What is the Cambridge Law Test?

The Cambridge Law Test (CLT) is an essay question designed to assess your aptitude for law by testing your comprehension and exposition skills. The University of Cambridge explicitly states in its advance materials (and when communicating with prospective candidates) that no prior knowledge of law is required to pass this exam.

Author: Zayra Morales

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The CLT is no longer being used for Cambridge Law. The LNAT is used instead for 2022 Law Applicants. 

The Cambridge Law Test (CLT) consists of an essay question designed to assess your aptitude for the law by testing your comprehension and exposition skills.

The University of Cambridge state explicitly in their pre-release material (and when they’re communicating with potential applicants) that you don’t need to have any prior knowledge of law to be successful in this exam.

In other words, a candidate who had studied Law at A-level would not be given any particular advantage over someone who studied History and English.

What happens on the day of the Cambridge Law test?

The Cambridge Law Test is sat on the day of the Interview and is one hour in length. There will only be one single essay question in the exam, and you will have a choice from three different questions.

You do not need to register or be registered in advance for the assessment at the Interview. The Cambridge Colleges will provide details of the arrangements in their invitation letters sent out to candidates.

The questions in the exam tend to take different formats. Some of the questions are prefaced with a quote and it is then for the candidate to either challenge or support the statement. Here, the examiner will be looking for a coherent and logical chain of thought from candidates. Addressing the question directly and marshalling evidence in support of the propositions presented is crucial. This is the basis of a strong and coherent essay.


Here are three examples of CLT essay questions:

Would it be a failure of UK democracy if a majority of UK adults supported restoration of the death penalty, but the UK Parliament consistently voted to maintain its abolition? Discuss.

Is there ever justification for holding a person liable for damage that he or she does not cause? If so, in what circumstances?

If you come up with an idea for a new product and tell a friend about it, should you be able to sue your friend for a share of profits if your friend (without your knowledge or consent) takes your idea, develops the product and makes a lot of money from selling it? Discuss.

Where does it fit in the application process?

The CLT exam is considered alongside a range of factors when assessing the suitability of candidates to study Law at Cambridge. It is not the case that relatively poor performance in the CLT exam would relinquish your chances of gaining entry. However, it is still the case that this is an important part of the process and a great opportunity to demonstrate your ability to write coherently and produce a strong sense of an argument.

It is important to prepare thoroughly for the exam and perform to the best of your ability; a slightly weaker performance in the Interview can be compensated by a strong exam score for instance. Students who attend the UniAdmissions’ CLT Preparation Programme are more likely to achieve higher results in the exam and will be prepared for the academic rigour demanded by the questions.

For international applicants, you may be required to sit the CLT at an overseas interview centre. If you are offered an overseas interview, you will receive more information about the test from the college that is handling your application. If you are a mature student applying to a mature college, Cambridge Law entry requirements differ slightly for mature students, so you should contact the college you wish to apply to for more information on procedures.

What is studying law like at Cambridge?

Get the truth behind the myths surrounding life at Cambridge University and find out what it’s really like studying Law at Cambridge. Jiaqing Low, who recently graduated from Cambridge after studying Law, outlines a day in the life of a Cambridge Law student to help you paint a picture of what life is like to study at the famous University:

What should I do next?

The Cambridge Law Test is fast approaching and you need to prepare for the test as soon as possible. Forms of preparation for the CLT should include completing timed practice essay questions from the material available through the Cambridge University website. Ensure you always practise under exam conditions to replicate the real thing as closely as you can.

In some ways, it’s lucky to have the test and Interview in one day. It means that you can do all your preparation at once rather than have it drag out. However, the most important part of preparing for any test or Interview is starting early! 

Hoping to get your dream offer from Cambridge Law School? Effective LNAT preparation is crucial to achieving your goal. 

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