There are often weeks and months of preparation that go into practice exams, building confidence and reading current affairs ahead of the LNAT. Yet, once the exam itself is over and you’ve done all that you can, it’s easy to question why you needed to do it all, and how it will help during your law degree.
The Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT) is used by universities to support them in choosing candidates for their undergraduate law courses. It is reassuring to know then that all the hard work is not wasted as we start a career in law.
We’ve put together a handy guide on the top ten ways the LNAT sets us up, and even gives us a head start, as we enter or progress our legal education beyond A Level.
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At university there are weekly seminars where a small number of law students are brought together to consider and evaluate various legal topics.
In both seminars and lectures, it is common to feel a wave of panic as teachers direct questions at us and everyone feels nervous from time to time, no matter how confident they may seem.
The LNAT does not lend itself to revision as there is no syllabus per se, but rather skills. It tests responsiveness, adaptability and your ability to apply knowledge to different scenarios.
The LNAT is not testing the legal knowledge of a particular topic matter. Instead, it presents questions from seven key areas: ethics, education, law, media, philosophy, politics and science.
It is important to read the news, commentary blogs and social media to gather information from industry experts and the general public. This helps to give a full understanding of the different aspects of how society works. Legal seminars and lectures are likely to reference these too. Who knew that Facebook could help with your law degree?
Those seven topics mentioned above make up the LNAT. With the exception of science, it is unlikely that you will have studied any of the others in depth for more than two years — and that is if you opted for those subjects at A-Level.
During an LLB law degree, you’ll be introduced to at least twelve areas of the law that range from criminal, land to media and, sports law. Throwing yourself into these new areas wholeheartedly removes the worry and apprehension ahead of the diverse subject matters you will come across during your degree.
Your ability to present your ideas, reasoning and arguments in a coherent manner is a fundamental part of a career in law, and it starts with the LNAT. Universities use the LNAT to indicate your aptitude and appetite for verbal reasoning. This will help you to become accustomed with speaking up in seminar discussions and even mooting.
At school teachers would often remind students not to forget to read the question multiple times, to make sure you fully understand what’s being asked of you. In an unfamiliar environment it’s all too easy to overlook or misinterpret information, particularly when you’re feeling nervous.
The LNAT explores your ability to understand the issues and assumptions that are raised by carefully reading and dissecting the words in front of you – exactly what you will be doing frequently during your law degree.
Adopting an analytical and constructive approach to legal information enables you to pull out distinctions, understand what your arguments are and, as such, what your counter-arguments are too.
A legal career, starting with a degree in law, requires you to consider all angles of an argument and assess the information at hand to see how you can best counter these points.
A key skill the LNAT requires is your ability to reach a logical, certain argument using critical reasoning to make a logical inference. The inference is made based on limited information that is presented to you. This is known as deductive reasoning.
Evaluating your comprehension, interpretation, analytical and deduction skills is a vital element of your law degree, which starts with the LNAT.
As a legal scholar, it’s important to have a keen eye for detail as this will help you reach a fair conclusion. You will need to be able to read between the lines to distinguish fact from opinion or inference. You shouldn’t reach a conclusion without having all of the relevant information to hand.
Universities want to know whether you pay attention to detail when reading comprehension, and writing complicated or large amounts of material.
The LNAT is looking to see whether you can read material quickly to get the gist of they key ideas in the text and then identify the important parts of the passage.
It is also analysing your essay writing skills, namely whether you can construct a persuasive, balanced and evidence-based argument. Additionally, you’ll need to be able to convince the reader, structure your essay accordingly and use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax.
Justice and fairness are the foundations of the legal system. Rather than focusing on leader board tables or grades, the LNAT tests skill. This focus leads many people to believe that the LNAT is therefore a better choice for identifying raw talent and natural flair. This assists universities in making fairer choices when selecting candidates.
So, there you have it. The LNAT is far from being a one-time memory test. This will support you throughout your law degree and onto the next stage in your career.
Author: Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe
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