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5. Understanding the Grading System in the Solicitors Qualifying Examination

Understanding the Grading System in the Solicitors Qualifying Examination

Are you preparing for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) and feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of the grading system? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you navigate through it and understand how your performance will be assessed. In this blog post, we will break down the grading system for the SQE and provide you with all the information you need to succeed.

Before we dive into the specifics, it’s important to note that the SQE replaces the previous Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) as the new standard for qualification as a solicitor in England and Wales. The SQE is divided into two stages: SQE 1 and SQE 2. SQE 1 focuses on legal knowledge and is an online, multiple-choice exam, while SQE 2 assesses practical legal skills through role-playing and simulations.

Grading System for SQE 1:

The SQE 1 exam consists of 360 multiple-choice questions, divided into two sections. Each question is worth 1 mark, resulting in a maximum achievable score of 360. To pass SQE 1, you must achieve a score of at least 180. The grading system for SQE 1 is as follows:

1. Competent – If your score is between 180 and 209, you will be classified as competent. This means you have successfully demonstrated the required level of legal knowledge to pass SQE 1.

2. Merit – Achieving a score between 210 and 239 puts you in the merit category. This indicates that you have a good understanding of the legal principles and concepts tested in SQE 1.

3. Distinction – A score of 240 or higher places you in the distinction category. This signifies an excellent grasp of the legal knowledge examined in SQE 1.

The grading system for SQE 1 is straightforward, allowing you to gauge your performance easily. However, it’s important to note that achieving a higher score does not provide any additional advantage in the next stage, SQE 2.

Grading System for SQE 2:

SQE 2 is a practical skills assessment that evaluates your ability to apply legal knowledge in real-life scenarios. Unlike SQE 1, SQE 2 does not have a numerical grading system. Instead, it focuses on a pass/fail outcome.

The assessment for SQE 2 consists of 16 assessments that simulate various legal scenarios. Each assessment is marked by trained assessors who evaluate your performance based on specific criteria. To pass SQE 2, you must demonstrate competence in all 16 assessments.

The assessments cover essential practical skills, such as legal research, client interviewing, advocacy, and drafting. The grading is based on your ability to apply legal knowledge, ethics, and professional judgment in these scenarios.

Preparing for Success:

Now that you understand the grading system for the SQE, it’s crucial to prepare effectively to maximize your chances of success. Here are a few tips to help you:

1. Study Resources: Utilize comprehensive study resources that cover all the topics tested in the SQE exams. SQE 1 Practice Exam Questions and SQE 1 Practice Mocks FLK1 FLK2 articles are excellent resources that offer sample questions and mock exams to familiarize yourself with the format and content of the exam.

2. Preparation Courses: Consider enrolling in SQE preparation courses. SQE 2 Preparation Courses and SQE 1 Preparation Courses can provide you with structured guidance, expert insights, and practice opportunities to improve your performance.

3. Time Management: Develop a study schedule that allows for adequate revision and practice. Allocate sufficient time for each topic and ensure you cover all areas thoroughly.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice: Practice is key to success in the SQE exams. Regularly attempt mock exams, practice questions, and simulations to enhance your understanding and improve your performance.

5. Stay Updated: Stay informed about the latest SRA SQE Exam Dates to plan your preparation effectively. Being aware of the timeline will allow you to allocate your time and resources appropriately.


Understanding the grading system for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination is essential for your exam preparation. By familiarizing yourself with the criteria for both SQE 1 and SQE 2, you will be better equipped to focus your efforts and achieve the desired outcome. Remember to utilize study resources and preparation courses, manage your time effectively, and practice consistently to maximize your chances of success. Good luck with your SQE journey!

– SQE 1 Practice Exam Questions: https://fqps.co.uk/sqe/sqe1-preparation/mcq-practice-quiz
– SQE 1 Practice Mocks FLK1 FLK2: https://fqps.co.uk/sqe/sqe1-preparation/practice-mocks-quiz
– SQE 2 Preparation Courses: https://fqps.co.uk/sqe/sqe2-preparation
– SQE 1 Preparation Courses: https://fqps.co.uk/sqe/sqe1-preparation
– SRA SQE Exam Dates: https://fqps.co.uk/sqe/sqe1-sqe2-exam-dates