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What is LNAT? - The Law National Aptitude Test

Written by Kirenjit Kaur, June 2017

The Law National Aptitude Test helps you understand if Law is the right career path for you, and it helps Universities check that you will be able to succeed on a law course. It does not test your knowledge on law. Instead, it is a test of your verbal reasoning skills; a test of your ability to understand and interpret information; a test of your inductive and deductive reasoning abilities and a test of your ability to analyse information and draw conclusions. 

It is a two part test: multiple choice questions based on passages of text and an essay. The first part is a computer-based multiple choice exam. You will be asked to read passages of text and answer questions that test your comprehension of them. Your scores from the multiple choice section of the test are checked by computer, and a mark out of 42 is created. This is known as your LNAT score.  In the second part of the test you will be asked to write one essay from a list of three proposed subjects. This section is not marked by the test centre and does not contribute to your LNAT score, but it is your opportunity to show your ability to construct a compelling argument and reach a conclusion. 

Both your LNAT score and essay are made available to the participating universities. These are then used to supplement your university application and show your aptitude for studying undergraduate law. The LNAT must be taken by all applicants (UK, EU and overseas) to undergraduate law programmes at University of Bristol, Durham University, University of Nottingham and etc. 

You must take the test in the UCAS year in which you are applying to university. You can only sit the test once in the cycle (September to June), and results cannot be carried over from one year to the next. After that date, within 24 hours of finishing your LNAT, Pearson VUE will make your LNAT score and essay available for download by your chosen university or universities. They will see your score before you do.

Each university’s admissions tutors will then refer to the candidate’s score as part of their application. The candidate’s LNAT score and the essays will be used by each university in the way that best suits its own admissions system. The LNAT does not replace ‘A’ levels or their global equivalent but is used in conjunction with formal qualifications, the information on the UCAS or other application form, the candidate’s personal statement and, in some cases, performance at the interview. There is no fixed weight to the LNAT and different universities will utilise the LNAT in different ways.

The use of LNAT essays varies and is dependent on each participating university’s admissions policy. Some universities may use it, for example, as the basis for interview questions. Others may compare it with the personal statement and school/college report on UCAS forms, or use it as a means of distinguishing between borderline candidates.

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