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1. SQE1 vs SQE2: Understanding the Key Differences

SQE1 vs SQE2: Understanding the Key Differences

If you’re on the path to becoming a solicitor in England and Wales, you’ve likely heard about the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). This new assessment framework, introduced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), has replaced the traditional routes to qualifying as a solicitor.

The SQE is divided into two stages: SQE1 and SQE2. Each stage tests different aspects of your legal knowledge and skills. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between SQE1 and SQE2 to help you better understand what to expect and how to prepare for each stage.

1. Content and Format

SQE1 is primarily a multiple-choice exam that assesses your understanding of the foundational legal principles and concepts. It covers subjects such as Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Practice, Contract Law and Tort Law, among others. The exam consists of two papers, each lasting 180 minutes.

On the other hand, SQE2 focuses on assessing your practical legal skills. It tests your ability to apply legal knowledge to realistic scenarios. The assessment methods include written tasks, oral assessments, and client interviews. SQE2 covers topics such as Dispute Resolution, Wills and Probate, Business Law and Practice, and Property Practice, among others.

It’s important to note that SQE2 also includes some multiple-choice questions to assess your professional ethics and legal research skills.

2. Skills Assessment

While SQE1 focuses on testing your knowledge of legal concepts, SQE2 is designed to assess your practical legal skills. This means that SQE2 requires you to demonstrate your ability to apply legal principles to real-life scenarios. You may be asked to draft legal documents, advise clients, or participate in simulated interviews with clients or other legal professionals.

To prepare for SQE2, it’s crucial to develop strong practical skills through legal work experience, problem-solving exercises, and mock assessments. This will help you build the confidence and expertise needed to succeed in this stage of the SQE.

3. Study Materials

When it comes to preparing for the SQE, having access to comprehensive study materials is essential. There are various SQE course providers that offer tailored preparation materials for both SQE1 and SQE2. These materials include textbooks, online lectures, practice questions, and mock exams.

However, it’s important to choose an SQE course provider that aligns with your learning style and needs. (Check out this article) for a review of SQE course providers to help you make an informed decision.

4. Preparation Strategies

Preparing for both SQE1 and SQE2 requires careful planning and strategic study techniques. Here are a few tips to help you prepare effectively:

– Start early: Begin your preparation well in advance to ensure you have enough time to cover all the relevant topics and practice extensively.

– Create a study schedule: Plan your study sessions and allocate dedicated time to each subject. This will help you stay organized and ensure you cover all the necessary material.

– Practice regularly: Continuously test your knowledge and skills by solving practice questions and participating in mock assessments. This will not only reinforce your understanding but also familiarize you with the exam format.

– Seek guidance: Consider attending SQE webinars and seeking expert insights to gain valuable tips and advice. (Read this article) to learn more about how SQE webinars can help you unlock knowledge and excel in your preparation.

Remember, success in the SQE is not only about acquiring knowledge but also developing the necessary skills and exam techniques. Continuous practice, self-assessment, and seeking professional guidance are key to achieving success in both SQE1 and SQE2.

5. Evaluation and Grading

The SQE is evaluated using a pass/fail grading system. To pass each stage, you must meet the minimum competency standards set by the SRA. The passing criteria for SQE1 and SQE2 may vary, as each stage assesses different aspects of your legal knowledge and skills.

To better understand how exams are evaluated and the grading system in the SQE, (check out this article) that provides a comprehensive overview.


In summary, SQE1 and SQE2 are two distinct stages of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination. While SQE1 focuses on testing your legal knowledge through multiple-choice questions, SQE2 assesses your practical skills in various legal scenarios. Both stages require dedicated preparation and strategic study techniques to succeed.

To excel in the SQE, it’s crucial to choose the right course providers, develop strong practical skills, and constantly practice and self-assess. By understanding the key differences between SQE1 and SQE2, you can effectively plan your study schedule and approach each stage with confidence.