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22. Re-taking the SQE: Strategies for a Successful Second Attempt

Re-taking the SQE: Strategies for a Successful Second Attempt

So you’ve taken the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) once and unfortunately didn’t achieve the desired result. It can be disappointing, but remember that many successful lawyers have faced setbacks in their journey as well. The key is to learn from your experience, adjust your approach, and come back stronger for your second attempt. In this article, we will explore strategies to help you succeed in your re-taking of the SQE.

1. Reflect on Your First Attempt

The first step in improving your performance is to reflect on your previous attempt. Take the time to analyze your strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas where you struggled the most. Was it the multiple-choice questions (MCQs) in SQE1? Or perhaps the practical skills assessment in SQE2? By pinpointing your weaknesses, you can create a targeted study plan to address those areas and improve your chances of success.

For more insights on tackling MCQs in SQE1, check out our article on Conquer the Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) in SQE1.

2. Evaluate Your Study Techniques

Next, assess your study techniques from your first attempt. Did you have a structured plan in place? Were you consistent with your study hours? Did you use a variety of study resources? It’s important to determine what worked well for you and what didn’t. Consider utilizing interactive mock tests to enhance engagement and learning, as discussed in our article on Interactive mock tests for SQE: Enhancing engagement and learning.

3. Revise and Practice with SQE Sample Papers

One of the most effective ways to prepare for the SQE is to practice with sample papers. Familiarize yourself with the style and format of the questions, and practice answering them within the given time constraints. This will help you build confidence and improve your speed and accuracy. Our article on SQE Sample Papers: Practice for Exam Success provides further guidance on utilizing sample papers effectively.

4. Seek Support and Guidance

Don’t hesitate to seek support and guidance from experienced professionals who can provide valuable insights and advice. Consider working with a tutor or joining study groups where you can discuss difficult concepts and learn from each other’s experiences. Additionally, keep in mind that it may be beneficial to adjust your strategy based on your performance in mock exams. For more information on this, take a look at our article on Adjusting Your SQE Strategy Based on Mock Performance.

5. Focus on Key Concepts

Identify the key concepts and focus areas for each part of the SQE, whether it’s legal knowledge, practical skills, or ethics. Mastering these key concepts will not only improve your overall understanding but also help you tackle the exam questions more effectively. Our article on Focus Areas in SQE1 and SQE2: Mastering Key Concepts delves deeper into this topic and provides valuable insights.


Facing a setback in the SQE can be discouraging, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t define your abilities as a future solicitor. With the right strategies and mindset, you can improve your performance and succeed in your second attempt. Reflect on your first attempt, evaluate your study techniques, practice with sample papers, seek support and guidance, and focus on key concepts. By implementing these strategies, you will be well on your way to achieving your goal of passing the SQE and becoming a qualified solicitor.