LNAT Basics: The Complete Guide

What is the LNAT, why is it used and how is it scored? The Law National Admissions Test (LNAT) is a 2 hour and 15 minute written test for law students applying to selected UK universities. It is a computer-based test that can be taken at different times with unique questions at each sitting.

Author: Thalia Salvage

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What is the LNAT, why is it used and how it is scored?

The Law National Admissions Test (LNAT) is a 2 hour and 15-minute written exam for Law students who are applying to certain UK universities. It is a computer-based exam that can be sat at different times with unique questions at each sitting. The test is taken at a Pearson centre, which is where you will have taken your driving theory in the UK.

You register to take the test online and book a time slot at a test centre near you – make sure you book early because convenient locations might book up quickly! It costs £75 to book the LNAT at UK/EU test centres and £120 outside the EU.

What is the LNAT structure?

Section A:

42 multiple-choice questions | 95 minutes

The first section of the LNAT is the multiple-choice section. Students are presented with 12 passages and 42 questions, with approximately 3-5 questions per passage. There is a total of 95 minutes for this section and you cannot use any of the time for Section B in Section A – you only have a maximum of 95 minutes.

Section B:

1 essay question | 40 minutes

Section B gives students the choice of three essay questions. You’ll have no idea of the topics they could be beforehand and you have 40 minutes to write the essay. To score the highest marks, you must:

  • Answer the question (around 25% of essays we mark don’t do this!)
  • Follow a logical structure
  • Be as clear as possible
  • Develop a coherent argument
  • Convey that argument to the reader

Why is the LNAT used?

The LNAT was established in 2004 and is currently used by nine UK universities. LNAT universities require their applicants to take the LNAT because it helps the admissions tutors differentiate between applicants who have similar grades. It is also helpful when applicants have different qualifications. 

For example, it can be hard to compare an applicant who has A-levels with applicants who have Advanced Highers, the IB or qualifications from other countries. The LNAT gives the admissions tutors more information on which to base their decision of who to give a place at the university to.

The weighting of the LNAT differs from university to university. For example, The University of Bristol has placed 25% weight on it in previous years. Universities use the LNAT for a reason and place a lot of importance on it, however, it is best to check each university for their specific usage.

The LNAT Universities

The following are LNAT universities and you must take the LNAT to apply:

LNAT University Course Code
University of BristolM100, MR11, MR12 and MR13
University of CambrigeM100
Durham UniversityM101, M102
University of GlasgowM114, M1R7, M1R1, M121, M1R2, M122, M1R3, M1M9, M1RR, M1R4, M123, MN11, MN12, MV13, ML11, MQ13, MQ15, ML17, MV11, MV15, ML12, MR17, M100, M9R1, M9R2, M9R3, M9R4, MN19, ML13, M1L1, MQ93, MQ95, MV91, MV95, ML92
King’s College LondonLM21, M100, M121, M122, M190
LSEM100
University of NottinghamM100, M101, M1R1, M1R2
University of Oxford
M100, M190, M191, M192, M193, M194
SOASM100 LLB and all other combinations including Law. M102 LLB Senior Status does not require the LNAT
UCLM100, M101, M102, M141, M142, M144, M145, M146

If you are applying to the following non-UK universities, check with the universities if you need to sit the LNAT:

When do I sit the LNAT?

This depends on whether you are applying to Oxbridge or another university. Look at the dates below to see what applies to you:

Non-Oxbridge university LNAT key dates:

  • 1 August 2022: UCAS registration will open. LNAT registration begins.
  • 1 September 2022: LNAT testing begins.
  • Mid-September 2022: UCAS applications can be submitted.

Oxford and Cambridge LNAT key dates:

  • 1 August -15 September 2022: Register and book your LNAT test slot (in order to sit the test before or on, 15 October 2022).
  • 15 October 2022: Submit your UCAS form.
  • 15 October 2022: Sit the LNAT before, or at the latest on, 15 October 2022.

How is the LNAT scored?

Section A of the LNAT is scored out of 42 and is marked by a computer. There is no negative marking (minus marks for answering a question wrong), so every question should be at least attempted!

Section B (the essay section) is sent directly to the universities, they mark this section themselves. They are testing your ability to construct a reasoned, persuasive and balanced argument.

The average score on the LNAT tends to be around 21 but students should aim for 27+ to give themselves the best chance of securing a place at their first choice. In previous years, successful Oxford students have scored around 27 with Nottingham students scoring around the mid-20s and Glasgow students scoring around 22. 

You will receive your results depending on when you took the test. For example, if you took the LNAT before January, you will receive your results by February. However, remember that you can only take the LNAT once between September and July unless there are extenuating circumstances. Make sure you’ve got all the important LNAT dates in your calendar.

We wish you the best of luck with your LNAT!

Looking to effectively boost your LNAT score? 

The UniAdmissions LNAT Programme will rapidly boost your score and triple your chances of succeeding in your Law application.

 UniAdmissions helps students refine and hone their abilities so that they’re exam-ready on test day for all aspects of the LNAT exam. Our expert tutors will guide you through past papers in mock exam scenarios so that you are well-prepared by the time your exam comes around.

Book An Expert Application Consultation