LNAT Section A: Top 4 Tips
LNAT Section A consists of 42 multiple choice questions (MCQs) which you have 95 minutes to complete. Your MCQ score will be forwarded to each university you have applied to which requires the LNAT. This score is taken into consideration in deciding whether to offer you a place. Here are my top tips for completing the LNAT Section A with confidence.
1. Closely read the LNAT Section A passage
It is most important that you read the passage as closely as possible. One of the most frequent pieces of advice given by teachers before an exam is to thoroughly read the question and understand what you are being asked before attempting to answer. The LNAT Section A is no different. The passage should be read deliberately with the assumption that every word is useful.
Different students approach such close analytical reading differently. For example, you may find that skim reading the passage first to catch the gist of the argument before beginning to analyse each sentence works best for you, or you may prefer to skip the skim reading step and go straight to analysing what each sentence is adding to the overall argument.
Whichever method suits you best, the point is still the same: you must read every detail of the passage, analysing why certain words are used, why certain grammar is used and what linguistic devices are used for what reason. You need to read the passages like you are trying to find the missing clue which will solve a mystery. By reading in this precise manner, you give yourself the best chance of spotting where the answer lies.
2. The LNAT is not designed to trick you
A frustration I had when I sat the LNAT was that often the potential answers you are given are hard to distinguish between. The purpose of the LNAT Section A is to test the skills that are important in the legal profession such as drawing out ambiguities in material. Therefore everything you are asked is designed to test these skills.
If you do find similar answers difficult to tell apart, then adopting a method of elimination is helpful. So if the right answer is far from clear, you should carefully read the possible answers and use the information in the passage to eliminate the wrong answers, until you come to the answer you deem to be the most correct given the information you have.
3. Do not imply but pay attention to implications
You are not required to ‘revise’ for the LNAT nor are there particular areas of expertise you must have to sit the assessment. However if the topic of the passage is one in which you have detailed knowledge, you must turn that part of your brain off. The LNAT has given you the answer in the passage, therefore an answer you deem to be correct because of external knowledge may be incorrect.
However, pay close attention to anything that the author may have implied in their argument. This could be invaluable to your understanding of the passage and may even be the answer to a question.
4. Pace yourself and don’t waste leftover time
You get 95 minutes to complete this assessment so don’t fly through every question like you are running out of time. My best piece of advice is to find the right balance between pacing yourself and not wasting valuable time.
If you are stuck with a question and no amount of re-reading the passage or re-reading the question seems to be getting you any closer to picking an answer, then the LNAT Section A flagging tool will be your best friend. This tool allows you to mark a question for review and then come back to it, so make use of this. You should never leave anything out in the LNAT. You don’t lose marks for wrong answers so any answer still has a 1 in 4 chance of being right, however leaving a question for a while and moving on to the next gives your brain the break it needs to be able to return to the tricky parts and re-evaluate the answers afresh.
Finally, it is important to point out that even if you feel the MCQs are your strength in the LNAT, I can assure you that speeding through them will not improve your essay and you cannot return to the MCQs once you have moved on to Section B.
Words: Alicia Gibson