Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT)

This admissions test is taken for some Oxford and Cambridge courses.
Last updated: 12 months ago


The LNAT forms a key part of the admissions process to study Law or Law with Law Studies in Europe courses at Oxford, and to study Law at Cambridge. As hinted at by the name, this exam differs from other Oxbridge entrance exams in that it is not administered by the University but rather it is a national exam administered by Pearson VUE.

How to Prepare

Here are some general resources related to the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT). Use this page as a hub to branch off and use other resources!

The Basics

The test doesn’t test your knowledge of law or any other subject. Instead, it helps universities assess your aptitude for the skills required to study law. The content of the LNAT is managed by the members of the LNAT Consortium. The test itself is administered by Pearson VUE, under contract to LNAT.

The LNAT helps universities make fairer choices from the many highly-qualified applicants who want to join their undergraduate law programmes. It is used in collaboration with other admissions processes such as UCAS application and academic qualifications.

The LNAT is a 2 hour 15 minute test in two sections: multiple-choice questions based on passages of text, and an essay.

Section A: The first part is a computer-based multiple-choice exam. You’ll be asked to read passages of text and answer questions that test your comprehension of them. Your scores from the multiple choice section of the test are checked by computer, and a mark out of 42 is created. This is known as your LNAT score.

Section B: In the second part of the test you will be asked to write one essay from a list of three proposed subjects. This section is not marked by the test centre and does not contribute to your LNAT score, but it is your opportunity to show your ability to construct a compelling argument and reach a conclusion. (Source: What is LNAT? 🔗 Accessed: 23/07/2023.)

You need to be registered 🔗 🌟. This is done separately to UCAS. Key things to note are that to meet Oxford and Cambridge deadlines, you must be registered by the 15th of September 2023 and take the exam before (or at the latest on) the 16th of October 2023 in the year you apply. More information about dates and deadlines can be found here 🔗.

Getting Started

The LNAT officical webiste 🔗 🌟 All information about the LNAT can be found here.

LNAT Oxford - What is the LNAT 🔗 Visit this page to find out more about the basics, like what this test is, if you’ll have to take it and how much it will cost you. There are further sections on how to register, when to take the test, and how to prepare.

Cambridge Law 🔗 This is an overview of the Law course at Cambridge including the admissions requirements for the different colleges, all of which require the LNAT.

Eve Cornwell’s ‘How to ACE the LNAT’ video 🔗 🌟 This video by popular studytuber and Bristol graduate Eve Cornwell explains the structure of the LNAT, as well as going through some example questions and an essay she wrote at the time of preparing for the LNAT herself.

BA in Jurisprudence Admissions FAQs 🔗 Have any questions? They might be answered here… Although these are general FAQs for applying to study Law at Oxford, there are questions about the LNAT worth reading.

Taking the Plunge

LNAT Specimen Paper 🔗 🌟 Try taking this specimen Section 1. There is also another specimen paper Section 1 on the LNAT website, alongside some essays you can practice in timed conditions.

Mark Scheme 🔗 and Commentary 🔗

Pushing for Progress

The LNAT does not require a lot of learning and memorisation. In this way, it is not like an A-level. It is important to remember it is not your knowledge but rather your aptitude for Law that is being tested. Although there are various things you can do to prepare for this exam, you can’t really revise (study) for this test like you might for normal academic exams.

Probably, the best preparation is to take past papers in timed conditions, and then carefully go through your answers. Some people find it useful to note down the errors that they have made along the way.

For the essay, the best preparation would be to practise typing answers to the example essays questions available on the LNAT website in timed conditions. This will help you

Here are some other things you could look at to try to improve your score on Section 1.

Official LNAT Preparation Guide">Official LNAT Preparation Guide 🔗 🌟 This document is very useful. Produced by the LNAT Consortium (who write the exam) this guide will take you through how to approach the multiple choice questions and essay, providing explained practice questions to Section 1 and suggestions on how to plan the essay.

LNAT Test Stimulator 🔗 🌟 This link will take you to an onscreen simulation of the LNAT. It is a simulation of the real LNAT exactly as it will appear on-screen at the test centre. You can use it to familiarise yourself with the format of the test and the skills it requires.

Wi-Phi (Wireless Philosophy) Critical Thinking videos
🔗 These videos provide a fun and straightforward introduction to critical thinking, and may be useful in developing the skills you’re being tested on in the Critical Thinking questions.

