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41. Understanding the SQE Assessment: Structure and Exam Format Explained

Understanding the SQE Assessment: Structure and Exam Format Explained

If you are considering a career in law, you may have heard of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). This new assessment is set to replace the traditional route to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales. Understanding the structure and exam format of the SQE is crucial for anyone looking to embark on this journey. In this blog post, we will break down the key components of the SQE assessment and provide you with a comprehensive overview.

What is the SQE?

The Solicitors Qualifying Examination, or SQE, is a new assessment framework introduced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in order to standardize the qualification process for solicitors. The SQE is designed to ensure that all aspiring solicitors meet the required standards of competence and professionalism. It consists of two stages – SQE 1 and SQE 2 – which we will explore in detail below.

SQE 1: Assessment of Functioning Legal Knowledge

SQE 1 focuses on testing candidates’ functioning legal knowledge. It is a computer-based assessment that consists of two parts, each lasting 2 hours and 45 minutes. The first part assesses candidates’ understanding of areas such as business law and practice, contract law and torts, while the second part focuses on constitutional and administrative law, criminal law and EU law. Each part consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and extended matching questions (EMQs).

To prepare for SQE 1, it is essential to engage in comprehensive study and practice. Utilizing resources such as SQE 1 practice exam questions and SQE 1 practice mocks can greatly enhance your understanding of the exam format and help you identify areas that require further attention.

To access SQE 1 practice exam questions, visit SQE 1 Practice Exam Questions.

For SQE 1 practice mocks, check out SQE 1 Practice Mocks FLK1 FLK2.

SQE 2: Assessment of Practical Legal Skills

SQE 2 focuses on assessing candidates’ practical legal skills. It consists of a series of practical legal assessments that simulate real-life scenarios. These assessments cover a range of practice areas, including client interviewing and advising, advocacy, legal research, legal writing, and case and matter analysis. SQE 2 is designed to test candidates’ ability to apply legal knowledge in a practical context.

Preparing for SQE 2 requires not only a solid foundation of legal knowledge but also the development of practical legal skills. Engaging in SQE 2 preparation courses can provide you with the necessary guidance and practice to excel in these assessments.

To explore SQE 2 preparation courses, visit SQE 2 Preparation Courses.

Important Dates

If you are planning to take the SQE exams, it is essential to stay informed about the exam dates and registration deadlines. The SRA regularly updates the examination schedule to ensure candidates have sufficient time to prepare. To access the most up-to-date information regarding SQE exam dates, visit SRA SQE Exam Dates.


The SQE assessment is a comprehensive examination framework designed to ensure that aspiring solicitors meet the required standards of competence and professionalism. Understanding the structure and format of the SQE exams is crucial for effective preparation. By engaging in study, practice, and utilizing appropriate resources, you can increase your chances of success in the SQE 1 and SQE 2 assessments. Stay informed about important dates and registration deadlines to ensure a smooth journey towards qualification as a solicitor.