LNAT University and Score Requirements

Do I need to take LNAT?

LNAT forms part of admissions process for some of the most prestigious law schools in the world. As the English Law enjoys such prominence in the commercial spheres, it is no wonder that you will find these universities in the UK.

What is the required Score?

In this guide, we will also consider what LNAT score is required. Whilst there are usually no specific cut-off scores, and your application will be assessed in a holistic manner, it is worthwhile to consider the average score statistics. You should be aiming to be cut and above the average, as you wish to ensure that your application is a foregone conclusion. Consider that LNAT is the only genuine quantitative metric by which the admissions team can compare candidates: everyone has different A-levels, everyone has some work experience, everyone can write a persuasive personal statement. It stands to reason that doing well on your LNAT may well be that additional factor to put you across the line.


NB The statistics do not account for a spilt between home and international students, unless expressly stated. Usually, the level required of an international student is higher (about 10%).


University of Oxford

Courses: BA Law (Jurisprudence); BA Law with European Law; BA Law with French Law; BA Law with German Law; BA Law with Italian Law; BA Law with Spanish Law

Law at Oxford is one of the most competitive undergraduate courses in the world, and it goes without saying that an application must be near perfect. As Oxford admissions are centered on the interview performance, half of the job is getting the interview in the first place. For this, LNAT is crucial.


The average score of a successful candidate in pervious admission years was about 29. Further, only 2% of applicants scored above 34. This indicates that when you practice, you should be aiming for 30 or above. However, due to high calibre of candidates, we see that the scores have a very narrow window. Therefore, this may explain why the Essay is taken seriously by Oxford, through an official marking scheme:


High scoring essays will normally exhibit:

  • Application
    Close attention to the question(s) asked and sustained and focussed treatment of the issues.
  • Reasoning ability
    Well-drawn distinctions, a keen eye for relevance, awareness of more than one possible line of argument, and an element of independent critical judgment.
  • Communication
    Clear and fluent writing and notable clarity and appropriateness of structure and argument.

Low scoring essays will normally exhibit:

  • Application
    Poor attention to the question(s) asked, no sustained and focussed treatment of the issues.
  • Reasoning ability
    Poorly developed arguments, a preponderance of irrelevant points, few or no well-drawn distinctions, a lack of awareness of more than one possible line of argument, no evidence of independent critical judgment.
  • Communication
    Lack of fluency and clarity and no clear or appropriate structure or argument.

The essay is to be marked as a percentage and tutors marking the test are asked to mark by analogy to the conventional understanding of marks in examinations: for example, it will only be in the rarest of cases that a candidate would obtain a mark of 75 or above. Marks should be awarded on the following basis:


70 and above: Excellent: The essay clearly and consistently contains “high mark features”. There are no “low mark features”; or the negligible “low mark features” are wholly outweighed by the excellence of the “high mark features”. The essay is therefore at a level one would expect of candidate very likely to obtain a place.


65 to 69: Very good: The essay contains a preponderance of “high mark features” with only a limited number of “low mark features” and is therefore at a level one would expect of a candidate with a strong chance of obtaining a place.


60 to 64: Good: The essay contains a number of “high mark features” which, taken as a whole, outweigh the “low mark features”. The essay is therefore at a level one would expect of candidate with some chance of obtaining a place.


55 to 59: Moderate: The essay may provide some “high mark features” but, taken as a whole, those features are outweighed by the “low mark features”. The essay is therefore at a level one would expect of candidate unlikely to obtain a place.


50 to 54: Poor: The essay contains a preponderance of “low mark features” with only a limited number of “high mark features” and is therefore at a level one would expect of a candidate very unlikely to obtain a place.


49 and below: Very poor: The essay clearly and consistently contains “low mark features”. There are no “high mark features”; or the negligible “high mark features” are wholly outweighed by the “low mark features”. The essay is therefore at a level one would expect of candidate almost certain not to obtain a place.


Please note that the LNAT guidelines on essay length emphasise that economy of expression is important and that the ideal LNAT essay length is about 500-600 words.



University College London (UCL)

Courses: LLB Law; LLB Law (Senior Status); LLB Law with French Law; LLB Law with German Law; LLB Law with Hispanic Law; LLB English and German Law Dual Degree; and M102/M145

The competition for UCL is fierce (15 applicants per place), and borders on being Oxbridge-like. The issue for a candidate is that UCL usually does not hold interviews. Therefore, one can see the importance of a rounded application, with a strong LNAT performance.


On average, a successful home candidate presented a score of about 28.

On average, a successful international candidate presented a score of about 30.


The Essay seems to be very important. Here are some quotes from the admissions team at UCL:


‘The LNAT essay is given considerable weight in our consideration as it is the only piece of writing that we receive under exam conditions, and demonstrates a candidates abilities to reason, argue and to construct a cohesive essay.’


