The LNAT is a computer-based law entrance exam. Achieving a strong score is a necessity to get into some of the most prestigious universities in the UK (many of which have chosen to use the LNAT as part of their admissions process for some time) and a handful of overseas universities, too.
The exam assesses your verbal reasoning skills, your ability to understand and interpret information, your inductive and deductive reasoning abilities, and your ability to analyse information and draw conclusions. Contrary to some perceptions of the LNAT, it is not designed to test your knowledge of the law. Instead of focusing on content memorisation, the emphasis is on your critical thinking skills (not dissimilar to the kind of critical thinking tests that aspiring solicitors will encounter later on when applying to training contracts and vacation schemes, such as the Watson Glaser test).
The LNAT is split into two sections:
It’s worth noting that only section A is technically counted within your quantitative overall ‘score’. However, section B answers are also available for universities to look through (and they often will in regard to understanding your essay writing skills).
You’ll need to take the LNAT test if you’re applying to a law degree and it’s specified as an entry requirement. There are 11 LNAT universities around the world that require you to take the LNAT.
The LNAT lasts for 2 hours 15 minutes, split across the two sections. You are given 95 minutes to answer the 42 multiple-choice questions and 40 minutes to answer one of the three essay questions.
You may choose to take the test at any time within the windows laid out under ‘key dates’ below.
The LNAT is used by universities to help admissions tutors decide which applicants to offer course places to if the rest of their applications are broadly similar on paper (although some universities, such as Oxbridge, will then turn to interview processes at this point as well). It is also helpful for admissions tutors to get a standardised comparison of candidates when those candidates have different qualifications – for example, comparing IB grades against A Levels.
There are 11 LNAT universities; 9 are based in the UK and two are overseas. 8 of the 9 UK-based LNAT universities are Russell Group Unis (SOAS is the exception), and 4 of them (King’s, LSE, SOAS and UCL) are in London.
Note that the University of Nottingham appears to have dropped their LNAT requirement for the 2024 academic year entry.
See how each university uses your score in our guide to LNAT universities.
Your LNAT score is made up of a mark out of 42 for Section A, but you won’t get a formal score for the Section B essay.
The average score last year was around 22, but it’s worth noting that the average score for people accepted into LNAT universities was much higher (e.g. closer to 27/28 for Oxbridge). It’s important to set yourself goals for the scores you’ll need based on the universities you want to apply to.
See important dates for September 2024 entry below, but make sure to check with your chosen universities for any potential changes (or on the official LNAT page).
Check out our LNAT Registration page for further details on dates, how to register and finding a test centre.
Here are the key dates you need to bear in mind if applying for 2024 entry:
1st August 2023: UCAS and LNAT registration opens
1st September 2023: LNAT tests begin (you can sit them from now onwards)
Mid-September 2023: UCAS applications can be sent off from now onwards
20th January 2024: Register and book a test by this date
25th January 2024: Sit the LNAT by this date
31st January 2024: Submit your UCAS form by this date
Same as above (‘most UK university applicants’) but with the LNAT being extended to 31st January (final date to complete)
15th September 2023: Register and book a test by this date
16th October 2023: Submit your UCAS form and sit the LNAT by this date (applies to both)
31st December 2023: Sit the LNAT by this date
Normal UCAS submission date applies
To prepare for the LNAT you should start by familiarising yourself with the test. The test is made up of two sections, requiring different skills, so it’s important to prepare for both the multiple-choice questions and the essay.
You can use our LNAT practice test questions to help you practice completing the exam under timed conditions.
You can work on your test skills and approach with our LNAT workshops or a self-paced online LNAT course. If you want to work on specific skills or target areas of weakness, our one-to-one tutoring can help you prepare.
There are also more general preparations you can start doing – for example, understanding current affairs is very useful when approaching the LNAT (particularly section B). Reading the news regularly (this could be either political news or more towards the commercial awareness side of things that solicitors are often tested on further down the line) from a reputable news source such as The Guardian, Financial Times or Economist is a great starting point.
Many of the skills you are developing through your own studies will also be generally relevant here – for example if you chose humanities subjects for your A Levels, pay close attention to the idea of essay structure and think about how to implement that in section B of the LNAT.
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