What is the LNAT?
The Law National Aptitude Test ( LNAT) is a computer-based assessment that individuals applying to study undergraduate law at some universities must complete as part of their application and selection process.
The test comprises two parts, with the results being used along with other candidate information such as individual academic achievements, UCAS statements, and university entry interviews to assess individuals' aptitude to study a law-based qualification.
Competition for places at university to study law is fierce, and the LNAT enables universities to make objective decisions based on an individual's aptitude to study law irrespective of their background.
The assessment primarily evaluates individuals on their verbal and logical reasoning ability. Individuals are assessed on their aptitude to understand and analyze information, synthesize information given, and apply inductive and deductive reasoning to reach logical and reasoned conclusions based on the information provided.
The first part of the LNAT is a multiple-choice test comprised of 42 questions lasting 95 minutes. Individuals are awarded a score out of 42 based on their responses to questions; the result is known as their LNAT score.
The second part of the LNAT does not contribute to an individual's overall LNAT score. Still, it allows individuals to demonstrate their verbal and logical reasoning. Candidates must write an essay that clearly outlines their reasoning and conclusions on one of the three subjects given. This part of the LNAT lasts 40 minutes.
It is worth noting that the LNAT doesn't test individuals on their knowledge of the law but on their skills and ability to learn the law and do well in a law-based degree.
While you can't revise for the LNAT, there are many things that you can do before taking the test to help you perform to the best of your ability.
1. Start preparing early
Preparing early is the key to performing well in the LNAT.
Ensure you are aware of any deadlines for completing the LNAT assessment as set by the universities you are applying to, remembering that each university has its own LNAT test deadlines.
Make sure you have registered on the LNAT website and booked your LNAT test within the specified deadlines. Make sure you know the test fee and can pay this, as the payment is due when you book your LNAT test. The earlier you book your LNAT test slot, the more likely you will get the appointment slot of your choice, leaving you enough time to practice tests thoroughly.
2. Familiarize yourself with the test format
The LNAT is a timed assessment. Part one of the LNAT lasts 95 minutes and requires you to correctly complete as many questions as you can within the allotted time. To give yourself the best chance to attain your highest score, it is essential to practice sample questions.
Practicing sample LNAT tests means you become familiar with the format and the style of questions. The more tests you practice, the more familiar you become with what the questions are asking. This means that in the actual test, you don't waste precious time figuring out the format of questions but approach the tests confidently and in a positive frame of mind.
3. Understand the scoring rubric
It is worth noting that different universities use individual LNAT scores differently according to their admission guidelines. Some may use the LNAT scores to guide interview questions. Other universities may use the scores along with an individual's academic results and UCAS personal statement to help decide on candidates with similar attainment and achievements.
There is no designated LNAT pass score, with a good LNAT score being determined by the average scores of LNAT test takers from previous years.
It is worth noting that the score deemed to be a good score will vary by university. Generally, it is widely accepted that individuals scoring at least 27 or more are likely to exceed the average score of applicants successful in gaining a place at a Law school.
4. Get plenty of rest and exercise
Before taking the LNAT, it is vital that you are in the best condition mentally and physically. Pay attention to your mental and physical well-being in the weeks and days leading up to your LNAT test. Simple things such as keeping your body moving by enjoying regular exercise can lift your mood when you know you have an important test. The night before test day, ensure you get a good night's sleep and are well rested.
On test day, ensure you have eaten, drunk enough water, and are well hydrated. In doing so, you put yourself in the best position mentally and physically to perform at your best and attain your highest score.
5. Sharpen your skills
The LNAT test measures your verbal and logical reasoning abilities. Sharpen your inductive and deductive reasoning skills by practicing logical reasoning tests. Do puzzles and jigsaws to hone your logical reasoning abilities.
Read articles and case studies to see if you can pick out the key messages. Sharpen your analysis and synthesizing skills by asking friends if you can explain articles to them and suggest a logical and reasoned argument to them. Ask them if they agree with your views and conclusions based on the information you've shared with them.
The LNAT test assesses your inherent abilities but sharpening these abilities enables you to perform to the best of your ability in the test.
6. Manage your time effectively
Timed assessments call for individuals to manage their time throughout the whole test. Be clear on the time you have for the test, and monitor your time as you progress.
If you are stuck on a question in the first part of the LNAT test, don't dwell on it. Mark the question as under review and come back to it before moving on to the second part of the test. The more questions you answer correctly, the higher your score will be.
Make sure you have the opportunity to have answered as many questions as you can in the 95 minutes time allocation rather than spending too much time on one question and finding you don't have enough time to get through the test. Always remember to factor in time to check your answers at the end of the test. Apply the same method to the second part of the LNAT.
7. Practice under timed conditions
When practicing sample LNAT tests, it is essential that you practice under timed conditions. This means that you experience the time pressures you will feel in the actual test and also better understand how you react under this pressure.
Practicing under timed conditions also allows you to learn how to manage your time to ensure you leave enough time to complete questions. Having the experience of a timed practice also means you know how to pace yourself and go back and review the ones you initially struggled with.
Using your experiences on how you react under time pressure allows you to determine strategies to help you keep calm if you feel yourself panicking, which you can use in the actual test should you need to.
8. Make sure you read and understand the instructions
An important part of performing well on the LNAT is ensuring you take the time to read the instructions properly.
While it is tempting to start answering questions as quickly as possible, taking the time to understand what you have to do and reading the questions carefully can save you time overall. Reading and re-reading the instructions ensures that you don't miss any vital information in the passage of information given.
Reading the question carefully to ensure you understand what is being asked of you means that you misinterpret the question, which could result in you selecting an incorrect answer.
9. Stay calm
Keeping calm and focusing on the questions is integral to performing to the best of your abilities. If you are starting to panic, use the strategies you devised from your practice tests to help you keep a clear head.
Deep breathing and re-reading the question are ways to bring your focus back to a question if you feel yourself starting to panic. If you continue to struggle with a question, move on to the next; remember to come back to any questions marked as under review.
10. Review your answers
Before moving on to the next section or completing the test, review your answers. In doing so, you can be confident that the answers you have selected are the ones that you believe to be correct. It also means that you have double-checked your answers and did not make careless mistakes in accidentally choosing an answer you didn't mean to.
Remember that once you have moved on to the second part of the LNAT test, you can not come back and review the answers you selected in the test's multiple choice section. Ensure that you are happy with your answers in the first part of the LNAT test before moving on to the essay question.