Since 2013, the Bar course aptitude test, or BCAT, has been compulsory in order to gain entry to the BPTC, the Bar Professional Training Course. The test is used to assess an applicant’s critical thinking and reasoning skills which are needed in the BPTC and used regularly when working as a barrister.
Take a sneak peek at the type of questions you will face on the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) administered by Pearson Vue. This practice pack gives you access to the type of topics and practice on the style of questions that are included on the BCAT. These questions have been developed by JobTestPrep’s in-house team of test writers to help you prepare for the test.
The BCAT for 2016 opens on 4 April 2016 with an as yet unknown closing date. To keep tabs on the closing dates, please visit Bars Standards Board website. The BCAT can be taken at any time between the opening and closing dates, but it is recommended that you sit the test as close to the opening date as possible and allow for 30 days between resits. You can sit the test at any Pearson Vue test centre, which are located all over the world. Visit the Pearson Vue website to schedule your test date.
The BCAT is based on the Watson-Glaser critical thinking appraisal, a widely used test in a variety of different job sectors but particularly in the law sector. The assessment is popular as it provides a full assessment of a candidate’s critical thinking abilities as well as other core skills that are required in many legal sector jobs.
The BCAT is an hour long and is split up into five different sections which aim to get a full picture of the applicants’ skills. These sections are listed below:
Drawing inferences from facts – This section asks you to draw conclusions based on provided facts which are either observed or supposed. You are given a short paragraph of information, followed by a statement which could be inferred from the text. Your task is to determine whether or not the statement is valid based on the facts provided.
Recognition of assumptions – The next section is based on assumptions. You are first given a statement which is followed by an assumption. You need to work out if the assumption is made in the statement or not.
Deductive reasoning – You are given a series of stated facts which are followed by a proposed conclusion. The task in this section is to determine if the conclusion is supported by the first statement.
Logical interpretation – Here you are given a paragraph of information followed by a statement on that text. You have to decide if this possible conclusion follows or not.
Evaluation of arguments – You are given a statement followed by a number of possible arguments relating to the statement. You have to decide if the argument is strong or weak.
Your critical thinking ability is what is under examination on the BCAT and this requires you to have the ability to assess a situation and consider multiple perspectives whilst separating out the facts from opinion and assumption. Put simply, it involves not accepting information at face value. Below are a number of tips to help you tackle the test questions.
Mastering critical thinking skills for the BCAT won't happen overnight. It is a process which involves constant practice and JobTestPrep is here to help. We have developed practice tests which mimic the real test questions, as well as providing comprehensive answers and explanations to give you a well-rounded preparation experience.
With the help of our practice tests, you can expect to improve your score and increase your chances of making it onto the BPTC. Good luck.