What is the LNAT?
The LNAT, short for the National Admissions Test for Law, is a computer-based testing programme offered by Pearson Education. It’s used as an entrance examination by several UK-based universities as part of the selection process for their undergraduate law degree programmes.
Structure of the LNAT exam
The LNAT is a two-part test lasting two hours and fifteen minutes. The first part is made up of 42 multiple-choice questions lasting 95 minutes; the second involves essay-type questions and lasts 40 minutes.
The multiple choice sections consists of 12 argumentative passages, each with three or four questions designed to gauge the reasoning skills of the student, which is a critical necessity for a legal career.
The subjects covered in these cases are general and everyday knowledge topics; no specialist knowledge of law is required. Results from this section are electronically assessed and passed on to participating universities.
The second segment requires the student to answer one of three essay questions on a variety of topics of current interest. The length should not exceed 750 words and, ideally, your essay should be between 500 and 600 words. The essay section is the chance for the applicant to demonstrate their writing skills, and their ability to think logically and construct an argument.
These papers are not evaluated by the service provider, but sent to the law schools to which the student has applied. The schools in turn will assess the papers based on their own selection and admission criteria.
Eligibility for the LNAT
Students are eligible to sit for the LNAT if they are preparing to start their undergraduate education and interested in applying to the select list of universities which are part of LNAT.
Applications for these institutions must be made in the ordinary course of applying; appearing for the LNAT does not constitute an automatic admission confirmation. More details on the list of universities and schools subscribing to the LNAT, with their UCAS codes, are available at the LNAT website. The entrance test is open to all UK, overseas and EU candidates.
Preparation and process
The most important requirement in preparing to sit the LNAT is a disciplined and methodical approach to studying. You should stay updated on the latest and current happenings around the world by reading a good newspaper, understanding the opinions and viewpoints being put forward and trying to form your own opinion on the matter.
The idea is not to learn by rote and regurgitate facts in the test, but to think, analyse and logically reason the various sides and opinions of a given matter. Practice tests and sample essay questions are provided by LNAT including suggested reading material, so make sure you visit their website!
You can also make use of online tutorials where sample tests are available, but remember that these will usually involve spending some money. LNAT doesn’t recommend that students pay for coaching, arguing that the preparatory material on their website should be enough. After all, the LNAT is all about showcasing your natural abilities.
Test centres are provided at various locations in and out of the UK, so select a centre that is close to you. Arrive early at the centre with photo identification and a copy of the test confirmation mail received from Pearson, and follow the instructions given by the centre staff.
Applying to do the LNAT
Students wishing to appear for the LNAT must register online. This is a two-step process. First candidates must register online and provide their UCAS Personal Identifier number, and then, on confirmation of creation of the profile, book and pay for a test appearance. Detailed guidelines on registration and booking are available at the LNAT site.
Registration starts from 1 August. Test sessions begin from 1 September onwards and it is recommended that you time your registration to have ample time to initiate the application process for selected schools or universities which have their own admission timetables. You can find a detailed timescale of when you should take the LNAT test here.
Test entrance fees for the LNAT is £50 at UK/EU test centres, £70 for test centres outside of the EU. Fees must be paid in full at the time of booking, else no place will be confirmed. There is a LNAT bursary for those candidates struggling to pay for their test. You can apply for a bursary here.