LNAT Preparation: The Complete Guide

Sitting the LNAT can be a daunting experience, and knowing what to expect is uncertain. We look at the best ways to prepare for the LNAT.

Author: Chloe Hewitt

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If you are applying for Law at Oxford, Cambridge, or other top universities, one of the biggest hurdles you will be faced with is the LNAT.

Unlike any test you have ever done before, ensuring you have effectively prepared for the LNAT will make all the difference when it comes to scoring highly.

But how can you prepare for the LNAT?

Understanding The LNAT

It may seem an obvious point, but it is an important part of preparing for the LNAT.

To be able to prepare for the LNAT you need to understand the Admissions Test and know all this is to know about it.

This will be things such as the types of questions asked and the timings of each section.

In case you are unaware, or need reminding, the Admissions Test is two and a quarter hour long split into two sections.

Section A consists of 42 multiple-choice questions. The questions are based on 12 argumentative passages, with 3 or 4 multiple-choice questions on each. You are given 95 minutes to answer all of the questions.

For Section B, you have 40 minutes to answer one of three essay questions on a range of subjects.

Something else to be kept in mind is that the universities which accept the LNAT all vary in their use of it.

The University of Bristol, for example, places a 40% weighting on the LNAT in their admissions process with 60% weighting on the multiple-choice questions and 40% on the essay.

King’s College London interestingly only assesses Section A, so you will not be marked by them for your essay.

In comparison, the University of Oxford takes the essay very seriously and even has their own official mark scheme for it.

Understanding how the universities you are applying to utilise the LNAT will be essential in your preparations.

Effective LNAT preparation is crucial to achieving an offer. 

Writing the perfect Personal Statement, scoring highly on the LNAT and interviewing like a pro is how you get your dream Oxbridge Law offer.

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Staying Up To Date With Current Affairs

Reading a quality newspaper daily will help you to be aware of the world around you. The LNAT essay topics will not be specifically about current affairs, and you will not be judged by what facts you know.

But knowing how the world ticks, in general terms, will help you to write intelligently about a host of different topics.

As you read you should:

You could download the BBC News app for example and read the latest stories whilst on your commute.

If you do read news, online make sure to read comment pieces as well to have an idea about the contrast between the two.

It is all well and good for you to know the facts, but you need to also know the opinions surrounding them, as the essay will not only be assessing your writing skills but also how you put an argument across.

A very important skill for an aspiring lawyer to have.

You Can Revise For The LNAT

With a verbal reasoning Admissions Test such as the LNAT there is no content for you to revise. Therefore, it might seem daunting thinking about how to prepare for the LNAT.

You can though, put yourself in the best possible position to sit the test. This can be by familiarising yourself with the types of questions you might face and also honing the skills you need.

The skills that you are expected to demonstrate are:

These abilities are particularly useful in the study and practice of Law, for tasks like identifying whether legal doctrine can be interpreted differently, spotting when something is fact or opinion, and for forming counterarguments.

Unlike skills which can be taught, verbal reasoning tends to be something for which people have a natural flair and is, therefore, something Law Admissions Tutors actively look for in undergraduates.  

You can hone these skills by attempting a practice paper under timed conditions, particularly the essay to ensure that you not only have the timing nailed down but also are constructing your argument effectively.

Tips For LNAT Section A

What is important to remember is that the answer to the question is right in front of you; the skill is accurately deciphering what the question is asking you, identifying the relevant areas of text it refers to, and then choosing the most accurate statement.

If you do skip any of the multiple-choice questions you can come back to them by marking them for review. Remember though that you need to go back to them before the multiple-choice part of the Admissions Test is over.

You cannot go back to them after the essay.

One technique you could try is to skim-reading, or speed read the passages. But then go back and read them slower and more deliberately and think about the exact meaning of each sentence.

Make sure to note down any keywords and phrases.

Remember, that one of the hallmarks of a good multiple-choice question is the inclusion of one or more answer options that are wrong but almost right. Work hard to find and eliminate them.

Questions like this are not tricks. They are there to test whether your powers of discrimination are fine-grained or coarse-grained.

There are no trick questions in the LNAT.

And most importantly, you need to accept that one and only one of the answers is correct. All the questions have been thoroughly checked. If there are matters of degree, the question is there to test how you handle it.

If there are ambiguities, they are assessing how well you cope with ambiguities.

The solution is always there in the passage.

Tips For LNAT Section B

The essay section of the LNAT is your opportunity to impress university Admissions Tutor with your ability to make a concise and interesting argument using a good command of the English language.

However, you will have time restrictions and will not know the subject of the questions in advance, so a good all-round knowledge of a range of issues and being able to think on your feet will be invaluable.

The ideal LNAT essay is 500-600 words long. If you write less than this your essay will be too short to be evaluated properly and you are unlikely to do well.

However, a very long essay will also put you at a disadvantage. You have lots of time to think, organise your thoughts, compose and edit. You should try and remove repetition, surplus words, and digressions. This kind of discipline will be rewarded.

Do not try and impress with fancy words or elaborate style. Be straightforward in your writing and your argument.

Speaking of your argument, do not sit on the fence. Do not say that each side of the argument has a point unless you go on to say which point each side has.

Your opinions do not matter, all the Admissions Tutors are interested in seeing is your ability to defend a position which may or may not be your own personal opinion. In fact, you may do better if you attempt to defend a position that you do not agree with personally – this may make your argument tighter.

Practical Preparation for the LNAT

There are some practical considerations to keep in mind, away from the content of the Admissions Test itself.

If you are applying for Oxford or Cambridge, you will need to have sat the LNAT on or before 15th October. If you are not applying to Oxbridge, you have until 25th January.

Make sure to check the deadlines for the universities you are applying to and remember that test places get booked up quickly.

Do not leave it until the last minute.

Make sure to take photo identification and a printout of your confirmation email to the test centre with you. Arrive 20 minutes early, as if you are late, you may not be allowed to sit the test.


It may seem daunting at first having to sit the LNAT as it is unlike any exam you would have sat before and the importance of it to your university application. 

What you have got to remember that the LNAT is your opportunity to demonstrate to the Admissions Tutors that you are capable of succeeding at an academically demanding subject. 

As long as you use your skills of deduction for the multiple-choice questions and argue coherently in your essay you are sure to do well. 

Remember, the LNAT is not designed to trip you up. Its purpose is to allow you to demonstrate the skills that are necessary for a career in Law. 

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