September 25, 2019 | Cara Fung
It’s that time of year for UK Law applicants – the LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test) is just around the corner and you are trying to prepare for the test as best as you can. While it is not really possible to predict what contents of the passages for the multiple choice questions or the topic your essay question will be on, there are plenty of test-taking techniques you can adopt during the preparation process to maximise your chances of getting a good score.
1) Familiarise yourself with the test format
As with many standardised tests, a really great way to improve your chances of getting a good score is to do past papers. The biggest reason to do this is to familiarise yourself with the test format. By doing so, you will be able to figure out the types of questions that will come up for the LNAT multiple choice questions. You may notice certain trends – for example, that they often have questions about what the author’s main argument is in a certain paragraph.
Another reason is because it will help you with time management. While you work your way through past papers you will realise how long it takes for you to read through passages and tackle the questions. You will also be able to assess how much time you need to leave at the end for you to have the chance to revisit difficult questions and answers you are not sure about. This way, when you actually take the test, you will not stress about there being no time at the end for a review of your answers.
2) Find out what techniques work for you
When you are doing past papers, you should try and figure out what test-taking techniques work for you. A particularly important thing to figure out is whether to read the multiple choice questions before or after reading the article. Some people find it easier to read the passage first, look at the questions and possible answers, then scan through the passage again to identify the correct answers. Other people prefer looking at the questions and possible answers first before reading the passage so they know what to look out for. You should try both of these techniques to see which approach works best for you.
3) Create a model essay structure to follow
It will be useful for you during the actual test to have a model essay structure ready. It will mean that once you get the essay question, you can brainstorm the arguments and counterarguments you want to mention, then easily write the essay without worrying about how to structure it.
A potential option is to have an introduction which includes background information, your thesis statement and clear signposting of how you will structure the body of your essay. You then can have 3 main arguments and 1 or 2 counterarguments which you rebut, followed by a conclusion. You should make sure each body paragraph contributes to answering the essay question.
Writing out full essays is not the only way to prepare for the essay section of the LNAT. You can give yourself 5 minutes to brainstorm potential arguments for and against practice essay questions so you can practice the ‘thinking’ process. If you are strapped for time, you can choose just a couple of these topics you brainstormed to write as full essays to practice your argumentation and writing skills and to familiarise yourself with the timing.
4) Stay up to date with the news
Doing wider reading, particularly of the news, will be helpful when you want to provide some evidence or examples in the body paragraphs of your essays. For example, if the essay topic you get is ‘should euthanasia be legalised?’, it would be helpful for you to know what countries have already legalised euthanasia and to what extent. You will usually only know this contextual information if you do wider reading outside of the school curriculum.
Good luck with your LNAT preparation!
Educated at the Chinese International School, Cara obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law from the University of Cambridge and is currently studying for a Masters in Law. While at Cambridge, she was the Treasurer of the Cambridge University Law Society and was heavily involved in performing theatre. Cara has worked at the Cambridge University Law Faculty Open Day and as a Peterhouse Student Ambassador as she enjoys advising and helping prospective university applicants with the application process.
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