Full information about the LNAT, including a sample test and the registration facility, can be found on the dedicated LNAT website. All applicants should consult the LNAT website. What follows is a summary of the information you will find there, together with an indication of the way in which Bristol views the LNAT.
The National Admissions Test for Law, or LNAT, is a test run by a consortium of UK universities in partnership with Pearson VUE, the computer-based testing business of Pearson Education. It was first introduced in 2004.
The LNAT is a uniform test which must be taken by all candidates applying to an undergraduate law programme at one or more of the participating institutions. Currently there are nine: the University of Birmingham, the University of Bristol, Durham University, the University of Glasgow, King’s College London, the University of Nottingham, the University of Oxford, University College London and, for mature candidates only, the National University of Ireland in Maynooth.
The test is designed to provide an assessment of a candidate’s potential for law degree courses. As the School of Law’s Admissions Statement makes clear, it is not a replacement for A levels or other equivalent qualifications, but is used alongside them.
The test is intended to improve the selection process and to make it fairer to all applicants, whatever their educational background, by:
helping to identify applicants with the aptitude and skills necessary for success on law degree courses;
providing objective evaluations of applicants from a wide range of social and educational backgrounds by assessing essential general intellectual skills of comprehension, analysis, logic and judgement;
enabling more informed and equitable selection decisions to be made on applicants who may have more modest grades for a range of reasons but who have the potential to succeed on law degree courses;
decreasing the overall burden of testing for applicants by substituting a uniform national test for the tests that the individual law schools would otherwise use;
enabling the fair selection of applicants with many different academic qualifications, from many different countries.
The test is of two hours and fifteen minutes duration and has two sections:
The first, of 95 minutes, consists of 42 multiple choice questions. The questions are based on 12 argumentative passages, with 3 or 4 multiple choice questions on each. It assesses the ability to read, understand, analyse, and make logical deductions from passages of text.
The second, of 40 minutes, is an essay, and assesses the ability to construct reasoned arguments.
The LNAT is not a test of knowledge but of fundamental intellectual skills. No prior legal study is necessary. The test is relatively impervious to coaching, but we recommend that you become familiar with the format and style of the test, and in particular, that you practise writing essays on a computer. There is a sample test and a range of other hints and tips in the preparation section of the LNAT website. The LNAT is not intended as an English language test and can therefore not be used as a substitute for English language qualifications.
Pearson VUE, the LNAT operators, have access to a global network of test centres that are managed to strict specifications. They are also used for a range of other tests. The LNAT can be sat under identical conditions in places as diverse as Singapore, Prague, Toronto, and Buenos Aires. You choose where and when you take the LNAT, but you must take the test before the deadline (see below for deadline information links) . If there is no test centre in your country, or if sitting the test is impossible or impracticable, you must contact Bristol (and any other LNAT-participating university to which you are applying) for further advice. Though the test must be taken in the year in which candidates make their application to university through UCAS, it can be taken either before or after a candidate’s UCAS form is submitted.
For information on university specific deadlines please consult the LNAT website. There is also more information about the University of Bristol’s deadlines in the FAQs for Undergraduate Admissions section.
As part of the application process, we consider the LNAT performance of all applicants. Both the multiple choice and essay sections are considered. For more detail on how the LNAT is scored, please refer to the Law School’s Admissions Statement.