The LNAT or National Admissions Test for Law, is an admissions aptitude test that was adopted in 2004 by eight UK university law programs 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 two 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 five 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
* NUI Maynooth (mature entry only)
* University of Glasgow
* King's College London
* University of Nottingham
* University of Oxford
* University College London
The LNAT was first administered on November 3, 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 negligable".
LNAT Average scores
The mean average score for 2006/2007 entrants was 16.8 out of 30 for the multiple choice element of the test. The mean average score for 2008/2009 entrants was 16.7 out of 30 for the multiple choice element of the test.
Comparison to the LSAT
The LSAT, Law School Admissions Test, is a long-standing admissions aptitude test taken by American, Canadian and Australian law school candidates. This American counterpart to the LNAT includes similar content such as reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and essay writing sections, and in addition includes a logic games section. The LSAT formed the basis for the development of the LNAT exam and appears to have inspired the counter-intuitive reverse acronym.