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47. Demystifying the SQE Exam: Everything You Need to Know

47. Demystifying the SQE Exam: Everything You Need to Know

As a future solicitor, it’s important to stay informed about the latest changes in legal education and qualification. One such change is the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The SQE is set to replace the traditional route to qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales, making it essential for aspiring solicitors to understand the exam and its implications. In this article, we will demystify the SQE exam and provide you with everything you need to know to prepare for success.

1. What is the SQE Exam?

The SQE Exam is a new standardized assessment designed to test the knowledge and skills of individuals seeking to qualify as solicitors in England and Wales. It is an assessment of key competencies across various areas of law and practice, ensuring that all qualifying solicitors meet the same high standards.

To ensure fairness and consistency, the SQE Exam is administered by a central examining body rather than individual law schools or universities. This new approach aims to address the discrepancies in the quality of legal education and provide a level playing field for all aspiring solicitors.

2. Structure of the SQE Exam

The SQE Exam is divided into two stages:

Stage 1: SQE1

SQE1 is the foundation stage of the exam and assesses candidates’ functioning legal knowledge. It consists of two multiple-choice question (MCQ) papers, each with 180 questions. The first paper focuses on legal principles, while the second paper covers practical legal skills.

It’s important to note that a pass in SQE1 is valid for six years, allowing candidates sufficient time to complete the second stage of the exam.

Stage 2: SQE2

SQE2 tests candidates’ application of legal knowledge and skills in a practical context. It consists of 16 practical legal skills assessments (PLSAs) that simulate real-life scenarios encountered by solicitors. These assessments cover areas such as client interviewing, advocacy, legal research, and case analysis.

Candidates must pass all 16 PLSAs to successfully complete SQE2.

3. Preparing for the SQE Exam

Preparing for the SQE Exam requires careful planning and dedication. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Understand the Grading System in SQE

Before diving into exam preparation, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the grading system used in the SQE Exam. Understanding how your performance will be evaluated will allow you to tailor your study efforts accordingly. For a detailed explanation of the grading system, check out 23. Understanding the Grading System in SQE.

Unlocking Knowledge with SQE Webinars

Expert insights can be invaluable when preparing for the SQE Exam. Consider attending SQE webinars that provide in-depth knowledge and practical tips from experienced professionals. These webinars offer a unique opportunity to gain insights from practicing solicitors and can be accessed conveniently from your fingertips. For more information on SQE webinars, read 24. Unlocking Knowledge with SQE Webinars: Expert Insights at Your Fingertips.

Review SQE Course Providers

Choosing the right course provider is crucial for effective SQE Exam preparation. An effective course will provide comprehensive study materials, practice assessments, and expert guidance. Take the time to review different course providers and select the one that best fits your needs. To help you make an informed decision, read our article on 17. Review of SQE Course Providers: Choosing the Best Fit.

4. Understanding the SRA Syllabus for the SQE

A thorough understanding of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) syllabus for the SQE Exam is essential for success. The syllabus outlines the knowledge and skills that candidates are expected to demonstrate during the exam. To learn more about the SRA syllabus and its implications, read 4. Unveiling the SRA Syllabus for the SQE.

5. Insider Tips and Study Tricks for Success

Preparing for a high-stakes exam can be daunting, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of success. Our article on 31. Conquer the SQE: Insider Tips and Study Tricks for Success provides valuable insights and strategies to optimize your study plan and perform at your best on exam day.


The SQE Exam is a significant development in legal education and qualification, and it’s crucial for aspiring solicitors to understand its ins and outs. By demystifying the SQE Exam and providing you with relevant information and resources, we hope to empower you to confidently navigate this new path to qualification. Remember to stay focused, plan your preparation, and utilize the available resources to maximize your chances of success. Good luck!