Sunday, 13 July 2008


LNAT scores 2007/8 post

Will I have to take the LNAT?
If you are applying to either Oxford or Cambridge as an affiliated student then you will still be required to take the LNAT. It is important to note that the other universities which offer the two year course and also require the LNAT for standard undergraduates (Birmingham, Bristol and Exeter) have waived it for affiliated applications.

What is the LNAT?
The LNAT, or National Admissions Test for Law, is (to quote Wikipedia) "an admissions aptitude test. [...] The test taker is allotted two hours to complete an essay and 30 multiple choice questions aimed at measuring reading comprehension and logical reasoning skills. The reading portion contains ten sets of between two and five questions based around a respective short reading passage. The questions typically ask for terms and arguments from the reading to be defined by inference. The essay lasts for 40 minutes and involves the candidate answering one of five available essay questions. The questions are open-ended topics typically about student related issues or other well familiar subject matter. The reading section is scored out of 30 and the essays are individually marked by proctors at the respective universities."
There is also a limit of 750 words to the essay part.

How can I prepare for it?
The official LNAT website updates with one past paper each cycle, and there are some sample questions in this Guardian article. There are many companies out there offering 'LNAT tuition' or selling books as to how to pass/obtain a good score, but the LNAT website itself cautions you against purchasing these. It advises that the only extra 'revision' you need do for it is to read a "quality newspaper" every day. Even this is not a necessity - certainly not for the multiple choice part which is more testing of your linguistic ability than any knowledge of current affairs - but it may be useful to familiarise yourself with the topical issues of the day, as they are often pertinent to the essay section.

How important is it to my application?
Truthfully no-one really knows which parts of the LNAT are used in admissions criteria, or how much credence it is given. The average score on the multiple choice section in the 2006/2007 cycle was 16.8, so it stands to reason that most candidates who are successful in attaining an interview will meet or exceed this. However, there have been people who scored less than the average and still received an invitation to interview, and a subsequent offer.
The importance of the essay section is even harder to judge, as obviously its reception by the tutors at each respective university is completely subjective. Overall, it is not clear how much weight is given to the LNAT in the whole of a candidate's application; nonetheless, doing well is normally a positive indicator that you will be invited to interview, whilst a less than stellar score is not necessarily a reason to despair.

When and how can I apply for it?
The cycle opens every year on the 1st of September, and runs until the 15th of January. It is advised that affiliated candidates seek to book a test as soon as the cycle opens so that they can meet the Oxbridge UCAS deadline of the 15th of October.
All bookings have to be made online through the official website, which only accepts payments via credit card or electronic voucher. If you do not have access to an international credit card, or someone who pay on your behalf, you can purchase an electronic voucher code by printing out a form and attaching a cheque, or alternatively emailing the form and initiating an online bank transfer. It can take up to 10 days for voucher to be issued on sending a cheque, or five with the bank transfer so candidates should be aware of the delay between payment and ability to book test dates if they plan to leave their test until closer to the deadline.

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