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About CLAT UG


Guide to the UG-CLAT(Now, Its CLAT 2.0 🙂 )


The Consortium of National Law Universities (the “Consortium”) announced certain modifications in the pattern of the Common Law Admission Test (the “CLAT”), 2020 in its Press Release of November 21, 2019.

This note describes the proposed pattern of questions for each of the five specified areas that the Undergraduate-CLAT 2020 (the "UG-CLAT 2020") would comprise.

Introduction and Overview

Now, The UG-CLAT would focus on evaluating the comprehension and reasoning skills and abilities of candidates. Overall, CLAT now, is designed to be a test of aptitude and skills that are necessary for a legal education rather than prior knowledge, though prior knowledge occasionally may be useful to respond to questions in the Current Affairs section.

The UG-CLAT 2020 shall be a 2-hour test, with 150 multiple-choice questions carrying 1 mark each. There shall be negative marking of 0.25 marks for every wrong answer. These questions would be divided across the following 5 subjects:

  • English Language
  • Current Affairs, including General Knowledge
  • Legal Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Quantitative Techniques

English Language

In this section of the UG-CLAT 2020, you will be provided passages of about 450 words each. These passages will be derived from contemporary or historically significant fiction and non-fiction writing, and would be of a standard that a 12th standard student may be able to read in about 5-7 minutes.

Each passage will be followed by a series of questions that will require you to demonstrate your comprehension and language skills, including your abilities to:

  • Read and comprehend the main point discussed in the passage, as well as any arguments and viewpoints discussed or set out in the passage;
  • Draw inferences and conclusions based on the passage;
  • Summarise the passage;
  • Compare and contrast the different arguments or viewpoints set out in the passage; and
  • Understand the meaning of various words and phrases used in the passage

Current Affairs Including General Knowledge

In this section, you will be provided passages of up to 450 words each. The passages will be derived from news, journalistic sources and other non-fiction writing. The questions may include an examination of legal information or knowledge discussed in or related to the passage, but would not require any additional knowledge of the law beyond the passage.

Each passage will be followed by a series of questions that will require you to demonstrate your awareness of various aspects of current affairs and general knowledge, including:

  • Contemporary events of significance from India and the world;
  • Arts and culture;
  • International affairs; and
  • Historical events of continuing significance.

Legal Reasoning

In this section, you will be expected to read passages of around 450 words each. The passages may relate to fact situations or scenarios involving legal matters, public policy questions or moral philosophical enquiries. You will not require any prior knowledge of law. You will benefit from a general awareness of contemporary legal and moral issues to better apply general principles or propositions to the given fact scenarios.

Each passage would be followed by a series of questions that will require you to:

  • Recognize an argument, its premises and conclusions;
  • Read and identify the arguments set out in the passage;
  • Critically analyse patterns of reasoning, and assess how conclusions may depend on particular premises or evidence;
  • Infer what follows from the passage and apply these inferences to new situations;
  • Draw relationships and analogies, identify contradictions and equivalence, and assess the effectiveness of arguments.

Quantitative Techniques

The Quantitative Techniques section of the UG-CLAT 2020 will include short sets of facts or propositions, graphs, or other textual, pictorial or diagrammatic representations of numerical information, followed by a series of questions. You will be required to derive information from such passages, graphs, or other representations, and apply mathematical operations on such information.

The questions will require you to:

  • Derive, infer, and manipulate numerical information set out in such passages, graphs, or other representations; and
  • Apply various 10th standard mathematical operations on such information, including from areas such as ratios and proportions, basic algebra, mensuration and statistical estimation.

Preparing for the UG-CLAT 2020

The Consortium published various preparatory materials for the UG-CLAT 2020, including:

  • Guides to the question paper and sample questions;
  • Model question papers; and
  • Instructional materials and exercises for each of the subjects that the UG-CLAT 2020 comprises.

The Consortium provided candidates who have successfully completed their application to the UG-CLAT 2020 access to a learning platform where you may access the preparatory materials described above, as well as your scores on various exercises and model question papers.

In addition, you should develop your capacity to read and understand bodies of text, ensure you stay abreast of news and current affairs by regularly reading quality newspapers and periodicals, and improve your speed of answering questions on quantitative techniques by practising with materials such as 10th standard mathematics textbooks.

