- What is LNAT?
- Do all UK Law schools require LNAT?
- How long does it take to prepare for LNAT?
- How hard is the LNAT?
- Is the LNAT done on computer?
- How much does LNAT cost?
- When should I take the LNAT?
- When are LNAT results released?
So you’ve decided that you might like to study Law at university. After picking which Law undergraduate programs you like the look of, no doubt you’ve also seen the entry requirements. Maybe the grades required look challenging, but doable, however, you might keep seeing the same four letters over and over again by universities in their entry requirements: LNAT.
Maybe you don’t really know what the LNAT is, but you just hope that you don’t need to take any more exams in addition to the ones that you already face. If you’re wondering “Do I need to take the LNAT to study Law in the UK?” Well, we’re here to tell you that the LNAT is not compulsory. It’s also not nearly as scary as exams at school. With a little bit of preparation, and familiarising yourself with the structure of the test, you’ll be able to smash it.
What is LNAT?
The abbreviation LNAT stands for the Law National Aptitude Test- a bit of a mouthful so LNAT is easier to say (pronounced elle-nat). The LNAT might also be referred to as the National admission test for law. But that makes it sound like it’s essential for studying Law, and it’s not, depending on which university you want to apply to. The LNAT exam is a timed test taken at a Test Centre on a date of your choice and has two parts. There’s a verbal reasoning section which is multiple choice and an essay writing section.
There’s no dedicated pass or fail mark, but you’ll receive a score for the verbal reasoning part and be told the average score for your cohort to understand how you did compare to others that year. The essay section of the LNAT is not given a score but universities have the option to read it if they’d like to understand you as a candidate a little better. For the essay part, you get a choice of questions and you only have to answer one.
Overall the test is 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Do all UK Law schools require LNAT?
Lots of students panic when they begin to wonder “is LNAT compulsory?” If you really can’t face having another test to prepare for then you’ll be glad to learn that “No”, you do not need to take the LNAT to study Law in the UK, and not every university requires it. But as for which universities require LNAT, there are some lists floating around that claim to be The List of UK universities requiring LNAT for LLB, but these lists could be outdated as universities can change their entry requirements each year.
The most reliable way to find out if you need to take the LNAT to study for a Law undergraduate degree is to check the website of each university individually for their entry requirement. However, a lot of ambitious students do like to ask “Is LNAT required for Oxford?” We’ll answer that as of today, yes! They require it and they even have earlier deadlines for taking the LNAT compared to other universities.
A general rule to keep in mind with the LNAT is that it’s a test to differentiate between students for oversubscribed universities. How do you pick between applicants who all have the same excellent grades and UCAS applications? That’s why this more specific test geared towards learning Law has been created, so they’ll refer to your score on the LNAT or maybe read your essay to make a judgement about how you might do studying Law at their university.
How long does it take to prepare for LNAT?
Something that freaks out a lot of students is that they think because they are taking a Legal test, you must have some previous knowledge of Law. This is false!
The creators of the LNAT know that the majority of students have never formally studied Law before in their life, and that’s not what this test is about. There is pretty much no memorising of legal rules required, and no syllabus to remember. So you could prepare for the LNAT in a matter of months, alongside your school studies and get a great score.
The resources that you need to prepare for the LNAT are available on the official LNAT website, including practice papers. The multiple-choice questions are wordy and require you to think critically while absorbing a lot of information during the test, and picking the right answer.
For the essay portion, the questions that you’ll be offered can vary wildly, but it is good to brush up on your essay writing skills and be aware of what makes a good solid essay before showing up to take your LNAT.
How hard is the LNAT?
It’s tricky to answer for you exactly how hard is the LNAT. It’s sort of like asking someone how hard GCSEs are. Some people seem to fly through them effortlessly, others need to dedicate a bit more time to study. Keep in mind that the LNAT is not meant to be a huge burden and enormous struggle on top of your already looming school exams. Nor is the LNAT going to make or break your chance at ever being able to study Law. Generally, if you’re planning to study Law then this test should be playing to your strengths and showing universities that you’ve got what it takes to excel.
If you log on to do some practice papers for the first time the night before your LNAT is scheduled, then you’ll probably find the LNAT harder than someone who had been familiarising themselves with the structure of the test, practising the exam timings for a few months and was used to planning essays quickly and under timed conditions.
How hard is the LNAT is up to you!
Is the LNAT done on computer?
The LNAT is taken on a computer. We think that’s great news for almost all students, as it’s usually much faster to type an essay than to write by hand, plus the multiple-choice section is completed on the computer too, and there should be a convenient ticking timer in the corner of the screen to show you how much time you have left of your test.
Important: You will be given a whiteboard and board marker to write notes while working through your answers and to plan your essay. Nothing you write on the whiteboard is submitted as part of the test, it’s just to help you.
How much does LNAT cost?
For students taking the LNAT at centres in the EU/UK during 2021-2022, the cost is £75 to take the test.
Bursaries are available for some applicants who might struggle to pay the test fee. Take a look here to find out if you are eligible.
When should I take the LNAT?
To guarantee that your LNAT test is taken on time and your result can be considered by the university, familiarise yourself with the official deadlines here. This includes when you should register by and also by which date you should have taken your test.
Important: Oxford University has earlier LNAT deadlines than other institutions and these are outlined clearly on the LNAT website.
With the exception of Oxford applicants, most other students can expect to be taking their LNAT around January before the first term of university begins.
When are LNAT results released?
LNAT results are emailed out to you on one of two dates in a year. It depends on when you take your test and the exact dates are subject to change each year.
In 2022 candidates who took their LNAT on or before the 26th of January received their score in Mid- February.
Candidates who took their test after that date in 2022 will receive their results in Mid-August 2022.
Don’t forget that you will only get a score for the multiple-choice section of the LNAT, the essay is unmarked. Also, there’s no pass or fail mark for the multiple-choice part of the LNAT, but you will be told the average mark across all applicants.
We’re sure that this has gone some way to reassure you that if you do need to take the LNAT for all of your UCAS university options then the test is not nearly as scary or pressured as you might have first thought. Also, now you know that if fitting in preparing for the LNAT is just unthinkable for you on top of all of your other school deadlines, then you know to only apply to universities that do not require it.
If you’re looking for more tips about studying Law in the UK, you might find this article useful. If you need a bit of extra help with preparing to study law, why not book a free trial session with one of our GoStudent tutors? A little extra support can go a long way!