The Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT)

For those that don’t know, I hope to go into the Legal sector in the next few years after hopefully completing a degree in Law.

So, naturally I have been reading up on the two main careers that span from Law; Solicitors and Barristers. I must admit, I don’t have anything like a set opinion in my mind, but I have been very slightly leaning towards (attempting) to become a Barrister.

Anyway, this afternoon I wandered across this test called the BCAT (or The Bar Course Aptitude Test) which is around 60 questions to be answered within 55 minutes all to do with assessing analytical skill and critical thinking.

The RED Model
The test organises critical thinking into a “RED Model”:

  • Recognise Assumptions
    Noticing and questioning assumptions helps to reveal information gaps or unfounded logic.
  • Evaluate Arguments
    Analysing information objectively and accurately, questioning the quality of supporting evidence, and understanding how emotion influences the situation.
  • Draw Conclusions
    Bringing diverse information together to arrive at conclusions that logically follow from the available evidence is crucial when making a decision.

Personally I think it’s a really interesting approach which I can see as being useful to a career based on developing the skills.

So, I decided to take the test and see if I was anything like cut out for it.

“Your results were compared with a large group of people who have also completed the BCAPT.

Your score on the BCAPT placed you in the PASS CATEGORY. Individuals scoring in this band are likely to demonstrate or exceed the level of critical thinking necessary for effective analysis and decision making on the Bar Professional Training Course. Compared with other test takers, they are likely to be able to:

• Define basic and complex elements of problems and situations clearly and objectively

• Recognise the lack of obvious information and readily identify subtle information needed for effective decision making or problem-solving effectiveness

• Typically apply sound logic and reasoning when analysing information

• Consistently draw accurate conclusions from information in a variety of situations and circumstances

• Develop rational, strong arguments to support ideas”

By God I wasn’t half surprised!
I know the limitations of these tests, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t just a little pleased that I could supposedly pass a test I’ll have to take in four years’ time at the end of my hopeful degree.

For anyone wondering If they also have the analytical skill to become a barrister, check out the page below which provides a link to the test:


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