Cambridge Law Test

Unlike most universities, Cambridge does not require applicants to sit for the LNAT. Instead, applicants will have to sit for a test unique to Cambridge. The Cambridge Law Test is designed to test the applicants’ ability to understand the given passage, to identify and engage with the issues raised; and to express themselves in a clear and logical way. Although the test will inevitably involve law-related matters, that does not mean that you are expected to have knowledge of the law, nor is Cambridge expecting you to. All of the law-related information necessary to answer the question is provided in the given statement of law. Applicants who have studied or are studying law (e.g. at A-levels) will therefore not be at an advantage over others. All of the law-related information necessary to answer the question is provided.

New Format
The Cambridge Law Test used to require applicants to answer one of a choice of three questions in an hour: a comprehension question, a problem question, and an essay question. If you take the test in Malaysia, you are expected to complete two questions in 2 hours. Starting from 2016, the Cambridge Law Test has been revised and applicants are required to answer a two-part question within an hour. It is, however, not
clear whether the same will apply to those taking the test in Malaysia. We believe you shall be notified with more information about the test when you receive the invitation email to sit for the test. You may refer to the marking criteria in preparation for this test.

Essay Questions
Essay questions typically ask candidates to consider a statement of opinion and to discuss it, giving reasons for their answer. This may be done by asking for discussion of a quotation or asking a direct question. Each question is intended to solicit applicants’ views rather than to invite the provision of factual information. In particular, essay questions are designed to test applicants’ ability to identify and engage with the issues raised by the question; to write clearly; and to construct a coherent, well-structured and balanced argument.

Problem Questions
In a problem question, applicants are given a statement of law – for example, a particular chapter in tort/criminal law, an excerpt from a statute or a passage from a judgment of a judge given in a court – and are asked to explain how itwould apply in certain factual situations. Problem questions are designed to test applicants’ ability to understand the given statement of law; to apply it accurately to the given factual situations, drawing relevant distinctions; and to explain their reasoning in a clear and logical way.

Comprehension Questions
In a comprehension question, applicants are presented with a passage of text – for example, an excerpt from a judgment or article – and are asked to summarise it and to answer specific questions about it. Comprehension questions are designed to test applicants’ ability to understand the text; to write clearly; and to develop balanced, well-reasoned arguments. Specimen questions are available here.

Tips & Advice
Don’t over-prepare as for all tests, the temptation is to study really hard, and even to memorize model essays. Please DO NOT do either. This test, like an actual law exam, is designed to assess the candidate’s comprehension and argumentative skills. It is more important to have a full grasp of what each question is asking than to produce an excellently written essay which fails to address the key issues presented. The better way to prepare is to read widely. Iam not referring to books on specific law subjects, but rather law-related books, e.g. the issue of the death penalty, human rights, etc, so that you are exposed to pertinent issues and the style of writing that these authors employ to convey their arguments.

Recommended books:
• Justice: What’s the right thing to do? (2010) – Michael Sandel
• The Rule of Law (2011) – Tom Bingham
Understanding is key! In law, it is not who knows the most that wins, but who understands the best. Whenever you read any form of literature, be it a book or an article in the newspaper, make a conscious effort to absorb and understand what you are reading. A key indicator of understanding is your ability to explain what you read in your own words. As you listen to the news, or follow up on legal issues happening around the world, e.g. the legal implications of Brexit, think about the rationale behind the laws involved and the reasons why they were applied as they were. These will equip you with the skills necessary to help you extract what each question/passage is trying to ask of you without getting drowned in the multitude of words and legal jargon.