How I prepared for and passed the QLTS MCT

I took the QLTS MCT in January 2019 and received my results in February. I think I did well, but all that matters is that I passed. I wrote about my MCT exam day experience here.

This is how I prepared.

Glasses on Book

QLTS COURSE PROVIDER

I signed up with QLTS School. I was choosing between them and QLTS Advantage. At the time, these were the ones I saw online, and figured they must not be significantly different from each other. I signed up with QLTS School because it was a bit cheaper and I knew two other people who used them and passed.

I know a few people now who have used QLTS Advantage and passed. I also know a few people who did not sign up with a QLTS course provider at all, and passed the MCT.

All in all, it doesn’t matter very much which QLTS course provider you choose, or if you decide not to use a course provider at all. It’s totally up to you as I think it depends on your budget. If you choose not to use a QLTS course provider, though, I suggest checking Facebook and LinkedIn Groups to see what people have read and how other people have prepared without using a provider’s materials.

If you can afford it, I think you should sign up with a provider. It’s worth doing because you don’t have to think too much about what materials to get – just this process can be exhausting because you want to make sure you cover all the subjects sufficiently. If you sign up with a provider, you can just study what they give you and use their resources.

MCT PREP TIME

I think I signed up with QLTS School sometime in September 2018. Don’t be deceived, I didn’t actually study from September until January. I took a break in November for my graduation celebrations and in December for Christmas. In the meantime, I was also looking for a job, and figuring out my future. I don’t think I studied as much as I could have.

Bookshelf with leather bound books

MCT PREP

Books

I read the materials that QLTS School provided – 11 spiral-bound books. In law school, we were told to read the materials multiple times, so that’s how I intended to revise. I thought I should at least do two readings, but I really only managed one. I think I finished my first reading about 1 or 2 weeks before the exam.

Mock Tests

Two weeks before the exam, I did some mock tests. I had access to only a few (maybe 2 or 3). I did one to time myself and check if I needed to rush through the questions. If you read about what happened on exam day, you’ll know I had a lot of time. So I focused on understanding and remembering the answers.

After having taken the MCT, I realised that I knew the answers to many of the questions (or at least I knew to eliminate a few of the choices) because of the mock tests. Mock tests also help you figure out which specific topics to focus your revision on. If I had to take the MCT again, I would do mock tests earlier on and use the mock tests (in addition to the books) to learn the material. If you only have a few tests, reserve one until after you’ve read the books to time yourself and test your knowledge. Use the rest to learn the law and revise.

Flash Cards

QLTS School (and probably other providers) gives you flash cards. I think using flash cards to study law is starting to pick up. While I don’t think they’re useful for writing papers and such, flash cards are helpful when studying for objective exams.

If you are nerdy about the process of studying, you may have heard about active recall and spaced repetition — it’s supposed to be the most efficient and effective way to learn and remember what you’ve studied. If you don’t know what they are, you can check out Ali Abdaal’s videos on the science behind active recall and spaced repetition. He based his information on the book Make It Stick by Brown, Roediger, McDaniel. You can read that if you prefer.

I didn’t know about active recall at the time I was preparing for the MCT, and I think QLTS School did not have any flash cards then so I can’t tell you if they are any good. I was able to use QLTS School flash cards for OSCE though, and I thought they were useful enough for when you don’t have the energy to focus on reading a textbook.

MCT SUBJECTS

I didn’t have any strategy for reading the books — I just read them. Here are a few pointers on some subjects:

English Legal System & EU Law Constitutional Law & Judicial Review

This was interesting because it’s so different from the government structure I’m familiar with. It’s also very relevant because you’ll be able to understand the issues around Brexit.

SRA Code of Conduct

This is mostly common sense. I don’t know why I remember taking such a long time to read this. I suggest reading the original text as well because it will be easier to contextualise the books.

Accounts

Don’t stress out about this subject. It’s probably the numbers and accounting bit that put people on edge when going through this subject, but if you just chill out, it’s not too difficult to understand. I think a few people have worried and spent too much time on Accounts. But since the coverage of the MCT is so broad, they can’t ask more than a few questions on this subject. So don’t worry! The worst case is you’ll only lose a few points.

Financial Regulation

I thought this was also another unnecessarily long topic. Don’t stress out about it. Just read through it and remember what you can. Not knowing all of it with accuracy will not be the end of the world, I promise.

Equity and Trusts

This was a short read but I thought this was one of the more difficult subjects to understand. I could understand and read through all the other subjects quite quickly, it was just a matter of being able to remember all the information. But, somehow, I couldn’t get equity and trusts into my brain properly. If you’re like me, you’ll want to take your time on this.

Tax

Don’t stress about memorising all the rates. If you do the mock tests, you can tell which ones are important to remember. Just make sure to check that the rates are updated. They change every year.

In sum, don’t stress about the QLTS MCT too much. Get some mock tests if you can and use them to learn the materials as well as to test your knowledge. Remember that the coverage is so long and they will only ask you 180 multiple choice questions. Trust that your brain will remember or at least recognise the right answers — the choices are there to jog your memory. You got this! Good luck!