The LNAT is unlike any other exam you will have sat, at least in the last few years at school. It has two parts: the first is a series of 42 multiple-choice questions; the second is an essay. The LNAT is designed to test certain skills which make a good lawyer: logical analysis; attention to detail; following an argument; and comprehending unseen information quickly. It is also designed so that you cannot be coached through it. That said, like every test, preparation will help you maximise your chances of doing well and that’s what this week’s blog is about.
The multiple choice section
Exams in Britain, especially in the arts and humanities, do not have multiple choice questions. As such, students often feel very uncomfortable dealing with this section of the paper. In an essay, you can bluff or blag, even if you’re unsure of the subject matter. In a multiple choice test, you are either right or you’re wrong.
You should practise some of the example tests on the LNAT website to familiarise yourself with the format. Do not be disheartened if your mark seems low. The LNAT is designed to distinguish between candidates who have achieved highly in their A-Levels and GCSEs. Marks in the low to mid twenties are common for candidates invited to interview.
Forget everything you know about essay writing from school for this part of the LNAT. This goes directly to the admissions tutors, and so gives them a good indication of your ability to analyse and argue. The questions are designed to require no prior knowledge. I would go further: too many facts can cause a bad essay. Students who have studied a topic (e.g. abortion or direct democracy) and find a similar question in this part of the LNAT inevitably do badly because rather than answering the essay question posed, they write the essay they studied in class.
NB: The LNAT website has some good advice about the test which I would recommend reading.
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