CLAT UG Eligibility

  • There will be no upper age limit for UG Programme in CLAT 2020.
  • As regards minimum percentage of marks in the qualifying examination (i.e., 10+2 or an equivalent examination), the candidates must have secured:
    • Forty five percent (45%) marks or its equivalent grade in case of candidates belonging to General / OBC / PWD / NRI / PIO / OCI categories
    • Forty Percent (40%) marks or equivalent in case of candidates belonging to SC/ST categories.
  • Candidates who are appearing in the qualifying examination in March/April, 2020 are also eligible to appear in CLAT 2020
  • The result of the qualifying examination (i.e., 10+2) shall be submitted by the candidate at the time of admission failing which the candidate shall be ineligible for admission to the Course
  • In case of equal marks, the break of tie shall be by the following procedure and order as under:
    • Higher marks in the component / section on legal aptitude in the CLAT 2020 exam;
    • Higher age;
    • Computerised draw of lots.

UG Question Paper Format

  • Maximum Marks : 150
  • Duration of CLAT 2020 Exam : 02:00 Hours
  • Multiple-Choice Questions : 150 questions of one mark each
  • Negative Marking : 0.25 Mark for each wrong answer
Subject Areas with weightage: (approximate number of questions)
English Language 28-32 questions, or roughly 20% of the paper
Current Affairs, including General Knowledge 35-39 questions, or roughly 25% of the paper
Legal Reasoning 35-39 questions, or roughly 25% of the paper
Logical Reasoning 28-32 questions, or roughly 20% of the paper
Quantitative Techniques 13-17 questions, or roughly 10% of the paper

Leaning Tools & Materials for CLAT


English Language

How to approach questions

How to approach questions in the English Language section of the UG CLAT 2020

  • Passages intended to test ability to understand and analyse text that is at 12th standard level.
  • May be from various topics, including technical and scientific topics, but you will not need any prior knowledge of any specialised areas to understand or analyse the passages.
  • Usually a passage will have one point, and arguments or statements that support or counter the idea presented in the main point - try and discern the main point, and see what arguments or statements are presented in support of, or to counter, the main point.
  • Once you have figured out the main point of the passage, a simple way to extract usable information from the passage is to focus on : Who, What, Why, When, and Where - you do not have to memorise these points, but keeping them in mind when reading the passage will ensure you have a good grasp over its details, without having to memorise them.
  • Pay attention to paragraph structure - usually, a change of paragraph is accompanied by a change in speaker, or a change in the view point being presented. This will help you find differences in viewpoint, or counter arguments more easily when a question asks you to do so. Similarly for words and phrases like ‘however’, ‘on the other hand’, ‘conversely’, etc.
  • Vocabulary questions are broadly of two types - one type will simply ask you for the meaning of a particular word or phrase - another type will ask you for the meaning of a word or phrase ‘in the context of the passage’ - in either case, it is helpful to read one or two lines before and after the line in which the word or phrase being asked about appears, so that you are better able to understand the context in which the word is used. Often, you would be able to determine the meaning of the word or phrase by understanding the context in which it is used and eliminating options that do not make sense in that context - even if you did not know the meaning of that word or phrase beforehand.
  • Once you have read the passage in this manner, approach the questions - you do not need to remember all the details of the passage before approaching the questions - but if you have a good idea of the main point of the passage and its overall structure, you should be able to find specific details the question asks you for relatively quickly and easily.
  • Pay very close attention to the wording of each question - while the questions follow a handful of ‘types’ (we have described them already in the consolidated video), the question-setters will sometimes make slight alterations to the way they are worded, so as to check that you are reading them closely, and can determine the impact of such changes (e.g., Difference in a question which asks ‘Which of the following is the author likely to agree with’ would imply that there is only one option in line with the author’s arguments, while ‘Which of the following is the author likely to most strongly agree with’ would imply that there is more than one option that supports the author’s arguments, but one option in particular provides the strongest support to the author’s arguments; ALSO watch out for double negatives!)
  • Make sure you read all the options in a question before choosing the correct answer - even if you are confident that you have found the correct answer in the first or second option you read - sometimes there may be subtle differences in wording in the options, and an option that you think is correct at first sight may not be as good as a later option.

