Fears raised over law school entrance exams

Plans by an elite group of universities to introduce entrance tests for their law degrees have been slammed by a leading legal education diversity body.

Last week, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, East Anglia, Nottingham, Oxford and University College London announced that they plan a compulsory test for their undergraduate law schools from November 2004.

The National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) comprises questions assessing candidates’ ability to make logical deductions from text in formal English and an essay. It will not replace A-levels.

Global Graduates chief operating officer Yolande Beckles expressed fears that the LNAT could adversely affect the diversity of students attending top institutions.

“It’s just another hurdle that disadvantaged kids are going to have to jump over if they want to get into the Russell Group [a group of leading universities],” she stated.

Despite claims by the universities involved that the LNAT is “relatively impervious to coaching”, Beckles
said there was always “an element” in any test that could be coached.

“Private schools will train their pupils in how to take the test, and nothing like that will go on in state schools,” she claimed.

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