As for marking criteria of the essay (which is given a numerical mark), the below should be quite illuminating to the question:

When assessing the essay, admissions tutors will consider

  • Aptitude for reasoning skills
    Including high-level comprehension, interpretation, analysis, synthesis, ability to draw broad and fine distinctions, induction and deduction
  • Aptitude for exploring arguments and ideas
    Including in writing, the ability to formulate, develop and defend argument
  • Communication
    Including accuracy of syntax, breadth of vocabulary and ability to formulate ideas succinctly.


For international students, the rate of offers is about 17%. UCL is quite popular with students from Singapore and Hong Kong, who have the reputation for excelling academically. This may be in part due to the motivation to undertake a year abroad (Singapore, Hong Kong or Australia), which is offered to M100 LLB students for their third year, provided they perform at the top in the first year and go through an interview process.


University of Bristol

Courses: LLB Law; LLB Law and French; LLB Law and German; LLB Law and Spanish

Your LNAT will be weighted for 25% of your application. This is the fraction of the candidates’ application scores that will have the greatest variance.


In the previous years of admission statistics, a successful candidate achieved on average a score of 25 out of 42.


The Essay is scored within five bands: 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100.


Importantly, your overall LNAT Score is weighted 60% for the Multiple Choice and 40% for the Essay. In many ways, this presents a unique opportunity to excel at the Essay – it is much easier to lift your essay from, say, 50 to 75 than achieve additional 3 points on the Multiple Choice Part.


Therefore, if you are aiming for University of Bristol, then you should very much adopt a holistic approach to your LNAT – practice questions backed with regular essay writing on various topics.


King’s College London (KCL)

Courses: LLB Law; LLB Politics, Philosophy and Law; LLB English Law & French Law; LLB English Law and German Law; LLB English Law and Hong Kong Law

The average score of a successful candidate is about 27 out of 42. There is a steady increase in the scores over the previous years, so it may be a sign that the application process is becoming even more competitive, on account of the increasing popularity and academic achievement of the Faculty.


The Essay is not computed into any specific score. Its use should only come to aid for candidates who are considered borderline. However, this does not detract from the fact that you should take the LNAT Essay seriously, and practice to perform your best.


University of Nottingham

Courses: LLB Law; LLB Law (Senior Status); BA Law with French and French Law; BA Law with German and German Law

Uniquely, University of Nottingham considers an LNAT cut-off score. Whilst the available information is not precise and changes every year based on the performance of the cohort, you should consider the score to be about 25. Naturally, the average for a successful candidate will be higher.


The Essay is taken into the account. The criteria are qualitative and the tutors are primarily looking for a candidate to prove their ability to present logical argument and observe structural conventions of English essay writing.

To quote from the admissions team:

‘The LNAT score is a very important part of the information available to us but not by itself determinative of our decision in any given case.’


Durham University

Courses: LLB Law; LLB Law with Foundation

For Durham, you should be aiming for a score of at least 29. It is a very competitive university, with the usual candidate profile presenting top A-level results and a sustained GCSE performance.


As for the Essay, Durham does not disclose more than that it is part of the admissions process. It may be assumed that an impressive essay would work to push the candidate across the line.


University of Glasgow

Courses: All LLB degrees, except LLB Scots Law (fast-track: graduate only)

This is probably the least competitive university when it comes to LNAT. On average, a successful candidate will score 23 out of 42.


The Essay is viewed as an add-on to one’s personal statement: the tutor assesses the writing ability of the applicant. Indeed, the focus of a Law degree is undoubtedly on mastering the written skill.


SOAS

Courses: LLB Law, all other combinations including Law (except Senior Status)

SOAS has sparse data on the role of LNAT in the admissions process. However, from a reasonable collation of anecdotal evidence, a score of minimum 25 and a solid essay performance will stand the candidate in good stead.


Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and IE University

Unfortunately, there is no available data regarding LNAT here. SUSS is new to LNAT and IE University looks at LNAT differently, depending on the course choice.


Word of Advice

This guide aims to give you a rough understanding of what you are up against with LNAT. Note that it is only based on the available historical data, which does not guarantee any future trends. Do well on LNAT and it will help your application, but you should not forgo all the over parts, such as Personal Statement and A-level/IB results.


You should derive a target score for LNAT that is above the average – you want to ensure that your application stands the best chance. With that in mind, you can plan and train effectively towards success. Naturally, we recommend you consider Arbitio to help you in this endeavor.


Arbitio is the leading online platform for LNAT preparation, with the most comprehensive resources available that are delivered under real timed exam conditions. With over 700 Questions & Solutions, and 20+ Model Essays with Questions, you will be able to cover every aspect of the exam and practice so that your real LNAT is just another Practice Test.