Preparation Strategies

  • Try and read some of the same sources that the question setters are using to create questions - you do not have to read the entire book, if the source is a book, but keeping track of sources like newspapers and magazines would be very helpful. In particular, read the opinion and editorial sections of newspapers, as many passages are derived from such sources. (This has the added advantage that it will help your preparations for the Current Affairs and General Knowledge section of the paper as well).
  • Having a study group or someone - even one or two people - with whom you can discuss various passages would be very helpful. Once you and your study partner read the same passage, try and form questions and ask them of each other - such as, what is the main point of the author in the passage, what can be inferred from the passage, what arguments would weaken or strengthen the author’s arguments in the passage.
  • Practice grammar from any good 10th standard grammar textbook. Some classics, like Wren and Martin’s English Grammar and Composition, are still very very good resources for preparation.
  • It may not be possible to develop your vocabulary too much in the days left before the exam - but make sure you stop every time you come across a word you don’t understand - whether in the newspaper, in a textbook, or even while watching a show on the ‘net - and find out its meaning from a dictionary. Some good, free dictionaries are available on the Internet - you can even download free dictionary apps so that you always have a dictionary handy on your phone.
  • Make sure you go through all the practice materials and sample papers provided by the CLAT consortium - these are closest in style and level of difficulty to what you may see in the eventual UG CLAT 2020 paper; make sure you go through all the rationales provided, so that you understand why a particular option is right or wrong.

Current Affairs, including General Knowledge

How to approach questions

How to approach questions in the Current Affairs including General Knowledge section of the UG CLAT 2020

  • Questions intended to test depth of understanding of issues and events of significance,rather than mere fact- or trivia-based superficial knowledge.
  • While the focus is on more recent and current events, questions may test you on historical information related to such events and significance, in order to better gauge your understanding of the causes of such current events.
  • Questions may also relate to matters associated with the events mentioned in the passage - for a passage about a natural calamity for example, you may face questions not only about that natural calamity, but similar events in other parts of the world.
  • Make sure you read the entire passage before you attempt the questions - while the answers to some questions may seem apparent to you, you would be able to pick up valuable clues about the answers to other questions by ensuring you read the entire passage first.
  • Don’t worry about whether you will remember all the elements of the passage when you come to the questions - the idea is not to test your ability to memorise the passage and answer questions that test your recollection - but do make sure you have a good idea of the overall theme or point of focus of the passage, as this may help jog your memory about any related information you may have read or come across in your preparations.
  • In line with the overall theme of the UG CLAT 2020, the focus is on comprehension, and your ability to understand and decode the information set out in the passage. While you may not be asked vocabulary questions in this section of the paper, you may be asked the meaning of certain statements made in the passage, insofar as they relate to information associated with such statements - for example, a passage relating to cyclones may ask you what the difference is between a cyclone, typhoon, and hurricane.
  • As with all the other sections of the UG CLAT 2020, make sure you pay close attention to the wording of the questions - the question setters may be examining your ability to read and follow text closely, and so, may frame questions in a negative manner (e.g., Which of the following is not an example of x?) or may use a double negative as well (e.g., Instead of asking which of the following is an efficient way to do x, the question may be framed as: Which of the following is not an inefficient way to do x.)

Preparation Strategies/ FAQ

  • The best way to prepare for this section of the UG CLAT 2020 is to have a long-term habit of reading a good set of newspapers and periodicals; in particular, it would help to read the editorial and opinion sections of newspapers and periodicals, as these often provide historical, associated, and ancillary information related to the main subject discussed in the piece. Now that you have an idea of what sources the question setters typically refer to from the introductory video, try and read through similar sources on a regular basis.
  • If you have not developed a long-term habit of reading newspapers and periodicals, all is not lost! Now that many good sources of news and information are also available online, you can also visit their websites, and go through their archive of editorial and opinion pieces. In this way, you can try and catch up for some lost time.
  • It may not be possible for you to read all the information covered in this section of the UG CLAT 2020 in the time you have. A good way to try and address this is to form a small group of people with whom you can discuss the topics and areas that are covered in this section. That way, you can not only take the advantage of the fact that other people may have covered the topics you have not been able to, you will also be able to dive into greater depth by questioning each other about each topic, so as to ensure you know more about that topic than you may otherwise have been able to.
  • It may not be possible for you to read all the information covered in this section of the UG CLAT 2020 in the time you have. A good way to try and address this is to form a small group of people with whom you can discuss the topics and areas that are covered in this section. That way, you can not only take the advantage of the fact that other people may have covered the topics you have not been able to, you will also be able to dive into greater depth by questioning each other about each topic, so as to ensure you know more about that topic than you may otherwise have been able to.

