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LNAT Score Guide

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

LNAT Score Guide

What Is A Good LNAT Score?

There is no formal pass mark for the LNAT. Each university values a different average LNAT result, and that average will vary year on year depending on the scores of that year’s cohort, so it is difficult to know in advance if a score is among the best for that year.

From year to year, the overall average LNAT score across all candidates tends to fall somewhere between 19-22. The average score for successful applicants to Oxford tends to fall somewhere between 27-29.

It is important to bear in mind that no score will guarantee an interview or an offer. Academic grades are also essential in determining whether a student will be selected for an interview, and ultimately, admissions tutors will consider the application as a whole.

What Should A Good LNAT Essay Look Like?

Again, there is no standardised grading system for the essay, but it is worth keeping in mind that the essay is meant to be a demonstration of a student’s argumentative prowess. The admissions committee is not interested in seeing how much technical knowledge a student can regurgitate, nor how many different perspectives and points of view they can present. They are interested in seeing whether a student is capable of taking a potential future client’s side and defending it. It’s worth repeating here the advice given on the LNAT website:

We are also not very interested in your opinions. We are interested in whether you can defend a position – which may or may not be your own personal position. Sometimes you may do better if you attempt to defend a position that you do not agree with personally. This may make your argument tighter.


Don’t sit on the fence. Don’t say that each side in an argument has a point unless you go on to say which point each side has. It is perfectly all right to say that one side is right about point 1, whereas the other side is right about point 2. It is also all right to say that, on closer inspection, the two sides are at cross-purposes and don’t really disagree. It is fence-sitting only if you say that they do disagree, that there is only one point of disagreement, and yet that they both have a point on that point. That makes no sense.

Don’t try to impress with fancy words or elaborate style. Be straightforward in your writing and your argument.

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