National Admissions Test for Law
The LNAT or National Admissions Test for Law, is an admissions aptitude test that was adopted in 2004 by eight UK university law programmes as an admissions requirement for home applicants. The test was established at the leading urgency of Oxford University as an answer to the problem facing universities trying to select from an increasingly competitive pool with similarly high A-levels. With effect from its second year the LNAT is required for UK and overseas applicants alike. There are now nine participating law schools and hundreds of test centres worldwide.
The test taker is allotted 21⁄4 hours to complete an LNAT essay and 42 multiple choice questions aimed at measuring reading comprehension and logical reasoning skills. The reading portion contains ten sets of between two and five questions based around a respective short reading passage. The questions typically ask for terms and arguments from the reading to be defined by inference. The essay lasts for 40 minutes and involves the candidate answering one of three available essay questions. The questions are open-ended topics typically about student related issues or other well familiar subject matter.
The reading section is scored out of 42 and the essays are individually marked by proctors at the respective universities.
The Universities currently using the LNAT are:
- University of Birmingham
- University of Bristol
- Durham University
- University of Glasgow
- King's College London
- School of Law, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (For students with only BTEC qualifications.)
- University of Nottingham
- University of Oxford
- University College London
- NUI Maynooth (mature entry only)
- IE University, Spain
The LNAT was first administered on 3 November 2004. The average score for the reading portion was 13.16 out of 24. A University of Bristol report on the scores expressed dissatisfaction with the ability of law candidates to develop "reasoned arguments" Men and women score approximately equal to each other unlike the distribution of A grades in A-level law which women obtain at a higher percentage. However, though made by the media, this point is irrelevant because A-level law is not a requirement to do law at university. The LNAT consortium also reported statistically insignificant differences in scores between state and independent students. Research conducted by the University of Bristol concluded: "the impact of the Lnat both in general and on specific supposedly sensitive widening participation groups has been negligible".
Entrants' mean average scores for the multiple choice element of the test in each year are as follows:
- Education: New entry test for law students, BBC News, UK.
- LNAT essay.
- Education: Law candidates 'not good enough', BBC News, UK.
- LNAT consortium.