What is the Solicitor Qualification Exam (SQE)? Explained

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) is your gateway to becoming a solicitor in England and Wales. This comprehensive assessment is divided into two parts - SQE1 and SQE2 - testing your legal knowledge and practical skills.

The Solicitor Qualification Exam in numbers

We aim to offer competitive program fees, starting at only £79, alongside industry-leading, innovative content. Our materials, strategies, support, and expertise are designed to ensure your success and qualification.

6834+
Students preparing SQE in 2024
56%
SQE1 pass rate in 2023
71%
SQE2 pass rate in 2023

How to qualify as a solicitor through SQE?

Degree or equivalent

You must have a degree in any subject (or equivalent qualification or work experience).

Qualifying Work Experience

You will need to complete at least two years’ full-time (or equivalent) Qualifying Work Experience (QWE). Know more about : SQE Qualifying Work Experience (QWE)

SQE assessments

You'll have to pass both SQE assessments - SQE1 focuses on functioning legal knowledge and SQE2 on practical legal skills and knowledge.

Character and Suitability

Your character and suitability will be treated as seriously as your knowledge and skills.

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The “Day One Solicitor” Standard

The questions in SQE are designed to assess legal skills using fundamental rules and principles at the level required of a competent newly qualified Solicitor.

They are not designed to test specialist practice which is unlikely to be encountered at the level of a Day One Solicitor.

Candidates are required to apply relevant core legal principles and rules appropriately and effectively, at the level of a competent newly qualified solicitor in practice, to realistic client-based and ethical problems and situations.

Know more about the SQE Syllabus

SQE1 and SQE2 assessments specification

This guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of both routes, helping you make an informed decision.

Assessment Day

Split into two sessions of 2 hours 33 minutes with 90 questions in each session. There will be a 60 minute break between the sessions.

The SQE model uses Miller's pyramid* to provide a framework for the assessment of solicitor competence. Miller's pyramid is used extensively for the assessment of professional competence, including within medical and dental training.

SQE1 assesses the application of Functioning Legal Knowledge required for effective practice – the 'knows how' of Miller’s pyramid.

Know more about our SQE1 Preparation
FLK 1

Business Law and Practice; Dispute Resolution; Contract; Tort; Legal System of England and Wales; Constitutional and Administrative Law and EU Law and Legal Services.

FLK 2
Property Practice; Wills and the Administration of Estates; Solicitors Accounts; Land Law; Trusts; Criminal Law and Practice.

The SQE2 assessment is divided into two parts (oral and written), although there is one pass mark for the assessment as a whole:

SQE2 Syllabus
SQE2 Written
SQE2 Oral
Timing
Format
Know more about our SQE2 Preparation

Each Grade
Representation

Candidates will be evaluated based on specific assessment criteria for each of the six types of legal skills stations in SQE2 using a grading scale from A to F.

Superior performance

Your performance exceeds the competency requirements of the assessment.

Clearly satisfactory

You clearly meet the competency requirements of the assessment.

Marginal pass

Your performance just meets the competency requirements of the assessment, but only by a small margin.

Marginal fail

Your performance just falls short of meeting the competency requirements of the assessment; only by a small margin.

Clearly unsatisfactory

Your performance clearly does not meet the competency requirements of the assessment.

Poor performance

Your performance is well below the competency requirements of the assessment.

SQE1 / SQE2
D-Day Organisation

Day 1
FLK1

The assessment is divided into two sessions of 2 hours 33 minutes (or 153 minutes in total), with 90 questions in each session and cover the FLK1 syllabus.

Day 2
FLK2

The assessment is divided into two sessions of 2 hours 33 minutes (or 153 minutes in total), with 90 questions in each session and cover the FLK12syllabus.

Day 1 - 8AM
Advocacy and Cl. Interview

Dispute Resolution - Property Practice

Day 2 - 8AM
Advocacy and Cl. Interview

Criminal Litigation - Wills and Probate

Day 3 - 2PM
Written: CMA - LD - LR - LW

Criminal Litigation - Dispute Resolution

Day 4 - 2PM
Written: CMA - LD - LR - LW

Property Practice - Wills and Probate

Day 5 - 8AM
Written: CMA - LD - LR - LW

Business Law

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