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If you wish to gain admission to the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) you will be expected to sit the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT). This is the gateway to your career in law.

This bar aptitude test is designed to evaluate a candidate’s reasoning and critical thinking skills so they can experience the type of exam questions they’ll be asked during the actual test. By practicing this test, you’ll be able to assess whether or not you pass the exam and challenge yourself to improve on trickier questions that you might get incorrect.

About the BCAT

The BCAT exam is based on the Watson Glaser critical thinking assessment, which is renowned within the law industryand other professions.

The test is one hour and split among five sections including:

  1. Drawing inferences from facts
  2. Recognition of assumptions
  3. Deductive reasoning
  4. Logical interpretation
  5. Evaluation of arguments

The test is completed on a computer at an authorised Pearson VUE test centre.

What does the BCAT assess?

The bar course aptitude test is an assessment which focuses on your critical thinking ability, logical approach to evaluate and using relevant information to draw conclusions. It will also assess your written English skills and ability to work under pressure since the test is timed.

The BCAT Exam Format

Test-takers of the Bar Course Aptitude Test are given 55 minutes to answer 60 multiple-choice questions. The questions take the form of a statement, where you must choose whether the statement is ‘true’, ‘probably true’, ‘insufficient data’, ‘probably false’ or ‘false’. No prior knowledge is required to answer the questions.

Section 1 – Drawing inferences from facts

You will be presented with a short passage of information followed by statements, which could be inferred from the text. You will need to decide whether the statement is accurate based on your understanding of the passage. This will evaluate your ability to draw conclusions based on information provided.

Section 2 - Recognition of assumptions

You will be presented with a statement followed by an assumption. You will need to determine whether the assumption is made within the statement or not.

Section 3 - Deductive reasoning

In the deductive reasoning section, you will be presented with a series of facts, which is followed by a conclusion. You will need to determine whether the conclusion is supported by the first statement.

Section 4 - Logical interpretation

You will be presented with a passage of information followed by a statement. You will need to determine whether this possible conclusion follows or not.

Section 5 - Evaluation of arguments

You will be presented with a statement followed by a number of arguments. You will need to determine the strength or weakness of each argument.

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Which law firms use the BCAT Exam?

There are a number of different law firms that use the BCAT Exam, including both large and small firms. Some of the more well-known firms that utilize this exam include Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, and Latham & Watkins. These firms often receive a high volume of applications, and the BCAT allows them to quickly weed out those who are not adequately prepared for the rigors of working in a law firm.

How to prepare for the BCAT Skills Test

If you’re planning on taking the BCAT test, there are a few things you can do to prepare.

1. Practice plenty of practice test questions

Practice questions can help you improve your score. There are a number of practice test questions you can try:

2. Get used to the time pressure

There’s no question that the BCAT is a time crunch. Just ask anyone who’s taken it. Of course, you can’t just go through the test at lightning speed. You need to take the time to read the passages carefully and thoughtfully consider each question. But even so, you’ll need to be able to work quickly and efficiently. Pacing yourself comes down to practice so in order to get used to the time pressure, take tests under exam conditions with the allocated amount of time.

3. Understand what passing score is required

The BCAT is scored on a scale of 1-99, with 99 being the highest score possible.

4. Improve your logical reasoning skills

If you want to improve your logical reasoning skills, there are a few things you can do. First, try to identify the premises and conclusion of an argument. Once you know what these are, it will be easier to follow the logic. Second, make sure that you understand the different types of reasoning: inductive and deductive. Inductive reasoning is based on generalizations, while deductive reasoning is based on specific evidence. Finally, practice identifying fallacies in arguments. This will help you spot when someone is trying to mislead you with their reasoning.

5. Find your nearest Pearson VUE test centre

There are over 5,000Pearson VUE test centresin 180 countries around the world. To find your nearest one, simply visit the Pearson VUE website and enter your location.

Once you’ve found your nearest centre, you can then check for availability and book your test online. You’ll need to create a Pearson VUE account if you don’t already have one.

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