Candidates who are invited to the interview at the Faculty of Law of Cambridge University are required to take the Cambridge Law Test (“CLT”) on the same day. This year it will take place online due to the Covid in the week of November 23.
The CLT is a one-hour test during which students are asked to write an argumentative essay based on one of the three questions, which are usually of three types:
Essay Question: candidates need to discuss a statement provided and offer reasons for their arguments for or against the opinion.
Comprehension Question: candidates need to summarise their understanding of the text given, and answer a number of questions.
Problem Question: candidates need to identify the issues in the scenario given and where and how to apply the relevant law.
Cambridge admissions will be looking to assess candidates’ ability in critical analysis, as well as their reasoning skills, persuasive abilities, and writing skills.
With limited resources online, candidates may find it difficult to prepare for CLT. But do not panic, here are suggestions for candidates to consider:
Improve writing skills especially on the analytical and argumentative aspects, how to compose an essay that is concise, coherent and well-structured. Candidates can practice on the mock tests available online.
Books on the recommended reading list by Cambridge Faculty of Law would come in handy. Although it is mentioned on the university website that the test does not require any knowledge of law, prior reading will definitely help candidates get a general picture of the subject and handy tips in constructing an essay.
Practice on critical commentary: a powerful persuasion tool. Critical commentary explains which arguments are most persuasive and why. It uses specific examples to show which positions obtain better evidence or show better logic through critical and lateral thinking.
Prepare early. Although candidates would not know if they will get an interview invitation, they will have considerable time to practice if starting before receiving the interview invitation.
The art of successful persuasion is formed by a combination of the ability to critique, analyse and articulate, which involves one’s background, education, prior knowledge, viewpoints and the wish to impact. So even though CLT does not require prior law knowledge, a certain level of sophistication is expected. Thus, do not take it lightly in terms of preparation.
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