22 September 2019

Bar Course Aptitude Test

Opening and closing dates

The BCAT opened on Monday 4th February 2019. You schedule your test online via the Pearson VUE website. (Please remember you can submit a BarSAS application before you have passed the BCAT.)

The last date for scheduling your BCAT is Monday 16th September 2019. The last testing date is Monday 23rd September 2019.

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.

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 be told if you passed or failed.

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 2014 and September 2015 the last BPTC you can enrol on with that pass starts in September 2019.


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.