How to Ace the LNAT Exam
The LNAT is the Law National Aptitude Test. Some universities use this test to assess prospective students’ reasoning, deduction and writing abilities, prior to offering you an interview. Although taking an entrance exam like this may seem daunting, with enough research and planning, you’ll be able to walk into the exam hall feeling equipped and confident.
Here are our six top tips on how to ace the LNAT exam:
1. Section A consists of 42 multiple choice questions based on twelve different passages of writing. The passages will provide you with some information or an argument, and you’ll be given three to four questions on each article. This is to test your understanding of the points being made, and your comprehension of the arguments. You have 95 minutes to complete Section A.
2. Section B requires you to answer one of three essay questions. These essays can be on a range of topics, but often have a philosophical or abstract twist to encourage you to tie your current knowledge into a wider debate. You’ll be expected to balance your arguments in such a way that you can come to a defensible conclusion. You have 40 minutes to complete Section B.
2. Use Past Papers
Doing past papers is a great way to get to grips with the sort of questions you’ll be asked in your exam.
The LNAT is timed, so you should aim to complete the past papers in similar timed conditions. By the time you reach the LNAT, the timed aspect won’t seem as daunting because you’ll have already practised under pressure.
Unfortunately, there aren’t unlimited papers online, but you can check out the official LNAT website for a small selection of past papers.
The practice papers on the LNAT site are all accompanied by a commentary, explaining the answers to each individual question. This is perhaps the most important reason to use the past papers – they’re an excellent tool to help you understand how to approach the questions, and what the examiners are looking for in your answers.
There are no specific facts to learn for the LNAT, but you do need to learn how to assimilate a text quickly, and identify which part of the text the question is referring to. The more you practise this skill, the easier it will be to do well on exam day.
3. Read the News
This is actually an incredibly useful tip that doesn’t take too much time, and will benefit you beyond your Law applications. Read an article or two from an esteemed newspaper or source, such as The Financial Times or The Economist, and then spend five to ten minutes thinking critically about that piece. This is a great way to improve your reasoning and comprehension skills.
For example, you could challenge yourself to summarise two different arguments being made in the piece, or to distinguish between facts and opinions in the article. This will help simulate the sort of thinking that you need to practise to be successful in the LNAT. You could even get a friend to ask you questions about the article!
If you’re looking to find new resources to boost your wider reading in Law, you can sign up to OxBright’s subject-specific newsletter for weekly recommendations!
4. Practise Writing Essays
In addition to answering the multiple choice questions, the LNAT also requires you to write an essay. The essays can be on a range of topics, and a list of sample essay questions can be found on the LNAT website.
You have 40 minutes to write up to 750 words in order to answer the question, but candidates tend to write 500-600 altogether.
Remember that the examiners are looking at quality, not quantity! Don’t feel like you need to write more just to get closer to the word limit if it’s going to take away from the quality of your answer, or obscure your argument.
Practise timing yourself to write a few of the sample essay questions. This will help you to better understand what you’ll have to do in the actual exam.
Get a friend to review your answer and ask you questions. This will help you to balance your argument and defend your conclusion at the end of your essay. Being able to orally defend your point of view is a great way to improve your written work too!
5. Read the LNAT Preparation Guide
The official LNAT website has a preparation guide to help you get started with your LNAT revision. It contains lots of guidance and tips, as well as what not to do, in order to help you do well in the exam.
One very important thing to note is that the LNAT administrators warn against paying for online LNAT coaching. Some of these coaches charge large amounts of money for sessions which don’t have any substantial benefits, and do not guarantee an improvement in your mark.
However, there is absolutely no harm in working with other people. Teachers, general tutors or even friends, can help you to get into the mindset needed to do well in the LNAT. Discussing a piece of work will naturally encourage you to think more deeply about what you’ve read, allowing you to analyse information to find the exact answer you’re looking for.
6. Take Your Time!
Our final top tip for acing the LNAT is for test day! It’s normal to be nervous about admissions tests, but they really are there to give you a challenge, not to trip you up.
For the multiple choice section of the paper, you’ll have plenty of time to read the extract twice before searching for the relevant part of the writing to answer the questions. Use as much of the time as you can, and always triple check your answers.
For the essay part, you aren’t expected to write pages and pages. Take five minutes to plan out a structured essay, with a small introduction (a line or two), and a clear conclusion which summarises your arguments. You want to make it clear to the examiner that you can write clearly and coherently. Again, use as much of the time as you can – it will be over in a flash!
In summary, if you work hard to familiarise yourself with the exam, practise until it becomes less daunting, and do a bit of reading and research, the LNAT will become much easier. There are always resources to help you prepare, so relax – you’ve got this!
By Jamie Emerick
Jamie is a recent Law graduate of Trinity College, University of Oxford. Alongside his writing work, offering first-hand advice for those looking to study Law at university, Jamie works at a MedTech firm as an IP Law Assistant, helping to manage their IP portfolio.
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