LNAT’s suggested books to develop your critical thinking skills:
A. Fisher, Critical Thinking: An Introduction
R. van den Brink-Budgen, Critical Thinking for Students
N. Warburton, Thinking From A to Z
P. Gardner, New Directions: Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking (mainly for those who have English as a second language)

Similar Questions

The LNAT past papers available online should give you more than enough practice material, but here are some others if you yearn for yet more!

United States: LSAT 🔗 The LSAT (Law Schools Admissions Test) used by law schools in the United States contains similar multiple choice items. The LSAT passages are typically shorter and the calibration of the questions may not be the same (law is a graduate-entry programme in the US) but the skills involved are identical.

If you want even more questions, then you could try:

  • Repeating past papers you have already taken.
  • Some A-level Critical Thinking questions, which are designed to test similar skills to the Critical Thinking questions in the LNAT. (However, these are usually in a different format.)
  • Mock LNAT questions or papers from books. These might be useful, but aren’t necessary for success: there are plenty of other resources out there, and lots of people score high marks without any of these resources. Also, sometimes the questions aren’t very well-written. If you do want to use them, check out your local library.

Section 2: The Essay

Section 2 is not marked by the body who writes the LNAT exam but instead sent to the Universities you’ve applied to for them to review themselves. At Oxford, your essay is taken into consideration when looking at your application (some other Universities only look at your multiple-choice score). The essay might not seem as important as Section 1, but it’s an opportunity to showcase your written reasoning abilities to whoever is reading your application. The content of your essay does not need to be incredible. The most important thing is to have a clear, logical structure.

Here are some resources to help.

Elle the Law Student’s LNAT 101 Guide 🔗 🌟 Elle is studying at Mansfield College, Oxford. She has a YouTube channel where she has gone through an introduction to the LNAT (part 1), the multiple choice questions (part 2) and the essay question (part 3). These videos are really in depth and worth watching!

The Lawyer Portal’s Top 6 Tips for the LNAT Essay 🔗 Some really useful tips here on how to approach Section 2.

Tips and Tricks

A good place to start for hints and tips is the LNAT website 🔗! They have a whole section on tips for Section 1 and 2, including advice from previous candidates.

As a challenge, try taking a LNAT paper in less than the normal amount of time. You might (or might not) find this ‘altitude training’ useful.

On the other end of the spectrum, you could try spending as long as you like on a paper, working at it until you’re confident in all of your answers. That way, you could separate errors where there might be conceptual gaps from errors that were made because of time pressure.

Try answering the questions in a different order. Some people find it helpful to answer questions by category, or even taking the whole paper backwards! (But it is probably a good idea to try this on a past paper before trying anything radical in the actual exam.)

If you find yourself struggling to understand why certain questions have the answers they have, try talking to friends or teachers about them.

If you’re still not sure, it might be worth trying to get hold of a ‘worked solutions’ book. You might be able to find one in your local library, or you could buy one before the test and return it afterwards (as one student did)! Although you don’t need one of these to do well in the LNAT, they can be useful.

A good way to practise for the essay question is making sure you are engaging in everything you read. When reading the news (follow the link below for some newspapers Oxford recommends), question whether you agree with the view being given. What assumptions are being made? What information is being relied on to draw which conclusion? How would you challenge this view? This will help you to be aware of the world around you. The LNAT essay topics will not be specifically about current affairs, and you will not be judged by what facts you know. But knowing how the world ticks, in general terms, will help you to write intelligently about a host of different topics. (Source: Oxford LNAT webpage 🔗, Accessed: 12/08/2020)

Most paid resources are completely unnecessary. Expensive courses, online and in-person, are almost never worth it.

Try your best! There is not a strict ‘pass mark’ for the multiple choice section of the exam. Your results are viewed in context, compared to the average for everyone who sat the exam that year. Furthermore, Oxford views your results and essay as part of your whole application so alongside your personal statement, teacher reference, previous academic attainment and interview performance. All you can do is prepare and try your hardest!

To do well in the LNAT, you need discipline and focus. These things are made much easier when you look after yourself: try to get good sleep, consistently; eat healthy food; and talk to people if you’re finding yourself with runaway stress. You will have probably heard these things emphasised before, but that’s because they really are important!

Informations about LNAT bursaries can be found here 🔗.