LNAT Top Tips

Introduction - How should I prepare for the LNAT?

Taking the LNAT can be a stressful experience for students, which we hope to ease by helping you to prepare effectively and feel more confident on the day of your exam. Somewhat strangely, a regrettably common piece of advice given regarding the LNAT is the following: 'Don’t prepare. There is absolutely no need, it is a waste of time...’ This is absolutely wrong and should not be followed. Lack of preparation can add to make this experience an even more stressful one, and whilst it is true that the LNAT does not test knowledge it does test skills which can certainly be improved upon with practice.

The reasoning between this common advice against prior preparation is that since the LNAT does not test any real knowledge there is no need to learn for it. This is true indeed - you do not need to learn for the LNAT, but what you do need to do is train.

A good analogy with the LNAT is that of a marathon. Marathon runners do not need to learn about the history of running before a big race (that would not be of any help whatsoever in improving their running time) but they do have to train their bodies rigorously weeks in advance in order to attain their best possible score on the day of the run. In the same way, preparation for the LNAT does not involve learning new content, but rather it aims at improving your mental skills which the LNAT is specifically designed to test.

So the commonly given advice which forbids revision before the LNAT is a wrong conclusion to the correct reasoning.

The right conclusion is the following: you may not need to revise, but you do need to train by all means in order to maximise on your performance. Whilst, the LNAT does not test strict knowledge, it does test skill.

Therefore, the best way to train is to attempt the practice tests as many times as you can and observe which skills are your personal weakest and then train them rigorously, like a runner would before a race, in order to improve on your weakest spots. Meanwhile, training repetitively your strongest skills also does not do harm, as it serves to maintain them in good shape. The good news is that training is far easier than learning, for it involves no memory testing and it can feel very manageable alongside your school studies, if you make it into a regular habit. A development in verbal reasoning skills and reading with a critical scheme happens incrementally and over sustained period of time.

Arbitio is a training platform designed to help you succeed in the LNAT - which plays an important role (and sometimes even a decisive one) in the admissions to top UK Universities. The LNAT Online Course by Arbitio identifies and explains the six key types of skills which the multiple-part component of the LNAT is designed to test. This will help you prepare for all types of questions which you can encounter in the multiple-part component. It allows you to take practice tests which will then be analysed to highlight your strongest and weakest skills. This analysis will help you to then target your personal preparation appropriately and train your weakest skills continuously with the hundreds of questions that we have on offer, until you see a jump in improvement. Because training is the effective way to prepare for the LNAT we provide over 1300 questions as mock tests and digests to allow you to keep developing your skills. Each test comes with in-depth explanations of answers, helping you to truly understand why only one answer is right and the others are not.

Additionally to this, we offer tailored LNAT essay guidance and a tutor-led essay marking service to help you access personalised feedback on your written work.

At the end of the day, we aim to help you prepare to not just do well in the LNAT but to prepare to ace it, adding that important spark to your admissions application.

Top Tips: LNAT Multiple Choice

  • Words matter

    Pay equally strict attention to the wording of questions as you do to the wording of the passage itself. For example, it is common for questions to ask you to identify a stated assumption that the author has made in the passage and then present you with answers with all assumptions which were made, but only one of which has actually been stated by the author directly. Because of this, wording of the question itself is crucial.
  • Evidence, Evidence, and Evidence

    Every answer to each question is to be found in the body of the passage itself - not in your memory, not in your school curriculum, but right in front of you in the written passage. So read the passage first, then read the question with its answer options and then come back once again to the passage to find the answer there. In short, look for evidence in the passage to select your answer.

    However, note that there will also be questions which require you to extrapolate the right answer through reasoning that is based on premises found in the passage. This means that the answer will not be directly in the passage, but you will be able to infer it from a careful reading of the passage.
  • From Passage to Questions: in that order.

    Never read questions before the passage - this is bound to set you on the wrong route. You need to read the passage first - even if you choose to only skim it at first reading - to get a good idea of what its core argument is about. Then you can answer the easier questions at first sight, saving some precious time. However, when you attempt more detailed, harder questions make sure you have read the passage carefully at least once before answering.

    A great merit of doing lots of practice tests is that it allows you to find which strategy fits you best. Some opt to skim the passage first and then cross-reference it in depth with the questions one-by-one. Others prefer reading the passage carefully and attempting the questions altogether based on what you have read carefully. You should commit to one method and apply it as you move through the test to each extract. This saves you time and allows you to work through the test with the confidence from knowing that you are applying a tried and tested approach.
  • Time or be timed

    Strategic Time Management is crucial in order to read all 12 passages, and have a reasoned attempt at all questions. Such approach will boost your final score, and can be achieved through disciplined allocation of time per passage based on the number of questions a given passage entails. As you practise, work with a timer and train your ability to sustain concentration in the given time.

Top Tips: LNAT Essay

  • Plan your Argument

    Spend 5 minutes planning before you start writing the answer to your chosen question. In the plan you should consider more arguments than needed, so that at this stage, you can choose which arguments are the strongest (ie which would convince the reader the most) and which ones are weaker and thus not worth including in your essay. That way you can be economical with your arguments and think about what order befits them best; creating a strong and tightly structured piece of writing.

    And from a practical standpoint, write your plan in the word processor and then proceed with the essay: it will serve as insurance policy should you not fully finish the essay, and will demonstrate your logical approach to the admissions tutor.
  • Structure is Key

    Order your argument and make it very obvious that your essays follow a clear structure. A strictly structured approach will make your argument very clear to your reader and make reading your piece much easier. Our platform teaches you how to structure essays effectively and provides example answers to sample essay questions and access to a bank of essay markings, allowing you to learn from other’s mistakes (feature in development).
  • Be creative

    Your essay should attempt to argue from a novel standpoint, instead of regurgitating the modus operandi of public discourse on the given topic – this does not mean you will cease to be objective, but if you want to excel then you should be comfortable with taking some risk in what and how you argue. As you are not working to a rigid mark scheme, the tutors wish to see your argumentative flair and whether you can think critically. However, that does not mean that you should obsess over style or use verbose language: it is the logical content that matters utmost. Under no circumstance try to make it into a written-up debating speech!