Legal Reasoning

How to approach questions

How to approach questions in the Legal Reasoning section of the UG CLAT 2020

  • One of the biggest differences in the pattern of the Legal Reasoning section of the UG CLAT 2020 over previous years is that the principle and facts will not be supplied separately to you - as such, the first thing you should do is read through the passage carefully, and identify the principles set out in it.
  • Once you have done this, read through each question carefully to see if it relates to the same facts as are set out in the passage, or a separate set of facts, or, perhaps, the facts set out in the passage with some alterations.
  • Now that you have both, the principle and the facts identified, try and break down the principle into smaller parts - for example, a principle may say “A person who operates a drone at a height in excess of 500 feet in a public place is guilty of nuisance.” In such a case, you should be able to identify the three requirements set out in the principle for nuisance - firstly, that the person in question should have been operating the drone, secondly, that that person should have operated the drone at a height in excess of 500 feet, and thirdly, that this should have occurred in a public place. Only if all three parts of this principle are satisfied by the facts can you assume that a person is guilty of nuisance.
  • When breaking a principle down into its parts, be careful to pay close attention to what we call ‘OR’ and ‘AND’ conditions - the example we saw above had ‘AND’ conditions, that is, all three parts must be satisfied for a person to be held guilty of nuisance. On the other hand, if the principle were worded as follows: “A person who operates a drone at a height in excess of 500 feet or in a public place is guilty of nuisance.”, you would have one ‘AND’ condition, and one ‘OR’ condition. In this situation, for a person to be held guilty of nuisance, the following conditions must be satisfied: they should have been operating the drone, AND, such operation should be at a height in excess of 500 feet OR in a public place. These small changes would result in a big change in the outcome - in the first case, a person operating a drone at a height of 300 feet in a public place would not have been guilty of nuisance, but in the second case, that person would have been guilty of nuisance.
  • As you can see from the above, small changes to the wording of a principle can make a big difference to the outcome of a question. Similarly, small tweaks to the facts can also have a big impact on the outcome of a question. Suppose you are working on a question that has either of the principles above, and the facts state: “ Rahul takes his drone to a public market, where he meets his friend Sheela. Sheela asks Rahul if she can fly the drone for a little while, and he agrees. Sheela then takes the drone and flies it to a height of 600 feet above the market, so she can get a panoramic shot of the market. Is Rahul guilty of nuisance?” While your first instinct in this case may be to say ‘Yes!’, slow down - the question asks if Rahul is guilty of nuisance, but the facts tells us that Sheela was flying, that is, operating the drone - therefore, Rahul cannot be held guilty of nuisance. It would, of course, have been a different matter altogether if the question asked whether Sheela was guilty of nuisance.
  • A passage may have more than one principle, and more than one set of incidents - in some instances, the questions may ask you to apply the same principle to different fact situations, whereas in others, each question may relate to a different principle and fact situation - so make sure you pay close attention to each question, determine which principle and facts have been called into question, and only then attempt the answer.
  • Finally, bear in mind that the question setters do not expect that you are a lawyer before you even go to law school! As such, it is important you do not try to apply any pre-existing knowledge of laws that you may have to the questions in this section - very often, the question setters will tweak a principle of law here and there, with the result that the outcome may be very different from what you may know about some actual law in the ‘real’ world. While you would be expected to have some basic knowledge of law, this is only at the level of a responsible citizen and member of our society - you should be careful not to let any external knowledge or information you may have creep into your analysis of the principles and facts supplied to you in the question.

