Making sure you thoroughly practise before taking the LNAT is the key to success, but where do you start? Instead of facts and figures, the law school admissions test is designed to assess your verbal reasoning aptitude with two different sections to work through in timed conditions: The LNAT Multiple-Choice Questions and Part B: The Essay section.
You’ll be tested on your ability to plan and use your time effectively during the LNAT, as well as reading and reasoning – all of which are crucial skills you’ll need to pursue a career in law.
As an aspiring law student, you might already be familiar with complex readings. However, it’s still important to practise the types of LNAT questions beforehand to ensure you’re not left with blank answers on the day of the test.
In order to achieve a high score you’ll need to perfect your logical inference skills – a key part of the test. Inference means an idea or conclusion that’s drawn from evidence and reasoning; it’s effectively an educated guess. In the context of the LNAT, you’ll need to draw logical conclusions from given (and often limited) information that is assumed to be true.
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When making logical inferences, make sure you read the text carefully and go over it, if you have time. This will ensure you understand exactly what the question is asking you to do.
Check the structure of the question, if it’s a double negative it might be asking you to do two things. An example of this could be distinguishing what the writer is suggesting and pinpointing what is not being implied.
It’s also a good idea to allocate a specific amount of time during the test to re-reading the text as it will pay off in the end. It could be what makes the key difference between achieving a high LNAT score instead of an average one.
With inferences you need to rely on facts to determine further facts, rather than drawing a conclusion just from a situation. You would go about this by looking at the facts presented in a given situation and then trying to work out what those facts suggest about the scenario in the passage.
It’s important to remember that you should only choose the facts that add to the inference you’re making. Try to discern the relevant from the irrelevant, as examiners will be looking to see that you know how to distinguish between lots of information quickly.
Information might not be set out in a straightforward manner. What you’re looking for might appear in an example that can then be used to make an inference. Remember to look between the lines at what is implied.
The test isn’t designed to trick you but it’s trying to get you to demonstrate your ability to make a logical inference based on the limited information available. This is something you’ll need to be able to do as a trainee at a law firm, when a client has given you select information to work with.
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You should focus on the information provided in the passage. Even if the information is fictional, you have to act as if it is real for the sake of the question. Don’t be tempted to use information that’s not in front of you; it won’t benefit or score you any extra marks.
Identify what the keywords of the passage are before you begin to read the whole text through. This method is called ‘targeted reading’ and involves picking out the keywords and then identifying what the core of the argument is and whether there is any evidence to support it.
Not only will this method make answering the question easier, it will also streamline the process. You’ll be able to cross-reference keywords as you read through the passage.
Examiners will be looking to see that you understand the different stages and development of an argument. They also want to see that you can read material quickly to get the gist of the main ideas, which then allows you to focus on key words and elements of the passage.
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