The Student Room Group

Chances of LSE/UCL/Bristol with low LNAT?

I appreciate these Q's are always difficult to answer. However, I recently received my LNAT score from Oxford (as feedback, they were allowed to disclose) and I disappointingly got 21. However, my essay was graded as 68 internally, which was 2 marks higher than the average offer holder.

My GCSE's and A levels are all 9s/ 3 A*s, and assuming my PS is good, does the prospect of an offer from LSE/UCL/Bristol look okay? I know LSE and Bristol dont have cut-off scores but both value LNAT score heavily, so I'm not sure if that is a big danger. I've been told UCL is bigger on the essay.

Many thanks
Bristol value the essay heavily and think their usual scores tend to be 23-25ish so you should be fine i reckon
Reply 2
i think you would be okay with bristol and UCL since the essay would balance it out. LSE might be trickier since they only really consider the LNAT score. Still, other parts of your application are v important too and it doesnt mean you're out of the race!
Original post by prx14
i think you would be okay with bristol and UCL since the essay would balance it out. LSE might be trickier since they only really consider the LNAT score. Still, other parts of your application are v important too and it doesnt mean you're out of the race!

That's what I was thinking but i heard they massively care about personal statement and GCSE's as well as references- hope that can pull me through. Surely there have been people with lower LNATs who have gotten in to LSE
Original post by juanbonanomi
Bristol value the essay heavily and think their usual scores tend to be 23-25ish so you should be fine i reckon


Ah that's reassuring thank you! How about UCL- is it true they value the essay more than MCQ?
Reply 5
Original post by RetroSPECT3.0
That's what I was thinking but i heard they massively care about personal statement and GCSE's as well as references- hope that can pull me through. Surely there have been people with lower LNATs who have gotten in to LSE


yes i do think LNAT is lesser of a consideration as compared to those. waiting to see currently how i myself did in it
No one can say for sure either way.

I do think you’ll be okay with Bristol with that score (but even that can’t be guaranteed). You definitely could get into LSE and UCL, but given how competitive they are, and UCL on their website even say the average score of a successful applicant is 28, I don’t think either is likely with a MCQ score of 21, unfortunately, even with an amazing essay. There’s just too many people applying with exceptional MCQ scores. It’s not impossible though. Someone got into Oxford with a score of 18.

I would just temper expectations to avoid any disappointments and be prepared for any eventualities, which could be getting into none of them, or getting into all three, or anything in between. You just can’t be certain. I hope you get into all of them. Good luck OP! :smile:
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by fec1864
No one can say for sure either way.

I do think you’ll be okay with Bristol with that score (but even that can’t be guaranteed). You definitely could get into LSE and UCL, but given how competitive they are, and UCL on their website even say the average score of a successful applicant is 28, I don’t think either is likely with a MCQ score of 21, unfortunately, even with an amazing essay. There’s just too many people applying with exceptional MCQ scores. It’s not impossible though. Someone got into Oxford with a score of 18.

I would just temper expectations to avoid any disappointments and be prepared for any eventualities, which could be getting into none of them, or getting into all three, or anything in between. You just can’t be certain. I hope you get into all of them. Good luck OP! :smile:

A disappointing reality, but I appreciate it. I have been told however not to use past years' data as an indication of likelihood for getting in this year, although I expect the average MCQ score to be higher this year. Am I wrong in thinking then, that UCL values the essay more?

Seems a bit silly how years of academic excellence (with all due modesty) is now at huge risk because of this one test, so it doesn't make sense to me why they weight the MCQ score so heavily- if anything, a law degree is more about essays and how well you construct an argument, not some MCQs. I would hope the perfect GCSEs/A levels plus the essay would offset the poorer score, but there's really no way of telling.
Original post by RetroSPECT3.0
A disappointing reality, but I appreciate it. I have been told however not to use past years' data as an indication of likelihood for getting in this year, although I expect the average MCQ score to be higher this year. Am I wrong in thinking then, that UCL values the essay more?

Seems a bit silly how years of academic excellence (with all due modesty) is now at huge risk because of this one test, so it doesn't make sense to me why they weight the MCQ score so heavily- if anything, a law degree is more about essays and how well you construct an argument, not some MCQs. I would hope the perfect GCSEs/A levels plus the essay would offset the poorer score, but there's really no way of telling.


Arbitio says UCL weights Section 1 60% and the essay 40%, which is I know how Bristol looks at the LNAT, too.
This is what UCL says, however, about MCQs.

B3EC6A32-4EFE-43C7-8775-8E14F12F3732.jpeg

Like I said though, you still stand a chance. But unfortunately it seems your chances would have been increased by a higher score. :smile: They also use a threshold score, but I don’t know what that could be.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by fec1864
Arbitio says UCL weights Section 1 60% and the essay 40%, which is I know how Bristol looks at the LNAT, too.
This is what UCL says, however, about MCQs.

