Although the exam has two sections, A and B, only Section A – multiple-choice reading comprehension questions – contains points that count towards the final LNAT score. Section A has a total of 42 questions. Unlike many other standardised tests, there is no conversion into a scaled score of any kind, and the score report will simply report the raw score out of 42.
Section B, the essay, is used to assess a student’s writing and argumentative abilities and receives no formal grade. Instead, it is simply forwarded directly to universities for their respective admissions committees to review.
The use of LNAT essays varies and is dependent on each participating university’s admissions policy. Some universities may use it, for example, as the basis for interview questions. Others may compare it with the personal statement and school/college report on UCAS forms, or use it as a means of distinguishing between borderline candidates. While there are some universities that outright ignore the essay due to the lack of standardised grading system, many other universities, including UCL and Oxford, have rejected candidates on the basis of the strength – or lack thereof – of the essay. Oxford, in particular, is known to have their own private grading system for the LNAT essay.
In cases where the score on the multiple-choice section is lower than desired, the essay may be the very thing that wins over the university admissions department, so it’s a good idea to brush up on your essay skills before sitting for the exam.
Related article: About The LNAT