Fact or fiction: debunking LAT myths

Have questions?

We’re here to help. Get personalised advice from our friendly Future Student Advisors. Connect with us by phone, chat with us online or send us an enquiry.

Ask us a question

Want to study law at UNSW Law & Justice but not sure what to expect in the Law Admission Test (LAT)? We asked second-year Bachelor of Commerce/Law student Angela Chen to debunk some common LAT myths and provide tips for what you should expect. 

Myth #1: You need to study or get coaching 

The LAT assesses your ability to generate ideas and express yourself through writing and isn’t knowledge specific. Therefore, no specific preparation is required.  

“The format and style of the LAT was everything I had expected. I did a little bit of preparation by completing the sample paper provided by ACER, which, in retrospect, honestly gave me all the confidence I needed. The sample test gave me a very solid understanding of what to expect from the LAT, in terms of the exam format and question style.” 

Myth #2: You need to study legal studies in the HSC to do well 

Like Angela, if you’re not taking legal studies for your HSC, it won’t impact your performance in the LAT.  

“I didn't take legal studies as an HSC subject, so I was a little anxious that legal students would have an advantage over me, but that’s not true.” 

"The LAT doesn't require any legal knowledge. Rather, you're given a topic that requires you to consider all the holistic factors that underpin the final judgment, from socioeconomic to political viewpoints.” 

"It's about breaking down your thought process to explain how you reached your conclusion and being able to persuade your marker that your evaluation is justified. This reflects a lot about being a lawyer - it is about applying the law where sometimes there is no precedent. You are compelled to think for yourself and often, between the lines." 

Myths #3: You've got to keep up with the news 

"I was advised by some teachers and a few friends who had taken the LAT to be well-versed with the latest news," Angela recalls.  

There's a lot to focus on in Year 12. Keeping up with the news is probably not your priority (unless you're an aspiring journo!). So don't worry; you won't be tested on your knowledge of current affairs. We'll examine how you analyse the supplied material and express your ideas.  

"While it doesn't hurt to be updated on the latest politics and social or technology trends, the LAT examines your critical thinking and analytical skills. Because it's more of an aptitude test, external knowledge isn't as crucial in shaping your ability to perform well in the LAT." 

So, what should I do to prepare for the LAT then?  

Now that we’ve busted some common myths around the LAT, Angela shared her top tips for what you can do when planning to sit the test.  


Tip #1: How to prepare for the Law Admission Test (LAT) 

Angela says the best way to prepare is to do Law Admission Test practice by reading and attempting the practice material on the ACER LAT website.  

“I would recommend simulating the exam conditions by sitting down and completing the sample paper in the given 2 hours. 

If you can’t find the time to complete the entire paper, read the paper and make a draft plan either in your head or on some paper, as if you were under exam conditions. 

I think this basic preparation for the LAT will give you an understanding of what to expect, so you aren’t as nervous on the big day!” 

Tip #2: Not all preparation involves studying 

“Since the LAT is only offered once a year, you may feel like a lot is riding on just one exam. To do your best on the big day, small things such as getting a good night’s sleep or staying in sync with your daily routine, as cliché as it may sound, will help ensure you’re in the zone to do your best on test day.” 

Tip #3: Kick-start your legal mind 

“I think the LAT prefaced what studying law at UNSW would be like, in terms of the assessments and how the degree is taught.  

Our assessments include class participation, open-book problem scenarios and legal research essays. I think the ability to analyse, break down problems and articulate your understanding and arguments into synthesised responses, like in the LAT, is truly an invaluable skill that sets you up for the real world no matter which career you decide to enter. 

The LAT encourages you to think like a real lawyer, compelling you to inform your judgments into arguments to persuade your reader. There is never ‘one correct answer’ in law. It is more about formulating and explaining your journey from how you get from A to B.” 

It’s about the journey, not the destination 

“The LAT was an interesting experience. Even if you aren’t interested in becoming a lawyer, the LAT reflects the integration of skills a law degree sets you up for to thrive in the real world after you graduate.” 

UNSW Bachelor of Commerce/Law student Angela Chen


Angela Chen

Second-year student, Bachelor of Commerce/Law


If you’re interested in studying an undergraduate law degree program at UNSW Law & Justice, you’ll need to sit the LAT.

Learn more about the LAT and discover the Bachelor of Laws double degree combination that’s right for you. 

Explore our degrees