B3EC6A32-4EFE-43C7-8775-8E14F12F3732.jpeg

Like I said though, you still stand a chance. But unfortunately it seems your chances would have been increased by a higher score. :smile: They also use a threshold score, but I don’t know what that could be.


Oh shoot, I may be done for- I'm not sure I'll meet the threshold but idk we'll see. Can nothing else make up for the score? I doubt over half of the offer holders will have the same level of GCSEs/A levels/Personal statement.

Edit: can I be saved by the LSE?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by RetroSPECT3.0
Oh shoot, I may be done for- I'm not sure I'll meet the threshold but idk we'll see. Can nothing else make up for the score? I doubt over half of the offer holders will have the same level of GCSEs/A levels/Personal statement.


I didn’t even know they had a minimum threshold score until I checked their website! It seems pretty definitive though. If you don’t meet the threshold, you won’t be considered.

Honestly, though, LSE and UCL law have acceptance rates of less than 15%. Like medicine, for the most part everyone has amazing grades all 9s at GCSE and 3/4 A*s at A-Level are more common than you think (granted, not everyone, but they’re a dime a dozen). That’s why they have the LNAT, to distinguish between all these students applying with top grades.

Having said that, my GCSEs are atrocious compared to yours, and I have offers from Durham, Bristol and Exeter for law so far. I’d like to think my LNAT made up for this for Durham and Bristol. It’s more of a holistic process than just grades (but of course you need to meet their entry requirements) but most people getting offers have GCSE grades more like yours than mine from what I have seen so far this year and data from previous years. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half of offer holders for UCL, and especially LSE with their pickiness over GCSEs, have an academic profile like yours (for law). :smile:
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by fec1864
I didn’t even know they had a minimum threshold score until I checked their website! It seems pretty definitive though. If you don’t meet the threshold, you won’t be considered.

Honestly, though, LSE and UCL law have acceptance rates of less than 15%. Like medicine, for the most part everyone has amazing grades all 9s at GCSE and 3/4 A*s at A-Level are more common than you think (granted, not everyone, but they’re a dime a dozen). That’s why they have the LNAT, to distinguish between all these students applying with top grades.

Having said that, my GCSEs are atrocious compared to yours, and I have offers from Durham, Bristol and Exeter for law so far. I’d like to think my LNAT made up for this for Durham and Bristol. It’s more of a holistic process than just grades (but of course you need to meet their entry requirements) but most people getting offers have GCSE grades more like yours than mine from what I have seen so far this year and data from previous years. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half of offer holders for UCL, and especially LSE with their pickiness over GCSEs, have an academic profile like yours (for law). :smile:

Thats quite depressing, but I guess its reality haha- thing is I had been practising the LNAT for a good couple of months with Arbitio and everything and still could never get the hang of it. I must've done over 25 full papers between September and October. Its a real shame. I hope I atleast get Bristol, but even if I don't, I guess my whole gap year is gonna be LNAT practice!
Original post by RetroSPECT3.0
Thats quite depressing, but I guess its reality haha- thing is I had been practising the LNAT for a good couple of months with Arbitio and everything and still could never get the hang of it. I must've done over 25 full papers between September and October. Its a real shame. I hope I atleast get Bristol, but even if I don't, I guess my whole gap year is gonna be LNAT practice!

Honestly, sometimes I just think the score is down to a bunch of factors that vary wildly. Sometimes during practice tests, I scored crazily high in the 30s, and then on my lowest I scored 16! You’re obviously extremely intelligent and sometimes we just don’t perform as well as we could for whatever reasons. Having said that, a score of 21 isn’t even bad. And you have an extremely good essay if it was scored higher than the average Oxford offer holder! That really could massively work in your favour. It’s just too hard to say either way for sure.

What other two unis did you apply for, if you don’t mind me asking?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by fec1864
Honestly, sometimes I just think the score is down to a bunch of factors that vary wildly. Sometimes during practice tests, I scored crazily high in the 30s, and then on my lowest I scored 19! You’re obviously extremely intelligent and sometimes we just don’t perform as well as we could for whatever reasons. Having said that, a score of 21 isn’t even bad. And you have an extremely good essay if it was scored higher than the average Oxford offer holder! That really could massively work in your favour. It’s just too hard to say either way for sure.

What other two unis did you apply for, if you don’t mind me asking?

Yeah, I guess I just really under performed in the real thing- I was averaging 19 on Arbitio, which was the average score on the website, and the average score of Arbitio users for the real thing was 27, so that naturally is more disappointing.

Not at all, i'd be happy to- Oxford (where I actually gained the info about my LNAT performance in the first place), and Warwick, although I'm not as keen on going there as the London ones or Bristol. I think I may be on the benchmark by the skin of my teeth, but I'd be very lucky if it got serious consideration. The score, from what I've read, is what gets UCL to even look at the essay. LSE makes a big deal about 'holistic' judgement on your application so we'll see with that. It's annoying cos this test isn't and shouldn't be indicative of my ability to succeed in their law programme, but I'm not here to protest about uni's offering criteria!
Original post by RetroSPECT3.0
Yeah, I guess I just really under performed in the real thing- I was averaging 19 on Arbitio, which was the average score on the website, and the average score of Arbitio users for the real thing was 27, so that naturally is more disappointing.

