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40. Upcoming Changes to the SQE: What You Need to Know

Upcoming Changes to the SQE: What You Need to Know

If you’re currently studying or planning to pursue a career in law, you’ve likely heard of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). This new assessment is set to replace the traditional route to becoming a solicitor in England and Wales. As with any major change, it’s important to stay informed and understand the upcoming changes to the SQE. In this article, we’ll delve into the key updates you need to know about.

1. Introduction to the SQE

Before we dive into the upcoming changes, let’s quickly recap what the SQE is all about. The SQE is a national assessment that aims to set a consistent standard for qualifying solicitors. It is designed to ensure that all solicitors possess the necessary knowledge and skills to provide competent legal advice and representation. The SQE consists of two stages: SQE1 and SQE2.

If you want to learn more about the details of each stage, check out our previous article on Unveiling the SRA Syllabus for the SQE.

2. Changes to SQE1

SQE1 tests candidates on their knowledge of the law and legal procedures. It is a computer-based assessment that consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and other types of tasks. In the upcoming changes to the SQE, there will be a growing emphasis on practical legal skills in addition to substantive law knowledge.

This shift reflects the evolving needs of the legal profession, where employers increasingly value practical skills alongside theoretical knowledge. To develop these practical skills, candidates are encouraged to attend SQE webinars that provide expert insights and tips on mastering the assessment.

3. Introduction of SQE2

SQE2 focuses on more advanced legal skills, including client interviewing, advocacy, legal research, and legal writing. This stage is designed to assess a candidate’s ability to apply legal knowledge in practical scenarios. With the introduction of SQE2, the assessment will better mirror the day-to-day tasks solicitors undertake in their professional careers.

If you’re interested in preparing for SQE2, we recommend exploring our article on Insider Tips and Study Tricks for Success.

4. Removal of Qualifying Work Experience (QWE)

One significant change to the traditional route to solicitor qualification is the removal of the Qualifying Work Experience (QWE) requirement. Historically, aspiring solicitors had to complete a two-year training contract or equivalent work experience to qualify.

Under the SQE, work experience is no longer a mandatory requirement for qualification. However, it is important to note that many employers still value practical experience and may require candidates to have completed work-based learning programs.

5. Grading System and Exam Evaluation

The SQE adopts a grading system to evaluate candidates’ performance. Understanding how exams are evaluated and graded is crucial to preparing effectively for the assessment. To learn more about the grading system in SQE, we recommend checking out our article on Understanding How Exams are Evaluated.

6. Choosing the Best SQE Course Provider

With the introduction of the SQE, there is a wide range of course providers to choose from. Each provider offers different learning materials and teaching methods. Finding the best fit for your learning style and needs is essential for success in the SQE. To assist in your selection process, we have reviewed various SQE course providers in our article on Choosing the Best Fit.


The upcoming changes to the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) represent a significant shift in the way aspiring solicitors qualify for their professional career. As a prospective solicitor, it is crucial to stay updated with the latest developments and understand the key changes to the assessment structure and requirements.

To unlock essential knowledge and prepare effectively for the SQE, consider attending SQE webinars, exploring course provider reviews, and familiarizing yourself with the grading system in SQE. By staying informed and adequately prepared, you can maximize your chances of success in the SQE and embark on a fulfilling career as a solicitor.