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70. SQE Exam Explained: Navigating the Assessment for Solicitor Qualification

SQE Exam Explained: Navigating the Assessment for Solicitor Qualification

Are you aspiring to become a solicitor in the UK? If so, you may have heard about the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) – the new assessment that has replaced the previous Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS) and the Law Society’s Legal Practice Course (LPC).

The SQE is a comprehensive examination designed to ensure that aspiring solicitors possess the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to practice law effectively. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of the SQE and provide you with a roadmap to navigate this assessment with ease.

Understanding the Structure of the SQE

The SQE consists of two stages: SQE1 and SQE2. Let’s take a closer look at each stage:


The first stage of the SQE assesses candidates’ functioning legal knowledge through multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and written tasks. It covers key legal subjects, including:

  • Business Law and Practice
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Contract and Tort
  • Land Law
  • Trusts Law and Administration
  • Criminal Law

In addition to these core subjects, candidates can choose two practice areas from a wide range of options. This allows them to tailor their assessment to their specific area of interest or expertise. The SQE1 examination can be taken as a separate assessment or as part of a preparation course.


The second stage of the SQE focuses on assessing practical legal skills. It examines candidates’ ability to apply their legal knowledge to real-life scenarios through a series of practical simulations, role-plays, and written tasks. The key skills assessed in SQE2 include:

  • Client Interviewing and Advocacy
  • Legal Research and Written Advice
  • Case and Matter Analysis
  • Legal Drafting
  • Advocacy and Communication Skills

The SQE2 examination is designed to replicate real-world legal scenarios, allowing candidates to demonstrate their practical abilities effectively. It is administered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and can be taken after successful completion of SQE1 or as part of a preparation course.

Preparing for the SQE

Given the comprehensive nature of the SQE, proper preparation is crucial for success. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the assessment:

1. Understand the Assessment Criteria:

Thoroughly review the SRA’s SQE assessment framework, which outlines the specific knowledge and competencies that will be assessed in each stage. This will give you a clear understanding of what is expected and help you focus your preparation effectively.

2. Familiarize Yourself with Practice Areas:

If you choose to specialize in specific practice areas for SQE1, make sure to familiarize yourself with the relevant laws, regulations, and precedents. Stay updated with recent developments and explore related articles such as:

3. Practice Time Management:

The SQE is a timed examination, so it is essential to develop effective time management skills. Practice answering questions under timed conditions to improve your speed and accuracy. This will help you allocate your time efficiently during the actual assessment.

4. Seek Professional Guidance:

Consider enrolling in a reputable SQE preparation course or seeking guidance from experienced solicitors. They can provide invaluable insights, tips, and strategies to enhance your preparation and improve your chances of success.

Acing the SQE: Strategic Approaches

To excel in the SQE, adopt these strategic approaches:

1. Develop Analytical Thinking:

Focus on developing your analytical and critical thinking skills, as the SQE requires you to analyze complex legal scenarios and provide reasoned advice. Practice analyzing case studies, identifying key issues, and formulating persuasive arguments.

2. Enhance Communication Skills:

Effective communication is vital for a solicitor. Practice client interviewing, advocacy, and drafting to improve your communication skills. Develop the ability to articulate legal concepts clearly and concisely in both written and oral formats.

3. Stay Updated with Legal Developments:

Laws and regulations are constantly evolving. Stay updated with recent changes and developments in the legal field. Familiarize yourself with landmark cases, legislative updates, and emerging trends to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the current legal landscape.

4. Take Mock Examinations:

Mock examinations are an excellent way to assess your progress and identify areas for improvement. Seek out practice exams that align with the format and content of the SQE to simulate the actual testing environment. Use these opportunities to refine your strategy and identify any knowledge gaps.


The SQE is a rigorous assessment that demands comprehensive knowledge, practical skills, and strategic approaches. By understanding the examination structure, focusing on targeted preparation, and implementing effective strategies, you can navigate the SQE with confidence and increase your chances of qualifying as a solicitor.

Remember to familiarize yourself with practice areas related to SQE1 and explore additional resources, such as the articles provided below:

With dedication and the right strategies, you can embark on a successful journey towards solicitor qualification through the SQE. Best of luck!