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How to Prepare for the LNAT

How to Prepare for the LNAT

4 min Read|September 26 2023
|Written by:

Thomas Babb


A large quantity of the UK’s top universities require students that are applying to their law courses to sit the LNAT exam. Acting as an acronym for the National Admissions Test for Law, the LNAT is used to help universities distinguish between the vast quantity of students applying with great A-level predictions and results.

If you’re thinking of applying for law, then check out if you need to sit the LNAT before reading more about this exam. If you are indeed going to have to sit this exam, then this is the perfect article for you. We’ll be discussing everything you need to know about the LNAT, covering everything from its structure and scoring to exactly how you should prepare for it.

Without further hesitation, let’s get right into it.

How is the LNAT Structured?

The LNAT consists of two sections, each of which tests different intellectual skills. While this is a test that people applying for law must take, it does not require detailed subject knowledge of law, and is instead meant to test an applicant’s general intelligence.

Within these two sections, you have different amounts of time, as well as different response formats to follow:

  • Section A - The first section of the paper has 42 questions, all of them being multiple-choice. Within this, you’ll work through different argumentative passages, responding to between 3-4 questions on each of the passages. When responding to these 42 questions, you have a total of 95 minutes, meaning this is the bulk of your exam. This section is automatically marked by a computer, which will give you a final score out of 42.
  • Section B - The second section of the paper is much shorter, only giving applicants 40 minutes to respond. This section has three essay questions, of which an applicant will have to select one and then complete the essay. Interestingly, this section doesn’t actually contribute to your final score. However, it is used to prove that you can construct and convey a detailed argument that reaches a logical conclusion. You must finish both sections to complete the exam.

The LNAT is notoriously tricky, with the 42 questions being asked often having layers to work through and decipher. Due to this, the average for most years is actually fairly low, restsing around 50% across 2019-2020.

While a ‘Good’ score for each year will change depending on the paper itself and the yearly average, anything over 27 is considered a very good mark. A 27 or above would likely put you in a very good standing for consideration from top universities like Oxford.

LNAT scores


What Happens If I Get a Low LNAT Score?

If you receive your LNAT results and realise that you haven’t done quite as well as you would have liked, don’t panic. While the LNAT is a required exam for applicants to many law courses at university, it is not the only thing that is looked at.

When a university admissions team looks through your application, the LNAT is just a supporting document for your personal statement and predicted or A-Level grades. If you had an unfortunate year, then all is not lost.

You can still apply to universities with the knowledge that you still have a good chance of receiving an offer.

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How Do I Prepare for the LNAT?

The official LNAT website details some helpful revision information that they suggest students should attempt to follow. Their main tip for revision is for students to ‘Exercise their brains’ by reading a quality newspaper every day.

While this advice is a little on the nose, there is a lot of value to be taken from this tip. Just like when revising for English Literature A-Level, reading widely ensures that you have a large span of base knowledge that you can use to quickly understand the content of the extract you’re reading.

An additional layer to this would be that when you read the news, you should also try and formulate options and ideas about what is going on in the article. You could look at what the opinions expressed in the piece are saying, the logical blocks that make up their argument, or even think about how you would frame a counterargument rebutting their ideas.

This form of intellectual engagement will serve you well, and will help you practise the skills you need for the LNAT exam. What’s more, you can always:

  • Turn to Past Papers - The LNAT site offers a range of sample tests that you can practise with. These are also hosted within the LNAT system, helping you to build up an understanding of how the test portal works and how you can use it on exam day. With a range of past papers available, you can go through these exams and get a feel for the type of comprehension questions that are available to you.

As with many admissions exams, familiarity with the content and style that’s included within the exam will go a long way towards helping you prepare. Using all the resources possible will ensure you feel ready when it comes to exam day.

Final Thoughts

Doing well on the LNAT exam gives you a huge advantage when it comes to applying for law programs within the UK. Considering that law is often one of the most applied for courses at top universities, any advantage you can carve out within your application will give you a much-needed boost.

If you want to give yourself the best possible opportunity to score well in the LNAT, then be sure to use the revision tips that we’ve outlined for you. Additionally, you can always reach out to one of Tutorchase’s online LNAT tutors for guidance. As students that have sat the LNAT and gone on to study at top UK universities, our tutors will be able to walk you through the exam, guide you through past papers, and ensure you feel as ready as possible when it comes to your exam day.

Best of luck with your LNAT exam!

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Professional tutor and Cambridge University researcher

Thomas Babb

Written by: Thomas Babb

Oxford University - PhD Mathematics

Thomas is a PhD candidate at Oxford University. He served as an interviewer and the lead admissions test marker at Oxford, and teaches undergraduate students at Mansfield College and St Hilda’s College. He has ten years’ experience tutoring A-Level and GCSE students across a range of subjects.

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