Jun 11, 2023

Written By Zara Arif

The LNAT: An Overview of the Test and How to Prepare

Jun 11, 2023

Written By Zara Arif

If you are interested in studying law at university, you may be required to sit the LNAT as part of the admissions process. But what exactly does this test comprise and how should you prepare to maximise your chances of success?

What is the LNAT?

LNAT stands for Law National Aptitude Test and it is used by certain universities as part of their admissions process. Essentially, this test allows universities to get an insight into whether you would suit studying law at a higher level.

The test doesn't assess tests your legal knowledge or intelligence. Instead, it tests your reasoning and logic through your ability to interpret and analyse information, and reach conclusions.

The LNAT is completed online (at a test centre) and is made up of two sections. In Section A, you have to answer 42 multiple choice questions which are based on 12 passages that will usually present you with information or an argument/opinion of some kind. By contrast, Section B asks you to write an essay. You are given three essay questions that are normally based on current affairs.

Your overall mark in Section A does count towards your final score, but the mark of the essay which you write in Section B does not.

The test is timed. You are given approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. This is divided into 95 minutes for Section A and 40 minutes for Section B.

Why do you have to take the LNAT?

The LNAT is a necessary part of the application process for law courses at a range of universities, just like your personal statement. It’s a way for the admissions team to distinguish between highly qualified candidates.

Which universities require the LNAT?

There are nine universities in the UK which require you to sit the LNAT for their law undergraduate courses. These are:

- University of Bristol

- University of Cambridge

- Durham University

- University of Glasgow

- King’s College London

- London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

- University of Oxford

- SOAS University of London

- University College London (UCL)

The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and IE University in Spain also require the LNAT.

What is a good score for the LNAT?

Average scores tend to differ year on year and each university may have a different benchmark or pass mark after which they consider a candidate’s full application.

The average score for 2020/2021 was 22/42, so this is a good starting point. It’s also worth looking up the average score for the university you’re applying to and aiming for that.

However, your LNAT score doesn’t decide whether you’ll be admitted to the university. Candidates who didn’t perform well can still be considered for admission, depending on the quality of their essays, predicted grades and personal statements.

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What is the best way to prepare for the LNAT?

As with many tests which do not test a certain type of knowledge, the best way to prepare for the LNAT is by familiarising yourself with the format and what the test is asking of you.

You can register between August and September and pick a date to sit the exam in the first term of the final year of your A-levels or equivalent qualifications. Therefore, it might be a good idea to consistently and slowly practise and develop your knowledge of how the test works over the summer, in order to master the basics.

The best way to do this is by taking lots of practice tests and consistently evaluating where you went wrong and why. The LNAT website offers two official practice tests, and there are also additional tests available online.

Additionally, although Section B does not receive a mark in the same way as Section A, it is still read by the universities you apply to. Thus, it’s a good idea to read the news and op-eds, and keep up to date with current affairs. Doing so will provide you with insights for your essay, and help you understand how to construct an argument.

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