The LNAT, as you know, is comprised of two parts; Multiple Choice Questions and an essay. Different approaches are required for each. Different LNAT universities place different emphasis on each and so it is important to establish the approach of your universities of choice. Here is a list of things you should think about and do when preparing for your LNAT.
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When you are deciding which universities to choose, check if they require the LNAT test this year. It changes from year to year, some opt out, some join the scheme, for example LSE now requires the LNAT for entry on 2019 whereas it didn’t in previous years.
How much importance do universities place on the LNAT?
Check to see if the universities that you are applying to, takes into account the MCQs, the essay or both. Check if there is a minimum mark out of 42 for the MCQ that you have to achieve to be considered. Find out what the average score on the MCQ is for your universities of choice. Also try to find out how much weighting your universities of choice put on the LNAT compared to other criteria such as your Personal Statement or your predicted grades.
Most importantly, check the deadline dates for the LNAT for each of your universities of choice. If you are applying to Oxford, you need to complete the LNAT before October 20th, so book as soon as possible. You can start booking a date from the 1st of August for an exam date beginning the 1st of September. If you do not have your UCAS number when you book you can enter a series of zeros and then enter the correct number when you have it.
Preparing for the Multiple-Choice Questions
Get hold of practice papers
Obtain practice papers from a range of different sources. Some sources (e.g. Arbitio) provide questions that are harder than the ones you are likely to do on the actual day of the LNAT, so this is a good preparation. Sources of practice questions include; the official LNAT site, the TLP site and LNAT books.
Listen to advice
Read all the advice given about how to answer different styles of questions and how much time should be spent reading the passage and how much time should be spent answering the question.
Timing is of the essence
Always practice under timed conditions. There are 12 sections and you get 95 minutes for the exam so aim to spend 8 minutes on each. With practice you will get better at judging the time.
Keep a record
Record your results so you can check your progress. It is important to gauge how you are progressing so if you are not progressing then you need to review your strategy and if you are progressing, then well done keep it up!!
Practice, Practice, Practice
Remember regular practice is essential to do well in this section.
Regularly read newspapers and magazines such as; The Times, Guardian, FT and the Economist. Obtain online subscriptions. These are often offered free in school or you can get them on trial periods for few months. Some newspapers don’t charge for their online editions.
Practice writing essays try entering essay competitions
You need to get plenty of practice writing LNAT essays. Suggested titles are given in the same sources suggested for the MCQ. Likewise read all the advice given for writing essays. If you don’t do essay based subjects for A-Levels then you may need more practice. Consider entering essay competitions. These are good practice for everyone doing the LNAT. There are many competitions on Economics, History, Law and Philosophy that you can enter.
Get your teachers involved
Get your teacher to review your work. Feedback is always necessary to help you improve your writing skills.
Planning is important.
When writing the essay always do an essay plan before you begin. Think about the arguments and the counter arguments (a few in each case) to be included. In the actual online LNAT, there is no spell/grammar checker but universities care about this, so pay attention to detail and use good vocabulary.
Think about timing
You have 40 minutes (including planning time) so you need to be concise. Choose your strongest arguments and present a few of them well. You will not have time for an extensive discussion.
Remember the rules of good essay writing:
Introduction – Define the terms of the essay and state what you will argue and what you will conclude.
Middle section – Present the arguments for your case, the arguments against your case and state why you believe the arguments for your case are stronger.
Conclusion – Briefly summarise your case.
Good preparation is the key to success. Make sure you know the approach of your chosen university towards the LNAT. Most people have probably not done LNAT style MCQ’s before so a lot of regular practice is necessary. Whilst you may have written a lot of essays the topics are not ones you will have studied in school so general reading of quality newspapers and practice LNAT style essays is also necessary to guarantee success.