17 August 2018

Bar Course Aptitude Test

Opening and closing dates

The BCAT opened on Thursday 18 January 2018, registration will close on Monday 17 September 2018, and the final day of testing will be on Monday 24 September 2018. (Please remember you can submit a BarSAS application before you have passed the BCAT.)

Before undertaking the BCAT

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and BCAT Handbook to familiarise yourself with the test.

Reasonable adjustments (accommodations) or extenuating circumstances?

If you require either of the above, please read the reasonable adjustments page or the extenuating circumstances page.

When should you take the test?

Candidates must pass the BCAT before they can enrol on their BPTC in September.

Candidates can apply for a BPTC place via the BarSAS website and also accept a place before passing the BCAT.

We strongly recommend taking the BCAT earlier rather than later in case a re-take is necessary. Also in previous years the BCAT has been fully booked in the run up to the closing date. If no slots are available, you will not be able to take the test and will not be admitted to the BPTC, even if you meet all the other requirements.

What is the Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT)?

The BCAT tests aptitude for critical thinking and reasoning. These are key skills required for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). The aim of the test is to ensure that those undertaking the BPTC have the aptitude to succeed on the course. The test consists of 60 multiple choice questions, lasts 55 minutes and is completed on a computer at an authorised Pearson VUE test centre. The test costs £150 if taken in the EU or £170 if taken outside the EU.

Scheduling your BCAT

You schedule and pay for the BCAT using the Pearson VUE website. The BCAT FAQs give guidance for registering on the Pearson VUE website and then scheduling your BCAT.

*** Candidates in Bangladesh are able to pay online again ***

Practice test

To familiarise yourself with the BCAT you should try the free practice test. The practice test is the same length, difficulty and format as the actual test. At the end you will receive a feedback report confirming how well you did on the test.

On the practice test page there is also additional information regarding what the BCAT measures, why the BCAT is being used, the validity study carried out and tips on how to improve your critical thinking skills.

How long is your BCAT pass valid for?

BCAT passes before 2016 or from 19 December 2016 are valid for five years.

For candidates who took the BCAT between April and August 2016:
    1. BCAT passes scoring 45 or more are valid for five years.
    2. BCAT passes scoring 44 or less were only valid to enrol on the BPTC in
        September 2016.

If you passed the BCAT between October 2013 and September 2014, the last BPTC you can enrol on with that BCAT pass starts in September 2018.


If you have any questions, please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and the BCAT Handbook. If you still require further information, email us: BCAT@barstandardsboard.org.uk.

For questions about test centres, registering for the test and payment queries please contact Pearson VUE customer service for your relevant region.

For questions about the test itself, extenuating circumstances or reasonable adjustments please follow the links or email BCAT@barstandardsboard.org.uk.