Preparation Strategies/ FAQ

  • The Legal Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, and English Language sections of the UG CLAT 2020 are somewhat related, in the sense that they all require you to read and comprehend a passage well. As such, some of the preparation techniques that apply to the English Language and Logical Reasoning sections of the UG CLAT 2020 may also serve you well for this section. See if you want to schedule your preparation time such that you focus on these three subjects as a group.
  • Since this section of the UG CLAT 2020 is somewhat different from previous years’ papers, you may think that it would not be helpful to attempt Legal Reasoning questions from previous years’ papers, but this would be a mistake. While the previous years’ questions may not ask you to pull out a principle from a passage, and may instead supply the principle directly to you, there is still great value in attempting those questions, since they will help you develop the skill of analysing a principle, examining a fact situation closely, and applying one to the other.
  • The sample questions and Model Papers provided by the CLAT Consortium would, of course, be one of the best sources of preparation. If you are already familiar with the pattern of these questions from the sample questions or the First Model Paper, consider attempting this section in the later Model Papers (or indeed, the entire paper) in something similar to an actual test environment - time yourself, and make sure you do not take any external help in attempting these questions. Then, analyse the results and try and determine what’s going right, and what isn’t - are you able to pull out the principle but not break it down? Or are you able to deal with the principle easily, but can’t understand the fact situations properly? If the first, perhaps some extra work on Logical Reasoning may help; if the second, maybe you should spend a little more time on the English Language preparations.

Logical Reasoning

How to approach questions

How to approach questions in the Logical Reasoning section of the UG CLAT 2020

  • As you can well imagine, arguments are a very important part of studying law. Arguments are usually sets of facts or pieces of evidence (called ‘premises’) which support a ‘conclusion’. These premises and conclusions together form arguments, and arguments are at the heart of the Logical Reasoning section of the UG CLAT 2020.
  • Given this, the first thing you should do when attempting a question in this section of the UG CLAT 2020 is to carefully identify the various premises and conclusions in the passage. Once you have done this, you will be better prepared to take on the questions.
  • Now that you have identified the premises and conclusions in the passage, try and determine if there is an overall theme, point, or conclusion to the passage. This is important, not only because many questions will ask you to identify these, but also because they will give you a better understanding of the overall tone, theme, and parts of the passage. With this information at hand, you should be able to easily answer questions that ask you to identify the main theme or conclusion of the passage, as well as questions that ask you to identify arguments in support of, or against, the author’s arguments.
  • Some passages may include more than one point of view, or more than one set of arguments, some of which may weaken or contradict each other. Identifying and separating these is very important, so that you know not only what the main conclusion is, but whether the passage has a main conclusion at all, or if it only presents different points of view.
  • As always, it is very important you read each question carefully before trying to determine what the correct answer is. A question may ask which option weakens the argument in the passage - in which case it is safe to assume that only one of the options weakens the argument in the passage; or it may ask which option most weakens the argument in the passage - in which case more than one option may weaken the argument in the passage, and it is your job to identify which weakens the argument the most.
  • Some questions may ask you to assume certain things as true, even when you may otherwise know them to be false, or even if they contradict the information in the passage. In such situations, it is important that you follow the instructions in the question strictly - remember, the question setters are examining your ability to read and comprehend information and instructions in this section, and not your pre-existing knowledge. The question setters are also interested in understanding how quickly you can adapt to changes in facts, premises, and conclusions, and so, it is important that you approach each question without carrying any baggage from the previous questions.
  • When a question asks you what a statement from the passage implies, you are required to do two things - look at the statement and see what it says explicitly, and also try and determine what it may mean, without stating explicitly. To do this, you will have to apply all the skills that this section requires of you - not only will you have to comprehend the statement and its parts, you will also have to extend the argument to the various possibilities set out in the options. In such a case, identifying the overall theme or conclusion of the passage, which we talked about a little earlier, is very helpful - the overall theme or principle often provides you a simple summary of the arguments in the passage that can help you extend the statement to the different possibilities set out in the options.

