Anxiety, hope over CLAT going online

Anxiety, hope over CLAT going online

This year, Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), the all-India entrance examination for admission to undergraduate law programmes, is going online and aspirants in Bengaluru have mixed feelings.

On the one hand they are anxious about technical glitches that may creep into the exam, but on the other they are hopeful that the changes would bring positives for the test scheduled for May 10.

Deepthi C R, an aspiring law student from Bengaluru, recalled the issues that marred the test last year. “The answer scripts were jumbled, as a result of which some candidates got the scores of others. Hopefully, the online format would correct these wrongs,” she said. “But I’ll keep my fingers crossed.”

The concerns over technical glitches are not unfounded. When the Common Admission Test or CAT, which determines students’ entry into the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), went online for the first time in 2009, a number of technical glitches were reported.

Institutes that coach students for CLAT expect a similar situation and are preparing for the worst. John Williams, academic head, Career Launcher, said: “Definitely there is some amount of nervousness among students as this is the first time they would be attempting the test in this new format. We have tried giving them as much support as possible by organising mock online tests.

“A number of issues had cropped up in CAT as well when it went online.” Students need to follow all the directions carefully, he added.

But some law students think the online exam would be a win-win situation. Preethi Krishna (name changed on request), a first-year law student at the University Law College, said: “In the exam last year, there were reports of the bar codes of the exam sheet being mixed up. In the online test, hopefully, there will be no hassles of keeping an account of physical exam sheets and the results will be immediate,” she said.

Row over age limit

Besides, the decision of Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow, which is conducting CLAT this time, to restrict the maximum age of candidates to 20 years, has added an element of uncertainty among students who are taking the test for the second or third time. But experts and students are of the opinion that will not affect the majority of candidates.

Preethi, who will be taking the test for the second time, said most students would not attempt the exam more than twice and they would be well within 20 years of age, like her.

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