Not at all, i'd be happy to- Oxford (where I actually gained the info about my LNAT performance in the first place), and Warwick, although I'm not as keen on going there as the London ones or Bristol. I think I may be on the benchmark by the skin of my teeth, but I'd be very lucky if it got serious consideration. The score, from what I've read, is what gets UCL to even look at the essay. LSE makes a big deal about 'holistic' judgement on your application so we'll see with that. It's annoying cos this test isn't and shouldn't be indicative of my ability to succeed in their law programme, but I'm not here to protest about uni's offering criteria!

Don’t be hard on yourself. You’ve done very well to get to where you are now, and your academics are flawless!

I’m an idiot, counted 4 unis as three, lmao. Warwick is still an extremely good law school though! I just never considered applying there because it’s a campus uni and I don’t like the location.

I’m still shocked UCL have a cut-off. I think we might know more when the average score of the cohort is released in the next couple of days with individual results. That may give more of an indication of what the cutoff could be. And like you said about LSE, it is anyone’s game given how known they are for being really picky about GCSEs and the PS. I also read somewhere that LSE doesn’t consider the LNAT essay, but don’t know if that’s true/where I read it?
Original post by fec1864
Don’t be hard on yourself. You’ve done very well to get to where you are now, and your academics are flawless!

I’m an idiot, counted 4 unis as three, lmao. Warwick is still an extremely good law school though! I just never considered applying there because it’s a campus uni and I don’t like the location.

I’m still shocked UCL have a cut-off. I think we might know more when the average score of the cohort is released in the next couple of days with individual results. That may give more of an indication of what the cutoff could be. And like you said about LSE, it is anyone’s game given how known they are for being really picky about GCSEs and the PS. I also read somewhere that LSE doesn’t consider the LNAT essay, but don’t know if that’s true/where I read it?


Me too, Im shocked as well. Look at what they say on the 'minimum LNAT score' section: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/laws/study/undergraduate/undergraduate-faqs-prospective-applicants#:~:text=Is%20there%20a%20minimum%20score,cycle%20at%20UCL%20was%2028.

Do they have a cut off score then or not? Confusing, but I hope this is the accurate one lmao

Edit: 21 was enough to land me an Oxford interview, so surely that be a minimum score for UCL?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by RetroSPECT3.0
Me too, Im shocked as well. Look at what they say on the 'minimum LNAT score' section: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/laws/study/undergraduate/undergraduate-faqs-prospective-applicants#:~:text=Is%20there%20a%20minimum%20score,cycle%20at%20UCL%20was%2028.

Do they have a cut off score then or not? Confusing, but I hope this is the accurate one lmao

Edit: 21 was enough to land me an Oxford interview, so surely that be a minimum score for UCL?


Yeah, the website has VERY conflicting information. Under the FAQ it says no minimum score, then under UCL Laws entry requirement page it says it has a benchmark threshold score. The university definitely needs to fix this. Does anyone know which is correct?

Theoretically, yes, but each uni has different weightings and, if UCL does have a cutoff for the MCQ, then this is different to Oxford as they don’t have a cut off and would thus look at the essay (which in your case was the strongest part) where UCL would look strictly at numbers first, if that is true? Just speculation at this point because UCL’s admissions policy is more confusing than I thought.
Original post by fec1864
Yeah, the website has VERY conflicting information. Under the FAQ it says no minimum score, then under UCL Laws entry requirement page it says it has a benchmark threshold score. The university definitely needs to fix this. Does anyone know which is correct?

Theoretically, yes, but each uni has different weightings and, if UCL does have a cutoff for the MCQ, then this is different to Oxford as they don’t have a cut off and would thus look at the essay (which in your case was the strongest part) where UCL would look strictly at numbers first, if that is true? Just speculation at this point because UCL’s admissions policy is more confusing than I thought.

Annoyingly, you were right, they are rigid about the numerical score and that caused my rejection! However, I know Bristol and LSE do not, so I hope my PS carries for LSE, if not, atleast Bristol. Not kidding, I've seen a fair number of LSE offers with LNAT scores lower than mine so that confuses me, since I thought they were fairly strict. I guess they really take the 'no cut off point' and 'holistic approach' seriously! I'm guessing Bristol's similar.
Original post by RetroSPECT3.0
Annoyingly, you were right, they are rigid about the numerical score and that caused my rejection! However, I know Bristol and LSE do not, so I hope my PS carries for LSE, if not, atleast Bristol. Not kidding, I've seen a fair number of LSE offers with LNAT scores lower than mine so that confuses me, since I thought they were fairly strict. I guess they really take the 'no cut off point' and 'holistic approach' seriously! I'm guessing Bristol's similar.


I didn't want to be right! I'm sorry for the rejection. Any more news? :smile:

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