Preparation Strategies/ FAQ

  • While the Logical Reasoning section of the UG CLAT 2020 is very different from previous years’ papers, some questions from the older formats may still be included - such as logic games or syllogisms. It would, therefore, be a good idea to practice with previous years’ papers, so that you can pick up some ‘easy’ marks for such questions.
  • As we saw in the video on Legal Reasoning, this section of the UG CLAT 2020 is closely related to the English Language and Legal Reasoning sections. Given this, it would be a good idea to modify your preparation strategy so that you prepare for these three sections together. Very often, the same, or similar sources are used by the question setters for questions in this section as in the English Language and Legal Reasoning sections - such as opinion and editorial pieces from newspapers. Since this is the case, every time you read a newspaper story while preparing for English Language, Legal Reasoning, or even Current Affairs and General Knowledge, try and go through the steps identified previously in this video - what is the main point of the passage? What is the author’s stance on a particular issue? What premises does the author offer in support of the conclusion? How would the conclusion differ if the premises were changed? And so on… As with the Current Affairs and General Knowledge section of the UG CLAT 2020, this is another section where discussions with a small group of people may help - try and create different versions of a principle or facts, and ask others to determine how they may affect the main argument or outcome of a passage or a question - the more you debate points with others, the greater the variety of arguments and reasoning styles you will encounter, which will help you tremendously with your preparations.
  • The sample questions and Model Papers released by the CLAT Consortium are, of course, your best source for practice - but there are a number of different sources where you may come across similar questions. In particular, try and see if you want to practice with the free question sets offered on the website of the LSAT or the LNAT - while these may not correspond exactly with the pattern of the UG CLAT 2020, they will help you develop the same skills of comprehension, analysis, deduction, and application that the Logical Reasoning section of the UG CLAT 2020 seeks to evaluate.

Quantitative Techniques

How to approach questions

How to approach questions in the Quantitative Techniques section of the UG CLAT 2020

  • Since the Quantitative Techniques section of the UG CLAT 2020 differs from previous years’ papers in that it requires you to read a passage or analyse a set of graphical information before attempting a question, it is very important that you go through the passage provided, or the graphical information supplied to you, and list out (or underline) the information that is provided to you, and the information that you may need to answer the questions. As a simple example, a passage may provide the various speeds of trains, and the distance between two stations - in this case you know that you will probably need to calculate the time such trains may take to cover such distances.
  • Again, since the Quantitative Techniques section of the UG CLAT 2020 follows the general trend of changes in the CLAT towards a more comprehension-based format, it is important that you read the passages and questions very carefully, so as to ensure you have understood the information supplied, and what exactly the question is asking of you. Bear in mind that the question setters would tend to move away from formulae-based questions towards more logic-based questions - this means that they are not only looking at your ability to conduct simple mathematical calculations, they are also looking for your ability to analyse the passages and graphical information.
  • Quite often, a later question in any set of questions in the Quantitative Techniques section of the UG CLAT 2020 will require you to use some information that you may have calculated or derived in the course of answering a previous question. Since this is the case, it is important that you keep your rough notes and calculations neat and handy, so that you can quickly refer to such information when needed. Since the UG CLAT 2020 is, among other things, a test of your ability to answer questions efficiently, it would be a terrible waste of time if you had to hunt through your rough notes and calculations to find some vital piece of information.
  • In some instances, it is very helpful to keep a set of rough notes where you list out the main people, objects, or artifacts that the question relates to (such as trains, boats, vessels, etc.), and keep listing out relevant information relating to each of them as you go along - for example, in a question about time, speed, and distance, it is very useful to have information such as the length of a train, its speed, and what time it leaves a station, readily available. Not only will this save you time, it will also help avoid any mistakes in going back and forth across your notes to find some information that you had derived some time back.

Preparation Strategies/ FAQ

  • As with all the other sections of the UG CLAT 2020, practice is key in preparing for Quantitative Techniques - and in this case, luckily, you should have ready access to more than enough practice materials. The best way to prepare for this section of the UG CLAT 2020 is to go back to your tenth standard mathematics textbooks, and try and practice the questions and exercises in them as much as possible. Another good source for practice materials? The previous years’ question papers - while they may not include the additional element of requiring you to analyse a passage or graphical information and derive usable information from them, they will still help you develop the ability to perform common mathematical calculations quickly and accurately.
  • When you begin preparing for Quantitative Techniques, do not worry too much about how much time you need to answer questions - the more important thing at this stage is to answer questions accurately. As you practice, and as you develop a habit of being able to derive accurate answers, you can start focusing on speed. At this stage, it should be relatively easier for you to answer questions more quickly, since you have already figured out how to answer them accurately!
  • Whenever you attempt a set of practice questions, or a sample test, don’t just look at the answers to find out if you were right or wrong - always make sure you go through the solution as well, to see if the manner in which you solved the question can be improved upon. While you may have found the right answer to a question, it is quite possible that someone else has figured out a quicker or easier way to do so, and it would benefit you to understand that method of solving the question as well.
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