nulli tertius
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The Bar Course Aptitude Test has been made compulsory wef September 2013.

http://www.legalservicesboard.org.uk...ssa_davies.pdf

The passmark is -1.34
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Example questions, or rather the preamble to each section of the test which comes to the same thing:

http://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/..._questions.pdf

No idea how the scoring system will work though, -1.34 sounds a pretty low bar, I haven't done that badly in an exam in years. I wonder if it is 1.34 standard deviations below the mean score of those trialists who took the test already in the pilot scheme. That would only eliminate the worst 9% of all candidates though, I doubt they intend to eliminate so few?
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Forum User)
Example questions, or rather the preamble to each section of the test which comes to the same thing:

http://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/..._questions.pdf

No idea how the scoring system will work though, -1.34 sounds a pretty low bar, I haven't done that badly in an exam in years. I wonder if it is 1.34 standard deviations below the mean score of those trialists who took the test already in the pilot scheme. That would only eliminate the worst 9% of all candidates though, I doubt they intend to eliminate so few?
I didn't like the inference section.

The standard for PT and PF is the civil standard of proof and any judge who found statements 1 and 2 proved on the basis of either the evidence in the specimen or judicial notice, is likely to have his judgement take a quick trip to the Court of Appeal.
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
I didn't like the inference section.

The standard for PT and PF is the civil standard of proof and any judge who found statements 1 and 2 proved on the basis of either the evidence in the specimen or judicial notice, is likely to have his judgement take a quick trip to the Court of Appeal.
I don't like those questions either. I agree with your complaint and an example came immediately to mind.

if you decide that there are INSUFFICIENT DATA; that you cannot tell from the facts given whether the inference is likely to be true or false; if the facts provide no basis for judging one way or the other.
Suppose there was a sixth 'inference'. 6) The examiner's first name is Mark.

Clearly if there was ever insufficient data for anything, it is this. The inference has nothing whatsoever to do with the facts provided. But we are also told:

Sometimes, in deciding whether an inference is probably true or probably false, you will have to use certain commonly accepted knowledge or information that practically every person has.
Well in that case, it is common knowledge that most people are not called Mark. Practically every person is aware that there are a whole host of possible names, and that while Mark is quite common it in no way accounts for more than a couple of percent of names. And there is no reason to suspect that examiners are more likely to be called Mark than anyone else. So on that basis statement 6) is clearly 'Probably False'.

The example seems absurd but I think it is difficult to distinguish between the logic there and the examples they give as PT and PF. As you say there is certainly no basis that a court could use to find the statements proved either way on the balance of probabilities.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Forum User)
I don't like those questions either. I agree with your complaint and an example came immediately to mind.



Suppose there was a sixth 'inference'. 6) The examiner's first name is Mark.

Clearly if there was ever insufficient data for anything, it is this. The inference has nothing whatsoever to do with the facts provided. But we are also told:



Well in that case, it is common knowledge that most people are not called Mark. Practically every person is aware that there are a whole host of possible names, and that while Mark is quite common it in no way accounts for more than a couple of percent of names. And there is no reason to suspect that examiners are more likely to be called Mark than anyone else. So on that basis statement 6) is clearly 'Probably False'.

The example seems absurd but I think it is difficult to distinguish between the logic there and the examples they give as PT and PF. As you say there is certainly no basis that a court could use to find the statements proved either way on the balance of probabilities.
The principle is that a court can only use judicial notice to determine collateral questions and not the lis between the parties which must be determined by evidence.

If someone says that the person who caused an accident looks like the Prime Minister, no-one needs to call the Cabinet Secretary to prove the identity of the Prime Minister and produce a photograph. On the other hand, if the question in the case is whether David Cameron was validly appointed as Prime Minister, a court can't answer that by reference to "everyone knowing" that David Cameron is PM.

Here, the examiner nowhere says that the candidate must decide this question as a judge would. Laymen frequently answer questions by reference to information that is not probative-"well he lives at 10 Downing Street and I see him answer Prime Minister's Question Time".

However, context is all. This is an examination for intending lawyers taken by people who have already studied law to a high level, some of whom will have studied evidence. Moreover, it uses a key evidentiary concept, the civil standard of proof. It is unreasonable to expect candidates to answer the question except as lawyers, predicting the decision of a judge.
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Nigel85
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Well, I just got test 1 (inference) almost entirely wrong!

Surely insufficient data for whether the students had discussed topic in school (because we're not told whether schools were even involved with the selection of students - it could be more like a summer camp where students go outside of school).

Also, I'd say "the students came from all sections of the country" could be probably false, given the size of the USA and the fact the conference happens in the Midwest (though I agree "insufficient data probably best answer).

And as for "some students felt it worthwhile".. Big problem of interpretation here. I'd say insufficient data because it's not clear whether they found it worthwhile or whether the conference was so badly run it ended up being a complete waste of time! Or maybe they all just went to the conference because it had a great reputation for parties or picking up members of the opposite sex..

I'm not convinced by this aptitude test and think they should start taking bptc selection even more seriously (preferably with compulsory interviews as at Kaplan). But based on these questions I'm glad the pass rate is high!
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andymt
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It feels like the LNAT all over again. That test was ridiculous (i know barristers who tried it and did badly). So is this.
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
However, context is all. This is an examination for intending lawyers taken by people who have already studied law to a high level, some of whom will have studied evidence. Moreover, it uses a key evidentiary concept, the civil standard of proof. It is unreasonable to expect candidates to answer the question except as lawyers, predicting the decision of a judge.
I was thinking exactly the same thing. These are candidates who will at the very least already have a qualifying law degree, and will have completed an undergraduate degree course. They are also attempting to gain access to a course that teaches fundamental skills to practise law as a barrister. To expect these candidates to answer questions based on principles of evidence as anything other than lawyers seems ridiculous.
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Soniatchy
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#9
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What can i do to prepare for the BCAT?
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