Are you considering applying to Cambridge University to study law? If so, you’ll need to sit the Cambridge Law Test, which is used alongside your interview performance, application and exam results. This page will tell you everything you need to know about sitting the Cambridge Law Test, as well as providing sample questions. You can also read more on studying Law at Oxbridge here. COVID-19 Update: Cambridge is allowing students to take the law test online this year from the 23rd November.
What Is the Cambridge Law Test?
The Cambridge Law Test is a pen and paper test designed to assess your aptitude for law by testing your comprehension and exposition skills. Cambridge state that you don’t need to have any prior knowledge of law. You’ll have one hour to answer an essay question, and you’ll sit this on the day of your interview.
What will the Cambridge Law Test Involve?
The Cambridge Law Faculty provide some examples for the type of questions you might find. In the test, you’ll be given a selection of three questions and asked to answer one in one hour.
There are three types of question that colleges tend to use:
- Essay questions
- Problem questions
- Comprehension questions
- These questions ask the candidate to consider a statement, and discuss it, giving reasons for their arguments for or against the opinion
- You must structure your answer clearly, think about setting out your introduction, introducing your reasoning, and linking your arguments
- The College won’t be looking to test your legal knowledge, but your writing ability and persuasive capabilities
- You will be given a statement of law, and a scenario. You will have to identify the issues in the scenario and where and how to apply the relevant law
- The key is to explain how you believe the statement of law applies in a structured and persuasive manner
- It is crucial to explain your reasoning and logical thinking along the way!
- In these kinds of tests, you will be given a passage, or a section from a judgment
- You will then have to process the information given, and be prepared to summarise your understanding of the text and answer a number of questions on it
- The key to succeeding is to show your thorough understanding of the text, and the main argument it attempts to put across, and show that you can form clear, well-structured arguments
How Is the Cambridge Law Test Marked?
In the Cambridge Law Test, you are assessed on the clarity of your response, how well you are able to engage with the issues in the question, and your ability to construct a well-written, clearly structured, coherent argument.
The Cambridge Law Test is marked out of 10 – the same way interviewees are assessed. The marks are as follows:
- 10 – Exceptional applicant – must take
- 9 – Very strong – definitely worth an offer
- 8 – Strong – worth an offer
- 7 – Probably worth an offer
- 6 – Possibly worth an offer
- 5 – Doubtful of an offer
- 4 – Weak
- 1-3 – Probably unacceptable
Where Can I Find Examples of Essay Questions?
Below are some examples of essay questions that may appear in the Cambridge Law Test. You can also see more examples of essay questions in the three sample tests available on the Cambridge website here.
- “Judges should be given no discretion in sentencing criminals: all criminal penalties should be fixed by statute. The exercise of discretion in sentencing requires an exercise of moral judgment by the judge, and judges in a modern democracy should not be allowed to exercise moral authority over their fellow citizens.” How far do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.
- Should people be regarded as having fundamental moral rights, quite independently of law? If so, how should we decide what those rights are? Give reasons for your answer.