  • 2 Coding-Decoding based questions
  • 9 questions based on Series; Alphabets, Numbers or combinations
  • 1 question on Directions
  • 4 questions on identification of the Odd one Out
  • 3 Analogies based questions
  • 5 questions based on Syllogisms
  • 3 questions based on Connections

CLAT 2018 Question Paper Analysis

With almost 30 Analytical Reasoning based questions, the section was fairly easy for well-prepared students who practiced with plenty of Mock Tests. There were a couple of questions which required more than the normal amount of time to solve. The remaining questions were spread across all the normal and expected types.

The break-up of the questions is as below :

  • 9 based on Arrangements, including Word arrangements
  • 1 question on Blood Relations
  • 2 Coding-Decoding based questions
  • 4 Series based, including Numbers and Alphabets
  • 1 question on Directions
  • 6 Distribution based questions
  • 2 on Ranking and Comparison
  • 1 Clock based question
  • 2 Puzzle type questions
  • 4 Decision type questions
  • 2 Syllogism based questions
  • 2 based on Critical Reasoning
  • 4 questions on identifying the Odd one out

CLAT 2017 Question Paper Analysis

The questions were distributed across clocks, puzzles, analogies, directions, relationships, number and alphabet series. Almost 25 questions were core analytical reasoning based and around 14 questions were verbal reasoning based – including deductive reasoning and syllogism. There were very few Statement-Conclusion type questions, which usually require more reading time.

CLAT Logical Reasoning Preparation Tips

Extensive practice is the key to doing well in the Logical Reasoning section. During the initial practice sessions, ignore the clock and focus on understanding the techniques and the shortcuts for each type of question. Eventually start focusing on the time to ensure that you solve the questions within a set time per question.

The MagicExam mock tests are designed to cover all the expected questions in this section extensively.

FAQS – CLAT 2020 Frequently Asked Questions

Are questions repeated in CLAT?

Yes. Often there are questions in the CLAT that are repeated from previous question papers, usually with minor changes. Practicing previous question papers and mock tests with relevant questions is the best way to prepare for most sections of the CLAT Examination.

What type of questions are asked in CLAT?

CLAT will have five sections – English, GK and Current affairs, Numerical ability, Logical reasoning and Legal Aptitude. The questions will be of generic nature in most sections and wherever they are based on a specific syllabus, such as Mathematics, the level will be of up to a 10th standard in a National level syllabus like the CBSE. The rationale is that while the CLAT is open to all candidates who have cleared the 10+2 level exam with the minimum of 45 percent, there are different streams of study at 10+2 level; and any one stream should not have an unfair advantage. Whereas all students will have studied a predominantly similar syllabus up to 10th grade; hence the formal syllabus is usually taken up to 10th standard.

Is Word Power Made Easy enough for CLAT?

Norman Lewis’s Word Power Made Easy is an excellent foundation for preparation for any exam that includes a test of English language. However, this book alone is not enough for CLAT English Section. You will need to read good newspapers and practice comprehension based questions.

How can I improve my English for CLAT?

Of the 40 questions in this section, up to 10 may be based on a passage; which will test the candidate’s reading comprehension and summarising abilities. There will be misspelled words that will need to be identified. There will also be jumbled paragraphs which will need to be rearranged – testing the candidate’s ability to logically decipher the intended meaning of the paragraph. These are aspects that are not specifically and fully covered in Norman Lewis’s book. To prepare for the CLAT English section, read good newspapers like The Hindu and The Economic Times from India and website for International news. Watch the popular Ted Talks on YouTube and popular articles on These will not only help with your GK and Current affairs prep, they will also help with your English language prep as well.

How do I prepare for maths CLAT?

Attempt at least three recent previous papers to check your ability to solve all the different types of questions. Once you have identified your strengths and weaknesses, start with the basics to understand the best way to solve each question type. Initially focus on practice, accuracy and then move towards improving your time.

Can I crack CLAT without maths?

Maths or Numerical ability will account for 10% of the overall CLAT exam. This section is fairly straightforward and predictable. Given that it will be of a 10th Standard level, candidates from any stream of 10+2 can prepare for and do well in this section. Ignoring the Math section is not recommended.

What type of GK is asked in CLAT?

The General Knowledge section will have Static GK, Dynamic or Current GK and Current affairs.

Which newspaper is best for CLAT?

‘The Hindu’ and ‘The Economic Times’ newspapers should be on your regular reading list as part of preparation for the CLAT Exam. Current affairs are an integral part of the CLAT exam and these newspapers should help you stay abreast of the latest happenings in India and the world.

Which topics come under logical reasoning?
  • Series Alpha-numeric and combinations
  • Arrangement
  • Blood Relationship
  • Calendar
  • Clock
  • Coding Decoding
  • Comparison
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Data Interpretation
  • Direction sense
  • Distribution
  • Family tree and Blood Relation
  • Inference based question
  • Logical Sequences
  • Odd-one out
  • Pairing
  • Para-jumbles
  • Puzzles
  • Ranking and Order
  • Seating Arrangements
  • Statement or Assumption and Conclusion
  • Syllogisms
  • Verbal Reasoning
What is legal aptitude in CLAT?

Legal aptitude section is intended to test the candidate’s inclination and aptitude to study law. The questions will be mainly of the Principle-Fact type and there may be questions around popular legal maxims and latest legal occurrences.

How can we improve legal aptitude?

Yes. As with other sections of CLAT, practice is the key to doing well with this section. Ensure that you solve all the previous question papers and plenty of relevant mock tests.

How to prepare legal aptitude for CLAT?

Go through the recent previous question papers to understand the type of questions that may be expected in the CLAT legal aptitude section.

We will be launching our CLAT 2020, AILET 2020, DU LLB 2020, BHU LLB 2020 and other 2020 LLB Entrance Mock Test Series shortly.

Enter your details below and we will inform you as soon as we launch the Online Mock Test Series.

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