Applying for Law at Cambridge, it is important to know what to expect when you sit the Cambridge Law Test.
The CLT is designed to examine your ability to cope with the intellectual and academic rigour of the Cambridge Law course. A student studying Law at Cambridge would be expected to demonstrate a number of qualities; including, analytical skills, an ability to construct a logical argument and strong reasoning skills. These are the sorts of qualities examiners will be wanting to see from applicants.
Preparation is vital and will make all the difference, which is why we are here to provide help and excellent CLT tips!
What Is The Structure Of The Cambridge Law Test?
Candidates sit the exam when they attend the university to have their Interview. Currently, the CLT is being sat online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
What Types Of Questions Do They Ask?
There are three types of question that colleges tend to use:
- Essay questions
- Problem questions
- Comprehension questions
How Is The Cambridge Law Test Marked?
The criteria Cambridge are looking out for include identifying the issues raised by the question and engaging well with it, writing clearly, explaining your reasoning, and structuring this answer in a coherent, well-balanced way. Take a look at the marking criteria document.
Marked out of ten, just like the Interview, Admissions Tutors assess the CLT as follows:
10 – Exceptional applicant – must take
9 – Very strong – definitely worth an offer
8 – Strong – worth an offer
7 – Probably worth an offer
6 – Possibly worth an offer
5 – Doubtful of an offer
4 – Weak
1-3 – Probably unacceptable
Tip 1 - Practical Points
The first thing to point out about the CLT is that the faculty stresses that the test forms one part of your wider application, and is not considered in isolation of other parts of the admissions process.
If you are a mature student applying to a mature college, you should note that the Cambridge Law entry requirements differ slightly for mature students, and mature candidates should contact the college they wish to apply to for more information on procedures. Check the information on entry requirements on the Cambridge website.
Tip 2 - Preparation
One key step in preparation is familiarising yourself with the format of the test. You should take a look at examples. These questions may seem unfamiliar or daunting at first. So one of the most important CLT tips is to read around current affairs and questions about the law and society.
Take an interest in current affairs and what they indicate about the rule of law. For example, the first question in the sample papers linked above concerns compulsory registration of all citizens’ DNA raising questions about the right to privacy.
It also questions whether the purpose of law is the protection of individuals at all costs, and finding at which point the law should protect the rights of the individual over wider national security concerns, when there may be a conflict.
You can see through this example that the Cambridge Law Test criteria of isolating the key issues of the question is incredibly important, particularly given the timescale. By thinking about what is important, and reading around current affairs to develop your thinking of these key issues of law, you will be better prepared when facing the test.
Tip 3 - Writing
Clearly, from the criteria provided, our Cambridge Law Test tips ought to revolve around clarity of expression and structure of writing. There is only one key way to develop this: practice. After familiarising yourself with the format, think about how to plan a clearly expressed, well-balanced response.
When doing practice answers it is important to do so within the hour time limit. This allows the most representative preparation and means you have a better understanding of the time you are working with.
Clear structure and elocution of the English language will be tested throughout the different types of Cambridge Law test essay questions so it’s important you get this down to a tee.
Getting other people to read your writing and check your clarity of expression is important, as you may think what you have said is clearer than it actually is. Remember to focus on a consideration and balance of different sides of the argument.
Tip 4 - Timing
One common pitfall is timing, with just an hour to answer the question, prioritising your time is of the utmost importance.
Do not feel the need to use the entire hour writing your answer. A lot can be done in that time so allocate 10-15 minutes for brainstorming to plan out your argument.
This is a rather generous amount of time to answer one question, but do not run the risk of trying to perfect part of your answer and leave other parts unfinished. This would indicate a lack of organisational skills, as well as an inability to process work within a reasonable time.
You should also leave at least 5-10 minutes at the end to proofread your work and ensure you have time to write a decent conclusion.
Overall, the key Cambridge Law Test tips are practice, familiarisation, wider reading and timing. These are great ways to put yourself in the best position for the test, and will also prove helpful for the Interview section of your application.
The topics and questions are fascinating insights into big questions you may be considering in the study of Law, so overall, try to engage fully and enjoy it!
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