How Long Does It Take To Prep For The LNAT?

Ideally it takes 6 months to prep for the LNAT. This will give you sufficient time to familiarise yourself fully with the format of the test and do plenty of practice papers for section A and B.

Six months is an ideal time frame to allow you plenty of opportunity to develop the skills necessary to score highly in the test without feeling stressed.

However in reality you may be asking yourself this question when there is already less than 6 months to go, so in this case it takes however long you've got left. Although 6 months is an ideal amount of time with a bit of effort there is no doubt that you can prepare in less time. It just means that you have to put in more time each week or each day and cram your prep into a shorter time frame.

LNAT Preparation Timetable

So in practice here's what your LNAT prep schedule will look like:

First of all we need to know when you'll be actually taking the test and work back from there.

Test date - you normally have to take the test between the 1st of September and the 25th January.

The exception to this is if you are applying to Oxford, Cambridge or the London School of Economics.

In these cases you need to sit LNAT on or before the 16th October for Oxford or Cambridge and on or before the 31st December for LSE.

By the way don't forget that there are also REGISTRATION DEADLINES in order to actually be able to sit the test on the dates you want.

You'll need to register to actually take the test by the 20th January at the latest.

The exceptions once again are for Oxford, Cambridge. For Oxford and Cambridge you need to register before the 15th September.

Now regardless of the above dates we recommend that you try and take the test earlier rather than later, so some time in September.

This is because you can then use your summer holiday to prepare exclusively for the test and then take it soon after. The longer you leave it after that the more you'll have to combine your LNAT prep with other school work, UCAS applications etc. and the harder it will be.

So regardless of which university you're applying to our advice is to START your LNAT preparation around MARCH.

If it's already after March when you're reading this then don't panic it just means you have to put in a bit more work to catch up as we stated above.

How To Prepare For LNAT

Firstly and most importantly you should be fully familiar with the format of the test and the types of questions asked in both section A and B. If you haven't already done so you should visit the official LNAT website and read all about the test and obtain the past test papers available there. There's only two available there but for now it's enough for you to achieve the objective we are talking about here.

Secondly you should attempt both of these two official papers with three main objectives in mind:

  1. To develop your timing and get a sense of how long you need to spend on each question to finish the test in the time permitted for section A.
  2. To set a benchmark for how much you can write in the time allowed for section B taking into account planning time, proofreading etc.
  3. To establish your starting set point in section A to see how many correct answers you get. Hopefully as your LNAT preparation progresses you'll see this increase.

The second thing you'll need to do is to start reading the types of articles and materials which typically appear in LNAT questions.

These passages are typically drawn from a wide range of sources and can cover a variety of topics. They can include excerpts from newspapers, journals, magazines, or books, and might discuss subjects related to humanities, social sciences, philosophy, ethics, politics, and more.

The key point to remember is that the LNAT does not test subject-specific knowledge or prior knowledge of the law. Instead, the passages are designed to evaluate your ability to read, understand, and critically analyze complex texts, irrespective of the specific topic.

Therefore, to prepare for the LNAT, you should focus on improving these skills, for instance, by reading widely from different sources, including editorials, opinion pieces, essays, and scholarly articles, and practicing critical analysis of these texts. This will help you familiarise yourself with the type of reading and thinking required for the test.

Reading a good quality newspaper every day is a good start as is reading a magazine on a different subject every week.

But remember you are not reading for pleasure so don't just select articles or buy magazines on topics which interest you but try to read on a broad range of subjects. If you're looking to save some money here are some free resources which allow at least partial access without paying anything -

Humanities Open Access Journal

Books To Read For LNAT

We often get asked about recommended books to read for LNAT prep however reading books is not a time effective strategy. How many books can you really get through in a few months? And given the wide variety of topics which could come up in an LNAT passage what are the chances that it will match one of the books you've read?

A better strategy is to read short articles as recommended above and use them to develop the skills you need.

If you do want some book recommendations then read books by authors who write books made up of short essays such as AC Grayling or Ben Dupré.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

As you improve your reading skills using the techniques outlined above you'll want to put yourself to the test to see how much you're improving.

Unfortunately the official LNAT website only gives us two official past papers so you'll need to get some more. Included in our LNAT Master Course are over 200+ LNAT practice questions all with explanations of the correct answers. Just click the button below for more information.