The essential guide to the LNAT

Students studying for exam
Find out everything you need to know about the LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test): what it is, the logistics of sitting it and how best to prepare for it.

If you’re considering applying to study law at university, you may have come across the term ‘LNAT’ or National Admissions Test for Law. The LNAT is a test that forms part of the application process to certain law courses. If you’re not sure what the LNAT is, whether you need to take it or what the logistics of it are, don’t worry. We’ve put together all the information you need know about the National Admissions Test for Law below.

Find out more about admissions tests in general.

What is the LNAT?

The LNAT is a two-part test designed to provide the university with a better understanding of your potential. Accordingly, the test is aptitude-based, instead of knowledge-based.

  • Section A is a 95-minute multiple-choice exam, consisting of 42 questions based on 12 passages about current issues or a controversial topic. These test a variety of skills but comprehension is key. The result of this section is known as your LNAT score. Example passages include ones on the importance of interpreting data found on Google, parental pressure or the importance of language.
  • Section B is a 40-minute essay-based test, where you are asked to answer one of three questions. This assesses your ability to form a balanced and reasoned argument. Examples of essay topics include ‘How should judges be appointed?’, ‘What is “political correctness” and why does it matter?’ and ‘Make the best case you can for public funding of the arts’.

Neither of these sections tests your knowledge of the law, nor do they rely on your knowledge of current events, although awareness of the latter in particular is beneficial.

Which universities require the LNAT?

LNAT is needed if applying to a law course at the following UK universities:

How much does the LNAT cost?

The cost of sitting the LNAT depends on where you live. If you sit the exams in a UK or EU test centre the cost will come to £50. If you sit the exam outside the EU, the cost will be £70. There is a bursary available for those candidates who receive certain state benefits; further information can be found on the ‘Paying for your test’ section of the LNAT website.

How can I prepare for the LNAT?

The LNAT cannot be revised for as it is aptitude-based rather than knowledge-based. However, you can work on your ability to grasp the meaning of a section of text and to form a balanced argument. The LNAT website recommends preparing for the test by reading quality newspapers (in English), such as The Economist, The Guardian or The New York Times, among others. When reading, you are advised to consider the issues being raised, the assumptions being made, the source of the information and the counterarguments that could be made.

It is also possible to sit practice papers for the LNAT, which will allow you to familiarise yourself with the style and format of the test. These practice papers can be found on the LNAT website, as well as on university websites such as the University of Oxford website.

How important is my LNAT result?

Both your LNAT score and essay are made available to the participating universities. They are then used to supplement your university application and show your aptitude for studying undergraduate law.

Bear in mind that there is no fixed weight given to the LNAT and different universities will utilise the LNAT in different ways.

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