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National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) Guide

Everything you should know before taking the LNAT and how to be successful!

WHAT IS THE LNAT?

The LNAT is an admissions test used by top UK universities to help select successful applicants to their Law degree programmes. The LNAT, tailored specifically for Law applicants, focuses on assessing candidates' legal reasoning and aptitude for law studies. By incorporating the LNAT into the selection process, top UK universities can identify students who not only possess a passion for Law but also exhibit the intellectual acumen required to thrive in their law programs.

WHO NEEDS TO SIT THE LNAT?

Applicants for a Law course at most of the top UK universities will most likely be required to take the LNAT, including Oxford and Cambridge universities. Other UK law schools which require the LNAT are: University of Bristol, Durham University, UCL, University of Nottingham, University of Glasgow, King’s College London, and SOAS.

If you’re applying for Cambridge and have heard of the CLT, or Cambridge Law Test, then you might be asking yourself ‘does Cambridge require LNAT’? The CLT is an older, Cambridge-specific admissions test that Cambridge University used to use instead of the LNAT, but from last year’s admissions cycle onwards, the LNAT has replaced the CLT as the current Cambridge law admissions test.

HOW IS THE LNAT STRUCTURED?

The LNAT is taken on a computer and is made up of two sections:

The first section is multiple choice, consisting of 42 questions which are to be answered in 95 minutes. The questions in this section will be around a series of texts (12 texts, to be precise), for each of which there will be 3-4 questions.

The second section of the test is a 40-minute essay section. You will be able to pick one out of three possible prompts from which to write an essay that demonstrates your ability to argue a point of view concisely and effectively.

CAN I CHOOSE WHICH QUESTIONS I ANSWER IN THE LNAT?

In the second section of the paper, students will be able to choose one from three different prompts to respond to in an essay format.

HOW IS MY SCORE IN THE LNAT USED?

Oxford and Cambridge University use the LNAT as a standardised format for assessing and benchmarking their applicants. The exam rewards problem solving and the construction of arguments over specific legal knowledge, so that students taking different qualifications at school can access the syllabus.

Oxbridge uses students’ marks in the LNAT to make decisions about which applicants they should invite to interview. Results in the LNAT are generally a good (although not surefire) indicator of an applicant’s likelihood of being selected for interview.

Other universities use the LNAT score as additional context in their decision-making process for admissions to law-related courses.

WHAT IS A GOOD LNAT SCORE?

The LNAT is marked out of a total 42 points. The average score is usually somewhere between 20-24 points. A good LNAT score would be higher than the average for top UK universities, with Oxford and Cambridge generally accepting the highest average scores. Oxford University has the highest average score, with their 2021/2022 data showing that the average LNAT score for candidates accepted onto the law course was 27.03.

DO I NEED TO KNOW SPECIFIC CONTENT?

The LNAT is a test of skills, such as critical thinking, analysis, and essay-writing, rather than of any particular content knowledge. Although the content is not specific to any school syllabus, the skills that you will be using to take the test will be those taught and practised in your A-level (or equivalent) humanities subjects, such as English, History, or Sociology, so we recommend focusing on these skills. It can be difficult to identify tasks and exercises to practise these skills; our specialist tutors who have experience of advising students taking other qualifications and help them fill in knowledge gaps.

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How to register for the LNAT

WHEN IS THE LNAT IN 2023?

Unlike other admissions tests, the LNAT does not have to be taken on a specific date, but rather tests are taken on a rolling schedule between September and January (for entry the following September). The date by which an applicant should register for and take the test depends on which university they are applying for:

For Oxford and Cambridge applicants, you must register for the LNAT between the 1st of August and the 15th of September, and sit the test by the 16th of October UCAS deadline. This ensures that the university has your test results along with your application to help them shortlist candidates in time for December interviews.

For applicants to King’s College London and LSE, applicants must sit the LNAT before the 31st of December.

For applicants to all other institutions requiring the LNAT, you must have registered for the test and booked your test slot by the 20th of January, have sat the test by the 25th of January, and have submitted your UCAS form by the 31st of January deadline (6pm UK time).

If you’re struggling to keep on top of dates and deadlines, head to our website to download our free University Application Calendar, which features registration deadlines and test dates for all major UK admissions tests, as well as other key dates such as UCAS deadlines, interview dates, open days, and more.

WHEN IS THE DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION?

