Bar Course Aptitude Test Preparation Online

Are you planning to sit the Bar Course Aptitude Test for the BPTC this year and looking for ways to practice? Learn more about the test and how you can prepare with JobTestPrep.
Bar Course Aptitude Test Practice

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About the BCAT

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.

BCAT Deadline

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.

What is the BCAT?

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 Bar Course Aptitude Test Format

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 a 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.

Critical Thinking

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.

Critical Thinking Tips

  • Ask yourself questions about what you are reading, in order to identify what comes from fact and what is an assumption.
  • Think about the quality of the arguments put forward. Rate the assumptions you have found and object to them if you feel they are not valid.
  • Consider the intended audience of the text. Who was this written for? How does this intended audience impact on the information presented in the article? Is the author trying to be persuasive, appeal to emotions, or push the audience to a specific conclusion?
  • Think about all sides of the argument, even those that do not reflect your own views.
  • Put your thoughts on paper. This can be done by drawing out what you are thinking through pictures, matrices, flow charts, diagrams, or whatever format works for you. Arranging information in this way can help you organise your thoughts and make connections you didn’t see earlier.
  • Write down your own summary, thoughts, or questions on what you are reading. Writing it down helps you organise your thoughts and understanding.
  • Evaluate different conclusions, who stands to benefit from a chosen conclusion, and the impact that this conclusion would have on others.

In Conclusion 

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!

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