The deadline for LNAT registration and testing can be a little confusing, since it differs based on which university/universities you’re applying to, but the rule of thumb is that you must have sat your LNAT by the deadline on which your UCAS form is due (although you may sit the test after submitting your application form if you have done so in advance of the deadline). You must register on the LNAT website before you can choose a test centre and select a date and time on which to sit your test. Remember that the sooner you register and select a slot, the more times there will be available, so we recommend doing it as soon as possible to avoid timetable clashes.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TAKE THE LNAT?

The LNAT costs £75 at UK or EU test centres, and £120 at test centres outside of the EU.

Tips from a Successful Law Student

HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR THE LNAT?

  1. Familiarise Yourself with Legal Issues: Engage with legal news, cases, and debates to enhance your understanding of legal matters and the broader legal context.
  2. Practise Critical Thinking: Regularly engage in activities that promote critical thinking, such as solving puzzles, debating ethical issues, and analysing complex arguments.
  3. Refine Essay Writing Skills: Work on constructing well-organised essays with a clear thesis and supported evidence.
  4. Time Management: Practise answering multiple-choice questions and writing essays under timed conditions to improve your time management skills during the LNAT. For access to bespoke, true-to-life mock papers with which to practise your timing skills, head to our Admissions Test Resources hub and browse our exclusive collections.
  5. Seek Feedback: Share your practice essays and responses with teachers or mentors to receive constructive feedback and refine your legal analysis and writing skills. Previous Oxbridge (or other top UK University) Law graduates, such as our mentors here at Oxbridge Applications, are also a great source of knowledge to draw on, as they can give you an accurate picture of what it means to perform like a real University Lawyer.

LNAT PREPARATION MATERIALS

In addition to official LNAT past and specimen papers on the LNAT Website, we at Oxbridge Applications have written a series of additional mock papers. Our students have 33% more questions to practise with. Our mock LNAT papers can be found here and are included with our admissions test tuition. All of our LNAT tutors are highly-trained Oxbridge graduates who can share their personally insights of having sat the test. You can contact our Oxbridge-graduate Consultants on +44 (0) 20 7499 2394 or email [email protected] to discuss which of our test training would suit you best. We also have an online testing portal for students who want to sit the exam in timed, test conditions.

WHAT IS THE BEST STUDY GUIDE FOR THE LNAT?

At Oxbridge Applications, we pride ourselves in providing up-to-date advice and unrivalled expertise. As well as collating information from publicly available sources, we also conduct our own research into the application process; for example, by surveying the thousands of students we support each year. Speak to an Oxbridge Applications expert today for advice on your specific situation!

How to Pass the LNAT?

The best advice we can offer to succeed the LNAT exam is to begin exam preparation early and practise often.

Most students who don’t get through the LNAT to be invited to interview tell us that they didn’t spend enough time familiarising themselves with the type of questions that can arise. They typically say that they were caught off guard by a particular question and it put their timings off for the rest of the test.

START EARLY

Since no specific subject knowledge is required for the LNAT, challenge yourself to begin working through past papers and familiarising yourself with the questions as soon as possible.

REFLECTION

Reflect on your personal strengths and weaknesses. No two students should have the same revision strategy for the LNAT, since you all have varying abilities.Try to identify which parts of the paper you find easier and which you find more difficult; this should help you strategically plan your preparation.

DON'T RESTRICT YOUR PRACTICE MATERIALS

Don’t restrict your practice materials: Once you have tried all of the past and sample papers from the LNAT website, and have moved on to additional materials like our bespoke LNAT papers, you should then look wider at similar materials. For example, take a look at law, philosophical, or critical thinking exam papers. This could offer you a wider array of practice material and help train your flexibility to unseen materials.

COLLABORATION 

Work with a friend or teacher to discuss questions and identify your own personal revision goals. Working with others can be a huge motivation and keep you on track in the weeks and months leading up to the test. We have specialist LNAT tutors who can work with you one-to-one to refine your test technique.

LNAT Admission Private Tuition x4

Available all year-round and includes 4 private admissions test tuition sessions and four test papers, which are marked by expert Oxbridge-graduate tutors.

LNAT Admission Private Tuition x6

Available: Year-Round and includes 6 private admissions test tuition sessions and six test papers which are marked by expert Oxbridge-graduate tutors.

Past LNAT test papers

Prepare for your admissions test with our mock papers.

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